UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State's offense played its most complete
football game of the season on Saturday night in front of an electric Nittany
Lion crowd of 108,539 at Beaver Stadium.
The Lions notched seven different scoring drives en route to 435 total
yards in a stout 41-31 victory over rival Michigan.The Faces of the Game feature usually focuses on one player
from each side of the ball, but Saturday night belonged to the Penn State
It was the type of performance the entire group needed to boost the
confidence level heading into the rest of the season.And it's hard to pinpoint two more instrumental players in
Penn State's victory than senior tailback Evan Royster and sophomore
quarterback Matt McGloin.
Let's kick things off with Penn State's career rushing leader (3,518).Royster raced into the record books
with a 20-yard scamper on a first down rush at the 3:56 mark of the first
quarter.The Virginia native
eclipsed Curt Warner's all-time mark to become the top career rusher in Penn
"It feels good," Royster said in the locker room following the
victory."It has been talked about
all season.I feel like I got the
monkey off my back.It is a big
honor.(Now) let's get on with the
season and talk about it later."
Royster set the tone early on Saturday night with a 66-yard first
quarter and a 99-yard first half.The veteran tailback is at his best when he hits the holes with
authority.When things are clicking,
Royster has an uncanny ability to look past tacklers with superb vision.And he did that on Saturday night on
the way to 150 yards and two touchdowns.
"We got a lot of movement up front (from the offensive line)," Royster
said."We had the linebackers
guessing all night.Then we were
able to run the ball.It was an
all around good gameplan tonight."
Royster has now rushed for at least 100 yards in each of the last three
games against Michigan.Saturday's
150-yard performance marked the 14th time in his career that Royster has
eclipsed the 100-yard mark.It was
a hard-nosed effort from the Nittany Lion offensive line in a game where ball
possession was key.
"Ball possession was so huge tonight," Royster said."They started to come back a little bit
in the second half and that was because we weren't possessing the ball like we
needed to.But we did a good job
sticking it out long enough until the end."
The central figure in Penn State's offense maintaining possession for
37:29 was the first time starter under center.From the moment he walked off the lead Blue Bus, McGloin was
ready to play on Saturday night.The Scrantion, Pa., native turned in a superb performance on the biggest
stage of his career.
"We played great," McGloin said."Obviously, it was a great atmosphere for college football - an 8:00
game on ESPN.We had a great week
of practice and it really showed tonight."
McGloin finished 17-of-28 for 250 yards and a touchdown.He found Graham Zug in the corner of
the end zone for a crucial 20-yard score just before the end of the first half
to give the Lions a 28-10 lead heading into the locker room.
"That was a play we had last year with Daryll (Clark) and we knew we
would have it again this year," McGloin said."The dropped down into man coverage and I knew Graham (Zug)
was going to beat the guy."
His numbers were impressive for a debut, but how McGloin managed the
game on Saturday night is what made it a terrific performance.The Lions dictated the time of
possession to keep Michigan's offense off the field.Penn State also converted 10-of-16 third down
opportunities.McGloin stepped up
and made big throws when he needed to.The Lions did all of the little things, and that fueled McGloin's
offense to a huge night on the scoreboard.
"Especially against a team like Michigan who was going to put up big
numbers, we had to execute," McGloin said."I stressed it all week that we had to control the ball and
keep Denard Robinson off the field.And we did that for most of the night."
Give a tip of the cap to Robinson for another impressive outing.But Saturday belonged to the Nittany
Lions.Penn State will head into
Northwestern week with a great deal of confidence after a statement victory in
Stay tuned each week for the
"Faces of the Game" series following every game this fall.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome back to the live in-game coverage on the
Football Blog.We are excited to
bring you live coverage from Beaver Stadium for Penn State's battle with rival
5:48 p.m. - Good Evening from
It is a great night to be inside Beaver Stadium for a primetime clash
between Penn State and Michigan.The parking lots are full of Nittany Lion fans eager to watch two rivals
inside one of college football's greatest shrines.The team buses are slated to arrive shortly after 6
p.m.We are looking forward to
bringing you in-game coverage from a critical matchup for both teams.The weather is perfect for
football.Temperatures are in the
50s with a light breeze.Stay
7:01 p.m. - Questions Abound Much
of the intrigue surrounding tonight's Penn State-Michigan game stems from an
array of questions swirling around the Nittany Lion team. How will Matt McGloin
perform in his debut as a starting quarterback? Will Rob Bolden see action? When
will Evan Royster break Curt Warner's record to become the program's all-time
leading rusher? How will Penn State go about stopping Denard Robinson? As
kickoff draws nearer, so does the time for answers to the questions.
8:25 - A Good Start You can
hardly imagine a better start for Penn State. The vaunted Michigan offense
fizzled on its first possession, in part due to linebacker Chris Colasanti, who
knifed through the Wolverine offensive line on third down, stopping running
back Vincent Smith for no gain. Then, Penn State went on a clock-draining 5:52
drive, capped off by a four-yard touchdown jaunt by Evan Royster.
9:32 - Penn State Offensive Success
towards Penn State's offensive success in the first half are a few eye-popping statistics.
The Nittany Lions are averaging 6.6 yards per play, have a 4:30-plus advantage
in time of possession, are 4-of-6 on third conversions, and have converted on
4-of-4 red zone opportunities. If Penn State can maintain those trends throughout
the second half, it will surely carry the day.
9:52 p.m. - Huge Offensive Half
The Nittany Lions head back onto the field for the second half after
their highest point total in an opening half this season.Evan Royster led the way with 99 yards
on the ground and a pair of touchdowns.Give credit to Matt McGloin for a 10-of-17 performance in his first half
under center as a starter.The
Michigan defense has struggled mightily in the first half.Look for Denard Robinson and the
Wolverines to come out aggressive.
10:08 p.m. - Moye's 40-yard Catch
and Run Sets up Wagner Field Goal
Derek Moye played a bit of defense on a slightly underthrown ball along
the Penn State sideline on the Lions' first drive of the second half.Moye's snag and 40-yard scamper set up
the Nittany Lions with superb field position inside Michigan territory.Collin Wagner added his 15th field goal
of the season to make it 31-10 Nittany Lions.The drive covered 62 yards on 10 plays in 4:57.Wagner has now made a field goal in
nine straight games.
10:18 p.m. - Michigan, Robinson
Despite being pinned deep inside its own territory, Michigan answered
Penn State's field goal with a 60-yard touchdown strike from Denard Robinson to
Kevin Koger.The Wolverines can score
in an instant with Robinson on the field.The talented sophomore has rushed for 133 yards on an eye-popping 8.3
yards per carry.Robinson is such
an explosive player in the open field.He hits the hole with aggression and is extremely slippery to bring
down.Penn State's offense is back
on the field up 31-17.
10:25 p.m. - Lions Come Right
Back, Michigan Does, Too
Fueled by a 30-yard completion between Matt McGloin and Devon Smith on a
wheel route, the Nittany Lions stormed back with a touchdown of their own to
re-take a 21-point lead (38-17).The
seven-play, 80-yard drive was capped by a hard-nosed 5-yard touchdown run by
fullback Michael Zordich.Nonetheless,
in a blink of an eye, Robinson and the Wolverine offense visited the end zone
to set the scoreboard at 38-24 with 1:36 to play in the third quarter.We have an offensive shootout brewing
in the second half.The teams have
combined for a 24-point third quarter.
10:52 p.m. - Robinson Willing the
It has been the Denard Robinson show for the Michigan offense again
tonight.The sophomore darted into
the end zone for his third rushing touchdown of the night to make it 38-31 with
9:25 to play in the ballgame.Robinson now has 190 passing yards and 189 rushing yards and four
touchdowns (three rushing, one passing).Matt McGloin and the Lions need to answer and halt the momentum.
11:03 p.m. - Wagner Boots Clutch
Collin Wagner has put together a fantastic senior season.Without question, his biggest kick of
the season came from 42 yards out to give the Nittany Lions a 41-31 lead with
under six minutes to play.We are
headed down to the field for the finish.Thanks for following along.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Student-athletes live for opportunities to play
under the lights on a national stage in front of 107,000 fans during a big game.
Penn State (4-3, 1-2) will meet rival Michigan (5-2, 1-2) at 8 p.m. on
Saturday night inside Beaver Stadium in a critical Big Ten matchup on the final
weekend of October.Both teams are
viewing this clash as an opportunity to make a statement on national
television.And neither team can
afford to lose.
Two Big Ten rivals are set to battle in a crucial conference game.Flip on the lights.It is time for Penn State-Michigan in a
packed Beaver Stadium.
Welcome to the Michigan Gameday Preview.
Coach Paterno's Update on the
Which Nittany Lion quarterback will start on Saturday night?Coach Paterno answered that on his
radio show Thursday night.Here is
what the Hall of Fame head coach had to say.
"I have always been a one quarterback man. I figure,
the guy gets in there and gets a feel for things and he can make some
adjustments if he is good. We are
going to go with Mac (Matt McGloin) to start with. There is
an outside chance that (Rob) Bolden will be okay. And we
will see how it goes. I would prefer not to use more than one. I think
Mac is a good enough quarterback that he will get the job done. I think
we've got to do some other things. I think
we've got to make some catches. The offensive line's got to do some things
for us to be competitive. This is a team that moves the football really well. They score
a lot of points, Michigan. We are
going to have to be good offensively ourselves. I hope I
don't have to use more than one (quarterback), but if we have to, we will."
What to Watch For: Penn State
1.With Coach Paterno's
comments on the mind, let's kick things off with Matt McGloin.The former walk-on stepped into the
huddle at Minnesota and played solid football in relief of Rob Bolden.McGloin tossed a pair of touchdown
passes, including a 42-yard strike to Derek Moye on his second pass of the
game.McGloin likes the
spotlight.He is a fiery figure in
the huddle.Now, it comes down to
execution.Penn State's offense
will need to score points on Saturday night. Michigan is going to put points on the board, which makes
McGloin's job crucial.It will be
very interesting to see how the sophomore handles the starting role for the
first time in his career.Do not
count out seeing Bolden on the field, as well.
Robinson is a monumental task.Penn State's defense will not stop the talented Michigan
quarterback.However, the Lions
must prohibit big plays from No. 16.The Lions cannot let the game turn into a Robinson track meet.Things start with tackling.The Lion defense must play disciplined
football - not over running plays, gang tackling, executing the proper
assignments, among other areas.Forcing Robinson to use his arm more than his legs is a priority, as
well.In doing so, Michigan will
need to convert third and long situations, which is what the Lions want.
3.Penn State needs to play
a mistake-free, ball possession football game.Michigan's offense likes to play with a fast tempo.The Wolverine offense thrives on short scoring
drives.Michigan leads the Big Ten
in total offense for a reason.With that being said, the Nittany Lions' best defense is their offense
on Saturday night.Establishing
the running game and controlling the time of possession will keep Robinson and
the Wolverine offense off the field.For that to happen, though, the offensive line must play well.
What to Watch For: Michigan
1.Denard Robinson has been
a one-man wrecking crew for the Michigan offense thus far in 2010.Robinson has already rushed for more
than 1,000 yards, becoming just the second player in Big Ten history to do
so.He has scored 18 of Michigan's
35 touchdowns this fall.Robinson's speed can turn a short run into a touchdown in an
instant.The Wolverines want to
keep Penn State's defense off balance with a fast tempo.Robinson's turnovers in the past two
games have been very costly.Keep
an eye on No. 16 and his ability to move the ball.
2. Michigan's defense has allowed 441 yards per game over the first
seven contests of 2010.The
inconsistent Wolverines will need a better outing on Saturday night.It will be interesting to see how
Michigan handles the Penn State running game.The Lions want to control the ball to keep Michigan's
offense off the field.The
Wolverines can ill afford to let Penn State dominate the time of possession
because the longer the defense is on the field, the fewer opportunities
Robinson will have.Keep an eye on
the battle in the trenches between Michigan's front seven and the Lion
3. Michigan wants to set the tone with a fast offensive start.Putting a couple touchdowns on the
board will put a lot of pressure on first-time starter Matt McGloin. Keep an
eye on the execution during the first quarter.Expect an aggressive approach to the play calling from Rich
Rodriguez and his staff.
Breaking Down the Injuries:
Penn State - Probable:
Rob Bolden (head), Andrew Dailey (neck/shoulder) Possible: Jack Crawford (foot)
Doubtful: Brandon Beachum (knee) OUT: Curtis Drake (leg), Lou Eliades (knee),
Gary Gilliam (knee), Eric Latimore (wrist), Nick Sukay (pectoral), Andrew
Michigan - OUT: LB
Mike Jones (leg), WR Martavious Odoms (foot), RB Fitzgerald Toussaint
(shoulder), S Jared Van Slyke (clavicle), S Mike Williams (head), CB Troy
Radio: Penn State Sports Network, Steve Jones (play-by-play), Jack Ham (color)
Stadium: Beaver Stadium (107,282), Natural Grass
Coaches: Joe Paterno - 45th year - 398-132-3 overall record
Rich Rodriguez - 3rd year at Michigan (18th year overall) - 13-18
The Series: Michigan leads 10-5
The Final Word:
Coming off a road victory at Minnesota, several players on the Penn
State roster have said this week that things are beginning to click.The Nittany Lions' confidence level
continues to grow.But it will
come down to execution on Saturday night against a high-powered Michigan
offense.The Wolverines come to
Happy Valley off of a bye week and two straight losses.They want to get their season back on
track with a primetime victory in Happy Valley.Penn State will need an all-around superb performance from
every spot on the depth chart.The
key for the Nittany Lion offense is a fast start.Penn State cannot afford to spot the Wolverines an early
lead.The Nittany Lions are motivated
to play well.Our advice is to get
to the stadium early.Wear white
and cheer on the Lions.The 12th
man can play a big role.But
execution on offense and disciplined defense will decide the rivalry game.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Saturday marks the halfway point of the
conference season around the Big Ten.With four weeks of football to play, the conference title race is wide
open.This week also marks the
final day of primetime games in the Big Ten this season.Take a look around the week nine matchups.
Purdue at Illinois - Noon - ESPN2
In a battle of two 4-3 teams, Illinois (4-3, 2-2) looks to make it two
straight victories while the Boilers (4-3, 2-1) look to get back on track after
a lopsided loss at Ohio State.Illinois
continues to play superb defense in 2010.With Purdue QB Rob Henry listed as questionable for the game with a
laceration on his throwing hand, it could be a long afternoon for the Boilers.Ohio State had its way with Purdue's
defense.Expect more of the same
from Mikel Leshoure and the Illini offense.Purdue's defense must play well for them to tally a road
victory.Nonetheless, look for
Illinois to keep the momentum going.
Northwestern at Indiana - Noon -
Big Ten Network
Northwestern (5-2, 1-2) heads to Indiana (4-3, 0-3) needing one victory
to become bowl eligible this fall.Coming off a tough home loss to Michigan State, the Wildcats will be in
for an offensive shootout in Bloomington.The Big Ten's top two passers (Ben Chappell of Indiana and Dan Persa of
Northwestern) and top two passing offenses will collide at Memorial
Stadium.Neither defense will stop
the opponent's passing game.Look
for big numbers from Chappell and Persa.It will come down to which team can avoid turnovers and get a timely
stop in the second half.Northwestern
has a lot on the line with challenging November schedule.
No. 5 Michigan State at No. 18 Iowa
- 3:30 p.m. - ABC (Regional); ESPN (Outer Market)
The game of the day will again be in Iowa City this week.Red-hot Michigan State (8-0, 4-0) used
a clutch fourth quarter to remain unbeaten at Northwestern last Saturday.On the other hand, Iowa (5-2, 2-1) came
up on the short end of the big plays in the fourth quarter in a 31-30 loss to
Wisconsin.Iowa can ill afford a
second consecutive home loss.A
win over Michigan State will put the Hawkeyes right back in the title
race.Ricky Stanzi and the Hawkeye
offense have been superb this fall.Look for another strong outing from Stanzi and his talented wide outs
Derrell Johnson-Koulianos and Marvin McNutt against the Michigan State
secondary.Nonetheless, you just
get the sense that it is becoming one of those special seasons for QB Kirk
Cousins and the Spartans.However, this will be Michigan State's
biggest test.MSU must move the
ball with the running game.Iowa
is desperate to get a victory, and it is hard to bet against the Hawkeyes at
home after a tough home loss.It
will be an interesting game at Kinnick Stadium.
No. 11 Ohio State at Minnesota -
8 p.m. - ABC
Ohio State heads to TCF Bank Stadium following a 49-0 drubbing of
Purdue.For the Gophers, the Jeff
Horton era got off to a 0-1 start last week, and things do not get easier with
a talented Ohio State team coming to town.The Buckeyes will have their way with the struggling
Minnesota defense.Look for
Terrelle Pryor to put up big numbers through the air and on the ground in a
comfortable victory for Ohio State.Minnesota will need a big game from Adam Weber to keep things from
getting out of hand, but the Buckeyes have too much firepower.
By Mark Wishnia, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Daneen Zug was named a captain of the
field hockey team for her high level of play and leadership role on the team.
She truly showed why this honor was deserved in the big weekend against Duke
and Princeton and she hopes to take what she did last weekend into the final
regular season game and the Big Ten Tournament.
Sophomore forward Kelsey Amy and head coach Charlene Morett both expressed how
well Zug played after last weekend's sweep of Duke and Princeton.This week, Morett was still giving Zug
"I think just her consistency from the Duke game to the Princeton game, I felt
that she really stepped up," Morett said. "And I can't always hear if she's
communicating back there but I feel like she had a presence."
Prior to last weekend, the team was thinking about pushing Zug forward more to
try and generate more offense. However, the opportunity to do so never
presented itself, and it worked out for the better for the Nittany Lions.
"We were thinking of maybe pushing her up the field a little bit more last week
and in the Bucknell game we really never got in a position to do that," Morett
said. "So it was probably a blessing that we kept her back there because she
did an outstanding job."
Zug led the Nittany Lions with 10 goals as a sophomore but has thrived
defensively this year as a senior. Yet she has still had her fair share of
goals totaling four heading into the final game of the season.
Zug says the team as a whole has really been working on the defense the last
couple of weeks.
"I think we've worked on defense a lot this past week and the week before and
we're really working together as a unit back there," Zug said. "The
communication, we know how to talk to each other back there and get each other
to do what we need to do."
Zug does realize, however, that the communication with this team will end soon.
She is a senior and will face the reality of the real world shortly. She wants
to go out with a bang heading into the final game of the season.
