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SPORTS
September 5, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Considering Penn State's second coaching change in three years and the resulting alterations in schemes, signals, and philosophies, the Nittany Lions appeared rather smooth and confident with their execution Saturday in their first game under James Franklin. Sure, the Lions had just enough hiccups - minus-2 on turnovers, nine penalties - to make their game against Central Florida a little closer than they would have liked. But no one in Happy Valley was complaining after a 26-24 victory Saturday in the Croke Park Classic in Ireland.
SPORTS
September 4, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The fact that Christian Hackenberg established a Penn State record for passing yards in the season-opening victory over Central Florida obscured the inability of the Nittany Lions to do much on the ground, something that James Franklin noticed. That's why Franklin said Tuesday that his team is "going to work hard this week" on getting the running game ready for the Lions' home opener - and Franklin's first game on the Beaver Stadium sideline - Saturday against Akron. "Obviously we need to do a better job of being able to impose our will in the running game and be able to dictate the game from that standpoint," the Penn State coach said at his weekly teleconference.
SPORTS
September 4, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - Jet lag is common for those who travel long distances. Roughly a 7-hour flight from Dublin to Pennsylvania? Yeah, that normally will put someone in a groggy, out-of-sync feeling for 24 hours or so. But the Energizer Bunny himself, James Franklin, said he and his coaching staff don't feel the effects of jet lag. In fact, they don't even use terms like "jet lag" or "tired. " "We don't use those words," Franklin said yesterday at his weekly news conference with a solemn look before changing moods.
SPORTS
September 3, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
DUBLIN - Heading downtown after the game for dinner, the taxi driver, listening to Gaelic football on the radio, was slightly surprised. Driving fans around Dublin for the past few days and somewhat unfamiliar with how college football works, he was under the impression that Penn State's season opener against Central Florida was a championship match. No, Saturday's Croke Park Classic was just a regular-season game. But you couldn't blame him for thinking otherwise. Advertisements covered all corners of the city.
SPORTS
September 2, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Penn State exhibited new starters, new schemes, and new players in its season opener in Ireland, but it was the same old Christian Hackenberg who carried the Nittany Lions to their nail-biting victory over Central Florida. Hackenberg, a sophomore, became the first quarterback in Penn State history to reach the 400-yard plateau, finishing 32 of 47 for 454 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 26-24 victory over the Knights at Croke Park in the Nittany Lions coaching debut of James Franklin.
SPORTS
August 29, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
DUBLIN - James Franklin hasn't seen too much of Ireland. At least, not yet. Franklin and the Nittany Lions arrived in Ireland early yesterday morning, but didn't visit Temple Bar or Dublin Castle. They did have dinner last night at the Guinness Storehouse, a top Dublin attraction. The first-year coach, ahead of his inaugural game at Penn State - a clash with Central Florida on Saturday at Dublin's Croke Park - has made it known that this is a business trip. And so far, that's what it has been for the Lions.
SPORTS
August 29, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
It's difficult to tell whether Penn State defensive end Deion Barnes was more unhappy with his play last year or with the criticism he received for dropping below his level of performance from the previous season, when he was named Big Ten freshman of the year. There wasn't much of a commitment coming either way from Barnes earlier this month at media day for the Nittany Lions. "I'm only worrying about this year," the redshirt junior from Northeast High said. "Last year is last year.
SPORTS
August 29, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - Much of the excitement surrounding Penn State's 2014 season is generated from what's new, most notably first-year head coach James Franklin. While the hype is there for Franklin's inaugural campaign, injuries and departures - two aspects of football any team likes avoiding - will play a significant role in the Nittany Lions' upcoming season. And Franklin knows it. Franklin, who made Vanderbilt relevant in his 3 years as head coach before succeeding Bill O'Brien at Penn State on Jan. 11, and his team's concerns include lack of offensive line depth and the loss of Allen Robinson, one of the most prolific wide receivers in school history.
SPORTS
August 28, 2014
Sources have confirmed reports that wide receiver Richy Anderson, one of four players who left Penn State's program in June, has transferred to Temple. A son of the former Nittany Lions running back and 13-year NFL veteran Richie Anderson, who is the running backs coach for the Dallas Cowboys, Richy had 13 receptions for 111 yards in 11 games last season as a true freshman. PSU, of course, has a new coach, with former Vanderbilt coach James Franklin replacing Bill O'Brien (Houston Texans)
SPORTS
August 26, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
James Franklin landed at University Park Airport on Jan. 11 brimming with excitement as he prepared to become Penn State's new head football coach. In the 71/2 months since, he has impressed the citizens of Nittany Nation with his enthusiasm, his energy, his sense of humor, and his skill at convincing high school recruits to come to Happy Valley. However, Franklin now faces the daunting task next weekend of actually coaching Penn State in a game for the first time. And the chips are stacked against him. This was the year that the NCAA sanctions of July 23, 2012, were supposed to put a choke hold on the Nittany Lions' program, a direct effect of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual-abuse scandal.
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