December 29, 2014
Saturday at 4:30 p.m., Yankee Stadium, New York Records: Penn State, 6-6, 2-6 Big Ten (sixth in East Division). Boston College, 7-5, 4-4 ACC (fourth in Atlantic Division). TV/Radio: ESPN; WNTP-AM (990), WNPV-AM (1440). Coaches: Penn State, James Franklin (first season, 6-6; 30-21 overall in four seasons). Boston College, Steve Addazio (second season, 14-11; 27-22 overall in four seasons) Series: The two teams have played 23 times since 1946. The Nittany Lions won 19 of the first 20 games in the series but the Eagles have captured the last three including a 21-7 win in their last meeting in 2004.
December 29, 2014 |
NEW YORK - It had been a long time, more than three months to be exact, since Christian Hackenberg looked like the confident quarterback who had excited Penn State fans during his 2013 freshman year, who was on everyone's top-10-in-the-nation list at the start of the season. On Saturday at Yankee Stadium, Hackenberg showed a captivated sellout Pinstripe Bowl crowd of 49,012 that he could still be that guy, leading the Nittany Lions back from a two-touchdown deficit against Boston College and carrying the game into overtime.
December 28, 2014 |
NEW YORK - After a few extra weeks to study film leading up to the Pinstripe Bowl, James Franklin has come to one major conclusion on Boston College's attack: It's dangerous in a lot of different ways. "They're running a lot of read plays, so if you overcompensate to try to stop the running back, then the quarterback has a chance to pull it and get on the edge, and he's a threat," Franklin said of Eagles signal caller Tyler Murphy. "He's a legitimate threat. " The dual-threat Murphy has torn opposing defenses apart for 21 total touchdowns - 11 through the air and 10 on the ground - and leads B.C. with 1,079 rushing yards.
December 28, 2014
Jack Eichel and Chase DeLeo scored in a shootout to help the U.S. men's hockey team beat defending champion Finland, 2-1, on Friday in their round-robin opener in the World Junior Championship in Montreal. Eichel is a freshman at Boston University, and DeLeo plays for Portland in the Western Hockey League. "We knew it was going to be a tough game," said Eichel, a top prospect in the 2015 NHL draft. "They're the defending champs, and you've got to give them a lot of credit.
December 27, 2014 |
After learning of the crushing sanctions the NCAA levied against Penn State in July 2012, linebacker Mike Hull was as good as gone, "really close" to packing up, heading home to Western Pennsylvania and enrolling at Pittsburgh, he said. "I basically was about to tell Coach [Bill] O'Brien that I wasn't coming back, and then I figured I'd sleep on it," Hull recalled earlier this season. "My roommates kind of talked me into staying and so did [Michael] Mauti. So I came back and I was fully invested for that [preseason]
December 26, 2014 |
TOMORROW'S Pinstripe Bowl is an opportunity for Penn State football. Strictly on paper, it's an opportunity at a winning record. After finishing the 2014 regular season at 6-6, the Nittany Lions will look to avoid their first losing record since 2004. Also, it's a chance to play in Yankee Stadium, a venue that, while relatively new, embodies so much history. But most important, it's an opportunity the Lions weren't supposed to have. Rocked by NCAA sanctions levied in July 2012 in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child-sex abuse scandal, the Penn State program was supposed to wilt and die facing a 4-year bowl ban, scholarship limitations and a hefty $60 million fine.
December 25, 2014 |
Seth Betancourt enjoyed a high school career full of accolades at St. Joseph's Prep as a multitalented offensive tackle. He could have had his choice of any top college football program in the country and decided on Boston College. But life moves in mysterious ways, and Betancourt went through some strange experiences, not the least of which was the fact that he got caught up in a numbers crunch. He did not start his first game in a B.C. uniform until the 2014 season opener. In the meantime, the Eagles went 4-8 and 2-10 in his redshirt freshman and sophomore seasons.
December 24, 2014 |
NEW YORK - National signing day for Christian Hackenberg was more than six months away when the NCAA hammered Penn State in July 2012 with harsh sanctions. The penalties included a four-year bowl ban that would have prevented the Virginia high school phenom to play in the postseason until his senior year. In the end, Hackenberg ignored overtures from other head coaches, honored his commitment to Bill O'Brien and signed with the Nittany Lions. A lot has happened since then, including a coaching change, but the best development for the team came in September when the NCAA lifted the bowl ban. So instead of waiting two more years, Hackenberg will make his bowl debut on Saturday when the Lions take on Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.
December 17, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE - It happens all the time: A defensive, offensive or special-teams coordinator molds a consistent, standout unit, which sometimes carries a team to success. That not only garners the respective group attention, but also the coach that's mentoring. In Penn State's case, that's defensive coordinator and safeties coach Bob Shoop. With his first regular season at Penn State in the books, Shoop has made a name for himself. A lot falls on the players' performances, but the Nittany Lions were top-10 in scoring defense and allowed the fewest rushing yards per game, and Shoop - who was nominated last month for the Broyles Award for the nation's best assistant - deserves some credit.