"I 'm excited for the Big Ten tournament coming up," Zug said. "I think we've
grown a lot over the season and that's our one chance. No, we didn't get the
Big Ten title like we hoped throughout the season but it's back to square one
once that tournament starts so we can still get the conference championship
Zug has eight points this season in addition to her four goals. She understands
that she is the last line of defense before opponents take on Ayla Halus. But
she has taken on that responsibility well.
"I know when someone is caught out of position, where I need to step to stop
that ball," Zug said.
Morett feels Zug has learned the position very well.
"I think she's just getting a sense of when is a right time to step up and
tackle and when she should stay back and contain it," Morett said.
The confidence has been built really high after last weekend. The win over No.
5 Princeton was arguably their biggest win of the season. Zug is still hungry.
"I really want to get into the playoffs and get far in there, go to the final
four. I mean we have our hopes set high after that weekend that we can do
anything and we're expecting great things."
The Nittany Lions take on Northwestern in their final game of the regular season
on Friday at 4 p.m. ET. The Big Ten Championship begins Nov. 4 and will be
hosted in Evanston, Ill.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion wrestling team will return to
the confines of Rec Hall one week from today to kick off the 2010-'11 season.
Penn State's annual Intra-Squad Dual Meet will open the season on Nov. 4
at 7 p.m.Head coach Cael
Sanderson and the Nittany Lion wrestlers welcomed the media to hot, humid Rec
Hall on Thursday for media day.
Expectations are high for Coach Sanderson and the Nittany Lions.We spent the afternoon at the Lorenzo
Wrestling Complex in Rec Hall.Take a look at some of the storylines from the GoPSUsports.com media day
notebook leading up the 2010-'11 wrestling season.
- All Eyes on the Youth
The Nittany Lions enter the 2010-'11 season with one of the most
decorated groups of young wrestlers in program history.In all, 20 true or redshirt freshmen
occupy slots on the roster.Headlining the list of talented young athletes include David Taylor, Ed
Ruth, Andrew and Dylan Alton, among others.The Alton twins are among 17 true freshmen that Coach
Sanderson has been very impressed with during the preseason.
"We have had a lot of really good fortune...We have a lot of guys that can
come in and compete right away."
Sanderson noted that a decision would be made in the next two weeks on
which of the Alton twins will wrestle or redshirt this winter.He is very pleased with the progress
Taylor and Ruth have made in the past year after redshirting.Coach Sanderson is expecting very big
things from both young athletes.We spoke to Taylor, and he made it quite clear that he wants to win a
national title.Penn State's young
talent will make an immediate impact this winter.
- Battling for Starting Spots
As we mentioned, the intra-squad dual will take place next Thursday
night inside Rec Hall.Several
interesting battles for lineup spots will headline the event, but Coach
Sanderson noted a couple key areas to watch.At 133 pounds, freshman Sam Sherlock and redshirt sophomore
Bryan Pearsall are vying for the starting spot.Sanderson said the most competitive spot in the lineup is
165 pounds.Redshirt sophomore
Nick Fischer, freshman Dirk Cowburn and Jake Kemerer are among the candidates
for the starting spot.
- Pataky and Molinaro Eager to
Two of Penn State's returning All-Americans are eager to return to
competition after injuries during the offseason.Coach Sanderson said junior Brad Pataky (125) is day-to-day
with a sprained knee.Pataky went
28-10 last season.True freshman
Frank Martellotti is the leading candidate to step in for Pataky.
Fellow All-American Frank Molinaro (149) is working to recover from an
ankle injury suffered during the preseason.Coach Sanderson said that Molinaro is ahead of schedule and
is beginning to put some weight on his ankle.Molinaro tallied a 33-7 record last season en route to fifth
place finish at the NCAA Championships.Coach Sanderson said redshirt sophomore James English is the leading
candidate to replace Molinaro at 149 pounds.
- Focus on the Big Picture
Coach Sanderson enters his second season at the helm of the
program.His expectations remain
the same as they have always been throughout his decorated career.
"Our focus is always the same - to go out there and fight and do the
best we can."
Coach Sanderson is eager for the season to open next week, but the squad
has its eyes on the month of March.Coach said that the national tournament in March is why the team is in
the practice room every day.With
that being said, the coaching staff wants to see the team at its best during
the month of March.
- Big Ten Forecast
The Big Ten will again be a superb conference on the national landscape
this winter.When asked about the
Big Ten favorites for this winter, Coach Sanderson said he expects Iowa,
Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin to be the teams to beat.Iowa is the three-time defending
national champion.Here is a list
of where the Big Ten's top squads fall in the NWCA preseason rankings:
No. 4 Minnesota
No. 5 Wisconsin
No. 6 Penn State
No. 7 Iowa
No. 10 Illinois
No. 12 Ohio State
No. 18 Michigan
No. 19 Northwestern
No. 20 Purdue
We are one week from the 2010-'11 wrestling season kicking off.Get to Rec Hall this me.You will not be disappointed.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State and Michigan will meet for the 16th
time on Saturday night inside Beaver Stadium.
Fresh off a 33-21 victory over Minnesota, the Nittany Lions returned to
the practice field with a great deal of confidence this week.As it does every week, the blog spent
some time at the Lasch Football Building for a pair of video interviews with
the Nittany Lions leading up to the clash with the Wolverines.
We kicked off the Michigan scouting report with Drew Astorino.Today, we move to the offensive side of
the ball for a conversation with left tackle Quinn Barham.Barham has started all seven games this
fall at left tackle.The Lion
offensive line is beginning to mesh together as one cohesive unit.
Watch to see what Barham has to say about the Penn State offensive line,
his roommate and fellow offensive tackle Chima Okoli and the Michigan defense
on this video scouting report.
By Kyle G. Arslanian, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - In sports, people are often judged by their
accomplishments on the field of play.Penn State's new men's soccer coach Bob Warming has distinguished
himself on the field as one of the greatest collegiate soccer coaches of all
time.He is sixth among active
coaches in wins and 15th all time in Division I history with 393 victories.
While Coach Warming has proven himself on the field as a leader and winner, he
strives to be a leader off the field as well.In his career as a head coach, he has made it a priority to
give back to the community wherever he is coaching.Coach Warming has served as honorary chairman for the Boy
Scouts of America for Nebraska and been active in other charitable works such
as Habitat for Humanity and volunteering in schools and hospitals.In the 2009 season while coaching at
Creighton University, his team won the community service award.Community service is an aspect of
collegiate sports that Coach Warming says is very important and needed.
"Its something that's not nice to, not ok to do," said Coach Warming. "I think its something that's required.
When you've received a lot from the community you need to give back.We've received a lot here, so our guys
will be active on campus and in the community."
As athletes, Coach Warming expects a lot from his players on the field, but
that expectation does not stop once the game is over.He expects them to be ambassadors for their sport and team
and extend their reach into the community.Coach Warming wants each of his players to do community
service as part of their routine and when the spring rolls around, he hopes to
have every player contributing in some way every week.
"We are going to have a similar rule that I've had in the past (in the spring),"
said Coach Warming."There are
basically 15 weeks in the semester when you aren't taking exams.So let's just commit on average an hour
a week when you are doing something for somebody else, and that's 15
hours.What you find is, players
will do more than that and get involved on their own."
Soccer is a sport that is rapidly growing in popularity in this country and
that is no different at Penn State. In its 100 year of playing soccer, Penn State has set lofty
goals for the season and people are starting to take notice.Coach Warming believes that if the
Nittany Lions are active in the community, it will help build an ever stronger
fan base in the future.
"Working in the community will help fans build a relationship with our sport,"
said Coach Warming.For example,
we would go and do reading in elementary schools, then we would give the
teachers tickets and the children would be able to come to the games.That brings families to the games, and
anytime we can do something in our sport that makes families come together, its
good for everybody."
Community service and outreach is not only good for Penn State soccer as a
program, but it is also good for the players.Giving back to the community will help build their character
as they move on in their lives, and Coach Warming thinks that's as good a
reason to do it as any.
"All these guys, because they are graduating from Penn State are going to be
very successful," said Coach Warming."If they start in college, then will start giving something back and
they'll be role models for others.My biggest thing is to get guys started; some of them will love it and
want to do it."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - One of the hardest working groups on the Penn
State practice field during game week preparations is the scout team.
Each week, a portion of the roster is assigned the job of playing the
part of the upcoming opponent.The
group executes the opponent's offensive formations and defensive schemes to
mimic what the coaching staff is expecting the first team to see on Saturday.
This week, the scout team has task of replicate the athleticism of
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.A trio of talented young players are sharing the role of scout team QB
to prepare the Nittany Lion defense for Robinson's elite speed and skill
set.Freshman quarterback Paul
Jones and sophomore receivers Alex Kenney and Evan Lewis have all taken snaps
on the scout team at practice.
But Lewis has taken the concept of mimicking Robinson to a new level
out yesterday and had Evan Lewis (was) wearing dreadlocks...I guess they wanted
us to get the whole visual," linebacker Chris Colasanti joked.
caught the team off guard on Tuesday afternoon when he walked onto the practice
field with a wig and dreadlocks on.Nonetheless, several members of the defense have said Lewis has done a
superb job replicating Robinson's style of running, in addition to looking the
does a real good job," linebacker Michael Mauti said. "He's a real
good athlete. He gives us a real good look. This kid is shifty and he's making
guys miss all week. Obviously, he's not going to have the blazing 10.2
100-meter speed (like Robinson), but he's shifty and he's making guys miss. I
have to give the kid credit. He's been doing well all week, as he has all
season on the scout team."
Lewis has handled most of the running duties for the scout team, while
Jones has replicated Robinson's passing.Colasanti said the scout team is using two different huddles to create
rapid fire play calling at practice to imitate Michigan's up tempo style of
The scout team is an unsung group of individuals on the Penn State
roster.The unit is a hard-working
group that does a tremendous job getting the first team ready for
Saturday.Although it is
impossible to replicate Robinson, Lewis has added a new dimension, visually,
and athletically to the practice field this week to get the Lions ready for the
"He (Lewis) has a little bit of moves I didn't know about. He's
running around and it's hard to contain him," sophomore defensive end Jordan
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Riding a four-match winning streak, the Nittany
Lion women's volleyball team returns home this weekend to take on Indiana and
GoPSUsports.com stopped by Rec Hall for a conversation with assistant
coach Dennis Hohenshelt for his thoughts on the Nittany Lions and this weekend's
matches. Penn State heads into the weekend with a 17-4 overall mark and a 7-3
record in the Big Ten.
Here is this week's video conversation with Coach Hohenshelt.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State welcomes rival Michigan into Beaver
Stadium on Saturday night for a primetime matchup on ESPN.
Fresh off a 33-21 victory over Minnesota, the Nittany Lions returned to
the practice field this week looking to build upon a strong outing in Minneapolis.The blog spent some time at the Lasch
Football Building again this week for a pair of video interviews with the
Nittany Lions leading up to the clash with the Wolverines.
First up is safety Drew Astorino.The Edinboro, Pa., native moved from strong safety to free safety last
week following Nick Sukay's season-ending pectoral injury.Astorino is a three-year veteran in the
Penn State secondary.The junior
sat down to discuss how the Lion defense is preparing for the top offense in
the Big Ten.
Watch to see what Astorino has to say about the Penn State defense and
slowing down Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.
Stay tuned for another video
scouting report tomorrow with Nittany Lion offensive tackle Quinn Barham.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Rivalries give college football a unique
identity.Penn State and Michigan have
met just 15 times, but Saturday's clash is a little more than just another game
on the schedule.
Penn State and Michigan are two of the most tradition-rich programs in
college football.The uniforms
have remained the same for decades.Both teams rest in the top six of the all-time win list in college
football history.And both teams have
two of the largest national fan bases in the sport.
The players relish the opportunity to compete in a matchup of this
nature.Games like this week's are
a big reason why individuals want to play in Happy Valley.Neither team will likely contend for a
Big Ten crown this fall, but that doesn't take away from the magnitude of
Saturday's game.It's a classic
matchup among college football powers under the lights at Beaver Stadium.
"I've tried to get across to you, if
Penn State plays Michigan and we're not excited about playing that game, then
we're in the wrong business," said Coach Paterno at the weekly press conference
on Tuesday afternoon. "And the kids went to the wrong school.I mean, I'm hoping we're going to play
with a lot of emotion, a lot of enthusiasm.Hope the crowd is great.Hope it's just a great night for college football."
Headlining the Michigan scouting report for Saturday night's game is
Wolverine quarterback Denard Robinson.The standout sophomore is one of the most talented players in all of
college football.Preparing for
Robinson's game speed is virtually impossible.When given a small crack, Robinson puts six points on the
"He's awfully dangerous," Coach Paterno
great instincts running with the football.Throws the ball well when they decide he's going to, they're
going to give him the protection he needs.But he's tough to rush.He's tough to get after, because he does move so well."
The Penn State defense knows that completely stopping Robinson is unlikely.But limiting No. 16 from making big
plays is a realistic goal.He is
going to get yardage, but keeping the sophomore from breaking a long run into
the end zone is crucial for the Lions.
Four days remain until the Beaver Stadium lights some on for a critical
Big Ten matchup.Coach Paterno is
"I think we've got to play 60 minutes
of really good football, both sides of the football," Coach Paterno said."I think it's amazing, when you look at
the tape of Michigan's game against Michigan State, against Iowa, people like
that, how well they played.Outside of turnovers and a couple of major mistakes, they're every bit
as good as those two football teams on those particular days.So I don't think it's a question
of how we start or what, it's whether we're ready to play 60 tough minutes."
It's Michigan week.
Press Conference Nuggets:
- Rob Bolden's Status
Starting quarterback Rob Bolden is listed as probable on the official
injury report.The freshman
underwent evaluations on Sunday.He will do the same on Wednesday.From there, a decision will be made on his status for Saturday's
game.Bolden did not participate
much at practice on Monday.
- Coach Paterno on Matt McGloin's
Play at Minnesota
"I thought he did a very good
the first play was a great one.And I think he got carried away on the second one when he threw the
interception.But I thought he did
very well under the circumstances and will get better if he has to play more."
- Drake and Szczerba Out for the
Coach Paterno noted on Tuesday afternoon that receiver Curtis Drake and
tight end Andrew Szczerba will not play this season.Neither player has suited up in the first seven games.
- First in Offense, Last in
Michigan enters Saturday night's game as the top team in total offense in
the Big Ten.However, the
Wolverines rank dead last in total defense.The Wolverines are averaging 532 yards of offense and are
giving up 441 yards on defense.It
is a very interesting blend of statistics for Rich Rodriguez's squad.
Stay tuned for much more coverage
leading up to Saturday's game at Minnesota.
Follow the Blog on Twitter @ twitter.com/GoPSUTony
Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - The 2010 season has been a learning process for the three-time
defending national champion Nittany Lions. The ninth-ranked Nittany Lions have
hit a few bumps in the road to their overall record of 17-4 and 7-3 mark in the
The Nittany Lions suffered their first loss of the season on September 11 in
Gainesville, Florida, against Stanford, which was also Penn State's first loss
in 109 matches. Two weeks after the loss to Stanford and the longest Division I
women's sports streak was broken, the Nittany Lions were also defeated by
Illinois. The loss to the Illini ended Penn State's 65-match Big Ten winning
streak, and put the Nittany Lions in a position they hadn't seen in a while.
On October 8, two weeks after the Nittany Lions fell to the Illini, Penn State
suffered yet another loss to Purdue. The next day, the Nittany Lions dropped a
match to the Indiana Hoosiers as well. Two consecutive losses in one weekend -
something that Penn State had not had happen to them since 2002.
Interestingly enough, all four of the losses that Penn State has suffered this
season have been road matches. The Nittany Lions have been dominant on their
home court, boasting an 86-match winning streak in Rec Hall.
Since the loss to Indiana, the Nittany Lions have bounced back nicely to win
four consecutive matches.And the
Lions are beginning to find a nice rhythm.
Head coach Russ Rose has spent a great deal of time talking about the starting
lineup this fall.For the vast majority
of the season, the starters have included freshman Deja McClendon, sophomore
Kristin Carpenter, senior Arielle Wilson, senior Blair Brown, senior Fatima
Balza, senior Alyssa D'Errico and senior Cathy Quilico.
The Nittany Lions are hitting .303 as a team, and are currently averaging 13.56
kills per set. Four of the starters are hitting over.300, including middle
hitter Arielle Wilson (.434), middle blocker Fatima Balza (.393), outside
hitter Deja McClendon (.329) and middle hitter Blair Brown (.303). On the
defensive end, Penn State is averaging 13.9 digs per set and 3.0 blocks per
set. Arielle Wilson and Fatima Balza have posted an average of 1.24 blocks per
No. 9 Penn State has 10 regular season matches left before the NCAA Tournament begins.
Senior libero and defensive specialist Cathy Quilico said that the team is
looking to build on what they have done so far, and continue coming together as
a single group.
"We've had our ups and downs and I really think that from here on out,
especially after this last away weekend we had, we've really gelled as a team a
lot," said Quilico. "We knew this was going to be a concern having nine
freshman and then six seniors, so it's completely disconnected in that aspect
but it was only a matter of time until we became one unit. So hopefully it
continues to help us practice well, play well and we can get it together for
The fresh faces and the All-American veterans that make up the Nittany Lion
roster this season have had to re-work their styles of play to fit one another.
Different players have different levels of experience and talent, and it has
made it difficult for Penn State to have on cohesive line-up.
Senior defensive specialist Jessica Ullrich said that every girl truly battles
for her spot on the court.
"It's a dogfight every day, who's going to be on the court," said Ullrich. "I
don't think coach could predict who's going to be on the court come the end of
the season even."
Quilico also said that every player needs to be ready at all times, since they
don't always know what coach Rose is going to do.
"You know, you don't question coach," said Quilico. "So, it's fine because we
practice with them every day but coach is very big on having a set line-up - he
doesn't really like changes much. Someone has to be playing pretty bad for him
to make a change or you know he sees something that we don't see for him to
make a change."
Ullrich said that the determination to be better and the continuous process to
grow is a positive for the team.
"Every single day we battle it out and different positions go and go and go,
but I think that just makes us stronger team," said Ullrich. "Everybody adjusts
to whose on the court and we all try to help each other out so it makes us
better for it."
As for the outlook on the rest of the season, Ullrich said that the Nittany
Lions have nothing but high expectations.
