August 13, 2014 |
EIGHT DAYS ago, Penn State's football team held its annual preseason media day at Beaver Stadium, where nearly 90 non-freshmen players were spread out across the yet-to-be-painted natural grass field. The defensive linemen were stationed to a far corner, in an area of the field typically used as part of the opposition's sideline. Midway through the hour the players spent in the stadium, about 10 reporters huddled around the 6-4, 255-pound defensive end sporting a blue No. 18 uniform.
August 6, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Whenever Penn State coach James Franklin has been asked recently about Christian Hackenberg, he consistently has mentioned finding the "pieces of the puzzle" - choosing from an inexperienced corps of offensive linemen and wide receivers - to place around the Nittany Lions quarterback. Franklin won't say he is worried, but most of Nittany Nation is. The offensive line returns only one starter, and three of the early projected starting five have not played a single down there.
July 30, 2014 |
CHICAGO - The darkest days of Penn State football may be receding as the focus moves back onto the field. While sanctions remain against Nittany Lions football in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal the subject barely came up at yesterday's Big Ten football media day. About the closest new coach James Franklin came to addressing NCAA punishments came when asked to compare building up his former Vanderbilt program and obstacles...
April 24, 2014
Penn State and new Big Ten rival Rutgers will open the 2014 conference season under the lights on Sept. 13 in Piscataway, N.J. The game will kick off at 8 p.m. at High Point Solutions Stadium and be televised on the Big Ten Network. This will be not only the first conference game for the two teams, it also will be the first Big Ten contest of the season. Rutgers officially will become a member of the Big Ten on July 1. The Scarlet Knights will be playing in the East Division, meaning they will compete against the Nittany Lions annually.
January 14, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Penn State football players emerged from the Lasch Football Building at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday after meeting with their new coach, James Franklin, for the first time. Roll was taken at the meeting, which lasted about 30 minutes. Every player attended, including Penn State's five early enrollees. None was made available to the media afterward. On Saturday, Penn State formally introduced Franklin in a news conference at Beaver Stadium. "It is going to be a sprint from here on out, and that is talking to the players, the current players," Franklin said.
January 3, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE - Dave Joyner sat in the front of the Beaver Stadium press room yesterday and faced the reality: He and Penn State need to find someone to fill the seat he was sitting in and lead a football team onto the field at his back. Again. For the second time in 3 years, Joyner, Penn State's athletic director, and the school are looking for a new person to lead a storied football program, as it was officially announced yesterday that Bill O'Brien has accepted the head coaching job with the Houston Texans.
December 2, 2013 |
MADISON, Wis. - Seniors such as Penn State guard John Urschel were crushed last week when they could not come up with a victory in their final game at Beaver Stadium. But one week later and more than 700 miles away from Happy Valley, Urschel and his fellow seniors celebrated a major upset, Saturday's 31-24 victory over Wisconsin that allowed him to finish his collegiate career with a huge smile on his face. "It's great to get the win," Urschel said. "Honestly, I don't really know what to say. It was a tough loss last week and just to fight all four quarters, it wasn't always pretty, it wasn't always perfect football, but we got it done.
November 24, 2013 |
STATE COLLEGE - On the fringe of Penn State's campus, the daunting steel football haven that is Beaver Stadium sits quietly for 358 days a year. But on those seven Saturdays, the second-largest stadium in North America and the area around it filled with burgers and beers come alive. In the last few years, however, fewer people have made the pilgrimage to watch the Nittany Lions, and the stadium's attendance numbers are down for the sixth straight season. Granted, this season's average (96,266)
November 24, 2013 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - When Matt Freeman said he wanted to become the feature baton twirler for Pennsylvania State University, his high school principal in southern California laughed and told him he needed realistic dreams. "I have proved him wrong in everything he's ever told me," Freeman said. For 31/2 years, Freeman - six times a world champion - has dazzled crowds at Beaver Stadium as feature twirler for the Penn State Blue Band. He twirls five batons at once, tosses them high, rolls them on his neck and bounces them like boomerangs.
November 7, 2013 |
The Big Ten road has not been kind to Penn State in 2013. The Nittany Lions have lost both their conference games away from Beaver Stadium by lopsided scores and didn't score a single point in the first quarter of either. Bill O'Brien would like his Nittany Lions (5-3 overall, 2-2 conference) to reverse the trend on Saturday at Minnesota, but it's going to be a difficult task against a team that has won three straight games and has united in its purpose while head coach Jerry Kill reduces his workload to focus on treatment for epilepsy.