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SPORTS
November 2, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The officiating controversies and the unexpected fourth-quarter comeback by Penn State in last week's loss to Ohio State overshadowed a shuffling act on the Nittany Lions' offensive line that would have pleased any magician. The key figure in those rearrangements was fourth-year junior center Angelo Mangiro. When starting left tackle Donovan Smith went down with an undisclosed injury in the fourth quarter, the 6-foot-3, 309-pound Mangiro moved to right tackle, and right tackle Andrew Nelson moved to the left side.
SPORTS
November 1, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - Penn State-Maryland isn't a rivalry by any stretch of the imagination, but it has potential. The Nittany Lions and the Terrapins play in bordering states, compete for the much of the same recruits, have past connections on each coaching staff, and now will play each other every year in the Big Ten's East Division. But one thing is holding this pairing back from becoming a game worth looking forward to: winning on both sides. And for that, don't blame Penn State.
SPORTS
November 1, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Penn State and Maryland are in border states. Their teams have met on the football field 37 times. So when they face each other Saturday at Beaver Stadium for the first time since 1993, it means the rebirth of a rivalry, right? Uh, it depends on whom you ask. Maryland coach Randy Edsall looks forward to making this a rivalry. As for Penn State's James Franklin, not so much. "This is a Big Ten game for us and we're excited about playing a Big Ten game," Franklin said after practice Wednesday.
SPORTS
October 30, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
If he didn't have enough to deal with during Penn State's three-game losing streak, James Franklin is trying to find ways to make the Nittany Lions' punting game more consistent. Franklin said Tuesday at his weekly news conference that he will hold an open competition this week among his three punters - starter Chris Gulla, a redshirt freshman, and freshmen Daniel Pasquariello and Robby Liebel. The punting has hurt Penn State (4-3, 1-3 Big Ten), particularly in the narrow loss to Michigan and the double-overtime loss to Ohio State.
SPORTS
October 29, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - James Franklin walked into the Beaver Stadium press room and thanked everyone for coming. But instead of continuing his opening statement, he paused. With his head down, Franklin tried to find the right words. After taking 10 seconds to collect himself, the misty-eyed coach held back tears and proceeded. "I want to thank the fans. We had an unbelievable environment tonight," Franklin said. "I'm really proud of Penn State. An example of, when we all come together as a family, we have a chance to do some special things.
NEWS
October 23, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - James Franklin's brain constantly churns. Frequently waking up in the middle of the night, Franklin said he has a reputation for texting fellow coaches or administrators at 3 or 4 in the morning about potential play-calls or how practices are run. The first-year Penn State coach also acknowledged having audio recorders and notebooks beside his bed to capture his middle-of-the-night epiphanies. Why does he do this? The coach wants to make sure he doesn't forget anything, something he can't afford to do. Because when it comes to life - including, but not limited to, football - Franklin knows he can get better.
SPORTS
October 23, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The presumption for the last month is that the feeling within the Penn State football program hasn't been very positive, what with the Nittany Lions having lost games before each of their two bye weeks. If you told that to James Franklin, however, he would say that you are wrong. With the Lions preparing for Saturday night's game at Beaver Stadium against 13th-ranked Ohio State, Franklin exuded positivity and confidence Tuesday at his weekly news conference as his team tries to bounce back from losses to Northwestern and Michigan that saw it score just one touchdown and 19 total points.
SPORTS
October 22, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Larry Johnson earned a reputation as an outstanding recruiter, an elite defensive line coach, and an excellent role model for college football players during his 18 seasons as a Penn State assistant - 16 to Joe Paterno and two to Bill O'Brien. But when the athletic administration of the university looked to hire a new head coach, officials twice passed over him in favor of O'Brien in 2012 and James Franklin last January. Johnson then said goodbye to Happy Valley, not knowing where his next job would be. A new job, however, surfaced almost immediately when Ohio State coach Urban Meyer asked him to become assistant head coach and defensive line coach, meaning fans of Johnson over the years will be shaking their heads Saturday night to see him on the visitors sideline at Beaver Stadium wearing the scarlet and gray of the Buckeyes.
SPORTS
October 9, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Penn State lines up Saturday night at Michigan for its first game in two weeks, it could see a Wolverines team in disarray with its coach on the hot seat, or one that could ride the noise from a crowd of more than 100,000 as motivation to climb out of its funk. Nittany Lions coach James Franklin doesn't know what scenario he is going to experience when he visits the Big House for the first time in his career. But he wants his team to be as consistent in its preparation as any other week.
SPORTS
September 30, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - A half-full Beaver Stadium, with less than 2 minutes to go, was silent. As the impressive homecoming crowd of 102,910 whittled down, thousands of noticeably shocked students stuck around until the end. In the front row of the student section, a handful of fans, caked in peeling white and blue paint, spelled out on their stomachs, "We are Penn State. " Some gazed out onto the field without expression. One covered his face with a white Penn State T-shirt as the clock wound down.
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