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SPORTS
October 12, 2014
When: Saturday at 7 p.m. Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Mich. Records: Penn State (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten); Michigan (2-4, 0-2). TV/Radio: ESPN2; WNTP-AM (990), WNPV-AM (1440). Coaches: Penn State, James Franklin (1st season, 4-1; 28-16 overall). Michigan, Brady Hoke (4th season, 28-17; 75-67 overall). Series: Penn State has won four straight games (three of them vacated by the NCAA) in the series, including last year's 43-40, four-overtime thriller at Beaver Stadium, but still trails Michigan, 10-7.
SPORTS
October 12, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Sold-out Beaver Stadium was a sea of white and an ocean of noise for more than four hours until Bill Belton's touchdown run in quadruple overtime gave Penn State a 43-40 win over Michigan last October and touched off a roar that would have drowned out a jet engine. Last year's game might have been a seminal moment in the career of Christian Hackenberg, who led the Nittany Lions 80 yards in the final 50 seconds of regulation to the tying touchdown. It also reminded fans how much they would miss wide receiver Allen Robinson after he was gone which, as it turned out, was shortly after the season ended.
SPORTS
October 11, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Through the first five games of the season, the Penn State offensive line, with four new starters and a great deal of inexperience, probably has been the most maligned unit of the team. Offensive line coach Herb Hand said that while the line has improved, it's not playing up to the expectations coaches and players had for it at the beginning of the season. And any lingering excuses to explain the line's substandard play have passed their expiration date. "At this point of the season, there are no more rookies," Hand said Thursday before a key Big Ten game Saturday night at Michigan.
SPORTS
October 10, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - Almost at the season's halfway point, Penn State does not have an offensive identity. Don't believe it? Just ask James Franklin. Franklin and his Nittany Lions are 4-1 on the season, led by one of the nation's most talented arms, and haven't played a truly formidable defense to this point. And yet, whether or not the offense generates points on a drive-to-drive basis has been and remains a serious concern. The Lions are looking to change that tomorrow against Michigan under the lights at the Big House.
SPORTS
October 10, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Christian Hackenberg spent Penn State's bye week resting up a body that took too many hits through the first five games, watching film, and reflecting on a season that's been a bit of a struggle despite the Nittany Lions' 4-1 record. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound sophomore resumes action Saturday at Michigan ranked second in the Big Ten in passing yards per game (295.4) and total offense (302.2 yards per game). But he is 10th in passing efficiency and his six interceptions are the third-highest total among conference quarterbacks.
SPORTS
October 9, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - Whether it was in Chicago for this summer's Big Ten media days or in his basement watching college football this past Saturday, James Franklin has been impressed with Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner. And it's really no wonder why. Standing at 6-4, 216 pounds, the rangy redshirt senior presents an issue the Nittany Lions have not seen this season: a legitimate rushing threat from under center. Gardner's ability to run isn't foreign to Penn State. In last year's chaotic, four-overtime, 43-40 win over the Wolverines, the Lions allowed the quarterback to run rampant.
SPORTS
October 9, 2014 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Brandon Wimbush made an oral commitment to Penn State in May. But the four-star quarterback spent last weekend on an official visit to Notre Dame, and that proved to be enough to change his mind. The senior from St. Peter's Prep in Jersey City, N.J., announced Tuesday that he was switching his commitment from Penn State to Notre Dame. ESPN ranks Wimbush (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) as a four-star recruit and the nation's fifth-best quarterback in the Class of 2015. "Life decision, lot of prayer, a lot of soul searching made me re-think my goals," he posted on Twitter.
SPORTS
October 3, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - Two scheduled massages, increased attention from the conditioning staff, a combination of hot and cold tubs, and a lot of rest and sleep: It has been a revitalizing bye week for Penn State wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton. "This week is all about getting your body right," Hamilton said. That's on both a physical and mental level. Physically, the Nittany Lions endured 5 straight weeks of games, two on the road. The first one - a trek to Dublin - wasn't your normal road game, either.
SPORTS
October 3, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - It's been an overtold and well-known first few chapters, but the author is still working to finish one of Penn State's most puzzling and polarizing narratives in recent memory. Sam Ficken will always be remembered for Sept. 8, 2012, in Charlottesville, Va. One second remained in a one-point game against the Cavaliers. Ficken, a then-sophomore who had missed three field goals and had an extra point blocked earlier in the afternoon, lined up in the middle of the field for a 42-yarder to win it - and missed wide left.
SPORTS
October 2, 2014 | BY AARON CARTER, Daily News Staff Writer cartera@phillynews.com
Nowadays, when high school athletes make commitments for collegiate athletics, many times announcements are shrouded in secrecy in an attempt to build suspense. Yesterday, at the Haverford School, friends and family gathered in the school's field house to hear what school nationally sought-after recruit Levan "Shawn" Alston would choose. Throughout the recruiting process, Virginia Commonwealth basketball coach Shaka Smart pushed hard, previously making a 6:45 a.m. visit to show his interest.
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