"I think we all have the same goal in mind and I think everybody around the
country has the same goal in mind," said Ullrich. "We're going to keep our eyes
set right now on Big Ten, focusing on that, making sure that we take care of
our business here and then come the end of the season it's just a dogfight from
there on out."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State and Michigan will meet under the
lights on Saturday night inside Beaver Stadium.
It's hard to ask for anything more than a week of talking about two
rivals leading up to a primetime kickoff in Happy Valley.
Penn State and Michigan are two of the most iconic programs in college
football.The foes will meet for
the 16th time on Saturday night.Let's take a look at some of the early-week storylines leading up to
Coach Paterno's press conference on Tuesday afternoon.We are eagerly awaiting an injury
update on QB Rob Bolden.For now,
though, here are some items from the notebook.
- Building on the Victory
With a convincing victory under their belt, the Nittany Lions head into
the week with some confidence.Now, it is time for the squad to build on a solid outing in
Minneapolis.The offense tallied
its highest point total in six weeks behind three passing touchdowns and 145
yards on the ground.Penn State
picked up 6.3 yards per play on offense.It was not a perfect outing, but Saturday's win was definitely a
performance to build on.And playing
with some confidence will take some of the pressure off.Now, the Lions need to take another
step forward this week.
- Crisp Defense
On the defensive side of the ball, Penn State used timely stops to keep
the Golden Gophers off the board at critical moments on Saturday.However, the Lions yielded 433 yards of
offense to Minnesota.That trend
cannot continue against Michigan.The Wolverines field the Big Ten's top offensive unit.Penn State's defense will continue to
get healthier this week, but the Lions will need a crisp showing to slow down
the Wolverines.Suring up the
tackling and pass coverage in the secondary are atop the list this week.
- Slowing Down Denard
Speaking of tackling, the Nittany Lions will spend a great deal of
Saturday's game looking to corral Michigan QB Denard Robinson.The talented signal-caller was injured
in Michigan's last outing against Iowa.Nonetheless, Rich Rodriguez is nearly certain that No. 16 will
play.Robinson is one of the most
dynamic quarterbacks in college football.A missed tackle will result in a touchdown.He has already eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in rushing.He has also thrown for 1,319 yards.In all, Robinson has accounted for 65
percent of Michigan's offensive yardage this season.He has scored 18 touchdowns this fall (nine passing, nine
rushing).Penn State has scored 14
touchdowns as a team this fall.Needless
to say, the Penn State defense will have its hands full with Robinson, but
tackling is absolutely critical for the Penn State defense.
- 16th Meeting with the
Michigan holds a 10-5 edge in the all-time series between the two foes,
but the Lions have dominated the past two meetings.Penn State has out-scored Michigan 81-27 in the past two
seasons.Nonetheless, the Penn
State-Michigan series has historically been marked by close games.There have been seven games decided by
eight points or fewer, including four of the past six meetings.Despite the past two meetings, Saturday's
clash has the potential to be another close game.
- Primetime in Beaver Stadium
There should be a little extra bounce in your step this week as the
Nittany Lions prepare for a night game against Michigan.The atmosphere inside Beaver Stadium
when the lights come on is electric.Penn State needs a big boost from the 12th man on Saturday.If you are coming to the game.Get there early and cheer loud.It is a critical game.
With that, it is Michigan week. Nothing more needs to be said.
Stay tuned to the Blog throughout
the week as we get ready for Saturday night's clash with Michigan.
By Mark Wishnia, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - On an unseasonably warm weekend in
Happy Valley, the Nittany Lion field hockey team swept its final home weekend in
impressive fashion against No. 17 Duke and the No. 5 Princeton.
Intensity played a key part in both wins. Penn State was
very quick to the ball en route to tallying two critical victories.Saturday's 2-1 triumph over Duke kicked
off a thrilling weekend at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex.
"First of all, we didn't play well," head coach Charlene
Morett said. "I don't think the officiating had anything to do with the outcome
of the game. "
Despite playing down two players after yellow cards for a
stretch in the second half, the Nittany Lions prevailed on the scoreboard.
"I'm glad we fought really hard," sophomore forward Kelsey
Amy said. "We were down two players at one point and we kept fighting, it
didn't really effect us, you couldn't tell so I thought that was good."
Penn State came back out on Sunday and battled the Princeton
Tigers in one of the most thrilling games of the season. Nearly 10 minutes into
the first half the Nittany Lions got their first big opportunity off of a
penalty corner. A shot came from the left side and went past goalkeeper Jennifer
King. But sophomore back Amy Donovan stood in behind her and poked it away.
But the pressure from Penn State continued throughout the
rest of the game.
"The greatest thing about today's game was team attack and
team defense and that was one of the goals that we set for us today," Morett
said. "And I think that the girls really believed in each other and I just
thought that we played a great game."
Kelsey Amy sat through the first few minutes of Sunday's
game after receiving a pair of yellow cards on Saturday. But she eventually
made her way into the game was enthusiastic about the big win over No. 5
"Passes were on, people were in the right place, the ball
was moving great," Amy said. "Double team, triple team, and everything just worked
out great today."
The Nittany Lions have one game left in the regular season
against Big Ten opponent Northwestern. The weekend gives the Nittany Lions a
lot of confidence moving forward.
"I think what [winning both games this weekend] does is, it
gives us a lot more confidence," Morett said. "This was a very challenging
weekend and we knew it was going to be facing two top teams. For our team to
win both games, it's awesome for them."
In their two final home games, the Nittany Lions truly
played some of the best field hockey this season. The team seemed united as
group, applied a ton of pressure, and played great defensively which all
members of the team stressed.
Kelsey Amy, Ayla Halus, and Charlene Morett all stressed how
well Daneen Zug played over the weekend. But Halus made some great plays of her
With just under 26 minutes remaining on Sunday, the Tigers
were awarded a penalty corner. A shot from the top of the circle forced Halus
off her feet as she made a great diving save moving to her left. Just about two
minutes later, she made a great kick save, again moving to her left.
Penn State's offensive pressure played a big role over the
weekend. The Lions forced a penalty stroke both on Saturday and on Sunday. Jess
Longstreth gave Penn State the insurance goal Saturday to make it 2-0 and her
penalty stroke on Sunday was the lone goal of the afternoon.
The Nittany Lions close out the season in Northwestern on
Friday at 4 p.m. ET. The Big Ten Tournament begins on November 4. Following two key victories, the Nittany
Lions are directly in the picture for a berth into the NCAA Tournament.
By Kyle G. Arslanian, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's soccer team has played a lot
of soccer over the past week and a half; four games all told dating back to
October 13th.Each game was
scheduled for a typical 90 minutes of play, but in all four games extra time
was needed to decide the contest.
Including Penn State's most recent game against Ohio State, the Nittany Lions
have played 51:33 of extra time, more than an extra half of a game.For Penn State, the grind of playing
all those extra minutes has been more draining than usual because they had
victory snatched from their grasp in frustrating fashion three times in a
row.That streak of overtime
misfortune ended Saturday with a 2-1 win over Big Ten rival Ohio State.The team was very excited to finally
score a golden goal of their own.
"It's our fourth overtime game in a row; we've tied one and lost two," said
Matt Smallwood."We are fighting
our hearts out out there."
The extra time that Penn State has played recently can easily take its toll on
the players, both mentally and physically.Matheus Braga, who scored the tying goal, said the team
would use its off days to recover.
"Yea it really does (tire us out) we were supposed to play 90 minutes. That's
college soccer, you go to overtime and that's how it is," said Matheus
Braga."We have recovery, tomorrow
we have a day of to recover and a game Wednesday."
Head coach Bob Warming was in good spirits after an overtime game at Jeffery
Field finally went the Nittany Lions' way this season.Coach Warming was happy to see the game
winning goal scored by Senior Treavor Gelsinger, his first of the season, on
"I kind of think everything evens out, in this one," said coach Warming. "It was our time.We were due to get evened out a little
bit.And to have a special kind of
goal from Treavor shows that things are getting evened out.Treavor has been through a lot here, he's
been through a lot of things this year and he's kept walking through the tough
situations and come out the other side and scores arguably the biggest goal of
the year for us."
The victory in overtime would be sweet in itself considering the circumstances
surrounding the Nittany Lions past four games.This victory in extra time however, was even sweeter because
it came on senior day, and two seniors scored in the 2-1 victory.
"Oh my gosh, we were down one nothing and were like, we've got all these fans
out here," said Matt Smallwood."Matheus, it only takes him an instant and he can get past and take that
shot and its goal, it's unbelievable."
Gelsinger scored Penn State's first overtime goal for the game winner this season.
It was also his first goal of the
season.Gelsinger's golden goal
was a sight that the whole team and the fans were very happy to see.
"The whole team feels great, you can see it in his eyes right now, he's so
happy.The team loves him he had a
tough beginning of the season and we all trust him," said Matheus Braga."When I saw him run I was pretty confident
he would score the goal."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Leading 14-7 mid-way through the second quarter,
the Penn State defense needed a boost to slow down Minnesota's passing
Following a Nittany Lion punt, Adam Weber and the Gopher offense drove
54 yards to the Penn State 33 yard line and were knocking on the door of either
tying the game or slicing into Penn State's lead with a field goal.However, the next two plays altered the
complexion of the ballgame and swung the momentum in Penn State's favor at TCF
An interception and a 58-yard return opened the door for a 42-yard
touchdown pass on the very next play.In the blink of an eye, Penn State went from looking to slow down a
second Minnesota scoring drive to a 21-7 lead.And two of the catalysts on the sequence are this week's
Faces of the Game.
Junior quarterback D'Anton Lynn hauled in the interception and tallied
the 58-yard return.Junior wide
out Derek Moye then registered the 42-yard touchdown reception.
Let's begin with Lynn, who posted a career effort in Minneapolis.The Texas native stepped in front of
Weber's second quarter pass as it sailed into the back of the south end zone at
TCF Bank Stadium.Lynn made the
interception, his second of the season, close to the out of bounds paint, and
was then left with the dilemma of kneeling or bringing the ball out of the end
"I thought about kneeling at first because that is what I am supposed to
do," Lynn said."But I figured I
would get it past the 20, and if I didn't, I was prepared for the
consequences.So, I just took it
out of the end zone and ran as far as I could."
Lynn finished with a career-high 10 tackles to lead the Nittany Lion
defense.He also assisted on a
tackle behind the line of scrimmage, which resulted in a one-yard loss.Lynn and the Nittany Lion secondary had
their hands full with a talented corps of Minnesota receivers all afternoon.
"They were really physical," Lynn said."They were by far the biggest group of receivers that we
have played.Their starters were
6-3 and 6-4, so it was a challenge for me and Steph (Morris)."
Lynn's interception was a big play for the Nittany Lions, but the junior
cornerback credited Moye's touchdown reception, as well.
"I think the offensive touchdown was more of a momentum boost (than the
interception)," Lynn said.
Lynn's comment transitions right into our second player.Moye is beginning to get on a roll as
the season heads into the final five weeks.The junior wide out now has three touchdowns in the past two
games, two of which came on Saturday afternoon.In addition to the 42-yard strike from Matt McGloin in the
second quarter, the duo connected on a third and goal play for a nine-yard
touchdown in the fourth quarter.
"I had the same route as I did in the last game (vs. Illinois) on the
first one," said Moye, who finished with three receptions for 81 yards on
Saturday."Basically, I ran right
by him (the corner) and Matt threw a perfect pass.I just had to make the catch.The second one was just a fade to the corner of the end zone
and I just made a play on the ball."
Moye's superb blend of size and speed give the junior a big advantage in
the passing game.He has the speed
to run past defensive backs, like he mentioned.Additionally, Moye can be a possession receiver when he
needs to be.He is a significant
weapon the Penn State offense needs to use consistently.
Following a road victory on Saturday, the Nittany Lions now transition
into a big week of preparations for Michigan.Saturday's 33-21 triumph is the confidence boost the Lions
have been looking for.
"It gives us a lot of confidence," Lynn said."We look at the second half as a six-game season.We are trying to go 6-0 in the second
half and put the first half behind us."
Stay tuned each week for the
"Faces of the Game" series following every game this fall.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Behind a strong offensive effort, the Nittany
Lions returned home on Saturday night following a 33-21 victory over Minnesota.
The Lions arrived back in State College shortly before 8 p.m. on
Saturday night.It was great to
see a flight home full of smiles after a strong outing during balmy afternoon
at TCF Bank Stadium.We had our
camera rolling during postgame.Take
a look at some video comments from Coach Paterno and a few players after the
Penn State now shifts focus towards Michigan. (The final scoreboard at TCF Bank Stadium below.)
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Welcome back to the live in-game coverage on the
Football Blog.We are excited to
bring you live coverage from TCF Bank Stadium today.
9:47 a.m. CT - Good Morning from
TCF Bank Stadium
Welcome to Penn State-Minnesota gameday inside TCF Bank Stadium.After a superb tour of the newest
stadium this morning in the Big Ten, we are now in the press box eager for
today's kickoff.The Nittany Lions
departed the team hotel this morning at 8:36 a.m.The squad arrived at the stadium shortly after 8:45, which
is a little earlier than usual for a road game.The Lions are ready to get back to work.Stay tuned for plenty of updates today.
9:55 a.m. CT - Weather Update
The late-week forecasts for today in Minneapolis called for a 70 percent
chance of rain and temperatures in the mid-50s for today's game.It is currently 56 degrees with 76
remain dry at the moment.There is
a 60 percent chance of showers, but the radar looks very favorable at the
moment.The special teams units
for both teams are beginning to take the field for warmups.
10:10 a.m. CT - Fantastic Facility
After touring TCF Bank Stadium this morning, it belongs in the top tier
of stadiums in America.The
facility is immaculate.From the
more than 8,000 block M logos branded throughout the facility to the 65-yard
long Minnesota locker room, it is a superb place for a college football
game.The sightlines are
tremendous from every corner of the stadium.TCF Bank Stadium opened in 2009.Ironically, the second newest stadium in the Big Ten is
Beaver Stadium, which opened in 1960.
10:50 a.m. CT - Final Pregame Thoughts
It is just about time for kickoff in Minneapolis.The Nittany Lions appeared to be more
vocal than usual during pregame warmups.The key is setting the tone early with a physical approach in the
running game.Look for a healthy
dose of Evan Royster this afternoon.We are headed down to the field to get some images for the photo
blog.We will be back to update
from the field at the half.The
weather remains cloudy, but dry.
12:50 p.m. CT - Thoughts from the
Needless to say, Penn State's passing game was impressive in the first
half.Freshman QB Rob Bolden
connected on his first nine passes and went 11-of-13 for 130 yards and a
touchdown before leaving the game with an injury.Matt McGloin then tossed a perfect long ball to Derek Moye
for a 42-yard score in front of the Minneapolis skyline at the back of the
north end zone.Penn State tallied
219 total yards in the first half, 184 of which came through the air.Scoring 21 points in the half is
certainly a confidence boost.Let's
see if the Lion defense can step up in the second half.
12:55 p.m. CT - Play of the Half
Although the trio of touchdowns put 21 points on the board, the play of
the half came on D'Anton Lynn's interception in the end zone and 58-yard return
along the Penn State sidelines.One play later, McGloin found Moye for the third touchdown.Lynn's interception was a huge swing in
1 p.m. CT - Bolden Injury Update
Penn State QB Rob Bolden took a blow to the head on the first down rush
mid-way through the second quarter.The Penn State medical staff has reported that he left the game as a
1:10 p.m. CT - Minnesota Strikes
First in Second Half
The Golden Gophers came out of the locker room with a strong drive on
the ground.Adam Weber capped the
11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive with a 4-yard TD pass to Da'Jon McKnight.Penn State's offense will now take the
field.Kevin Newsome will lead the
Lions onto the field at QB.
1:14 p.m. CT - Wagner Good from
A six-play, 33-yard drive from Kevin Newsome and the Nittany Lions was
capped with a 49-yard field goal from Collin Wagner.Wagner had plenty of room to spare on the kick into the
north end zone.He has now made a
field goal in eight straight games and is 14-16 on the season.His kick put the Lions up by two scores
(24-14) mid-way through the third quarter.
1:35 p.m. CT - Defense Holds on
With a 10-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, the Nittany Lion
defense made a big stop on fourth and 10 for Minnesota inside Penn State
territory.Despite yielding 321
yards, the Nittany Lion defense has done a good job keeping the Gophers from
putting points on the board.Granted Minnesota has visited the end zone twice, but the defense has
done a pretty good job this afternoon.Now, the Nittany Lion offense needs a long, sustained drive ending in
the end zone.Both Kevin Newsome
and Matt McGloin have played this half.
1:45 p.m. CT - Redd Carries Lions
Into Red Zone, McGloin and Moye Add a TD
Back-to-back 20-plus yard runs from freshman Silas Redd sent the Nittany
Lions deep into Minnesota territory on Penn State's opening drive of the fourth
quarter.Redd was a step away from
breaking both scampers for six points.Nonetheless, Matt McGloin found Derek Moye on a fade pattern in the
corner of the south end zone to give the Lions a commanding 31-14 lead on a third
down connection.Moye made a
superb play on the ball with good defense from the Gopher secondary.
1:52 p.m. CT - Still Tallies
Like we talked about in the gameday preview story, Penn State needed to
put pressure on Weber this afternoon.Devon Still and the trench men have done a nice job getting into the
backfield.And now the group made
a big play.Still just tallied his
first career safety on a sack to give the Lions a 33-14 lead.
1:55 p.m. CT - Heading to the
Field and Media Room
Thank you for following along this afternoon from Minnesota.We are heading down to the field and
then into the media room for postgame reaction before the flight home.It was a great effort today by the
Lions without starting QB Rob Bolden for nearly three quarters.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State (3-3, 0-2) kicks off the second half
of its season on Saturday with a clash against Minnesota (1-6, 0-3).
For the past two weeks, the Nittany Lions have worked to get back on
track after a pair of losses to open the Big Ten season.A spirited couple weeks on the practice
field has boosted the confidence level around the locker room.Now, it is time to see how the Lions go
about carrying that momentum onto the field at TCF Bank Stadium in a crucial
game for Penn State's Big Ten season.
Kicking off the final six weeks with a strong outing in Minneapolis is
critical for the Nittany Lions' confidence level.Penn State returns to the field following a bye week with
six long weeks of football yet to be played.There is a significant opportunity on the table for the
Nittany Lions to finish the 2010 season in a strong manner.However, it starts with execution and
intensity in Minneapolis.
Welcome to the Minnesota Gameday Preview.
