Penn State's Freshman QB Christian Hackenberg looks to impress against Kent State

Penn State's Freshman QB Christian Hackenberg looks to impress against Kent State

For most 18-year-old Penn State students, game day in Happy Valley consists of rolling out of bed at 8:00 am, throwing on a blue and white football jersey, chugging some Gatorade, and finally heading over to the Beaver Stadium parking lots. What awaits these students is another action-packed day of tailgating, cheering, and hopefully celebrating with 100,000 other screaming fans.

For freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg, the game day routine is a bit different. Then again, he is not like most 18-year-old Penn State students. He’s 6’4” and 220 pounds. He has an absolute canon of an arm. He also happens to be the starting quarterback for the Nittany Lions. With the first day of fall marking week four of the season, the Penn State community is quickly learning that the kid can flat out play.

Despite a bitter loss last weekend to Central Florida, Penn State can roll into its week four matchup reassured by the great play of its young quarterback. The game day butterflies are beginning to fade, the matchups are becoming clearer, and the game is slowing down for Hackenberg. Through the team’s first three games, the big freshman has calmly settled into the offense throwing for an impressive 851 yards and four touchdowns at a 71 percent completion rate. Oh yeah, and three of his four touchdowns came on completions of 45 yards or longer. Not bad for a player who arrived to the team in June.

On Saturday Hackenberg will lead the Nittany Lions to face a struggling Kent State team that has gone 0-10 in Big Ten matchups over the years. Unfortunately for the Golden Flashes, that record is not likely to improve much this weekend. Oddmakers have projected Penn State to win by three touchdowns against a struggling and desperate Kent State defense. Of course Vegas odds mean nothing to Hackenberg and Nittany Nation. The team is hungry and its quarterback is ready to prove on the field that he is the real deal.

If the home team’s offense can avoid third-and-longs by staying productive on first and second down, look for the offense to roll. Head coach Bill O’Brien acknowledged that appropriate play calling should keep his guys in more manageable situations. Expect Hackenberg to connect early and often with standout receiver Allen Robinson who has already amassed 300 yards receiving so far this season.

It’s worth noting that Hackenberg has already twice received the honor of Big Ten Freshman of the Week, while Bill O’Brien believes the quarterback has only earned himself a 'B' rating through three weeks. Come Monday, don’t be surprised if the promising freshman collects a third Big Ten award and an 'A' from his coach.

Heading into next week, Penn State will have a bye before it kicks off Big Ten play against Indiana.

Kickoff today is set for 3:30 on the Big Ten Network.

Another award: Carson Wentz named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month

Another award: Carson Wentz named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month

Three games into his NFL career, Carson Wentz might need a bigger trophy case.

The 23-year-old, who picked up his first NFC Offensive Player of the Week award for his performance against Pittsburgh, has been named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Month for September.

Yes, Wentz's first NFL month was a special one.

The No. 2 pick from North Dakota State has completed 64.7 percent of his passes for 769 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions. He's the first rookie in NFL history to put up those numbers in the first three games of a career. And his 102 straight passing attempts without an interception is also a rookie record.

It's hard to believe that a little over a week before the season began, Wentz was scheduled to be the Eagles' third-string quarterback and have a redshirt year. That all changed when de facto GM Howie Roseman traded away starter Sam Bradford and the team decided to start the rookie.

While many thought the decision to start Wentz was the beginning of a long rebuilding year, the rookie has the Eagles off to a fast 3-0 start. Wentz has played very well, but has also been aided by a stout defense, led by NFC Defensive Player of the Month Fletcher Cox.

This week, Wentz is spending some time hunting while the Eagles are on their bye week. He bagged another trophy on Thursday.

The team will be back in action on Oct. 9 in Detroit to face the Lions.

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Watch: Joel Embiid can't get over how much he trusts the process

Watch: Joel Embiid can't get over how much he trusts the process

Joel Embiid really trusts the process. 

And he'll tell you as much over and over.

In fact, JoJo said it so much yesterdady that he was cracking himself up about just how much he trusts the process.

By most accounts, Joel was a bit rusty in the first couple of practices to kick off training camp, but, you know, you've just got to trust the process.

And he does. Trust the process.