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Managing the Moment

Penn State preps for primetime showdown with Ohio State.
UNIVERSITY PARK, CENTRE COUNTY - It is Ohio State week in Happy Valley.

Penn State is getting ready to go on the road and play a team that's won 19 in a row, is ranked No. 4 in the BCS, and is playing at home under the lights.

“You know people say, you gotta block it out,” head coach Bill O’Brien says of the atmosphere. “That's easier said than done. There's 90,000 people there and it's a fantastic place, and they're not for Penn State obviously. I think what you have to do is be very, very focused on what your job is. “

O’Brien says paying attention to every little detail helps both players and coaches filter out the noise and the hype.

There's also a momentum boost for Penn State - a dramatic four-overtime win against Michigan propelling the Nittany Lions into a productive off week.

“This bye week was used a little bit differently than the first one in the fact that the big goal of this bye week was to get our guys healthy, so we probably rested our first and second team guys a little bit more in this bye week,” O’Brien says.

The time off also allowed Penn State to study up on OSU.
Players can already feel the emotion leading up to the biggest game of the year.

“Every game's important,” senior offensive lineman John Urschel says, “but if you can't get excited for a game like this, then you shouldn't be playing college football.”

The Nittany Lions have won two of their last three against the buckeyes, winning most recently in their last trip to the Horseshoe in 2011.

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