What to Watch For: Penn State
1.Minnesota ranks dead
last in the Big Ten rushing defense statistics.The Golden Gophers yield more than 201 yards on the ground
per game.Needless to say, the
Nittany Lion offense must establish its running game.Penn State ranks No. 10 in rushing offense, but this is the
week to take a big step forward.Evan Royster and Stephfon Green are due for a big game. Things start with physical play up
front.The offensive line needs a
dominant afternoon to inject some confidence into the group.If the running game gets going, things
will open up for Rob Bolden and the Lion receiving corps.Keep an eye on the trench play,
though.A big day on the ground is
a focal point for the Lions.
2.On the defensive side of
the ball, the Nittany Lions face off with talented Gopher QB Adam Weber, who
members of the Penn State secondary said this week has one of the strongest
arms of anyone on the schedule.Getting pressure on Weber will disrupt the timing of the Minnesota
passing game.Despite not quite being
back to full strength on the defensive line, the Nittany Lions have plenty of
dangerous players capable of getting into the backfield.Watch for the linebacker unit.Penn State is much healthier on defense
this week. Like we said on offense, the key for the Lions is to play physical.
3.With two weeks on the
practice field, it will be interesting to see if the Lions use any new wrinkles
in the game plan (on both sides of the ball).But, as we have talked about numerous times this week,
intensity level, execution and consistency have been points of emphasis during
the off week.Penn State has spent
two weeks hammering home the fact that it needs to bring more fire to the
field.How that translates over to
the field on Saturday will be very interesting to watch.It certainly appears as though the
Lions have plenty of motivation for Saturday's game.
What to Watch For: Minnesota
1.At the top of the list
for Minnesota is how the Gophers respond to the mid-season coaching
change.Interim head coach Jeff
Horton has made it quite clear all week that the Gophers have nothing to
lose.It will be very interesting
to see how confident the squad plays with a brand new head coach.The coaching change has injected some
life into a squad coming into Saturday with a 0-5 home record.Horton is saying all of the right
things to get his team motivated.A loose, energetic Gopher squad has the potential to be very dangerous
for the Nittany Lions.Nonetheless, it is hard to change the level of execution overnight.
2. The Golden Gopher offense hinges on the play of Weber at
signal-caller is Minnesota's career leader in attempts, completions, yards and
touchdowns.Junior wide out Da'Jon
McKnight is his favorite target in the passing game.McKnight leads the tea with 28 receptions, and has a catch
in each of the last 12 games.Additionally, tight end Eric Lair plays a big role in the Minnesota
passing attack.The 6-3 junior has
multiple catches in all seven games this season.Behind a stout offensive line, Weber must play well to give
the Gophers a good opportunity to win.It will be interesting to see how he handles a Penn State defense with
two weeks preparation.
3. On defense, Minnesota must hold Penn State's running game in
check.If the Nittany Lions are
able to find a nice rhythm on the ground and control the time of possession, it
will be a long afternoon for the Gophers.Slowing down the running game will force Penn State into third and long
situations, which is what Minnesota wants to do.However, the Minnesota defense has allowed more than 414
yards per game this fall.Another
outing like that will make things quite difficult for the Gophers on Saturday.
Breaking Down the Injuries:
Penn State - Possible:
Jack Crawford (foot), Andrew Dailey (neck/shoulder), Ban Gbadyu (calf), Jordan
Hill (ankle), Gerald Hodges (leg), Michael Mauti (ankle) Doubtful: Brandon
Beachum (knee) OUT: Curtis Drake (leg), Lou Eliades (knee), Gary Gilliam
(knee), Eric Latimore (wrist), Nick Sukay (pectoral), Andrew Szczerba (back)
Minnesota - No
published injury report
Kickoff: 11:01 a.m. CT
TV: ESPNU, Rob Stone (Play-by-play), David Pollack (Analyst)
Radio: Penn State Sports Network, Steve Jones (play-by-play), Jack Ham (color)
Stadium: TCF Bank Stadium (50,805), FieldTurf
Coaches: Joe Paterno - 45th year - 397-132-3 overall record
Jeff Horton - 1st game at Minnesota (6th year overall) - 0-0 (20-48
The Series: Penn State leads 7-4
Note of the Week:
TCF Bank Stadium, which opened in 2009, will be the 65th different
stadium Joe Paterno has coached in.
The Final Word:
Minnesota has talented offensive personnel and a head coach preaching
that the team has nothing to lose, but Saturday's game boils down to the
Nittany Lions.Penn State has used
two weeks to prepare for the 1-6 Golden Gophers.The Lions have regrouped and refocused on the practice
field.Now, it is time for Penn
State to execute on Saturday.The
Nittany Lions need to step onto the field ready to throw the first punch.Being physical from the opening snap
forward will set the tone for the afternoon.Dictating the tempo of the game with hard-nosed play in the
trenches will open things up on both sides of the ball.As Coach Paterno has said, it is time
for the Lions to start making some big plays.Penn State has spent two weeks looking in the mirror.It is now time to find out what the
Lions are made of.(Keep an eye on
the weather.Forecasts are calling
for a 70 percent chance of rain throughout the game on Saturday.)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With the Nittany Lions back in action this week,
let's take a look around the Big Ten matchups for week eight.Michigan is the lone team around the
conference on a bye this week.Get
your TVs ready early with four noon kickoffs in the Big Ten on Saturday.
Indiana at Illinois - Noon - Big
Indiana (4-2, 0-2) heads to Champaign for an intriguing matchup with the
Fighting Illini (3-3, 1-2).The
Illini posted a 20-point victory in Beaver Stadium two weeks ago.Last week, they suffered a 20-point
loss to Michigan State.With bowl
aspirations, Illinois can ill afford a second straight loss against the
Hoosiers on Saturday afternoon.Indiana's inconsistent play defense should give Nathan Scheelhaasse,
Mikel LeShoure and the Illini rushing attack opportunities to move the ball and
put points on the board.Illinois
will have its hands full slowing down Ben Chappell's passing attack.Illinois head coach Ron Zook labeled Chappell
as the best quarterback Illinois has faced in the Big Ten.However, the Illinois defense will be
the difference in Saturday's clash at Memorial Stadium.
No. 7 Michigan State at
Northwestern - Noon - ESPN
The undefeated Michigan State Spartans (7-0, 3-0) head to Ryan Field off
to their best start since 1966.Northwestern has spent the last two weeks preparing for the Spartans
after a disappointing home loss to Purdue.Dan Persa and the pass-happy Wildcat offense will need to
put points on the board against the nation's 17th best scoring defense.Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins has made
all of the big plays this season, and the Spartan rushing attack spearheaded by
Edwin Baker has been superb. Northwestern will keep this game close, but the
Spartans have a lot riding on it with a trip to Iowa on tap for next week.
Purdue at No. 10 Ohio State -
Noon - Big Ten Network
The 10th ranked Buckeyes (6-1, 2-1) have revenge on their minds as they
take on Purdue (4-2, 2-0) inside Ohio Stadium on Saturday.Ohio State dropped last season's game
in West Lafayette.The Buckeyes
are also coming off a tough loss to Wisconsin.Needless to say, OSU has plenty of motivation leading up to
Saturday's clash with the Boilers.Look for a balanced offensive performance from Terrelle Pryor and the
secondary will have its hands full with DeVier Posey and company.On the other side of the ball, freshman
Rob Henry will see the best defense of his short career (even with Ohio State's
confidence, look for an angry Ohio State squad to set the tone early.
The Big Ten game of day will take place at Kinnick Stadium.Wisconsin (6-1, 2-1) heads to Iowa City
with a huge momentum boost after knocking off then-No. 1 Ohio State.Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes (5-1, 2-0)
continue to go about their business in conference play.This game will be won in the
trenches.Watching Iowa's talented
defensive front battle Wisconsin's offensive line will be entertaining.Both running games will tally their
fair share of yardage.But the
player to keep an eye on is Ricky Stanzi.The senior quarterback has been terrific thus far in 2010.Stanzi is ranked No. 3 in the nation in
pass efficiency (13 TD, 2 INT and 180.5 Efficiency).Wisconsin's rushing attack of John Clay and James White will
be heard from, but Stanzi, Marvin McNutt, Derrell Johnson-Koulianos and the
Iowa passing attack is poised for a big afternoon.Nonetheless, turnovers and the trench battle will decide
this marquee matchup.
Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions have struggled more than usual against some of their
opponents on the road this season. In fact, all four of the team's losses have been matches
played outside of the confinements of Rec Hall. However, a solid performance
and a crucial win at Ohio State was a big confidence boost for Penn State.
On Wednesday night, the
Nittany Lions swept the Buckeyes, 3-0. Although Ohio State came out swinging,
Penn State was swinging harder.
Senior middle hitter Blair Brown led the team with 13 kills on the night,
followed by senior middle hitter Arielle Wilson and freshman outside hitter
Deja McClendon with nine kills each. McClendon also had a team-high nine digs
to compliment senior libero and defensive specialist Alyssa D'Errico and
sophomore setter Kristin Carpenter's eight digs a piece on defense. Carpenter
kept the offense moving nicely with 35 assists for the evening.
With Wednesday night's win, the Nittany Lions improved their record to 16-4
overall and 6-3 in Big Ten play. A
team that has dominated its competition at home, Penn State has been working on
building the same reputation on the road.
Senior middle blocker Fatima Balza was especially excited about defeating Ohio
"Finally we were on the road and we performed as well as we were thinking that
we were going to," said Balza. "It feels so good you know. It's like it wasn't
joking, and it was like finally we did it. We're on the right track right now
and now we just have to keep it up and keep doing what we're doing."
Balza said that the
team really came together on Wednesday night and played as a unit rather than a
group of loose individuals. She said that the Nittany Lions were looking to
make a statement and win a volleyball match at the same time.
Kristin Carpenter could
not agree more with Balza that the win on the road was a great one.
"It was a lot of fun," said Carpenter. "I mean of course, any team in the Big
Ten is tough this year so their fans the atmosphere, it was incredible. We love
playing at Ohio State because we know they're going to give us a challenge -
they're going to push us to our limits. It was so much fun and it was so good
to finally you know, we were away and we played well and we swept them."
Despite the important
win for the books, the Nittany Lions committed 12 attack errors and 10 service
errors on the evening.Carpenter
said that serving and hitting is something that is second nature to the Nittany
Lions, it just needs to keep improving.
"That's one thing that we actually work on every day in practice so it should
be getting better," Carpenter said about the team's hitting and serving errors."...It's one of those things - a lot of
it has to do with focus, and if you would have heard all of the things the fans
were saying it was ridiculous.I
don't know if it was a lack of focus or just us personally with confidence, a
lot of factors tie into those errors that are definitely unnecessary."
With the errors behind
them and a crucial road win added to their record, the traveling Nittany Lions
take on Northwestern on Saturday at 8 p.m. The Wildcats are 15-4 overall this
season and 5-3 in the Big Ten. Like Penn State, Northwestern has also struggled
on the road, suffering all four losses this season at opponents' home
Balza feels good about
the way the Nittany Lions played on Wednesday, and is ready for the Wildcats.
"Northwestern definitely has a few seniors on the court and they are good -
they're a good team this year," said Balza. "For Saturday we're just expecting
to do exactly the same thing and play even better."
Carpenter thinks that Penn State's win at Ohio State will help the team to step
up against Northwestern this weekend.
"I think winning at Ohio State, it was a huge confidence booster," said
Carpenter. "Ohio State was kind of in the same boat as us in how they lost when
they were away and they were dominant at home and all these things, so knowing
we can beat Ohio State at their home was like wow, we can beat anyone at their
By Mark Wishnia, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK Pa. - After a tough loss to No. 6 Ohio State, the Penn
State field hockey team bounced back on a brisk Tuesday with a big 4-1 win over
the Bucknell Bison to set the Nittany Lions up for a big weekend in Happy
The Nittany Lions' enthusiasm began early, even before the game began. With the
scoreboard clock reading 26 minutes until game time, head coach Charlene Morett
called her team into the middle of the field for a brief huddle. It was all
smiles as the team was preparing for their matchup against their in-state rival
Bison. The team was joking around and having a good time. One apparent quirky
remark painted a big smile on Morett's face and nearly knocked her over,
forcing her to use assistant coach Lisa Bervinchak-Love's shoulder as support.
Hannah Allison got things started early in the game with a goal from a pass by
Kelsey Amy with just over 14 minutes to go in the first half. Allison was in
the right place at the right time.
"I knew Kelsey was a speed demon and would just get up the field, [so I got up
the field] as fast as I could," Allison said. "I figured if she missed I'd be
there and if she scored it would look good for her so I just wanted to clean up
anything she didn't score on, so just right place right time."
Despite only one goal in the first half, the Nittany Lions were able to add to
their total with three goals in the second half. Allison says that was a big
"It's definitely good for us," Allison said. "Confidence-wise it makes a big
difference to know that we can score four goals in a game, to know that we can
even score three goals in a half.Just
knowing we can do the little things like speed of pass, just connecting,
talking communicating can really make a big difference so it definitely helps
us and I think just all around the field we can make a big difference
especially going into a big weekend with Duke and Princeton."
A big weekend with Duke and Princeton it is. The Nittany Lions host No. 17 Duke
on Saturday and then play No. 5 Princeton on Sunday. At Ohio State, the Nittany
Lions appeared to lack intensity. But the team fired back on Tuesday and plan
to carry that momentum into the weekend.Head coach Charlene Morett was enthusiastic about her team's
"In the first half against Ohio State we really just did a lot of standing,"
Morett said. "I mean credit to Ohio State, but you know I felt everybody was
just asking for the ball. We had a great practice [Monday] just coming off a
loss. I was really proud of the way they practiced and I think they took what
they did in practice into the game [on Tuesday]."
Junior midfielder Jess Longstreth had a pair of goals in the win over the Bison
and spoke of the importance of the win.
"It's really important actually that we ended on a positive note so we can
start this weekend on a positive note," Longstreth said.
Morett also expressed the importance of the win.
"I think it's real important [going into the weekend] with a win," Morett said.
"It's really important going in with the way we've been playing, with just the
speed we've been playing with and the ball control. I thought the three
midfielders really made a big difference in the game today."
Speed and ball control have been points of emphasis for Penn State all year. It
will be of utmost importance this weekend. After their final two home games of
the season, the Nittany Lions finish off the year at Northwestern. A strong
finish is crucial for Penn State's NCAA Tournament implications.
The thrilling weekend begins Saturday afternoon vs. Duke at noon. The Lions
finish off their sixth home season at the current Field Hockey complex on
Sunday against No. 5 Princeton at 3 p.m.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - For weeks, Coach Paterno has publicly stated that
he wants to see the Nittany Lions make a few more big plays.
Whether it be a clutch reception, converting a pivotal first down or
forcing a crucial turnover, the Hall of Fame head coach feels like the Lions
just aren't making big plays when they need to.Penn State has shown glimpses of big-play potential on both
sides of the ball this fall, but the consistency necessary to make a run in the
Big Ten has been missing thus far in 2010.
Over the past few weeks, I have talked to numerous players about this
very subject.Everyone on the
depth chart wants to make big plays, and it is not for lack of effort.They want to make a difficult catch or
bust a short run into a touchdown.They want to fend off a block to tally a crucial sack or force a fumble
to set up an offensive drive.Penn
State has practiced very well and made plenty of plays on the fields adjacent
to Lasch Building throughout the fall, as Coach Paterno has mentioned numerous
times when speaking with the media.
But for whatever reason, the crisp effort on the practice field has just
not consistently translated over to the game environment on Saturdays.The Nittany Lion offense is full of
playmakers capable of putting points on the board.The personnel in the skill positions on the offense is
nearly identical to the group from 2009, with the exception of the tight end
and quarterback positions.Needless
to say, the group has not forgotten how to make plays.
It boils down to one thing: Confidence.When a player is able to haul in a difficult reception or
break a long run, he begins to believe that he can do it again.And when the rest of the team sees a
teammate make a big play, it begins to believe it can do the same.
From there, things begin to snowball.
For the past two weeks, the Nittany Lions have regrouped on the practice
field.Sophomore wide out Justin
Brown even said this week that the team, essentially, spent time "finding
itself" at practice last week.
The coaches went back to the basics last week by stripping the first and
second team players of their colored practice jerseys to put everyone on a
level playing field.When the
players walked into the locker room for the first time last week and saw plain
blue and white jerseys hanging in their lockers, it caught their
attention.Although the level
playing field did not result in any lineup changes, the message from the
coaching staff was received.
Penn State had three spirited practices last week, which included a
Thursday scrimmage and a players-only team meeting.The motivated effort at practice garnered a couple days off
prior to Minnesota game week.The
fiery mentality has carried over into this week, and the team certainly looks
and sounds ready to play on Saturday afternoon.
"When we got together that's what we talked about, playing with
more energy," fullback Michael Zordich said."I think that will happen this week."
Safety Drew Astorino said that last week "rejuvenated" the squad.The enthusiasm level has been high, and
the Nittany Lions are itching to carry that over to Saturday's game.
"The last two weeks at practice, there's been guys making plays,
guys jumping around, screaming and yelling," Zordich said.
Playing with a confident swagger is a trait the Nittany Lions need to
bring to the field in Minneapolis.Penn State needs to walk off the bus ready to throw the first
punch.Establishing that killer
instinct from the opening play sets the tone for a game.
"The keys are just making plays," Zordich said."We need to make plays to get things
going and I think we'll do that."
By Kyle G. Arslanian, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Nittany Lion men's soccer co-captain Andres
Casais was back in the starting lineup on Wednesday night versus UMBC.Casais, who usually plays in the middle
of the back line, started at a new position; left outside back.He has seen time at a few different
positions this season and has played well in each role when asked.
"That's the type of guy he is, he'll do anything to help the team," said
fellow defender Brian Forgue. "I
think that what a leader, that's what a captain does.If they told him to play forward he would and he would do it
to the best of his ability."
Casais has gone from the back line, to out of the starting lineup to the
midfield and back to defense, all the while keeping a positive attitude and his
teammates have noticed.
"He's very resilient, he realizes hell play wherever we need him, and we
need him at left back," said co-captain Drew Cost."He's been positive the whole time, when came out for a
couple games, he's always picking the team up and keeping us positive."
Casais came into Wednesday's non-conference game and looked like he did
not miss a step, even with receiving minimal playing time recently.The ability to come in at any time is
important and it is created by hard work and mental toughness.
