October 13, 2013 |
Taylor Lewan knows the atmosphere Saturday night at Beaver Stadium will be electric and that the noise from the sellout crowd of more than 106,000 will make his ears ring. However, even though he'll be wearing the uniform of visiting Michigan, the all-American offensive tackle is excited about the opportunity to compete against Penn State in such a setting. "Sometimes we'll be standing face to face [with a teammate] and I won't be able to hear myself think or hear you talk," Lewan said Monday at a press conference in Ann Arbor, Mich.
October 11, 2013 |
STATE COLLEGE - This weekend provides somewhat of a crossroads for Penn State's defense. A traditionally strong unit, the Nittany Lions' defense has been burned in two of their last three games by Central Florida and Indiana, with a shutout against Kent State sandwiched in between. Some doubt started to creep in after Penn State surrendered 507 yards to an expeditious UCF attack, but more questioning of John Butler's group arose after Indiana posted 486 yards and five touchdowns last Saturday.
October 10, 2013 |
Penn State coach Bill O'Brien made it perfectly clear Tuesday that he would not talk about his team's loss to Indiana, no matter how nicely reporters asked him. O'Brien said the focus was on 18th-ranked Michigan, the Nittany Lions' opponent Saturday at Beaver Stadium, and he said it a lot - using a form of the word "focus" about 10 times during his weekly teleconference, and a few more times on the Big Ten coaches' call. "Indiana is over," the coach said. "It's in the rearview mirror.
October 7, 2013 |
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - When one sees Christian Hackenberg changing plays at the line of scrimmage and dodging ferocious pass rushers and completing a pass in a small window, it's hard to believe that he's 18 years old and a veteran of just five college football games. The Penn State freshman got a taste of his first-ever Big Ten road game Saturday and threw 55 passes, a school record, but wound up on the short end of a 44-24 count against Indiana. Hackenberg, who broke Kerry Collins' mark of 54 attempts against Brigham Young in 1992, had career highs for completions (30)
September 23, 2013 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The rain assailed Beaver Stadium's surfaces, in thick waves rather than straight precipitation. The trenches were soaked, and the players' jerseys were soaked. There was practically no grip, for any player on either line. The first literal slipup often decided who won any given pass rush. "You have to try to [acclimate]," defensive tackle C.J. Olaniyan said. "When you get a hold of somebody, you have to make sure you get a good hold. " The mud of Beaver Stadium proved more familiar to Penn State than Kent State in the Lions' 34-0 shutout Saturday.
September 19, 2013 |
As expected, Bill O'Brien's primary complaint about Penn State's mediocre defensive performance against Central Florida concerned poor tackling. "Sometimes we tackled them, sometimes we didn't," the Nittany Lions coach said Tuesday at his weekly teleconference with reporters. The Lions (2-1) yielded 507 total yards Saturday night in their 34-31 loss to UCF at Beaver Stadium. The Knights' skill players relied on their speed combined with a dozen - maybe two dozen, maybe more - missed tackles to churn out big plays, 10 of 20 yards or more.
September 16, 2013
Saturday at 6 p.m., Beaver Stadium, State College Records: Central Florida, 2-0. Penn State, 2-0. TV/Radio: Big Ten Network; WNTP-AM (990), WNPV-AM (1440). Coaches: Central Florida, George O'Leary (17th season, 114-88); Penn State, Bill O'Brien (second season, 10-4). Series: The two teams met in 2002 and 2004 with Penn State winning both times, but the victories were vacated by NCAA sanctions. Three things to watch Penn State's execution on third down must be more precise than its first two games, when the Nittany Lions converted just two of 26 third-down opportunities, the worst in the nation.
September 15, 2013 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - After going from Penn State's opening-day starter at running back to injured player to reserve during the 2012 season, Bill Belton could have been frustrated. Perhaps he thought there was little or no chance that it would work out for him with the Nittany Lions. Still, Belton remained optimistic with the help of his parents and the guy calling the shots, coach Bill O'Brien, who told him what he needed to do to improve at what was, for Belton, a relatively new position.