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SPORTS
January 4, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - When it came to being loyal to Penn State, few football players who have passed through Happy Valley showed that quality more than quarterback Christian Hackenberg. It was that loyalty that had Nittany Lions fans hoping he would return for his senior year. But in the end, after 38 consecutive starts, two offensive systems, countless hits, and opinions over whether he regressed after a great freshman year, Hackenberg did what most people expected. He said he will declare for the NFL draft, announcing the decision Saturday after the Lions' 24-17 loss to Georgia in the TaxSlayer Bowl, a game that Hackenberg left for good early in the second quarter with a sprained right (throwing)
SPORTS
January 4, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Christian Hackenberg couldn't stand the pain in his right shoulder any longer, so redshirt freshman Trace McSorley became Penn State's best hope to move his team's offense against Georgia on Saturday in the TaxSlayer Bowl. After a slow start, McSorley helped the Nittany Lions make up a 21-point deficit with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes. The Lions moved toward a potential game-tying touchdown, but a Hail Mary try on the last play fell incomplete, giving the Bulldogs a 24-17 victory at EverBank Field.
SPORTS
January 3, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Bryan McLendon was a member of Georgia's coaching staff when James Franklin coached Vanderbilt to an upset victory of the 15th-ranked Bulldogs in 2013, the Commodores' first win over a top-25 team in five years. McLendon, who will serve as Georgia's interim head coach Saturday in a TaxSlayer Bowl matchup against Penn State, admired what Franklin did at Vanderbilt. And although Franklin has taken some heat since becoming head coach of the Nittany Lions, McLendon says he's "a heck of a coach.
SPORTS
January 2, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. - Although Penn State players and coaches have been staying relatively far from the site of the TaxSlayer Bowl game in Jacksonville, they've had plenty to keep themselves occupied. The Nittany Lions have taken advantage of their seaside location in Amelia Island, about a 50-minute drive north of Everbank Field, where they will meet Georgia on Saturday. "They've done a good job of giving us time to just kind of hang out," offensive tackle Andrew Nelson said.
SPORTS
December 31, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Staff Writer
Austin Johnson knows that everyone who follows Penn State is wondering whether the team's TaxSlayer Bowl matchup against Georgia will be his last game wearing the Nittany Lions' blue and white before he decides to enter the 2016 NFL draft. But he's not saying. After the Nittany Lions completed their first practice in Fernandina Beach, Fla., on Tuesday, Johnson did not provide any clarity on his situation. "I have not" made a decision, the redshirt junior defensive tackle and former St. Augustine Prep star told reporters.
SPORTS
December 31, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Brandon Bell's junior season at Penn State has not gone as smoothly as he would have liked with nagging injuries that kept him out of two games and left him at less than 100 percent for a few others. But like the rest of his teammates, the linebacker and graduate of Oakcrest High School in South Jersey has had a chance to rest and recuperate since the Nittany Lions' final regular-season game on Nov. 28, and he's ready to end his season Saturday in the TaxSlayer Bowl against Georgia on a successful note.
SPORTS
December 21, 2015 | By Andrew Albert, For The Inquirer
Bruiser Flint's head dropped when he saw the ball spin through the hoop on the other end of the floor. He knew his team had let yet another one slip out of its hands. Drexel allowed Penn State to rally from a 17-point first-half deficit, falling to the Nittany Lions, 63-57, at the Palestra on Saturday. "We got tentative," Flint said. "We did what we have been doing all season. We have leads, and we play not to lose. That's what we have been doing. We have lost a lot of games like this.
SPORTS
November 30, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The time is drawing near for Christian Hackenberg to think about his future, whether he will return to Penn State for his senior year next season or leave for the NFL draft. But for Hackenberg, the Nittany Lions' starting quarterback and leader, the future consists of resting up and then diving headlong into preparations for his team's bowl game. "Again, I'm not really thinking about my future too much," he said after the Lions were crushed, 55-16, by No. 6 Michigan State at Spartan Stadium.
SPORTS
November 30, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
EAST LANSING, Mich. - When Penn State scored just before halftime Saturday at Spartan Stadium to cut into its deficit against No. 6 Michigan State, the Nittany Lions ran to the locker room with some optimism, and their newfound fans from Ohio State had a reason to be encouraged. But in the second half, the Nittany Lions played terribly, perhaps their worst half of the two-year James Franklin era, and the Spartans showed why they deserved to go to the Big Ten championship game. Michigan State (11-1, 7-1 Big Ten)
SPORTS
November 28, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
As the unquestioned leader of the Penn State offense, Christian Hackenberg knows he must keep a tight focus on preparing for the next game, making sure there are no distractions getting in the way of the Nittany Lions for them to perform at their best on Saturday. The junior quarterback, however, provided an interesting perspective this week as the Lions prepared for their final regular-season game, at No. 6 Michigan State. "We're just focused on Penn State and what we need to do to continue to have a great season and win another football game," he said this week.
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