The Akron Zips still have a bitter taste in their mouths after dropping four straight to end 2016, unable to capitalize on the program's first bowl win in history. But the start of 2017 doesn't get much easier for Terry Bowden and company.
Akron will travel to Happy Valley to compete in front of over 100,000 fans against the 2016 Big Ten Conference champions — a Penn State Nittany Lions team that nearly received a playoff invitation last December.
The Nittany Lions enter the contest ranked No. 6 in the AP Poll. After failing to make a mark in the poll from 2012 through 2015, Penn State strung together nine consecutive victories, narrowly falling in the Rose Bowl, to re-establish itself as one of college football's powers.
While Akron enters the game as 30.5-point underdogs, crazier upsets have occurred on week one. Akron's MAC brethren, a 3-9 Kent State team, hung tight with the Nittany Lions, only trailing 16-13 at halftime in University Park to open the 2016 campaign. The Golden Flashes dropped the game 33-13 but showed plenty of potential against the Big Ten juggernaut in the first 30 minutes of the loss.
Your need to know information. . .
Kickoff time: 12:00PM
Stream: WatchESPN app, pending cable provider
Weather: Cloudy, 55°
Line: Penn State -30.5