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Penn State backup quarterback Tommy Stevens has lofty off-field ambitions.

Low expectations for Penn State-Georgia State; high hopes for backup QB Tommy Stevens

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Curb your enthusiasm

Frank Bodani of the York Daily Record calls Saturday’s Penn State-Georgia State game a “dud.” David Jones of calls it “the single most pointless game” he has covered in 27 years of tracking the Nittany Lions.

Bodani points out that the Panthers did push Wisconsin in 2016 before losing 23-17. And that Georgia State’s defense has been stingy in allowing big plays.

Jones fairly scoffs, noting that this game represents nothing more than a cash grab.

The lone saving grace? It’s a 7:30 p.m. start, Bodani writes, meaning there is extra tailgating time.

Aiming high

After Lions backup quarterback Tommy Stevens expressed admiration for model Sierra Egan via Twitter, former NFL wide receiver Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson was happy to share Egan’s social media information with Stevens. Sounds like the start of a beautiful friendship.

Tangible reward

Andrew Callahan of Lions247 reports on a new Penn State tradition – freshmen literally earning their stripe. As he writes, none of the first-year players is given a helmet adorned with the blue stripe featured on their older teammates’ headware. The stripe is added when they are “kind of starting to figure it out based on our standards and expectations,” as coach James Franklin said, per Callahan, after Wednesday’s practice. Minutes earlier offensive tackle Des Holmes became the ninth freshman to receive that honor.

Gone, but never forgotten

Guard Steven Gonzalez showed unusual strength when he benchpressed 225 pounds a team-best 38 times at PSU’s Lift for Life in July. As reports, he has been displaying strength of another kind since losing his dad, Jorge, to a heart attack when he was a high school junior. Wednesday marked the four-year anniversary of the elder Gonzalez’s passing.

Walking tall, and looming large

Derek Levarse of the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader writes that cornerback Grant Haley, renowned for his big-play ability, is relieved simply to avoid the early season injuries that plagued him in 2015 and ’16. Haley, who teamed with safety Marcus Allen on the blocked field goal/TD return against Ohio State last October and the fourth-down stop that sewed up the Big Ten championship in December, contributed an interception and sack to the 33-14 victory last week over Pitt. This week the Atlanta native will be facing his hometown team.

Runners honored

Per the university’s official website, Penn State cross country standouts Colin Abert and Jillian Hunsberger were each honored as Big Ten Athletes of the Week in their discipline after winning their respective races at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational. Both were honored by the conference the week of Sept. 6.

Todd McShay: Saquon Barkley should go first

As pointed out by the Land of 10’s Jack Baer, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said Wednesday on The Russillo Show that Lions running back Saquon Barkley would be his choice to go No. 1 in the selection process next spring. That was duly noted on the radio program’s Twitter account.

Also in the Land of 10

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