December 2, 2012 |
STATE COLLEGE - By any measure, Penn State's 2012, a season of firsts, was a whopping success. First-year head coach Bill O'Brien kept the majority of the Nittany Lions together in Penn State's first sanctioned season and led a team that will forever be known for its resiliency to an 8-4 (6-2 Big Ten) record - "2012" is now hung on the Beaver Stadium façade next to undefeated and championship Penn State teams. Here are the highlights: Game of the year Penn State's last game, a 24-21 overtime victory against Wisconsin, easily wins this distinction.
December 1, 2012 |
When studying the final statistics and won-loss record of Penn State in 2012, you wonder how most pundits examined the Nittany Lions offense in the preseason and concluded the sky was falling. Through transfers brought about by NCAA sanctions, the Lions lost their top rusher (Silas Redd), top receiver (Justin Brown), and top kicker (Anthony Fera) from 2011. In Matt McGloin, they had a fiery and fearless fifth-year quarterback who made plays but also liked to attempt heroic throws into coverage.
November 28, 2012 |
STATE COLLEGE - Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's the "Supa Six," and it could save the future of Penn State football. This upstart group of young Nittany Lions - namely, running back Bill Belton, wide receiver Allen Robinson, defensive end Deion Barnes, cornerback Adrian Amos, offensive tackle Donovan Smith and tight end Kyle Carter - all made big in-game contributions to a resilient 8-4 Penn State team this season. But more importantly, perhaps, the six seem committed to Penn State for the long haul, which could play a huge role in keeping Penn State football afloat through sanctioned times.
November 27, 2012 |
Before he could become fully adjusted to the game speed of Penn State basketball and prepare for competition in the rugged Big Ten, D.J. Newbill found himself gaining additional responsibilities. With the season-ending injury to senior Tim Frazier, an all-conference selection last season who suffered a ruptured left Achilles tendon on Nov. 18, Newbill took over at point guard for the Nittany Lions. The position presents new challenges for the Strawberry Mansion High graduate. The 6-foot-4 sophomore got his first taste of the point Friday in a victory over Bucknell.
November 25, 2012 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The script for Penn State in the final game of its season was something purely out of Hollywood, or Disney. On senior day, in the cold, wind, and snow flurries at Beaver Stadium, with the Nittany Lions' 31 seniors having been honored before the game and at a fever pitch emotionally, it came down to overtime and a sophomore kicker who struggled more with his performance early in the season than anyone on the team. Sam Ficken nailed a 37-yard field goal on the first possession of overtime, Wisconsin missed a 44-yard attempt on its turn with the ball, and the Lions swarmed the field in jubilation Saturday after ending their fascinating and compelling season with a 24-21 victory over the Badgers.
November 25, 2012
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Penn State sophomore tailback Zach Zwinak had options if he wanted to transfer from Happy Valley last summer, after NCAA sanctions dropped on the Nittany Lions. The groundbreaking sanctions included immediate eligibility for anyone looking to go elsewhere. " All the kids had options," pointed out Penn State defensive coordinator Ted Roof, remembering last summer's feeding frenzy. The offensive star of Saturday's season-ender was fourth string coming out of spring ball.
November 24, 2012 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - For each of the last seven seasons, the routine for Penn State was to finish up the regular-season schedule and prepare for 15 practices during which coaches spent valuable time on the field teaching younger players before their bowl game. But nothing for the Nittany Lions this season has been routine. The Lions wrap up 2012 and honor the team's 30 seniors in what should be an emotional pregame ceremony Saturday against Wisconsin at Beaver Stadium. But then they will put the footballs away as a result of NCAA sanctions that will keep them out of postseason play for this year and the next three.
November 23, 2012 |
STATE COLLEGE - On a pristine afternoon in August, Matt Stankiewitch was fielding questions on the Lasch Football Building's practice fields that he certainly couldn't have anticipated about a month earlier. "We're used to ending our seasons in bowl games, of course, but now we're like, 'Oh man, what are we gonna do this year for New Year's Day?' " Stankiewitch, Penn State's senior center, said that day. "We're all gonna be already separated. " Three months later, that separation is imminent, and it makes Saturday's Senior Day season finale against Wisconsin all the more emotional for the embattled Nittany Lions.