"He's staying mentally tough, he went through a spell where he didn't
start didn't see the field a lot, he would come into different positions for
minimal time," said Brian Forgue."The fact that he stayed in tune with his game and what the team was
doing and working hard in training, that allowed him to come back in and not
miss a beat."
The Nittany Lions' captain was happy to be back on the field and help
contribute to the team.As a
captain, he is willing to do whatever coach Warming asks of him.
"It felt good, its been awhile since I've played in at left back its
kind of different, it's a treat to be back on the field and help the team as
best as possible," said Casais."As long as coach needs me, puts me wherever, ill try to the best that I
Coach Warming thinks left back is where Casais can help the team best
and would like to see him continue to improve.Andres had his hands full with UMBC's leading goal scorer
Levi Houapeu, a player coach Warming says would beat a lot of defenders.
"It's the right place for him to be to help our team and to help us out
there," said coach Warming."It's
a little different defending out wide than it is in the middle."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - After a bye week, the Nittany Lions return to
action on Saturday at Minnesota (Noon, ESPNU).
As we have talked about all week, Penn State is eager for a strong
outing after a pair of losses prior to the bye.GoPSUsports.com sat down with a pair of Nittany Lions inside
the Lasch Football Building this week to get their thoughts leading up to the
weekend trip to Minneapolis.
The scouting report kicked off with defensive tackle Devon Still.Today, we move to the offensive side of
the ball for a conversation with sophomore wide out Justin Brown.The 6-3, 216-pound receiver has found a
great deal of confidence in his second full season on the field.
Brown has tallied 13 receptions for 190 yards thus far in 2010.The Delaware native is poised for a
strong second half of the season.A public relations major in the College of Communications, Brown has a
superb blend of size and speed.He
wants to see the Lion offense establish a running game on Saturday to open
things up in the passing attack.
Take a look at what Brown has to say about the Minnesota defense and the
Nittany Lions as they prepare for Saturday's matchup.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions are back to game week
preparations as they return to action on Saturday at Minnesota (Noon, ESPNU)
following the bye week.
To say Penn State is eager to get back on the field in a game situation
would be an understatement.Following a week of rigorous practices, the Nittany Lions have a renewed
sense of focus and determination this week as they prepare for the Golden
GoPSUsports.com sat down with a pair of Nittany Lions inside the Lasch
Football Building this week to get their thoughts leading up to the weekend
trip to Minneapolis.First up is a
conversation with junior defensive tackle Devon Still.
The 6-5, 311-pound interior lineman will face off with a stout Minnesota
offensive line on Saturday afternoon.The Gophers field a group of men in the trenches averaging 6-5, 317
pounds.Still wants to see the
Lion defense play physical against the Gophers to slow down the Minnesota
Take a look at what Still has to say about Saturday's game with
Minnesota and the progress of the Nittany Lion defense.
Stay tuned for another video
scouting report tomorrow with Nittany Lion receiver Justin Brown.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Legendary head coach Joe Paterno never likes to
label a game as a "must win", but Saturday's trip to Minnesota is a critical
game for the Nittany Lions.
Following a week off, Coach Paterno walked into the Beaver Stadium media
room (15 minutes early) on Tuesday afternoon eager to talk football with the more
than 30 reporters gathered.Following
the setback to Illinois, Lions got back to work in a preseason camp-like
atmosphere on the practice field last week.Now, Coach Paterno is anxious to see how Penn State performs
in a game situation on Saturday.
"I think we have got to play better, more consistent," Coach Paterno
said."We have got to make some
plays.We have not made some plays
that would have made us a little bit more competitive, whether it's catching
the football, or other things."
Minnesota's mid-season coaching change was a topic of discussion on
Tuesday afternoon.Whether the
Gophers will rally around interim head coach Jeff Horton remains to be seen,
but how Minnesota plays on Saturday has no bearing on Penn State's level of
"I think we have got to worry about Penn State," Coach Paterno said."...I'm more worried about us than
anybody else because there's nothing I can do about what's going to happen at
Minnesota as regards to the new coach."
Penn State spent three days on the practice field during the bye week.The first and second team jerseys were
removed from the players' lockers all three days.The coaching staff wanted to send a message to the Nittany
Lions.And the end result was a
spirited week on the practice field, which even included a scrimmage on
"I challenged the team," said Coach
Paterno."I said, 'we have to make
some plays.'We have played enough
football games now that we ought to be able to go out there and understand how
the game is won.
The Nittany Lions have a great opportunity to finish the season on a
high.Six weeks of football is an
eternity.And the Hall of Fame
head coach wants to see the Lions kick-start their season in Minneapolis.
"We have to have some people rise to the occasion, that's all," Coach
Paterno said."And that will
happen.One of these day, we'll
get a couple guys make some plays and they will start feeling good about
themselves and they will bring some people with them."
Press Conference Nuggets:
- Positive News on the Injury Front:
Coach Paterno gave an update on the Penn State injury report at the
press conference on Tuesday.The
Nittany Lions will receive a significant boost on the defensive side of the
football this weekend.Here is the
injury report from Coach Paterno:
- Linebackers Michael Mauti (ankle) and Bani Gbadyu (knee) are both
expected to return to the field on Saturday.Additionally, linebacker Gerald Hodges (leg), who was
injured on the opening kickoff at Alabama, returned to practice on Monday and
is expected to play at Minnesota.
- Safety Andrew Dailey (stinger) will return to the field on Saturday.
- Defensive tackle Jordan Hill (ankle) is also expected to play on
- Defensive ends Jack Crawford (foot) and Eric Latimore (wrist) will not
return this week.Crawford is
close to returning to practice, but Coach Paterno said that he has not yet done
so.Latimore will be out a few
more weeks with a broken wrist.
- Receiver Curtis Drake (leg) has not returned to the practice field.
- Changes in the Secondary
With the injury to Nick Sukay in the secondary, Coach Paterno noted that
Drew Astorino has shifted to free safety.Andrew Dailey has moved to strong safety.
- Chaz Powell Back on Defense
In addition to the changes at safety, Chaz Powell has moved back to the
defensive side of the ball.Powell
met with Coach Paterno and asked to move back on defense.The athletic junior has practiced as a
second team cornerback throughout the past week.
- Coach Paterno on Rob Bolden's Progress:
"He's a true
freshman.And again, I keep going
back to, we didn't have him in the spring.Everything that comes up is new to him...But I
think he's getting at that stage where now he's a guy that's got to make some
plays, too.I mean, I think we can
say, okay, but he's not ‑‑ he's playing football now that he's got to
start making some things happen.Hopefully he will.But I
think he's done about as well as you can expect the kid."
Stay tuned for much more coverage
leading up to Saturday's game at Minnesota.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion basketball team kicked off the
2010-'11 season on Friday afternoon with its first official practice.On Monday, head coach Ed DeChellis and
the Lions met the media inside the Bryce Jordan Center.
Penn State enters the season with four senior starters returning this
winter.The Lions are a determined
group with high intensity leading up to the Nov. 12 season opener against
Lehigh.After spending the afternoon
around the media day festivities, the All-Sports Blog has opened its notebook
to take you inside Penn State men's hoops media day.
- 'One More Play'
The phrase used most often by the Lions around the main gym of the Bryce
Jordan Center on Monday afternoon and throughout the offseason was "One More
Play."Penn State went 11-4 in
games decided by six points or fewer during the 2008-'09 NIT championship
season.The Lions dropped 11 games
during 2009-'10 by six points or fewer or in overtime.The difference?Penn State was unable to make the "big" play to close out tight games last season.Finishing close games begins in the practice gym. The
Nittany Lions spoke at great length on media day that the emphasis has been on
finishing every drill with intensity.Making "one more play" is on everyone's mind.And getting over the hump in close ballgames is critical for
the Nittany Lions this winter.
- Five-Practice Weekend
The Nittany Lions kicked off the practice season with five practices
over a 48-hour span over the weekend.Coach DeChellis is pleased with the team's progress thus far.The most noticeable thing at practice
has been the intensity level from the team.From freshmen to the seniors, the Lions have a renewed sense
focus.Senior forward Andrew Jones
talked about how much everyone is competing on the floor during practice. Playing with a high intensity level at
practice every day will translate over to gameday.The Lions practiced on Monday.They are off Tuesday before returning to the Jordan Center
on Wednesday morning.
- Battle Leading Senior Starters
All eyes were on senior guard Talor Battle at media day.The Albany, N.Y., native comes into the
fall as the veteran leader of the program.Battle, who ranks seventh on the Penn State all-time scoring
list (1,526), is on the preseason Wooden Award Top 50 list.Battle continues to refine his game
heading into his final season at Penn State.The senior has elevated his jump shot consistency and become
a go-to leader in the huddle.Battle
is joined by fellow seniors Jeff Brooks, Andrew Jones and David Jackson in the
starting lineup.The group of
veterans has great chemistry on and off the floor.It is going to fun to watch the four senior leaders play
together for the third straight season.All four have set the team's goal this winter: Play in the NCAA
- Looking at the Schedule
The road to the month of March will be a challenging one for the Nittany
Lions.The Lions open with Lehigh,
who was picked to win the Patriot League this winter.The non-conference slate also includes trips to Mississippi,
Virginia Tech and a home clash with ACC power Maryland.Coach DeChellis remarked that the
challenging schedule will force the Lions to play at a high level from the
opening tip forward.Additionally,
the Big Ten is being tabbed, by many experts, as the top conference in
basketball this winter.Penn
State's conference slate opens at Indiana, at Michigan, vs. Purdue, vs.
Michigan State, vs. Illinois, at Ohio State and at Purdue.It will be a tough seven games to start
the Big Ten season, but Coach DeChellis is confident the Lions can compete,
night-in and night-out, with the conference's elite teams.
- Media Day Video
We spent the afternoon talking to head coach Ed DeChellis and a variety
of players for their thoughts on the upcoming season.Take a look at the Blog's media day video.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It's always great to kick off a week with a Penn
State football game on Saturday.
It is a new week and a new beginning for the Nittany Lions as they
prepare for game No. 7 on the 2010 schedule.Following a much-needed bye week, the Lions return to game
week preparations later this afternoon.A trip to the new TCF Bank Stadium caps off the week, as the Lions take
on a struggling Minnesota squad on Saturday afternoon (Noon on ESPNU).
It will be an interesting week for the Golden Gophers after head coach
Tim Brewster was fired on Sunday following Minnesota's loss to Purdue on
Saturday.Minnesota was 1-6 under
Brewster this fall, which included home losses South Dakota and Northern
Minnesota Athletics Director Joel Maturi named co-offensive coordinator
Jeff Horton the interim head coach for the rest of the season.The Penn State communications office is
currently scouring the archives, but it is believed that this will be the first
time Penn State has played a team with a new coach in the middle of the season.
Nonetheless, the focus inside the Lasch Football Building is on execution
and effort for the Blue and White as the Lions look to get back in the win
column after back-to-back losses at Iowa and Minnesota.Penn State's injury report continues to
improve (Stay tuned for an update this week), which is critical leading up to
Saturday's clash in Minneapolis.
Things were a little different than usual on the practice field last
week.Practice jerseys have a
designated color based on where you are on the depth chart.Last week, though, none of the colored
jerseys were used.The squad
practiced in blue and white jerseys, signifying that every position on the
depth chart was up for grabs.
The Lions responded quite well to the changes on the practice field
following the home loss to Illinois.Nonetheless, it is one thing to respond on the practice field and
another to do so in the game.The
Lions need to practice with intensity every day this week and come out on fire
Sending a message with a fast start on Saturday is an absolute must for Penn
State.The Nittany Lions have six
weeks of football to play.The
rest of the season starts now.It
is time for the collective group to step up on Saturday afternoon.
Stay tuned all week for much more
coverage leading up to Saturday's clash at Minnesota.
In the Notebook:
- The first set of BCS standings were released on Sunday evening.Four Penn State opponents occupy spots
in the Top 15, including Michigan State at No. 7, Alabama at No. 8, Ohio State
at No. 10 and Iowa at No. 15.Penn
State, Michigan and Minnesota are the only three squads in the Big Ten with
four opponents in the Top 15.
- Penn State continues to be the nation's leader in fewest penalty yards
(21.8 avg.).The Nittany Lions are
No. 2 in the fewest penalties per game, as well (3.33 avg.).
- Penn State leads the all-time series with Minnesota, 7-4.The Lions are 3-2 in games at
Minneapolis.This will be the
first game in the series at TCF Bank Stadium, which opened in 2009.
Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
A crowd of more than 3,000 rose to their feet in Rec Hall as the No. 9 Nittany
Lions took the floor on Friday night. Penn State came out of the locker rooms
to warm up wearing throwback black and neon pink shirts. The first lyric of the
warm-up music that rang throughout the building said, "It feels so good to
back." The smiles on the faces of all of the Nittany Lions showed just how
excited they were to be home.
After an unsuccessful weekend on the road, the No. 9 Nittany Lions bounced back
from two consecutive losses and took both matches against Minnesota and Iowa
this past weekend. Penn State now holds an impressive 90-game winning streak at
Rec Hall. However, both head coach Russ Rose and the Nittany Lions agree that
the team is still struggling to be the best that they can be.
Penn State defeated No.
19 Minnesota 3-1 on Friday night in front of a rowdy Nittany Lion crowd.
Freshman outside hitter Deja McClendon had 17 kills on the night followed by
senior middle hitter Blair Brown's 16 kills. The two "Aris" in senior middle
hitter Arielle Wilson and freshman middle hitter Ariel Scott each posted nine
kills to help the Nittany Lions dominate offensively. Senior libero and
defensive specialist Alyssa D'Errico and Brown played solid defense marking 18
digs a piece, while Wilson and McClendon also shared a team-high four blocks.
Head coach Russ Rose
was not overly impressed with the Nittany Lions' play, but he was glad that his
team took a step in the right direction.
"I mean it was a much better effort in all the areas that were important to
us," said Rose. "You're always pleased any time you get a victory, especially
when you're coming off the weekend we had last weekend where we didn't play as
well as we would have hoped."
Rose had a fan club of
his own on Friday night. Students wore white t-shirts that said 'Russ' Rowdies'
and congregated into a large student section - Rose couldn't help but notice.
"I'm just glad to be back home, to have a great crowd and the band is terrific
and I think they do a great job," said Rose. "Everybody likes to be at home -
we're not alone. It was nice to have a big crowd and I'm appreciative of all of
our fans, especially the ones that come after the weekend we had last weekend."
The next evening, Penn State took on Iowa and swept them 3-0. However, the
Nittany Lions let the 6-11 Hawkeyes have too much for coach Rose's liking. Penn
State tallied ten hitting errors, eight service errors and two blocking errors
in one evening.
"On our side of the net you know I thought we took a couple of steps forward
yesterday and I thought we went the exact opposite direction today," said Rose.
"We're having trouble with 'What's that thing?' - the overhand serve."
Rose was especially
adamant about the need for improvement where serving is concerned.
"We've been a consistently bad serving team and now that's psychological," said
Rose. "Because we weren't jump serving and hitting it hard, we were standing on
the ground and not hitting it in so the girls will work on serving and maybe
they'll get a little better at it."
Senior Blair Brown
shared Rose's disappointment.
"I think that we need to concentrate on not taking steps back," said Brown. "I
thought we played really well last night and had a lot of energy and we came in
tonight and we were kind of flat."
Senior Alyssa D'Errico
said that she was happy with the Nittany Lions' play on the weekend but not
"I would rather not have to bounce back ever again," said D'Errico. "But I
think that the way that we came out on the court and held our own and just
proved that we're still a team that can play at a high level is what we needed
uncharacteristically high number of hitting errors and service errors also
loomed harmful to the dynamic of the team both Friday and Saturday night. The Nittany
Lions said that they were bickering on the court more than they would like
because they were getting more frustrated than usual. Senior Arielle Wilson
made it clear that the team needed to take out their frustration on their
opponent, not their teammates.
"I think a lot of the time we get caught up in yelling at each other because
we're frustrated and we haven't had to be the leaders of the team," said
Wilson. "Now it's like, well where's that anger when we play other opponents -
let's take it out on them and use it to bring energy."
Needles to say, head coach Russ Rose and his Nittany Lions have to some work to
do. They will only have two days of practice before their next game Wednesday,
October 20 at Big Ten competitor Ohio State. Senior Blair Brown put it best on
Saturday night when she described what needs to be done before the Nittany
Lions' next match.
"After tonight I think
it will be easy for us to get back in the gym," said Brown. "We want to work on
things in the gym. We want to get better and having a Wednesday game is a
little different but you know every opponent is the same in the Big Ten -
everybody is good."
By Steven Hughes,GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -The Penn State women's soccer team rallied in a
fighting fashion against the Wisconsin Badgers(7-4-4, 4-1-2 Big Ten) on Sunday, but an early two goal
deficit proved too much for the Nittany Lions to overcome.
The Nittany Lions (6-8-1,4-2-0 Big Ten)
comeback on Sunday began with a transition rush from Tani Costa. Costa's lead
pass allowed Bri Garcia, Megan Monroig and Danielle Toney to penetrate Wisconsin's last line of defense.
Garcia placed a lead pass ahead of Wisconsin's back line of defense in the 37th
minute to Megan Monroig, who slashed wide to create a window for a crossing
The pass met a sprinting Toney who crashed into Wisconsin's goalie and
redirected the ball's path. The chaos at net left the ball bouncing away from
the hands of Wisconsin's goalie, but Costa seized a chance to score.
Costa chased down the slow-rolling ball and quickly turned to release a
rushed shot that didn't have a full leg's kick behind it, but the desperate
flick toward net was just fast enough to shrink Penn State's deficit to one
"It felt amazing to get us back into the game," Costa said. "We felt
really confident. We had no doubt in our minds we could win this game still."
Earlier in the half, Wisconsin played strong by maintaining possession
and seizing opportunities. The Badgers' best chance came off a rising shot from
Catie Sessions who fired the first goal of the afternoon past a leaping Krissy
Tribbett in the 23rd minute.
The Nittany Lions tried to make life inside difficult for the Badgers,
but Sessions continued to put her name in the scorecard just nine minutes later.
Sessions launched a curving pass into the teeth of the Nittany Lion defense
where her teammate, Laurie Nosbuch, was jostling for position. Nosbuch won the
battle and giving Wisconsin its second goal of the half.
However Penn State was very familiar with adversity. Penn State rallied to
upset no. 15 Minnesota 2-1 on Friday, so the Lions believed they could stage
another comeback against Wisconsin. A physical second half made a comeback even
more difficult for Penn State.
