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Nittany Lions

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 28, 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 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.
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.
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