November 15, 2012 |
Penn State's situation at running back since the end of spring practice has evolved in ways that no one, not even coach Bill O'Brien, could have predicted. The Nittany Lions adjourned for the summer with Silas Redd, a 1,000-yard rusher in 2011, being counted on to take most of the carries. Converted wide receiver Bill Belton was the top reserve, while 232-pound redshirt sophomore Zach Zwinak was on the fourth string. However, a tailback shuffle began when Redd transferred to Southern California after Penn State was hit by NCAA sanctions.
November 12, 2012 |
A BLOWN CALL on a Matt Lehman touchdown will be the lasting image of Penn State's 32-23 loss to No. 16 Nebraska on Saturday in Memorial Stadium. The tight end reached the ball across the plane of the goal line and then lost control of it in the fourth quarter, but officials ruled the play a fumble. Replays showed the ball broke the plane of the goal line in Lehman's possession before he fumbled, but the call was not overturned. Nebraska recovered for a touchback, Penn State fans erupted in anger on Twitter, and the Cornhuskers didn't look back.
July 20, 2013 |
Penn State announced Thursday that Brad Bars, a redshirt junior defensive end, will miss the season with a ruptured right Achilles tendon suffered during a workout earlier this week. The 6-foot-3, 251-pound Bars, who is from Nashville, is expected to need four to six months of rehabilitation after surgery, team physician Peter Seidenberg said. After spring practice, Bars was listed as No. 2 on the depth chart at one defensive end position behind C.J. Olaniyan. Bars, who has a 3.77 grade point average as a finance major, played in eight games on defense and special teams last season and recorded two tackles.
October 14, 2013 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - On the first play of the second half, Zach Zwinak fumbled the football over to Michigan's Frank Clark, who ran it in for a touchdown. Zwinak didn't touch the ball again Saturday night in Penn State's 43-40 quadruple overtime victory over Michigan, so Bill Belton entered the fray. Belton stepped up at the end of the fourth quarter as coach Bill O'Brien opted for a heavier run game. By the fourth overtime, Penn State was down three points and facing a fourth and 1. O'Brien said he was tired of trading field goals with the Wolverines.
July 11, 2013 |
Since Penn State received a four-year postseason football ban, one of a series of harsh sanctions handed down last year by the NCAA, it has tried to find a game during the regular season that would simulate a bowl atmosphere. That game might be coming next season. A published report Tuesday said that a deal has been finalized that would allow Penn State to open its 2014 football season in Ireland against Central Florida. The Orlando Sentinel, quoting a source with knowledge of the deal, reported that the game would be played in Dublin at Croke Park.
April 19, 2013 |
Note: stats listed are from 2012. Key departures Michael Mauti, LB: 95 tackles, four tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, three interceptions: The Big Ten's Linebacker of the Year was the emotional leader of Penn State's upstart squad last season, its first under coach Bill O'Brien. Now he's off to see whether his NFL dreams can be realized. Matt McGloin, QB: 3,266 passing yards, 24 TD, five INTs, five rushing TDs: After struggling for most of his career as a Nittany Lion, the Scranton native prospered under O'Brien, setting Penn State records for passing touchdowns and completions (270)
November 4, 2013 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Bill Belton has spent his last two seasons for Penn State transitioning. The former star quarterback at Winslow Township High School came to Penn State as a wide receiver, and now he's a running back. He was struggling in the classroom, but now he's picked up his grades. He ran for 172 yards against Illinois on Saturday, but then he lost a fumble at his opponent's 2-yard line in the fourth quarter, just as Penn State was about to score the go-ahead touchdown.
October 28, 2014 |
Zach Zwinak, Penn State's leading rusher the last two seasons, and starting free safety Ryan Keiser will miss the remainder of the Nittany Lions' season because of injuries, coach James Franklin announced Monday. Franklin, who usually does not disclose injuries, declined to disclose the nature of the injuries to Zwinak and Keiser, both fifth-year seniors. The 6-foot-1, 233-pound Zwinak, who rushed for 1,000 yards two seasons ago and 989 yards last year, suffered an apparent injury to his left leg or ankle as he was blocking on the opening kickoff in Saturday night's double-overtime loss to Ohio State.
September 30, 2012 |
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Penn State running game is starting to show the power and physicality that made it famous. The rushing identity on display Saturday in the Nittany Lions' 35-7 romp over Illinois included a power tailback and a shifty tailback taking turns behind an offensive line that gets better every week. Zach Zwinak, a 232-pound sophomore, carried 19 times for a career-high 100 yards and two touchdowns. Bill Belton, a 202-pound sophomore from Winslow Township High who was back in the lineup after missing three games with a sprained left ankle, added 65 yards on 16 carries.
September 23, 2013 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Sam Ficken launched Penn State's longest field goal in 34 years Saturday, the final points of the Nittany Lions' 34-0 win over Kent State. It's too bad he never saw the ball go through. "I saw the ball go up and it was between the uprights," the junior kicker said, "but [holder Alex] Butterworth grabbed me and turned me around. So I had no idea if it went in or not, but I assumed from his reaction that it did. That's always a good feeling. " Ficken tied Herb Menhardt, who kicked Penn State's last 54-yard field goal, in 1979, for the fourth-longest kick in school history.