Bri Hovington and a Wisconsin player butted heads while jumping to establish
possession for their teammates. Hayley Brock got tangled with a Badger defender
while jostling for position and took awkward fall with the defender crashing
down on top of her.
Penn State's best chance and equalizing goal to finish the comeback came
in the 77th minute. Maya Hayes who failed to convert on three great
opportunities against Minnesota, leapt into the air in celebration after
finally capturing an elusive goal.
"It literally felt like the monkey jumped off my back in that moment," Hayes
Hayes and Penn State could only celebrate the joy of a comeback for less
than a minute though, because Wisconsin's Kodee Williams scored the winning
goal that halted all of Penn State's momentum for the rest of the game.
Head Coach Erica Walsh said the Wisconsin goal happened so quickly
because the Nittany Lions were distracted by the joy of a comeback.
"I think that it was a complete mental breakdown," Walsh said. "We had 45
seconds to enjoy a comeback and I think we did exactly that."
Emma Thomson said the loss was tough for Penn State to swallow after
working the entire game to come back.
"It's kinda like a kick in the teeth," Thomson said. "It brings you down a
little bit after the high of the equalizer."
Costa said even though Penn State played well by showing their fighting
mentality, a loss is still hard to accept.
"We worked so hard to try and get a lead back," she said. We just let a
little goal in and mistakes like that we have to work hard to fix. I don't
know, it's just frustrating."
Walsh said it's been a frustrating season because the Nittany Lions slow start
gave Penn State no room for error the rest of the season as the Lions pursue a
13th straight Big Ten title.
"I'm disappointed because there just haven't been enough games," she
said. "Today we're just starting to come around and start to play. My disappointment
isn't in this team or any streak or Big Ten, it's just that you want your team
to play and perform, and we today we didn't play and perform."
Hayes said all the Nittany Lions can do is take the loss and prepare for
the next game.
"Don't let up on anything, go hard in practice," Hayes said. "We want to get
that winning feeling back like we've had the last three games."
By Kaitlyn Knopp, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Vibrant colored
shoes and jerseys flap in the October wind as cross country racers from No. 1-ranked
women's team Villanova and men's14th-ranked Syracuse team practice sprints to
the starting line beside the Nittany Lions' navy and white forms.
The Penn State National, held on
the Blue and White Golf Courses, pitted the Nittany Lion men and women cross
country team against elite competition, leading to a conclusion of the men's
team finishing second at the meet, and the women finishing in third.
Heading of the pack for men were
Kyle Dawson and Vince McNally, juniors, who placed in second and third,
respectively. Dawson finished mere seconds behind first place finisher Terefe
Ejigu from Eastern Michigan, with McNally on his heels, four seconds behind.
The Nittany Lions are currently ranked as 30th in the NCAA and are now into
postseason events and headed towards the Big Ten Championships.
"On the men's side we had a tremendous
run," Director of Track and Field/Cross Country and Head Coach Beth
Alford-Sullivan said of Dawson and McNally's times. "We raced very, very well."
The women's number one finisher
was Brooklyne Ridder, who took 20th overall for the team, with Caitlin Lane in
second at 25thoverall.
"We still had a really good pack
which has really worked for us so far," Lane said of the race. Lane said that
considering the rankings, she also felt the team did really well against the No.
1 and No. 7-ranked teams in the nation.
Lane further impressed the
importance of the team working together, saying it is a main focus at
practices. Huddled in a black jacket post-race, brown hair swept back, she
surveyed the finish line where the last of the women's finishers were still
"If we're not building each other
up, no one will win," Lane said.
Both Sullivan and Lane could not
speak more of the teams practicing, which they both felt led to the successful finishes
in the race.
"I think practice is everything,"
Sullivan said, looking over to beam at her stretching racers. She said that
holding onto third for the women's team was what they needed to achieve at this
race, while the men's team surpassed expectations.
"[Today's race] went great,"
Sullivan said. "Both teams have been running very inspired, very
By Steven Hughes, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Time was against the Nittany Lions with 20
minutes to play Friday night against Minnesota, but Penn State pushed forward.
Penn State (6-7-1, 4-1-0 Big Ten) lost a
couple tough one goal games earlier this season, but last week's road comeback
against Northwestern showed the team they could come back, and on Friday night
they did to defeat No. 15 Minnesota (10-3-2, 2-2-1).
Taylor Schram saw a chance with Penn State trailing 1-0 in the 73rd minute when
her defender failed to track her, so she said she pushed the line and called
for a pass. Danielle Toney's perfect pass with the wind aiding her touch skied
to Schram, who jumped into the air to knock in a brilliant header from six
"I just went up and hoped for the best," Schram said. "The goalie
actually tipped the ball and it hit the post and then went in, so I was like
go, go, go."
When Schram came off the field, Coach pulled Schram over to her and gave
her a hug.
"She said she was proud of me and it was awesome," Schram said. "I can't
stop smiling, I'm still smiling right now about the goal."
The game was tied for slightly less than three minutes when Penn State
found another chance to regain control of the game for good. Christine Nairn lofted
a corner kick into Minnesota's box where Maddy Evans headed the ball into the
Evans was so excited that she sprinted from in front of Minnesota's goal
across the field to the Penn State sidelines with a stampede of her teammates
chasing her to celebrate her first goal of the season.
"To be honest, nothing was going through my head at that point," Evans said. "I
don't know I just started sprinting. It was pure excitement. I definitely
wanted to be with the whole team for it."
Penn State head coach Erica Walsh said it was great to see Evans score
on a header because she worked so tirelessly on it in practice all week.
"To see her smile after she scored that winning goal it was the best
feeling in the world," Walsh said. "She deserved it and they all deserved it. I'm just really
happy for them."
The Nittany Lions had to scratch and claw their way through a chilly and
gusty night of possession dictated play to stage their monumental comeback.
Penn State chose to play against the elements that aided Minnesota in the first
half, hoping to use it to assist the Nittany Lions in the second half.
However Penn State didn't need help from the wind to start the game.
Despite strong winds that relentlessly pushed south against Penn State, Ali
Schaefer and Danielle Toney forced Minnesota to dig in on defense.
Schaefer fired a curving blast from a difficult angle shortly after the
game was under way. Although Minnesota's goalie was able to corral the
beautiful shot destined for the net, Schaefer said her chance set the tempo for
"It was just in my perfect spot," Schaefer said. "If I could pick a spot to
shoot a ball it would be top of the 18, left footed shot. I thought it was
going in, but it didn't.It
definitely raised the level of play in the first minute."
With less than three minutes to play until halftime, Penn State appeared
to survive the first 45 minutes of a possession-oriented duel.But in
the 42nd minute of the first half Penn State gave up its first goal of the
night to the Golden Gophers' Steph Brandt who headed in a rainbow shot from the
left wing over Penn State goalie Krissy Tribbett into the back right corner of
Despite the late goal in the first half, both Penn State players and coach
Walsh knew they could respond to defeat Minnesota because just a week earlier
they sprouted a 2 goal rally to beat Northwestern on the road.
Nittany Lions Co-Captain Megan Monroig said the experience was huge for
Penn State and the confidence it gave them showed itself at halftime.
"Everybody started talking right away," she said. "Going against the
wind, and these are pretty strong winds, we were pretty happy with our first
half performance. We did a good job killing time against the wind and we actually
kept the ball against the wind which was good. We were just gonna go back out
and keep fighting like we were gonna win this game and we did."
Monroig was inserted into the starting lineup to start the second half
for Penn State. Monroig's effort and grit allowed Penn State to rake the ball
deep into enemy territory. Evans said Monroig's never-quit attitude brings more
out of the team.
"She was our spark on the outside and we needed that," Evans said. "She
was sending in great balls and created so many chances for us. If she can
continue to do that I feel like we'll have plenty of assists."
Walsh said she felt a different feeling of confidence in her Nittany
Lions after they responded to the difficult adversity of September's tough loss
to Dartmouth. She said her players are united and committed.
"This is a deep team," Coach Walsh said. "This team is 25 players deep
right now and their commitment to each other is probably our best strength,"
Penn State hosts Wisconsin (6-4-5, 3-2-1) on Sunday at noon at Jeffrey
By Kaitlyn Knopp, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Hosting one postseason
event is a challenge for any athletic department in college athletics.Imagine hosting at least nine postseason
events in one calendar season.
The Penn State Events Office has that
challenge in 2010-'11.
"It's long hours, it's late nights, early
mornings, sometimes holidays," Assistant Athletic Director Jennifer James said.
"You have to love sports."
James has worked at Penn State for 15 years,
and is a main organizer for sporting events on campus.She started out as the women's basketball
manager, before going through a myriad of positions that led to her placement
in the Penn State Athletic Department where she now plays a direct role in
planning NCAA and major sporting events.
James' job means she handles everything from
placing teams in hotels, to handling security and budgets, to placing bids for future
hosting opportunities at Penn State.
With at least nine NCAA and Big Ten events being
hosted at Penn State this year, two of which fall on the same weekend, James
has a lot of work ahead of her.
"We've already had meetings with our staff,
pretty much laying the ground work, so they kind of know what to expect." James
said. "We've already started our planning."
James' staff consists of 10-15 full-time employees
or interns, who work on a constantly changing budget.
"You had to work the formula based on the
number of people you think will come in, what the ticket sales are, figure
that," James said. "And then add
all your costs and make sure your revenue is higher than your expenditures."
James explained this is an NCAA rule, and extra revenue doesn't go to Penn
State; rather, Penn State receives and honorarium, and the NCAA simply makes
sure all of the schools' costs are covered.
Costs often include staffing events,
security, janitorial, providing tents or tables, concessions, printing programs
and tickets, and hosting the multitude of teams, adding to a large bill.
"It's not like the NCAA is just sitting there
bank rolling," James said."[The
extra revenue] will go back towards the championships in some form or another."
Events on the University Park campus this year
include Big Ten Men's Soccer Tournament, NCAA Men's and Women's Cross Country
Mid-Atlantic Regionals, NCAA Women's Volleyball Regionals, NCAA Women's
Basketball First and Second Rounds and NCAA Men's Volleyball Championships.
In addition to the collegiate
events, Penn State will be Pennsylvania high school sports central, as
well.University Park will host PIAA
Boys' and Girls' Basketball Championships, PIAA Boys' Volleyball Championships,
PIAA Baseball Championships, and PIAA Softball Championships.The list will likely grow when the
postseason plans for numerous Penn State teams are announced.
With all of these major events, some weekends
hosting up to 70 teams at one time, James said it's nice to have people who put
in extra effort to make the experience special.
"For men's volleyball, we have a great
working relationship with the Atherton (Hotel), and they will actually hold all
four teams for us," James said. "Annemarie Swineford, the salesperson, she
actually does a fantastic job. She decorates the lobby of each floor in school
colors - it's pretty special."
Hosting the quantity of events that Penn
State hosts has its fair share of challenges, though. She said in planning a
major event, even ones as far out as the NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships in
2013, there is always a chance something could go awry.
An example she gave was when in the 2006 NCAA
Men's Volleyball Championship. The
first match of the championships went long, and then the second match was running
"I remember during the course of the match,
looking at my watch and it was a little before 11:00, and I had ordered pizza's
for these teams at 10:00," James said looking at her wristwatch, reenacting the
event. "So I remember looking at my watch thinking hmmm my pizza's are one hour
cold, because I figured the match would be done at ten."
The next thing James knew, cold pizza was the
least of her worries when floor lights in Rec Hall suddenly blinked out at
exactly 11 p.m. The sports lights were on a timer everyone had forgotten about,
since no one expected the matches to run so long.
The nationally televised event was in an
uproar, as the lights had to cool down before they could turn back on again.
James explained how comical it was when a light turned on, because people in
that section would cheer.
"Two years later, completely different
facility, completely different committee member...we come in to do the walk
through of the facilities and the very first question out of her mouth is 'And
I'm supposed to ask about the lights? If they're on a timer in this building?'"
James said explaining it is now a joke to her and her fellow planners.
For James, the hard work and years of
planning pays off in many different ways. To her though, there was no question
of what the most rewarding part of the job is.
"I can tell you that, right off the top of my
head," James said. "Handing Penn State
the National Championship trophy in 2007 when we had Men's Gymnastics National
Championships, Penn State won - that was the most rewarding."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State will rest at home on the bye week, but
there are five games around the conference to keep you busy on Saturday.The list includes a pair of key
matchups for two of the top three teams in the conference.Let's take a look around the Big Ten.
Illinois at No. 11 Michigan State
- Noon - Big Ten Network
This has the potential to be a very intriguing matchup inside Spartan
Stadium.Michigan State (6-0, 2-0)
comes in off a commanding victory over archrival Michigan.Illinois (3-2, 1-1) heads into East
Lansing after a dominant performance against Penn State.Michigan State's defense is well suited
to defend the Illinois offensive scheme.Linebacker Greg Jones and the Spartan defense should have success
against the dynamic Illinois rushing attack.Look for MSU QB Kirk Cousins to find success in the passing
game.Nonetheless, the Illini
should keep things close in East Lansing.
Arkansas State at Indiana - Noon
Following a tough setback in Columbus, Indiana (3-2, 0-2) returns to
Bloomington on Saturday afternoon for a non-conference clash with Arkansas
State (2-4, 2-2).Arkansas State
fields a talented quarterback in Ryan Aplin.He has thrown for 1,574 yards and 10 touchdowns in the first
six games of 2010.Nonetheless,
look for Ben Chappell and the Hoosier passing attack to get back on track with
a big day through the air.Indiana
should take care of business at home.
Minnesota at Purdue - Noon -
Minnesota (1-5, 0-2) heads to Purdue (3-2, 0-1) in a matchup between two
teams headed down two very different paths.The Golden Gophers are in dire need of a victory to get
their season back on track, having lost five straight contests.Meanwhile, the Boilers tallied a strong
victory at Northwestern on Saturday night to open their season 1-0 in Big Ten
play. Freshman quarterback Rob
Henry and the Purdue offense should move the ball on the ground against a very
inconsistent Gopher defense.Both
teams will move the ball, but Purdue has a great deal of confidence.
The first of two marquee matchups in Big Ten country will take place in
The Big House.Iowa (4-1, 1-0)
needs a statement road victory on its resume to remain in the Big Ten title
race.Michigan (5-1, 1-1) needs a
win to get back on track after a lopsided loss to Michigan State.Iowa's defense will be the story in Ann
Arbor.This will be another stiff
test for Denard Robinson.Iowa's
defense is elite, and Robinson will have to work for Michigan's points.Watch for Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi to take
advantage of the Michigan secondary with his veteran receivers.All signs are pointing to a close
battle in Michigan Stadium, but the Iowa defense, which ranks No. 1 in scoring
defense and No. 2 in rushing defense in America, holds the key to this
No. 1 Ohio State at No. 16
Wisconsin - 7 p.m. - ESPN
The new No. 1 team in college football heads to one of the most hostile
environments in the Big Ten for a primetime clash.Ohio State (6-0, 2-0) heads to Camp Randall Stadium for its
biggest test of the 2010 season against Wisconsin (5-1, 1-1).The lone blemish on Wisconsin's resume
came at Michigan State.John Clay
and the Badger rushing attack must have a strong performance against the
talented Ohio State defense.If
the Badgers are unable to move the chains on the ground, it will be a long
evening at home.For the Buckeyes,
no one has stopped Terrelle Pryor and the explosive offense, which ranks No. 1
in the conference (43.2 points per game) in scoring.Pryor will continue to use weapons Dane Sanzenbacher and DeVier
Posey in the passing game.The
Buckeyes' balanced attack will give the Badgers all they can handle.It is going to take a perfect
performance from the Badgers to notch an upset, but the home team has the
personnel to make things interesting.Nonetheless, Ohio State is No. 1 for a reason.
By Kelsey Detweiler,
GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion women's
volleyball team did something this past weekend that it hasn't done since 2002:
lose two consecutive matches. Ninth-ranked Penn State suffered a 3-2 loss at
Purdue and a 3-1 setback at Indiana last weekend.
However, the Nittany Lions are happy to be home at Rec Hall this weekend,
hoping to keep alive their 88-match home winning streak in front of the Nittany
On Friday, the Nittany Lions take on No. 19 Minnesota in Rec Hall (7
p.m.). This match is a crucial one, as the Gophers are a Top 20 team boasting a
14-4 record overall with a 4-2 mark in Big Ten play.
Minnesota has put up impressive numbers thus far this season. Sophomore
outside-hitter Tabitha Love is averaging 3.83 kills per set followed closely
behind by freshman outside-hitter Ashley Wittman at 3.61 kills per set. Senior
middle-blocker Lauren Gibbemeyer has been dominant this season, posting 1.50
blocks per set and working with junior middle-blocker Ariana Filho (1.11 blocks
per set) to shut down their opponents' offense.
The Gophers are similar to the Nittany Lions, however, carrying a relatively
inexperienced and young team. Minnesota only has two seniors on its roster this
season, and there are eight players on the roster that are either freshmen or
sophomores. The three-time defending national champion Nittany Lions look to
capitalize and compete with the No. 19 Gophers, accordingly.
On Saturday, the Nittany Lions will move on to face the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes are 6-9 overall and 1-5 in conference play. Iowa has had a rough
start to the season, notching a 0-4 record against teams ranked in the Top 25.
The Hawkeyes have been swept by Iowa State, Michigan, Minnesota and
While the Nittany Lions have had four uncharacteristic losses this season, the
decorated roster is still putting up notable numbers. Penn State is currently
hitting .300 as a team with senior middle-hitter Blair Brown averaging a team
high 3.60 kills per set and freshman outside-hitter Deja McClendon posting 3.57
kills per set. Sophomore Kristin Carpenter has settled into her position as
setter, averaging 10.30 assists per set and guiding her team offensively.
Freshman middle-hitter Katie Slay has built an impressive 1.44 blocks
per set, followed by both senior middle hitters Arielle Wilson and Fatima Balza
averaging 1.28 blocks per set. Senior libero and defensive specialist Alyssa D'Errico
continues to play solid defense for the Nittany Lions as well, posting 3.89
digs per set.
The 13-4 Nittany Lions are a unique group of athletes of all ages and sizes.
While the veterans and All-Americans continue to mesh with the many fresh faces
and new starters, Penn State only looks keep improving.
Senior libero and defensive specialist Alyssa D'Errico was quick to
reassure onlookers that the Nittany Lions never say die. She said that this
year reminds her a lot of her first season on the Penn State roster.
