August 10, 2012 |
STATE COLLEGE — Silas Redd isn't here any more. Neither are his 1,200-plus rushing yards or seven touchdowns. For a team in transition, that's a bunch to overcome. Welcome to Bill Belton's world. The South Jersey native thought he was going to be a wide receiver again this season. New coach Bill O'Brien saw him for the first time and thought otherwise. "Running backs have a certain look to them," he said. "They're muscular, they're built kind of low to the ground. We noticed that right away.
August 27, 2014 |
If there is one thing that has impressed Penn State offensive coordinator John Donovan since he started his job in January, it's the ability of senior running back Bill Belton to fearlessly move his body into the way of a blitzing linebacker on pass plays. "He's a pretty tough kid," Donovan said Monday of Belton, a senior running back from Winslow Township High School in Camden County. "He's a good pass protector, which is something that's not always easy for a running back. "You normally wouldn't think the guy could be great at pass protection," he added, probably in reference to Belton's size of 5-foot-10 and 204 pounds.
November 4, 2013 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Bill Belton has spent his last two seasons for Penn State transitioning. The former star quarterback at Winslow Township High School came to Penn State as a wide receiver, and now he's a running back. He was struggling in the classroom, but now he's picked up his grades. He ran for 172 yards against Illinois on Saturday, but then he lost a fumble at his opponent's 2-yard line in the fourth quarter, just as Penn State was about to score the go-ahead touchdown.
August 8, 2012 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - A new, transparent era of Penn State football began with Monday's opening practice for the 2012 season under first-year head coach Bill O'Brien. O'Brien emphasized several times during a 12-minute media gathering that Penn State understands why it has received its penalties from the NCAA due to the Jerry Sandusky child sexual-abuse scandal. Among the sanctions are a four-year bowl ban, scholarship reductions, a $60 million fine, and current players have the ability to transfer and be immediately eligible at their new school.
February 2, 2011 |
When the recruiting race for the Class of 2011 began in earnest last summer, Penn State appeared to be stuck in the starting gate. The Nittany Lions had only four oral commitments as of mid-October. They appeared to have waited much longer than other schools to offer scholarships, and there was the persistent question of whether then-83-year-old coach Joe Paterno was more of a hindrance to recruiting than a help. But the Lions, capitalizing on the coaching change at Pittsburgh while loading up at defensive end and along the offensive line, used a late closing kick to overtake some of their Big Ten rivals as national signing day arrives on Wednesday.
October 2, 2011 |
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Once again, the Penn State offense's lack of efficiency put added pressure on the team's defense to keep its opponent off the scoreboard. But the Lions on the defensive side welcomed the chance to be the saviors once again, stopping a late Indiana drive in Saturday's 16-10 win over the Hoosiers. "We go out there every day with the attitude that the defense has to win the game," said linebacker Gerald Hodges , a former star at Paulsboro High. "If we want to be the best defense, we've got to do what it takes to be the best defense, which is not to give up scores, give up a bunch of touchdowns.
November 28, 2011 |
MADISON, Wis. - Curtis Drake, the Penn State redshirt sophomore wide receiver out of West Catholic High, really wanted to celebrate the first touchdown reception of his college career, which also happened to be his longest play as a Nittany Lion. It's just that it's difficult to seem too joyful when your 44-yard trip to the end zone is followed by 45 points for the guys in the different-colored jerseys. Drake sneaked behind the Wisconsin secondary for the deep ball delivered by Matt McGloin in the first quarter when the Badgers blew the coverage in Saturday's regular-season finale in Camp Randall Stadium.
October 14, 2013 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - On the first play of the second half, Zach Zwinak fumbled the football over to Michigan's Frank Clark, who ran it in for a touchdown. Zwinak didn't touch the ball again Saturday night in Penn State's 43-40 quadruple overtime victory over Michigan, so Bill Belton entered the fray. Belton stepped up at the end of the fourth quarter as coach Bill O'Brien opted for a heavier run game. By the fourth overtime, Penn State was down three points and facing a fourth and 1. O'Brien said he was tired of trading field goals with the Wolverines.
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)
September 30, 2012 |
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Penn State running game is starting to show the power and physicality that made it famous. The rushing identity on display Saturday in the Nittany Lions' 35-7 romp over Illinois included a power tailback and a shifty tailback taking turns behind an offensive line that gets better every week. Zach Zwinak, a 232-pound sophomore, carried 19 times for a career-high 100 yards and two touchdowns. Bill Belton, a 202-pound sophomore from Winslow Township High who was back in the lineup after missing three games with a sprained left ankle, added 65 yards on 16 carries.