Sports

Penn State, O'Brien recharged, refocused as No. 18 Michigan awaits in Happy Valley

  • FILE- In this Sept. 7, 2013, file photo, Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson (8) hauls in a 43-yard pass from quarterback Christian Hackenberg asith Eastern Michigan defensive back Willie Creear makes the tackle during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa. With each new game, Robinson is seemingly landing in the program record books, and will be a key cog to a Penn State resurgence this season, if there is one. The Nittany Lions have lost two of three games, and will play host to No. 18 Michigan on Saturday. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

    FILE- In this Sept. 7, 2013, file photo, Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson (8) hauls in a 43-yard pass from quarterback Christian Hackenberg asith Eastern Michigan defensive back Willie Creear makes the tackle during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa. With each new game, Robinson is seemingly landing in the program record books, and will be a key cog to a Penn State resurgence this season, if there is one. The Nittany Lions have lost two of three games, and will play host to No. 18 Michigan on Saturday. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Penn State coach Bill O'Brien speaks at his weekly NCAA college football press conference, in State College, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013.  Penn State plays Michigan on Saturday in State College.  (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Nabil K. Mark ) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT

    Penn State coach Bill O'Brien speaks at his weekly NCAA college football press conference, in State College, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013. Penn State plays Michigan on Saturday in State College. (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Nabil K. Mark ) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Penn State coach Bill O'Brien speaks at his weekly NCAA college football press conference, in State College, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013.  Penn State plays Michigan on Saturday in State College.  (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Nabil K. Mark ) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT

    Penn State coach Bill O'Brien speaks at his weekly NCAA college football press conference, in State College, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013. Penn State plays Michigan on Saturday in State College. (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Nabil K. Mark ) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT  (The Associated Press)

With a perfect season on the line, Michigan has every reason to get pumped entering Happy Valley.

Turns out, so does Penn State.

While the Nittany Lions (3-2, 0-1 Big Ten) are struggling with two losses in their last three games, second-year coach Bill O'Brien wants his team to embrace what's ahead on Saturday.

The game is sold out, with a crowd of more than 100,000 fans expected at Beaver Stadium. The game is on national television, and a chance to show the football world that even an undermanned roster can go play-for-play with one of the land's top teams.

O'Brien hasn't backed down from a challenge since he took over the scandal-ridden program, and the 18th-ranked Wolverines (5-0, 1-0) seem like a minor speed bump in the big picture of building the program back into model of success.

The Wolverines, of course, care more about keeping their shot at the Big Ten title firmly alive.