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SPORTS
November 23, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - If hearing about the NCAA sanctions following the Freeh report wasn't bad enough for Penn State's players in July 2012, they also had to deal with the invasion of Happy Valley by Illinois coaches inquiring whether they'd have any interest in transferring. Only one player - offensive lineman Ryan Nowicki - took Fighting Illini coach Tim Beckman up on the offer, and he ended up moving on after one season. Beckman's move annoyed Bill O'Brien so much that the postgame handshake between the two coaches in 2012 and 2013 measured about half-an-eye-blink in elapsed time.
SPORTS
November 23, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - This was the ball game: Illinois, trailing by a point, starting at its own 28 with 1 minute, 48 seconds left to play needing to get into field-goal range against an intimidating Penn State defense ranked third in the nation in total yards allowed. Alas, the defense that had bailed out the Nittany Lions time and again all season was not up to the task Saturday. The Fighting Illini needed just three plays to gain 58 yards before David Reisner booted a 36-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining for a shocking, 16-14 victory inside a half-full Memorial Stadium.
SPORTS
November 23, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The frustration continued Saturday for Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who continues to hang in behind an inexperienced offensive line while trying to make a play but has little to show for his efforts. Hackenberg threw for a career-low 93 yards on 8-of-16 passing in the Nittany Lions' 16-14 loss to Illinois. After 11 games, he continues to take hits - two sacks against the Fighting Illini plus a big blow after a second-quarter pass that had him favoring his right leg - and some of his passes are well off-target.
SPORTS
November 22, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
When punter Daniel Pasquariello of Australia came halfway around the world last summer to enroll at Penn State as a preferred walk-on, he faced his share of obstacles, not the least of which was never having played in a football game under American rules. Then again, there was one aspect of living here that came around right away - developing an American accent. "He does a great job of going back and forth with his accent just to throw us off guard from time to time," defensive end C.J. Olaniyan said.
SPORTS
November 21, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - In its last two road games, Penn State's punt-team unit played a significant role. Against Michigan at the Big House on Oct. 11, it was woeful, allowing the lowly Wolverines to cash in on easy points. But at Indiana, on Nov. 8, the Nittany Lions' "wefense," as head coach James Franklin calls it, was a subtle key to victory as it gave Penn State a field-position advantage. Franklin will be looking for the latter to continue when his Lions (6-4, 2-4 Big Ten)
SPORTS
November 21, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - At all his weekly news conferences, Penn State coach James Franklin announces the offensive, defensive and special-teams players of the week, as selected by him and his staff. This week, running back Akeel Lynch was the choice for the offensive honors, and with good reason. Lynch, a redshirt sophomore, broke out like many expected him to finally do, tallying 130 rushing yards on 18 carries for a touchdown and an impressive 7.2 yards per carry. Fellow running back Bill Belton also contributed 92 yards and a TD on 19 carries.
NEWS
November 20, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
It's something that Penn State coach James Franklin has said repeatedly: The key to his team's success on either side of the football starts with the guys in the trenches. The defensive line has been excellent all season, but Franklin gave a special shout-out Tuesday to his offensive line for one of its best performances of 2014 that resulted in a season-high 254 yards rushing and a 30-13 win over Temple on Saturday. At his weekly news conference, Franklin credited the return of the Nittany Lions' two most experienced offensive linemen - redshirt junior tackle Donovan Smith and fifth-year senior guard Miles Dieffenbach - with a major assist to the running game, which ranks last in the Big Ten Conference.
SPORTS
November 20, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - Penn State senior safety Adrian Amos played quite a bit as a freshman. He appeared in every game as a cornerback and on special teams, and made one start, chipping in 13 tackles in the process. It's not as if Amos was a focal point of the defense or feared by opponents. But the Baltimore native said he was still held to a high standard by teammates and coaches. That was the mindset in 2011, and in 2014, it remains the same. "You practice just like the rest of them," Amos said.
SPORTS
November 20, 2014 | By Matt Breen and Rick O'Brien, Inquirer Staff Writers
St John's landed its second Public League boys' basketball star in three years when Samir Doughty committed to the program on Tuesday morning. The 6-foot-3 guard from Math, Civics and Sciences plans to make it official when he signs his letter of intent Wednesday at the Center City school. He led the Mighty Elephants with 16.8 points per game last season, his first after transferring from shuttered Communications Tech. Doughty was voted to last season's Public League first team.
SPORTS
November 20, 2014
MATH, CIVICS AND SCIENCES senior guard Samir Doughty has chosen St. John's University above others that recruited the sought-after scorer. First-team Daily News all-city as a junior, Doughty is a 3-star recruit, according to Rivals, and rated No. 78 in the nation and 12th in the state by ESPN. Seton Hall, George Mason, Penn State and others all vied for his services. Before leading the Mighty Elephants to the Class A title game last season, the 6-4 guard scored 45 points against Delaware County Christian in a PIAA first-rounder in which he also notched his 1,000th point (now 1,081)
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