"Me, Ari and Blair were all new to the lineup that year and we had veterans
coming back obviously and we lost two in the beginning of the season," said D'Errico.
"We got our butts kicked by Nebraska, which we got our butts kicked by Stanford
this year, and then we lost a close one to Stanford in five and we lost a close
one to Illinois in five this year, so it's very reminiscent of that year (2007)
Despite the tough losses that the Nittany Lions have faced, D'Errico is
confident that they have what it takes to win.
"I think it's just a matter of getting the freshman and the new people to
understand that one loss isn't the end of the line," said D'Errico. "We still
won a National Championship that year (2007) and we still have a lot of
potential to get back to where we want to be this year."
By Mark Wishnia, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Twelve goals in 12 games, and three Big Ten
Defensive Player of the Week honors in just under five weeks of play. That's
the story of sophomore forward Kelsey Amy and redshirt sophomore goalkeeper
The two young standouts have helped lead the Nittany Lion field hockey
squad to where they are right now: No. 11 in the NFHCA poll and No. 6 in the
A big part of the young goalkeeper's game, who got the starting nod before
the season began, has been her openness to learn, according to head coach
"Ayla from a defensive standpoint, she's just a great student of the game,
she studies the film, consistently works out with Annie [Zinkavich]," Morett
said. "She gives the defense confidence and I think her communication back
there has really helped our defense play much better as a unit."
Halus really knows how important that communication is. Winning Big Ten
Defensive Player of the Week three times is an individual award, but it
requires the whole team in order to achieve the honor.
"I think it was an all around good defensive game," Halus said. "I think my
defenders had some really key stops and saves and it made it a lot easier for
me to make some saves. But they made some as well so it wasn't just me."
It is hard sometimes to look at athletes and not think of them as
super-human. Halus has started in every game this season. Her energy level and
intensity is not achieved by magic. She stays upbeat just like the rest of the
human race. How does she do it?
"Naps," Halus said. "Twenty minute naps. Whatever I can grab here and there
and just making sure I get my school work done, and I can be successful at
practice, and I don't need to be up for ridiculous amounts of time."
The brilliant goaltending Halus has shown this year is a big part of several
victories. However, goals are a necessity. And Kelsey Amy has had no shortage
Amy had two goals in the win over No. 7 Michigan State, and four goals
against Monmouth prior to that. Amy also helped the field hockey squad defeat Iowa
with a goal in that game as well. She has scored seven goals in three games and
is averaging one goal per game this season. Keeping it simple is the key to
Kelsey's game according to Morett.
"Both Kelsey's goals [against Michigan State] were really simply executed,"
Morett said. "She just made a
simple move right and then and cranked the shot and that's what Kels[ey] does
best.We would like to see her do
more of that, just keep it simple, and get a great shot."
Amy attributes the success to ball control.
"Our passing has just been working really well and we're definitely just
using our speed to get down the field and catching defenses off guard," Amy
The stick work drills in practice have helped Amy with her ball control and
her confidence has grown because of it.
"We come out every day and do stick work so I definitely think that helps with
my ball handling," Amy said. "My confidence is growing so I think that
definitely helps with moving the ball."
Big players stem from good coaching. Both Halus and Amy attribute their
success this season to the Nittany Lion coaching staff. When they were asked how
much the coaching staff could be attributed to their success, neither player
had a hesitation.
"Everything," Amy said. "After every game there's stuff we need to work on
and they'll find the little things and they'll tweak them. It definitely helps
and it shows on the field."
Halus echoed the sentiment.
"I think tremendously," Halus said. "Annie is always on top of me making sure I
do my work and Char is always on top of me and making sure I am keeping myself
at the fittest I can be and playing to my potential."
The individual achievements are great accomplishments, but the team just
wants to keep on winning. The upset over Michigan State put the Nittany Lions
right where they want to be.
"I would just say that it was an outstanding effort on the road," Morett
said. "There was a strong team unity throughout the game that you could feel,
like me as a coach I could feel which was great to see. I felt that we really
used our speed to our advantage and some of the goals we had, we had 4 goals,
it was just awesome."
Kelsey Amy loves the feeling of beating a Big Ten rival.
"[The win over Michigan State] was really big," Amy said. "Everyone in the
Big Ten is a rival so it's always nice to get a win in the Big Ten and just
improve our record from last year. I mean last year we went 1-5 in the Big Ten.
It's just a step up from last year and we're definitely improving."
The Nittany Lions roll into Ohio State this weekend, a team they beat twice
last year. Amy explained with authority that it's a game Penn State must win.
"We beat them twice last year so anything less is pretty unacceptable," Amy
said. "So we definitely need to go out there and take it to them."
Game time is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday before the Nittany Lions return home
next Tuesday night to host Bucknell at 7 p.m.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The meticulous sounds of piano notes resonated
throughthe lobby of the Cedar
Rapids Marriott on the night before Penn State's clash with Iowa.
A full-time piano player was just one of numerous amenities the seven
story hotel had to offer its guests. On this night, though, a keen onlooker
joined the full-time musician as she played in the lobby.He even sat down to play a few notes
The guest musician was none other than Penn State quarterback Kevin
Newsome.The sophomore is a
talented piano player of 11 years.He spends a lot of his spare time playing the piano and producing
music.Newsome has even created a
fully functioning music studio in his room on campus, complete with acoustic foam on the walls.
Along with fellow Nittany Lions Mike Wallace and Quinn Barham, among
others, Newsome and the "band" produce music electronically.Newsome said the group occasionally
gets vocal help from receiver Curtis Drake.
It is a fascinating story to think members of the Nittany Lions having
such a love for producing music.We caught up with Newsome at his favorite piano on campus.McElwain Hall is the site of where
Newsome played the piano throughout his freshman year.He still calls the McElwain piano the
best sounding place to play the instrument on campus.Newsome said he produces most of the piano sections of the
group's songs in McElwain Hall.
Take a listen as Newsome plays the piano and talks about his love for
music in this video feature.
By Kyle G. Arslanian, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Akron Zips came into Jeffrey Field as the No.
1-ranked men's soccer team.Penn
State was determined to have their fair say about who was the better team
during the game.
The game lasted 106 minutes, and it ended with a 2-1 overtime victory for top-ranked
Akron.Even though the game ended
in a defeat for the Nittany Lions, the scoreboard did not tell the entire
story.Akron won in sudden death
overtime on a penalty kick in the 106 minute of play, but it took all 106
minutes for the Zips to gain the slightest of edges, but on Wednesday night
Penn State outplayed Akron.
Even though Penn State lost the game, they handled the best team in the country.The Nittany Lions pressed the Zips for
the entire game and outplayed them.
"We played them closer than anybody has in country in quite awhile," said head
coach Bob Warming. "I think we could have won the game."
The way Penn State played the game shows that they can play with the best in
the country and that they are serious contenders for the rest of the season.
"We'll be able to look back on this and extract the good points," said Brian
Forgue."I think we sent a very
clear message to the rest of the country; we are contenders and were not going
to back down. These guys, I'm not
sure if they thought we were going to back down but they weren't ready for a
game like that."
Penn State showed against Akron that they will be ready for big games in the
future and that their team is getting better every time they step onto the
field.The team stepped up in a
big game and proved they can win games against very good competition.
"It gives me a lot of hope for the future because J-Lee (Justin Lee) is out
after 60 minutes and we are missing our captain Cost (Drew Cost) who was out of
the lineup tonight," said head coach Bob Warming."Those are two important guys in the midfield and we played
against some of the best central midfielders in the country."
This game has given Penn state a good foundation to move forward and prove they
are one of the best teams in the country.By outplaying Akron, they feel very good about their game and are hungry
"We are going to take a lot of pros from this. It's always good to play a
really tough team because it makes you challenge yourself even more," said
captain Andres Casais. "We can
play with any team in the country we deserve to be a top 10, top 5 team. We just
need the results."
Corey Hertzog, who is the nation's leading scorer with 12 goals scored Penn
State's only goal and continues to play at an extremely high level.The Nittany Lions go as he goes,
Hertzog is the engine of the team and his play is a key reason Penn State was
able to play such a good game against Akron.When asked what this game meant and the message it sent,
Corey didn't hesitate.
"This says that if that's the number one team, we will be in the national
championship," said Hertzog.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Coach Paterno summed up the Penn State injury
situation with this statement during his weekly Big Ten conference call.
"This is probably the...in fact I was talking to our medical people who
have been with us for a long time and they said this is the worst (injury)
situation we've been in the 24 years that they've been here as the people who
are responsible for the medical situation of our players," Coach Paterno said.
Due to the high volume of injuries on the Nittany Lion roster, the Penn
State medical staff provided an update during the bye week.Safety Nick Sukay joined the list of
players out for the season earlier this week.Sukay will miss the rest of 2010 with a torn pectoral
suffered on the opening kickoff of Saturday's game.His recovery will be six months after surgery this
week.Here is the official Penn
State injury report from the medical staff this week.
Out for season:
T Lou Eliades (knee)
TE Garry Gilliam (knee)
Safety Nick Sukay (pectoral)
for minimum of two weeks:
WR Curtis Drake (leg)
DE Eric Latimore (wrist)
TE Andrew Szczerba (back)
for Minnesota game:
DE Jack Crawford (foot)
Safety Andrew Dailey (stinger)
LB Bani Gbadyu (calf)
DT Jordan Hill (ankle)
LB Gerald Hodges (leg)
LB Michael Mauti (ankle)
- Offensive Line - 1; Receiver - 1;
Secondary - 2; Tight End - 2; Linebacker - 3; Defensive Line - 3
News and Notes:
- Penn State returned to the practice field on Tuesday afternoon in
shells (helmets, shoulder pads and shorts).The Lions were off on Sunday and Monday.
- Penn State is 31-16 after bye weeks under Coach Paterno, including a
13-5 mark since 1994.
- Penn State's opponents have a combined 44-18 record this season (not
including games with the Nittany Lions).
- The Lions will next meet Minnesota on Oct. 23 at the new TCF Bank
Stadium in Minneapolis.The game
will air live on ESPNU at noon.Minnesota travels to Purdue this weekend.
Krissy Tribbett and Tani Costa share their thoughts about their first ever Big Ten awards presented to them on Monday. Also, they preview the Minnesota (10/15 at 7 p.m.) and Wisconsin (10/17 at Noon) matches.
By Kyle G. Arslanian, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's soccer team will face off
against the No. 1-ranked Akron Zips on Wednesday night at Jeffrey Field (7
p.m.).The Nittany Lions will
finish a three game home stand with Akron after defeating Villanova and
While junior striker Corey Hertzog, 11 goals and four assists, is making a
strong case to be considered one of the best collegiate players in the country;
during the home stand to this point, defense has been key to the Nittany Lions'
victories.Penn State's goalkeeper
Brendan Birmingham recorded his first shutout of the season versus Villanova
and after allowing an early goal against Michigan State, shut down the Spartans
in the second half with an aggressive style of defense.
The Nittany Lions' defensive unit has gotten a boost from senior Andy Parr.Parr was this week's Big Ten defensive
player of the week and has seen an increase in playing time during the home
"He's experienced, he knows how to play in big games and his experience has
really shown through," said Brian Forgue."The fact that he can step in and the level doesn't drop at all the last
four games and to earn an honor such as the big ten defensive play of the week
is incredible, it's what we need from him."
Penn State has several players that can play on the back line, and that
versatility gives head coach Bob Warming options when deciding on player
"We've got a deep back line; all of our defenders are really good," said Matt
Smallwood."Coach is looking to
find ways to use everyone best against good teams.We've got guys making sacrifices, that's what it's about."
The Nittany Lions came out more aggressively on defense in the second
half against Michigan State and that style of play could be integral in the
game against Akron.
"Coach told me he wanted me to attack second half because we were down one
nothing he told me to just go for it and we were able to get two goals and
celebrate the victory," said John Gallagher. "He put me at outside back he told
me to go forward. That's what I do best."
For a team that has great offensive talent in Corey Hertzog, Matheus Braga and
Makenzie Arment, it is easy to lose sight of the defense, even when the back
line's play is integral to putting pressure on the other team.
"We're not the only ones playing defense its starts up there, so if we have
pressure on them all over the field we should be able to cause some problems
for them," said Matt Smallwood."We are certainly going to be working on some defensive things to try
and beat them."
One thing is certain, the Nittany Lions will come ready to play.They will be facing a team that has
proven they are the No. 1 team in the nation, but has had problems when playing
in University Park.Penn State has
not lost to Akron on its home turf since 1988.
"The key is put a lot of pressure on them because we don't have anything to
lose, they are No. 1 in the nation," said John Gallagher."So we are going to try to stay
composed, play our game, put a lot pressure on them and hopefully get them off
their game so we can pull out a victory."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Under the direction of head coach Cael Sanderson,
the Nittany Lion wrestling team continues its preseason preparation for the
The Nittany Lions open their season with an intra-squad dual meet on
Nov. 4.The regular season
officially kicks off on Nov. 12 at Bloomsburg.The All-Sports Blog had an opportunity to stop by wrestling
practice earlier this week to speak with Coach Sanderson and members of the
squad as they prepare for the season ahead.Take a look.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - We are kicking off a new feature on
GoPSUsports.com.Each week, we
will sit down with a member of the Penn State women's volleyball coaching staff
to get a weekly update on the Nittany Lions.
We are kicking things off today with a conversation with head coach Russ
Rose.We stopped by his office on
Tuesday to get his thoughts on the Nittany Lions as they prepare for home matches
against Minnesota and Iowa. Ninth-ranked Penn State heads into the weekend with
a 13-4 overall mark and a 3-3 record in the Big Ten.
Here is this week's conversation with Coach Rose.
GoPSUsports.com: We are right around the mid-way point of the
season.How would you evaluate how
the team has played thus far when you look at the overall picture?
Coach Rose: "The
upside is that we beat the No. 1 team in the country (Florida).We lost to the other No. 1 team
(Stanford) when we were the No. 1 team in country.As of late, we are kind of struggling.We are still trying to find a lineup
and get a competitive identity that doesn't seem to as present on the road as
it needs to be in a conference like the Big Ten."
GoPSUsports.com: How difficult has it been meshing in the
volume of young players in with the veterans?
Coach Rose: "That is
the challenge.And that was the
challenge coming into the season.I'm not sure that I think we have done as good of a job getting
everybody on board as I would have liked.And I would have thought a couple of the older kids would have done a
little better at mentoring some of the youngsters.It has been more of a challenge in that area than I would
have thought.But I don't think it
something that is going to be a problem the entire season.At some point in time, we should return
to playing good volleyball.It may
not be in time to compete for the national championship, but it may.I don't know."
GoPSUsports.com: How would you evaluate what Deja McClendon
has done as a freshman this season?
Coach Rose: "Deja has
been a real pleasant surprise.We
knew coming in that she would be able to compete offensively.And she has had some really good
matches offensively.I thought she
competed really hard against Purdue.I thought she was our best attacker against Purdue.She had some struggles the next night
at Indiana.I am disappointed that
we have to depend so much on her.But I'm really pleased with how she has been battling through those
GoPSUsports.com: Looking ahead to this week, what type of
team does Minnesota have and what type of challenges will they present?
Coach Rose: "At the
beginning of the year, I thought Illinois and Minnesota would be the top two
teams competing for the championship.And that may still occur, but Northwestern has really come along and
caught everyone's attention.They
are similar to us in that they lost a player to injury at the beginning of the
season.Although they are very
strong, that injury may have prevented them from having an elite team and team
that can win the national championship.They are a real physical team.We will have some challenges with them.They have Tabitha Love, who may be the best attacker in the
conference - a 6-6 outside hitter from Canada.We have always had some struggles with Filho, the middle
(hitter).We are going to have to
play well if we are going to compete with these teams."
GoPSUsports.com: What would you like to see from your team
Coach Rose: "I would
like to see us bounce back.I
would like to play a little bit harder and have a sense of urgency about
certain rallies and certain points in the match.When you have some quiet individuals and some young
individuals, that's not a great mixture to play at the highest level."
GoPSUsports.com: When you look at the setter position, it is
a critical aspect of the offense. How do you feel like Kristin Carpenter has
performed this season?
Coach Rose: "I think
she plays hard.That is her
strength.She is a good kid and
she likes volleyball.In those areas,
I would say that she does what she does.I'm not sure even at this point in time that she understands what she
needs to do to make us a better volleyball team.But she plays hard and she was thrown into that situation
and I think she has competed pretty well with it.But there is a lot of growth that she needs to make in that
area to give us a chance to be better."
GoPSUsports.com: You touched on playing on the road, what can
you do as a coach to teach a young team how to play on the road. Or is that
something that the team just has to learn over time?
Coach Rose: "I think
you just learn it.I don't think
you can say anything different than what we are saying right now.You learn and that is how you learn to
play on the road.To me, you have
four or five seniors and those kids should be involved to make sure the culture
of the team and the preparation is good.They like to play and they are good kids, but they don't really
understand the importance of leadership and mentoring the younger people.And that shows up in some of the
GoPSUsports.com: Talk about the overall depth of the Big Ten
Coach Rose: "I think
the Big Ten is always a good conference.And maybe this year more so than other years because there aren't any
undefeated teams after three weeks of conference play.It just resonates how strong it really
is.It has always been a strong
conference.We've had great
success over the last three years with a team that has won the national
championship.So, we had great
success nationally, not just in the conference.There is great coaching in the conference.There is great support for women's
volleyball.The Big Ten usually
leads the nation in conference attendance.It is going to be a great race all year for all of the
GoPSUsports.com: Talk about what the donation from the Barrys
for the improvements to Rec Hall will bring to the building and the program.
Coach Rose: "It is
certainly, from an educational standpoint, it is going to be a great opportunity
for journalism and communications majors to practice their trade in a state of
the art facility.From a
volleyball standpoint, it is going to enable the Big Ten to pick up all of our
matches and show more of them on television.It is going to improve the room in which we are going to do
our match preparation.I think it
is great the Barrys are recognizing their great relationship with Penn State
and Steve Jones.I think Steve is
one of the shining stars of the 30 years I have been at Penn State.I think it is great that his name will
continue on long after he is done working here."
GoPSUsports.com: How much has the Big Ten Network changed the
exposure of the program over the past few seasons?
