Penn State stumbles in first game of football season

Written by The Associated Press | Sep 2, 2012 12:30 PM

(State College) -- The new era at Penn State got off to a slow start yesterday, with the Nittany Lions losing to the Ohio University Bobcats, 24-14.

Coach Bill O'Brien, the former offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots, led the charge in the first home opener without the late Joe Paterno since 1949.

More than 90,000 fans chanted the familiar "We are...Penn State!'' shortly before kickoff. 

Paterno's widow, Sue Paterno, attended the game with another family member, entering through an employee entrance about 15 minutes before the game began.

Penn State held a moment of reflection for all victims of sexual abuse. All 31 Penn State teams and more than 600 athletes were invited on the field before the game as part of Penn State's "One Team'' motto.

The football players also wore their names on the back of their uniforms, in addition to donning blue ribbons on their helmets in order to show support for victims of child sexual abuse.

It was Penn State's first game since the NCAA's landmark sanctions, including a four-year bowl ban and $60 million fine, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Sandusky has been convicted on 45 counts of child abuse, and currently awaits sentencing.

Joe Paterno was ousted last year amidst the scandal, after serving as head coach since 1966.

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