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Bill O Brien

SPORTS
September 6, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
To say that Sam Ficken has seen it all in his four seasons at Penn State is not an overstatement. NCAA sanctions thrust him into a starting role. He missed four field-goal attempts in a game and received death threats. He made a school-record 15 consecutive field goals. He had some rough sledding late in the 2013 season. And on Saturday, he went 4 for 4 on field-goal attempts, including the game-winning 36-yarder that saw him run like a frightened jackrabbit away from the celebratory hordes of teammates but not a crushing bear hug from coach James Franklin.
SPORTS
August 29, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
DUBLIN - It was supposed to be O'Brien against O'Leary in Ireland. But that would have been too perfect, right? Instead of the ultimate Irish matchup, James Franklin's Nittany Lions will face George O'Leary's Knights, as Penn State and Central Florida open their seasons in Dublin at Croke Park at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) tomorrow. After taking over for Bill O'Brien in January, Franklin has won several battles on the recruiting trail, but has not yet competed on the sideline. Tomorrow affords him that opportunity.
SPORTS
August 28, 2014
Sources have confirmed reports that wide receiver Richy Anderson, one of four players who left Penn State's program in June, has transferred to Temple. A son of the former Nittany Lions running back and 13-year NFL veteran Richie Anderson, who is the running backs coach for the Dallas Cowboys, Richy had 13 receptions for 111 yards in 11 games last season as a true freshman. PSU, of course, has a new coach, with former Vanderbilt coach James Franklin replacing Bill O'Brien (Houston Texans)
SPORTS
August 28, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Penn State traveling party to Ireland included more than 300 people, about 20,000 pounds of gear, and some lingering questions in anticipation of the Nittany Lions' season opener and head coach James Franklin's first game Saturday as the team's head coach. The questions concerned competitions for starting positions at left guard and cornerback,the number of true freshmen who will play, and how the new offensive and defensive schemes will work against an experienced Central Florida team.
SPORTS
August 27, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
August 27, 2014 | BY JAKE KAPLAN, Daily News Staff Writer kaplanj@phillynews.com
FOUR OR FIVE years ago, college assistants frequented Winslow Township High to recruit one of South Jersey's most dynamic prep football players. Oregon offered the kid a scholarship, as did Florida and South Carolina, of the vaunted SEC, and other tradition-laden programs such as Nebraska and Wisconsin. In the end, Penn State landed Bill Belton, but not for the lack of other schools' attempts. Maryland, for instance, put on the fullcourt press, a recruiting nugget worth mentioning years later, only because of the young assistants who led the effort on behalf of the Terrapins.
SPORTS
August 26, 2014 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
In any discussion of Christian Hackenberg - his personality, his skills as a quarterback, his future at Penn State and beyond - Micky Sullivan acknowledges his prejudice at the start. If there's a benefit of the doubt to be given, Sullivan is going to give it to Hackenberg, and he makes no apologies for it. He coached Hackenberg at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia. He plays golf with him in the spring and summer. He traveled down to St. Petersburg, Fla., in January 2013 when Hackenberg played in the Under Armour All-American Game.
SPORTS
August 6, 2014 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - James Franklin began his first media day as Penn State's head football coach by looking out at a room filled with hundreds of reporters, smiling big, and asking questions. "How's everybody doing?" Murmur, murmur. "How was everybody's summer?" Murmur, too short, murmur. "Short?" Murmur, murmur. "You guys look shocked," Franklin said, "like it's unusual to start it this way. " It was. Franklin took 14 questions over the next 35 minutes Monday afternoon, and after each media member had taken the microphone and identified himself or herself, Franklin made sure to use the questioner's name in his answer, regardless of whether he'd ever met the person before.
SPORTS
August 4, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Penn State kicker Sam Ficken had experienced spring practices conducted by Joe Paterno and Bill O'Brien during his career, but he'd never seen anything like some of the methods carried out in the spring by new head coach James Franklin. Ficken understood that coaches needed to simulate pressure situations that a kicker might encounter late in a game, such as making an entire team run laps if a field goal at the end of a practice went wide of the uprights. However, he learned from the very first day of drills that Franklin had a different approach.
SPORTS
July 31, 2014 | BY JACK McCARTHY, For the Daily News
CHICAGO - The Penn State community has had several months to absorb James Franklin's outsized personality and infectious enthusiasm. This week the Big Ten got its first long look at the 42-year-old Nittany Lions coach. At roundtable discussions with reporters, Franklin repeatedly answered questions about his style, philosophy and prospects. At a meet-and-greet with fans outside a hotel ballroom, he shook hands like a vote-seeking politician, shared hugs and signed autographs.
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