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Penn State Football: Blue-White Game to Feature New Scoring Format

by on April 20, 2012 10:30 AM

Football is back. And, it will be hardly anything like Penn State fans are accustomed to.

It's been 15 weeks since Bill O'Brien was hired as Penn State's football coach, bringing with him some schemes and ideas — unfortunately not the quarterback — from the New England Patriots offense.

There's been some media presence at practice, far more than under former coach Joe Paterno, but Saturday's Blue-White Game at Beaver Stadium will more or less be the debut of O'Brien and his team. Kick is 2 p.m. and admission and parking are free.

Finally. Football is back.

But . . .

"I wouldn't expect a bunch of fireworks," O'Brien said. "There's 85,000 people in the stands, and I'm not so sure who all of those 85,000 people are. So I wouldn't expect us to show a lot, but we'll show up and we'll play hard, and I just want our guys to give a solid effort."

Also new is a revamped format for the game that includes the offense in white, defense in blue and a new scoring system.

Pity the scoreboard operator Saturday:

Touchdown - 6 points
Field goal - 3 points
Big play (15-plus yard gain) - 2 points
Two consecutive first downs - 2 points
PAT - 1 point

Touchdown - 7 points
Turnover (unless TD) - 6 points
Sack - 4 points
Tackle for loss - 2 points
Three-and-out - 1 point

O'Brien said he intends to treat Saturday as a business day. He'll call the offensive plays from the sideline. In years past, Paterno would watch from his perch in the press box and join the radio broadcast.

There's certainly buzz surrounding the game, no question about that.

Whether it fulfills fan expectation? O'Brien warned not to aim too high.

“We want to look like a sharp football team,” O'Brien said. “But it's not a game. It's a practice for us. It's another opportunity for us to evaluate our football team. So I would say the expectation level for the actual football playing on the field -- I wouldn't say that it should be too high. We've got guys who are still learning our systems.”

What: Blue-White Game

When: 2 p.m. Beaver Stadium

TV: Big Ten Network 8 p.m.

Live coverage: BTN2Go and The Big Ten Digital Network

Notes: Defensive end Pete Massaro will likely not play Saturday as a precautionary reason following an ACL injury last year . . . former All-American running back Ki-Jana Carter will be part of the broadcast crew for the Big Ten Network . . . as always, admission and parking are free.

Nate Mink covers Penn State football and news for He's on Twitter as @MinkNate.
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