November 26, 2015 |
It's been the same old story for Penn State football this season, with the same issues keeping James Franklin's team from joining the elite teams in the Big Ten. An offensive line that has blocked poorly for the run and the pass. A quarterback who has been sacked 36 times. Special teams that keep making mistakes. A team that continues to commit errors substituting or lining up in formations, forcing Franklin to waste timeouts. Meanwhile, the fans wonder why the Nittany Lions (7-4, 4-3)
November 25, 2015 |
PENN STATE will assume the role of giant-killer for its regular-season finale Saturday at Michigan State, though it's not a role everyone embraces. "Obviously, it's a very highly ranked team, and they're a great team," offensive tackle Andrew Nelson said Tuesday of the sixth-ranked Spartans. "They just beat Ohio State (17-14, on the road), and that's huge. But the way we're approaching this game, it's the same as any other game. " Uh, really? MSU is 10-1, and on Saturday (3:30 p.m., ESPN)
November 23, 2015 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The chance for a signature win that Penn State fans were seeking on a sun-drenched day at Beaver Stadium collapsed Saturday like the pocket that permitted the Michigan pass rush to treat Christian Hackenberg like a piñata. James Franklin's first win over a nationally ranked team as Penn State's head coach will have to wait at least another week. The Nittany Lions executed poorly against the sturdy defense of the No. 14 Wolverines and lost, 28-16, in front of a "white out" sellout of 107,418.
November 22, 2015 |
They are the Final Six, a portion of the 46th and last recruiting class gathered in 2011 by head coach Joe Paterno. Defensive tackle Anthony Zettel, defensive end Carl Nassib, offensive lineman Angelo Mangiro, tight end Kyle Carter, linebacker Ben Kline, and wide receiver Matt Zanellato all redshirted that first season on campus, a season that went horribly wrong after revelations in the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal and the firing of Paterno....
November 21, 2015 |
The Penn State pass defense, which has been ranked near the top of the FBS rankings in yards allowed this season, will get a major test from Michigan quarterback Jake Rudock on Saturday in a senior day matchup against the 14th-ranked Wolverines at Beaver Stadium. But the leader of the defense, senior cocaptain Jordan Lucas, will be watching from the sidelines. The Nittany Lions' starting strong safety suffered a season-ending injury in the first half of the team's Nov. 7 loss to Northwestern.
November 20, 2015 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - During his team's bye week, Penn State coach James Franklin watched Michigan's double-overtime, 48-41 win over Indiana last Saturday. "A heck of a game as a fan of college football to watch," Franklin said. But he was also watching as a coach, trying to learn from Indiana's offensive effort as his Nittany Lions (7-3, 4-2 Big Ten) prepare to face Michigan (8-2, 5-1) on Saturday at Beaver Stadium. The Wolverines defense ranks second in the Football Bowl Subdivision, allowing an average of 268 yards per game.
November 19, 2015 |
Things are looking up for Penn State football. The program has all its scholarships back after three years of limited numbers under NCAA sanctions. The Nittany Lions will lose only six seniors who have played regular roles on offense or defense this season. The one thing that would reinforce this surge would be a signature win. The Lions have yet to defeat a ranked team in the two-season run of coach James Franklin, and will get another chance to pick one up Saturday on senior day at Beaver Stadium against No. 14 Michigan.
November 10, 2015 |
IN PENN STATE'S six previous games, Christian Hackenberg had thrown 12 touchdown passes and no interceptions. Saturday at 21st-ranked Northwestern, he had no TDs and a pick. And the Nittany Lions (7-3, 4-2 Big Ten) lost on a 35-yard field goal by Jack Mitchell with 9 seconds left, 23-21. Mitchell had earlier missed twice, from 39 and 47, and also missed a PAT. Last year he kicked a 41-yard game-winner in overtime against Notre Dame, after tying it late in regulation from 45. Hackenberg did complete 21 of 40 passes for 210 yards.
November 9, 2015 |
EVANSTON, Ill. - Penn State's offense got off to a sluggish start Saturday. In its 23-21 win, Northwestern's defense kept Penn State bottled up on its side of Ryan Field, sending the Nittany Lions into the locker room down by 20-7 at halftime. The Penn State offense rebounded in the second half, shifting the momentum in the third quarter with a touchdown pass from Geno Lewis to DaeSean Hamilton. But it ended up being too little, too late for a Nittany Lions' offense that has alternated between hot and cold all season.
November 8, 2015 |
EVANSTON, Ill. – A continuing problem for Penn State this season has been trying to contain opposing quarterbacks who like to run. And while Northwestern's Clayton Thorson is not quite at the level of J.T. Barrett of Ohio State and Perry Hills of Maryland, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound redshirt freshman figures to test the Nittany Lions' defense in Saturday's Big Ten crossover game at Ryan Field. The Wildcats (6-2, 2-2 Big Ten) had last week off. In their 30-28 victory at Nebraska the week before, Thorson rushed for a career-high 126 yards in just nine carries, including a 68-yard run that set up the team's first touchdown.