Commentary

Irish can expect whiteout conditions at Beaver Stadium

Updated: September 5, 2007, 4:34 PM ET
By Bruce Hooley | Special to ESPN.com
Notre Dame's 33-3 home loss to Georgia Tech hasn't dampened the enthusiasm of Penn State fans for the Irish's visit. If anything, it's intensified the anticipation, like blood in a shark tank at feeding time. The whiteout conditions in Beaver Stadium have been expanded to include the entire facility, not just the student section. And Joe Paterno will make an appearance Friday at an on-campus pep rally in advance of Notre Dame's first trip to State College since 1991. Penn State's 1982 national championship team will be honored at halftime of the 6 p.m. ET kickoff (ESPN and ESPN 360). The Irish won 41-17 last season in South Bend and lead the series 9-8-1.

• The Irish managed only a field goal against Georgia Tech and likely won't find the Penn State defense much more inviting. The 59-0 shutout of Florida International was the Lions' third in their last six games and first in a season opener since 1981.

• True to his promise, Paterno had his players in Beaver Stadium the morning after the rout of FIU to sweep debris and clean the student section. That was his punishment for assorted players getting involved in off-field incidents during the winter. Senior linebacker Dan Connor said the broom detail will "bring everybody back down to Earth" following the comfortable opener.

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