December 1, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - With one last singing of the university alma mater and an unemphatic trot off their home field, Penn State's seniors solemnly bade farewell to a half-empty Beaver Stadium. Unlike the euphoria that followed the Nittany Lions' last two regular-season finales - both upset victories - Saturday's postgame emotion wasn't savored. "Because we lost the game," senior linebacker Mike Hull said after the 34-10 drubbing by Michigan State. "It wasn't a good feeling. We got our butts kicked, so we just wanted to get out of there and get away from it. " The Lions (6-6, 2-6 Big Ten)
November 30, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Perhaps the most shocking moments of the 2014 Penn State football season came last week when the Nittany Lions' nationally prominent defense was unable to stop Illinois on its final drive that resulted in the game-winning field goal. While the statistics - 280 total yards allowed, 14 for 16 in stopping third-down conversions - were favorable, the Lions did not respond after coach James Franklin decided to punt on fourth and 1 from his own territory with less than two minutes to play and put the game on the defense's shoulders.
November 27, 2014 |
Penn State's football season has been one of disappointment and discontent for Nittany Nation. The offense has continued to sputter. The defense has been terrific but overworked, the latter attribute leading to a stunning loss Saturday at Illinois. The play-calling has been criticized, as has the performance of the offensive line, which remains inconsistent 11 games in. The Nittany Lions have won only two Big Ten games while the offense has failed to reach 20 points in regulation in any of the team's seven conference games.
November 16, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - For two Owls who spent the week on the mend - receiver Jalen Fitzpatrick and cornerback Tavon Young - the game against Penn State was a good outing. Neither practiced much with injuries last week, but both made contributions during the Owls' 30-13 loss to the Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Fitzpatrick, who injured his ankle in the third quarter of the Owls' previous loss, to Memphis, spent much of the week in a walking boot. However, the Owls' leading receiver had a strong game, finishing with four catches for 113 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown.
November 15, 2014 |
PAUL PALMER played at Temple from 1983-86 for Bruce Arians, and of course finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting as a senior behind Miami quarterback Vinnie Testaverde. Now an analyst on the Owls' radio broadcasts, he still holds the program records for career rushing yards (4,895) and carries (935) and has the two best single-season totals (1,866, and 1,516 as a junior). In those days, there was no Big East yet. All the Eastern schools were independents. Ditto the Miamis and Florida States of the food chain.
November 15, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE - Joe Paterno was still in high school, Joe DiMaggio hit safely in 56 consecutive games and World War II raged on in Europe. The year was 1941, and to many, that time in history holds special meaning. For old-timer Yankees fans, it's DiMaggio's streak. For film junkies, Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" premiered. But for longtime Penn State and Temple fans, they know 1941 for something else: the last time the Nittany Lions lost to the Owls. Anyone with fingers and toes or a calculator can tell you that Temple has gone 72 seasons without defeating Penn State.
November 14, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE - Matt Rhule fondly remembers Oct. 29, 1994. In his first season as a walk-on, Rhule said he wasn't a factor when then-No. 1 ranked Penn State thrashed No. 21 Ohio State, 63-14. Sure, he didn't play, but that didn't matter much to Rhule. "I'll never forget that energy there," Rhule said. "It was a special day. " That blowout of the Buckeyes isn't the lone highlight of Rhule's playing days at Penn State from 1994 to '97. In fact, the Temple head coach said some of the happiest times of his life took place within the confines of Beaver Stadium.
November 4, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE - On Sept. 9, the streets of downtown State College were swarmed with chanting and smiling students, celebrating the lifting of Penn State's bowl ban. Over the next couple weeks, the Nittany Lions channeled that energy and came away with two victories, pushing their record to a spotless 4-0. The first 4 weeks of the 2014 season jolted the Penn State community with buzzing hope. But since then, the mood at Penn State - and the play on the gridiron - has taken a 180. Four consecutive losses since starting undefeated have the Lions in a precarious position; the last time a Penn State team went four games without a win was in 2004, when the Lions finished 4-7. After losing 20-19 in sloppy fashion to Maryland on Saturday, the Lions (4-4, 1-4 Big Ten)
November 2, 2014 |
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.
November 1, 2014 |
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.