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SPORTS
December 31, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Tackle Donovan Smith, the most experienced player on the young Penn State offensive line for much of the 2014 season, announced Monday he has decided to enter the NFL draft. The 6-foot-5, 340-pound Smith, a redshirt junior who started 31 games at left tackle over the last three seasons, will forgo his final season of eligibility. In a release issued by Penn State athletic communications, Smith said "it seems like it was yesterday" since he sat down with former coach Joe Paterno to discuss his plans after high school in Owings Mills, Md. "I promised him and my family that I would get my degree," Smith said.
SPORTS
December 30, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
NEW YORK - Sam Ficken lined up next to his kneeling holder and, with his head down looking at the torn-up field, counted three steps back. Penn State's senior placekicker picked his head up and stared at the uprights directly in front of him for a brief moment. The lanky, 6-2, 186-pound Indiana native then took two steps to the left and twisted his shoulders right to left. He was ready; ready to deliver Penn State its most significant, far-reaching win in years. The Nittany Lions (7-6)
SPORTS
December 29, 2014 | By John Stuetz, For The Inquirer
NEW YORK - Penn State's nation-leading run defense allowed Boston College a sizable 285 yards on the ground in the Pinstripe Bowl on Saturday. But it was the 2 yards quarterback Tyler Murphy didn't gain on a third-down scramble near the goal line that opened the window for a successful Nittany Lions comeback. Safety Marcus Allen hauled down Murphy to hold the Eagles to a field goal with less than three minutes in regulation, allowing a 44-yard field goal from Sam Ficken to tie the game and send it into overtime.
SPORTS
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.
SPORTS
December 29, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
December 28, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
NEW YORK - Despite traveling a bumpy road trying to navigate his team through a season with fewer scholarship players than any of its opponents, first-year Penn State head coach James Franklin has managed to keep the same enthusiasm he displayed when he was hired. By and large, the Penn State fan base has been pleased by the promise Franklin has shown, particularly in the recruiting area that has set the Nittany Lions up well for the future, and maybe not as much by the fact the Lions are 2-6 after a 4-0 start and could finish below .500 if they don't defeat Boston College Saturday in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.
SPORTS
December 26, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer barkowe@phillynews.com
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.
SPORTS
December 26, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Angelo Mangiro left Roxbury (N.J.) High School as a four-star offensive lineman in football and a 3.5 student in the classroom. Other than a few struggles with reading and writing, the Penn State-bound Mangiro had little reason to believe something was holding him back from learning. That's why he was more than a bit surprised when, after taking a series of routine placement exams given to incoming students and some followup tests, he was diagnosed with dyslexia. Mangiro refused to let that slow him down, however.
NEWS
December 24, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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