While the Aggies will play the Alamo Bowl under an interim coach, octogenarian
Penn State has one of the nation's stingiest defenses. It ranked ninth in the nation in yards allowed (306.6 per game) and second in the Big Ten behind Ohio State. Only one team in the country, blitz-obsessed Georgia Tech, had more sacks than the Nittany Lions, who averaged 3.75 per game, led by sophomore end
A&M's secondary has the ability to make Morelli look good. The Aggies ranked 10th in the Big 12 in pass-efficiency defense, letting opposing quarterbacks complete 62.6 percent of their passes. They gave up six 275-yard-plus passing games (to Montana State, Miami, Texas Tech, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Missouri) -- and weren't particularly stout against the run, either, yielding four 200-plus-yard games (to Louisiana-Monroe, Oklahoma State, Kansas and Missouri). Linebacker
At a pep rally in San Antonio on Thursday, an A&M yell leader got in hot water for telling the crowd that "someone needs to find [Paterno] a casket." He might be 81, but he can still handle winning a bowl -- especially when his defense is capable of keeping the Aggies' running game in check. Expect Morelli to put a positive coda on what has been a turbulent career by throwing for at least two scores, and the Nittany Lions to prevail.