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SPORTS
December 23, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Bill Belton began his final Penn State football season with high hopes and a goal of proving himself as one of the Big Ten's best running backs to those who did not include him on their preseason top-10 lists. The 2014 season, however, didn't pan out the way Belton wanted or expected. Trying to find running room for 12 games through an inexperienced and inconsistent offensive line, the South Jersey native rushed for just 518 yards, a major drop-off from his 803 yards the previous year.
SPORTS
December 19, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - For the first time in quite some time, Penn State basketball has more than just a pulse; it's an able-bodied citizen in the college basketball community. The Nittany Lions are 10-1, heading into Saturday's 2 p.m. game with Drexel at Allentown's PPL Center. Their outstanding record wouldn't be that way without one man lifting the Lions into college-hoops relevancy. A veteran, crafty guard from Strawberry Mansion High, senior D.J. Newbill has given a success-starved fan base hope.
SPORTS
December 17, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
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.
SPORTS
December 11, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
NEW YORK - The coaches for the Dec. 27 Pinstripe Bowl clearly are excited to be spending Christmas week in the Big Apple, though Boston College's Steve Addazio might have been a little more pumped than James Franklin of Penn State when the subject of food was discussed. "If you're a foodie, and I'm a foodie, obviously - look at me - there are so many unbelievable places to go to," said Addazio, the former Temple head coach. "I spent a lot of years outside the Northeast just agonizing not being able to have a great dish of macaroni and a meatball that's meaningful.
SPORTS
December 11, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - After defeating Temple on Nov. 15, Penn State became bowl-eligible, and from that point forward, the question of where the Nittany Lions would go in their first postseason opportunity since 2011 was a waiting game. First-year head coach James Franklin, athletic director Sandy Barbour and the rest of the Lions found out on Sunday that Penn State (6-6, 2-6 Big Ten) is Big Apple-bound, slated to play Boston College (7-5, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 27 at Yankee Stadium.
SPORTS
December 9, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer
STATE COLLEGE - Happy Valley is in a "New York State of Mind. " A few days after Billy Joel performed at the Bryce Jordan Center, Penn State kept the theme going when it was announced last evening that the Nittany Lions will play in the Pinstripe Bowl. Penn State (6-6, 2-6 Big Ten) will face Boston College (7-5, 4-4 ACC) on Dec. 27 at Yankee Stadium in its first postseason appearance since 2011. "I think there are a lot of unique opportunities that go with this," Penn State coach James Franklin said.
SPORTS
December 4, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - Finishing a regular season 6-6 isn't what Penn State fans are used to. Neither is it something they want to get comfortable with. If you looked at the Nittany Lions' schedule 4 months ago and predicted a .500 record, most would call you a liar. Penn State, by all accounts, had it pretty easy. The Lions had a relatively soft nonconference slate, faced their two most difficult tests - Ohio State and Michigan State - at home, and, as of now, only six of 12 opponents are bowl-eligible.
SPORTS
December 3, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - Penn State's regular season is over, and it was certainly something. Encouraging to start and disappointing at the end, James Franklin's inaugural season at the helm of the Nittany Lions was filled with story lines. Franklin's career with the Lions started as exciting as it could have, beating Central Florida on a last second, game-winning field goal in Ireland. That game provided some momentum and, boosted by the NCAA lifting Penn State's bowl ban, the team was riding high with a 4-0 record.
SPORTS
December 2, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - After singing the postgame alma mater on Saturday, redshirt senior linebacker Mike Hull and his teammates didn't stick around to take in the scene at Beaver Stadium. They went straight to the locker room. "We wanted to give [the fans] a good show. We weren't able to do that," Hull said. "It wasn't a good feeling. We got our butts kicked. " Losing to No. 10 Michigan State, 34-10, on Senior Day wasn't what Hull or any of his fellow upperclassmen had in mind.
SPORTS
December 1, 2014
When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Where: Beaver Stadium, State College, Pa. Records: Michigan State (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten, ranked No. 10 nationally by AP); Penn State (6-5, 2-5). TV/Radio: 6ABC; WNTP-AM (990), WNPV-AM (1440). Coaches: Penn State, James Franklin (1st season, 6-5; 30-20 overall). Michigan State, Mark Dantonio (8th season, 73-31; 90-48 overall) Series: The series resumes after a three-year absence now that the Nittany Lions and the Spartans are in the same division.
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