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SPORTS
October 28, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - These have been a tough two weeks for the usually solid Penn State defense. The Nittany Lions have yielded more than 400 yards of total offense to both Ohio State and Maryland, the two worst performances statistically in the 13-game tenure of defensive coordinator Bob Shoop. Lions coach James Franklin outlined a few reasons for the uncommon run of his defense Tuesday at his weekly teleconference: poor tackling, up-tempo opponents with running quarterbacks and possible fatigue from not having had a bye yet this season.
SPORTS
October 12, 2015 | By Erin McCarthy, Inquirer Staff Writer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - For weeks, Penn State coach James Franklin has talked about being more aggressive on offense, taking more shots downfield, and being less conservative in play-calling. In Saturday's 29-7 win over Indiana at Beaver Stadium, the Lions finally did it. The game plan didn't always work out, with quarterback Christian Hackenberg not always connecting with his intended downfield receiver. But the wideouts appeared more confident and energized on the field. It was a marked improvement from the unit's dismal performance in last week's 20-14 win over Army.
SPORTS
October 11, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Its nonconference schedule concluded, Penn State now can hunker down for Big Ten play, a seven-game stretch where the Nittany Lions will see how they stack up in the loaded East Division with top-ranked Ohio State, No. 4 Michigan State and No. 18 Michigan. For players like sophomore tight end Mike Gesicki, it's an exciting time. "This is the part of the season that you work for all year," Gesicki said this week. "You play the nonconference games and we were able to get through them.
SPORTS
October 9, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
For more than a year-and-a-half, Anthony Zettel watched his father, Terry, battle the cancer that would take his life. He'd try to return to his Michigan home as much as he could, but whenever he did, Terry always had the same advice. "When I would come home," recalled Zettel, Penn State's fifth-year senior defensive tackle, "and he was going through chemo sessions, he would be telling me to 'get back to college and go do your thing because sitting here with me, you're not doing anything you want to do and bettering yourself.' " Zettel spoke Tuesday in the Beaver Stadium interview room, the first time he has met with reporters since his father passed away on Sept.
SPORTS
October 9, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
A decade before he began a promising professional baseball career with the New York Mets, Michael Conforto was afforded a lens into his father's athletic past. It came during an off day from the 2004 Little League World Series, when the team from Redmond, Wash., made the hourlong drive southwest to State College. With his father leading the way, the star 11-year-old and his teammates hung out on the sidelines of a Penn State football practice and were granted an audience with coach Joe Paterno.
SPORTS
October 7, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
James Franklin calls it "the hardest part of my job," managing the fans' high hopes against the reality of where Penn State is, especially on offense. He hears the criticism and knows the fans have expectations for greatness, which he says is "the thing I probably love the most about Penn State. " He fully realizes that the offense must improve to successfully negotiate the final seven games of the Big Ten season, which begin Saturday against Indiana at Beaver Stadium. But as far as informing Nittany Nation - through the media - what he's doing to fix the various problems on offense, he doesn't want to go into detail.
SPORTS
October 4, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Johnie and Madgeline Hamilton served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years, which is why they're excited to be attending Military Appreciation Day on Saturday at Beaver Stadium where Penn State will take on Army West Point. They'll get to see their son, Nittany Lions wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton, compete in the game. Being the son of military people, Hamilton might have thought about attending a service academy, but he said his parents were against it. "They wanted me to stay away from that route because of what they had to go through," said Hamilton, who was born in Okinawa.
SPORTS
October 2, 2015 | By Erin McCarthy, Inquirer Staff Writer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Penn State's defense has been listening hard this week to co-defensive coordinator Brent Pry. Players and coaches are drawing on Pry's experience having worked at Georgia Southern with Jeff Monken, who is now the head coach at Army, the Nittany Lions' opponent on Saturday. Penn State coach James Franklin said Tuesday that Pry will have a "stronger voice" at practice, particularly in helping Penn State (3-1) prepare for Army's triple-option offense. "I think the triple option puts stress on everybody," Franklin said.
SPORTS
September 28, 2015 | By Erin McCarthy, Inquirer Staff Writer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Around 1:15 p.m. Saturday, Anthony Zettel stepped off a blue bus outside Beaver Stadium. Head up, headphones in, Penn State's senior defensive tackle walked with his teammates through a shrieking blue-and-white crowd and into the south tunnel, just as he would before any other home game. But Saturday was not normal for Zettel. The game of football was deeply personal. His father, Terry Zettel, died Friday at the age of 46 after a long battle with cancer. As the team began warm-ups, Fumi Franklin, wife of head coach James Franklin, embraced Anthony Zettel on the sidelines.
SPORTS
September 21, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - While still working on getting its offense to where it wants to be, Penn State showed Saturday night it can score on sustained drives, and it can hit on quick strikes as well. The Nittany Lions blitzed Rutgers with a 21-point second quarter, scoring touchdowns on drives of 80, 90, and 75 yards, then fashioned a two-play 70-yard drive behind true freshman Saquon Barkley in the fourth quarter. They rolled to a 28-3 victory over the Scarlet Knights in the opening game of the Big Ten Conference season.
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