Coach Rose: "It has
really impacted college athletics.The expansion (Nebraska) that took place and the dollars that are
available through the Big Ten Network, which can attract a great institution
like Nebraska to leave its old affiliation - the Big 8 or the Big 12.It is probably going to go down in this
decade as one of the great things that has happened in the decade for the
contributions that it's made to expansion and so much women's sports on
television.I know that they made
a commitment to all of the member institutions, both male and female sports, so
I think it has been great."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The sound of basketballs pounding off the
hardwood resonated through the main gym of the Bryce Jordan Center on Monday
afternoon as the Penn State Lady Lions took center stage on 2010-'11 media day.
The season officially kicked off last Monday when the Lady Lions
officially opened practice.Optimism of a postseason run was in the air on Monday afternoon when
head coach Coquese Washington and the Lions met with the media. Here are some
sights and sounds from Lady Lion Media Day.
- Postseason Aspirations on the
Coach Washington made it clear during her 30-minute press conference in
the BJC Media Room that competing for a Big Ten title and a postseason berth
are at the top of the list of goals this winter.The Bryce Jordan Center will play host to the NCAA First and
Second Rounds in March, which is a pretty big incentive to get into the
tournament.Coach Washington said
that she wants the Lady Lions to take full advantage of hosting postseason
- Youthful, Energetic Squad
The 2010-'11 roster features 11 players, including eight freshmen or
sophomores.The Lady Lions will
have a big impact from the young talent on the roster.The 21st-ranked recruiting class comprised
of Maggie Lucas, Ariel Edwards and Talia East will play a big role in Penn
State's rotation this winter.One
look at Lucas' long distance jump shot illustrates what she will bring to the
table.She was a 3-point ace and a
McDonald's All-American in high school.Look for Lucas to be significant threat on the perimeter.
- Up-Tempo Basketball
Coach Washington labeled this squad as the most talented group of
athletes she has coached in her four seasons in Happy Valley on Monday.Penn State brings a great deal of
athleticism to the floor.Coach
Washington likes to play fast-paced, up-tempo basketball.And this winter, she has the personnel
to do so.It will be a fun team to
watch was the season wears on.Additionally, because the team is so versatile, look for a much more
aggressive approach with pressing and trapping on the defensive end of the
- Big Ten Favorites
With the bulk of its talent returning, defending Big Ten champion Ohio
State will again be the favorite to win the conference this winter.Nonetheless, Coach Washington listed
five other teams, including Penn State with the personnel to compete for a Big
Ten crown.Michigan State, Purdue
and Iowa all return the core talent of their teams.Look for those three teams to play a role in the conference
race this winter, as well.
- Media Day Video
We spent the afternoon talking to Coach Washington and some of the
players on camera.Check out some
video interviews from media day.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - For the first time in seven weeks, the Nittany
Lions will not begin game week preparations on Monday afternoon.Instead, Penn State opens its bye week,
and it could not be here at a better time.
The next seven days will give the Lions an opportunity to step back and
take a look at the bigger picture before preparing for their first trip to
Minnesota's new TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.Penn State heads into the week off with a 3-3 mark following
Saturday's setback to Illinois.
The Nittany Lions will regroup and get back to work on the practice
field this week to prepare for the second half of the season.Additionally, Penn State will use the
next two weeks to get healthy after an uncharacteristically large number of
injuries during the first half of the season.
The Lion defense has been hit the hardest by the injury bug, with 10
players on the two-deep rotation either inactive on Saturday, left the game or
played through an injury.Thinking
about Penn State's coaching staff filling upwards of nine holes on the defensive
depth chart due to injury during Saturday's clash with Illinois is remarkable.
Breaking down the injury report, here is listing of the injured players on
the Penn State defense:
DE Jack Crawford (foot)
LB Michael Mauti (ankle)
LB Bani Gbadyu (knee)
LB Gerald Hodges (leg)
DE Eric Latimore (hand)
DE Pete Massaro (leg)
DT Jordan Hill (ankle)
S Nick Sukay (shoulder)
S Andrew Dailey (stinger - shoulder/neck)
Not listed on the injury report is linebacker Chris Colasanti, who has
played the last two weeks with a broken right hand.Granted some of the injuries are less serious than others,
but playing through 10 injuries on the depth chart is a challenge, to say the
Some positive news on the injury front, talented sophomore wide receiver
Curtis Drake is inching closer to a return to the practice field after breaking
his leg during preseason camp.Also, Coach Paterno mentioned last week that linebacker Gerald Hodges,
who suffered a leg injury on the opening kickoff at Alabama, is getting closer
to returning to practice, as well.Things on the injury report should look much different by the time the
Nittany Lions kickoff at Minnesota on Oct. 23.
As for the mindset of the Lions, this is a critical two-week span for
the squad.The week off will
provide an opportunity to regroup and refocus for the final six weeks of the
season.The Lions must bring a
fiery attitude to Minnesota.They
have two weeks to dig a little deeper on the practice field to find a sense of
urgency before returning to action in Minneapolis.
The rest of the season begins today.
- The television plans for the Minnesota were announced on Monday.The Lions will take on the Golden
Gophers at noon on Oct. 23 with live TV coverage from ESPNU.It will be Penn State's first trip to
the new TCF Bank Stadium and the first visit to Minneapolis since 2006.The two teams will not meet in either
2011 or 2012.
- Despite playing with a broken hand during the past two weeks, linebacker
Chris Colasanti is leading the Big Ten in tackling at the midway point of the
season with 9.83 tackles per game.
By Kyle G. Arslanian, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It is funny how things work out in sports
sometimes.There are often quirks
in games that cannot be explained with any sort of certainty.The Penn State men's soccer squad was a
part of one of those moments Sunday afternoon at Jeffery Field in a 2-1 win
over Michigan State.
Trailing 1-0 after the first half, The Nittany Lions were looking for a spark
to get themselves going offensively.Matheus Braga provided that spark with his third goal of the season in
the 67th minute.Braga's goal was
a huge momentum swing for the Nittany Lions and paved the way for the victory.
"Matheus scoring that goal changed the entire complexion of this game," said striker
Corey Hertzog."Once he scored, it
picked everyone up and we just started going even more."
Braga has been in the middle of the team's offensive production throughout
the season, with 17 total points so far; he is the catalyst that makes the offense
go.His ability to get things
started for the Nittany Lions is not lost on his teammates.
"It's unbelievable how good he is, what he can do for the team and open
things up," said midfielder Matt Smallwood. "He gets us going, makes passes, he's
feisty and he brings us all up."
With the score leveled at 1-1, Braga set the stage for that quirky moment.Braga won a battle for the ball on the
end line and sent a cross into the box to No. 11, Corey Hertzog.Hertzog then deposited the ball into
the back of the net for his Big-Ten leading 11th goal.The assist was Braga's 11th of the
season.On Sunday afternoon,
eleven was Penn State's lucky number.Sometimes weird things like that just happen in sports and Braga's 11th
assist, on an 11th goal, scored by a player wearing No.11 was no different.
Corey Hertzog is putting together a special season, firing shots on goal at
will and scoring with ease.Through Sunday's game, Hertzog has 11 goals and 4 assists, good for 26
total points.Matheus Braga and
Corey Hertzog are turning into a dynamic duo on the field and Hertzog's scoring
is a direct result of it.
"We work a lot in practice, every practice we try do those through balls," said
Braga."Every time I see him run,
I think he's going to score, so I try to put the ball at his feet."
Corey's teammates know that when they need a goal, they can look to No.
11 to get the tally.His ability
to change a game in an instant is crucial to victory for Penn State.
"He can be on the sideline the whole game and not touch a thing and he can
change the game right around," said Smallwood."That was a brilliant goal."
One of the most important things is that while the team looks to Hertzog
to make things happen, he knows that is his role on the team.His one thought during the game is to
score to help his team win.The
pressure of being the 'go-to guy' is something that Hertzog thrives off of.
"I kind of get more excited knowing I could be the one to do that," said
Hertzog. "It's my job to put in the back of the net."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Saturday's 33-13 setback to Illinois (3-2, 1-1)
on a sun-splashed afternoon in Beaver Stadium will be a learning experience for
Penn State (3-3, 0-2) as it turns the page on the first half of the 2010
Give a lot of credit to head coach Ron Zook and the Fighting Illini for
a strong performance in Happy Valley, which led to Illinois' first victory in
seven visits to Beaver Stadium.
Like we do every week on the blog, we have singled out a pair of Nittany
Lions for their efforts on Saturday afternoon.This week, junior wide receiver Derek Moye and senior
linebacker Chris Colasanti are the Faces of the Illinois Game.
Beginning with Moye, the 6-5 wide out provided the offensive highlight
of the afternoon on a career-long 80-yard touchdown reception in the second
quarter.The Pittsburgh native
utilized his size against Illinois' one-on-one coverage.Moye made a slight adjustment on Rob
Bolden's ball, and then slipped free from the Illini defender on his way into
the north end zone.
"It was something that we kind of had thought they would give us," Moye
said. "The safeties were down and they we're covering me one-on-one on the
outside, and it was one-and-one, so Rob made a good throw and that was it."
Moye, who finished with 106 receiving yards on Saturday, said the Lions
are seeking to become more consistent on the offensive end of the field heading
into the second half of the season.
"We're working hard, we just have to continue to work hard and have to
have guys step up and be leaders and hopefully everything will work out for
us," Moye said.
On the defensive side of the ball, Colasanti was again the leader for
the Nittany Lions.For the second
straight week, the Michigan native battled through a hand injury for a strong
outing.Colasanti tallied a
career-high 18 tackles, despite competing with a broken bone on his right hand
against the Illini.
"Yeah I really feel that a lot of it I can contribute to the D-line,"
Colasanti said."You know them
closing gaps so I can come back side and make plays and I really feel that
without them I wouldn't have been able to make that many plays."
With 10 players on the defensive side of the ball battling injuries,
Colasanti continues to be a leader in the middle.The injury bug has played a significant role in the Nittany
Lion defense this fall.Nonetheless, Colasanti and the rest of the banged up Lion defense will
continue to work hard on the practice field leading up to the trip to
"Injury is a part of the game," Colasanti said."Guys just have to heal up, other guys
need to step up and that's just football."
The Nittany Lions have six weeks of football to play.It is time to get back to work on the
practice field leading into the bye week.
Stay tuned each week for the
"Faces of the Game" series following every game this fall.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome back to the live in-game coverage on the Football Blog.We are excited to bring you live coverage from Beaver Stadium for today's game.
10:02 a.m. - Good Morning from Beaver Stadium
Welcome back to Beaver Stadium for another picturesque weather day.The Nittany Lions have been greeted with ideal conditions for each of the four home games this fall.The Illinois team buses arrived earlier than usual this morning (shortly after 9:35).It is a big game for both teams.Keep an eye on the battle in the trenches.Penn State's offensive line is looking to take a step forward this afternoon.
11:44 - Good News on the Injury Front
Wide receiver Curtis Drake was on the field during warm-ups in street clothes, not participating in drills, but was moving around without any problems and was not wearing a visible brace on his knee. It looks the timetable for his return, which was reportedly set for the Minnesota game, remains on target. Linebacker Gerald Hodges was also on the field prior to the game in street clothes and was walking without restriction. It appears that his return to the line-up may also be imminent.
12:09 - Zook's Early Gamble Doesn't Pay Off
After Illinois head coach Ron Zook had his team go for it on 4th and inches from its own 29-yard line, the drive stalled near midfield, thanks in part to a couple of nice plays by linebacker Chris Colasanti. Adding insult to injury for Illinois, punter Anthony Santella's beautiful punt was muffed into the end zone when Ashante Williams attempted to down it at the one-yard line.
12:25 - New Starters on Defense
When the Penn State defense took the field for the first time versus Illinois, some new faces were in the line-up. Freshman linebacker Khairi Fortt made his first career start while redshirt junior defensive end started his first game of the year.
12:59 - Penn State Responds in a Big Way
One play after Illinois took a 14-3 lead on an interception return for a touchdown, Penn State responded with a big play of its own. Quarterback Rob Bolden connected with wide receiver Derek Moye on an 80-yard scoring pass play to get Penn State right back into the game. Both Bolden and Moye set career highs on the play.
1:45 - Colasanti Leads the Defense
Linebacker Chris Colasanti is having a big day on defense for Penn State, recording 10 tackles in the first half alone. His single game career best is 13.
2:30 - Colasanti With Career High
Chris Colasanti continues to lead the Nittany Lion defense.The senior has now made a career-high
18 tackles this afternoon.It is
the most since Dan Connor tallied 18 stops against Temple in 2007.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome back to the GoPSUsports.com Gameday Photo
Blog. It is Homecoming and the Big Ten opener for the Nittany Lions.Check back often for sights from today's
game with Illinois.
Another perfect day of weather in Beaver Stadium.
Rob Bolden stepping off the bus.
Coach Paterno heading into the stadium.
Heading into the stadium.
Rob Bolden heading onto the field.
The Big Ten Network pregame set.
Pregame warmups with the defensive backs.
The stretching lines.
Here come the Nittany Lions.
The defense lined up for the first play of the game.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State's week began with a players-only
meeting inside Lasch Building.It
will end on the finely manicured sod of Beaver Stadium during a crucial Big Ten
bout against Illinois (2-2, 0-1).
Penn State (3-2, 0-1) has been eager to get back on the field to face off
with the Fighting Illini in the 91st Homecoming game since its setback in
Iowa.Saturday's noon kick cannot
come soon enough as the Lions return home for the mid-way point of the 2010
A talented Illinois running attack will greet the Nittany Lion defense,
but the story lies with the Penn State offense.The Nittany Lions are averaging 19.2 points per game, and
the offense knows it needs to start putting more points on the board.Converting red zone visits into
touchdowns is at the top of the priority list, as well.
Saturday's noon kickoff is a critical game for Penn State's confidence
level heading into a bye week.Illinois has sour taste in its mouth after a tough home loss to Ohio
State last weekend.Neither team
can afford to drop another game.
Welcome to the Illinois Gameday Preview.
What to Watch For: Penn State
1.Penn State's red zone
offense has not yet reached its potential.The Lions have converted just 12 of 18 red zone visits into
points this season, which ranks 114th in the nation.Simply put, the Lions must start scoring touchdowns on trips
inside the 20.As the team has
said throughout the week, it comes down to execution.Penn State's rushing attack needs to be the catalyst in the
red zone on Saturday.And things
start up front in the trenches.Look for the Nittany Lion offense to begin clicking inside the red zone.
2.In addition to the red
zone offense, the emphasis throughout the week has been finding a way to get
off to a fast start.Penn State's
defense has been dominant in the second half this season, but slow starts have
made things difficult for the Lions on both sides of the ball.Coming out of the gate with
aggressiveness is crucial against Illinois.A quick start from Rob Bolden and the Lion offense, in
addition to the defense is something to keep an eye on.Putting a touchdown or two on the board
in the first quarter would go a long way for the team's confidence level.
3.Coach Paterno hit the
nail on the head at his Tuesday press conference when he stated that the Lions
need to just start making a few big plays.Penn State is a talented team on both sides of the ball.The firepower in the skill spots on
offense has the ability to put points on the board early and often.The same is true for the defense.Penn State has the personnel to make big
plays, but they have largely been missing thus far in 2010.Nonetheless, the law of averages says
that the big plays will start coming.Penn State is on the cusp of making big things happen (on both sides of
the ball).Keep an eye on the
What to Watch For: Illinois
1.The Illinois scouting
report begins with the rushing attack.Junior Mikel Leshoure ranks second in the Big Ten and 13th in the NCAA
in rushing yards (119.5 ypg).Additionally, keep an eye on dual-threat quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase.
Scheelhaase is much more dangerous with his feet than his arm.Leshoure is an elite back with good
size and speed. Illinois must get its ground game going against the Nittany
Lions.Moving the chains with the
running game is critical for Illinois, as is avoiding third and long
2.Keep a close eye on
Illinois middle linebacker Martez Wilson.The 6-4, 250-pound junior is the leader of an improved Illini
defense.Wilson leads the team in
tackling with 34 stops thus far in 2010.The Fighting Illini's overall defensive scheme is vastly improved from last
season.Illinois wants to put
pressure on Bolden in the passing game, but the interesting battle to watch is
how the Illini front deals with the Penn State offensive line.If Penn State finds success on the
ground, it will give Bolden opportunities to make plays in the passing game.
3. Coming off last week's tough loss to Ohio State, it will be
interesting to see how the Fighting Illini respond in Happy Valley. Illinois
has never won in Beaver Stadium (0-6), but this is a critical game for Coach
Zook and the Illini.Zook labeled
today's game as a "must have" for his squad.Keep an eye on Illinois' energy level from the opening
snap.We expect it to be a
determined effort by the group in orange helmets.
Breaking Down the Injuries:
Penn State - Possible:
Jordan Hill (ankle) Doubtful: Brandon Beachum (knee) OUT: Curtis Drake (leg),
Lou Eliades (knee), Gary Gilliam (knee) Gerald Hodges (leg), Andrew Szczerba
Illinois - No
published injury report
Kickoff: 12:01 p.m.
TV: ESPN2, Bob Wischusen (Play-by-play), Brian Griese (Analyst)
Radio: Penn State Sports Network, Steve Jones (play-by-play), Jack Ham (color)
Stadium: Beaver Stadium (107,282), Grass
Coaches: Joe Paterno - 45th year - 397-131-3 overall record
Ron Zook - 6th year at Illinois (9th overall) - 23-41 (46-55 overall)
The Series: Penn State leads 14-3
The Final Word:
Penn State is 12-1 in games after a loss since the start of the 2005
season (13-1 if you include the season opener in 2009).The Nittany Lions understand the
importance of Saturday's Homecoming clash with Illinois.Heading into the bye week with a
victory would be a significant confidence boost for the youthful Nittany
Lions.Nonetheless, Penn State
faces an improved Illinois squad with a prolific rushing attack.Forcing Scheelhaase into third and long
passing situations will take Illinois' offense out of its rhythm.The Nittany Lion defense is poised for
a strong 60-minute outing.The
offense is long overdue for a breakout performance.Bolden will take another step forward in leading the Nittany
Lions, as will the offensive line.But the final word for this week, though: Penn State needs to be
aggressive on both sides of the ball from the opening snap to the final
whistle.Tune in for another
critical game for the Nittany Lions.
Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The No. 4 Nittany Lion women's volleyball team has had an interesting season
thus far. With a team stacked full of All-American veterans and talented freshmen,
Penn State has had to readjust its style of play and really focus on the basic
building blocks of playing volleyball. Besides moving the ball around and
drilling it over the net for offensive kills, the Nittany Lions have also
recognized the importance of something else: defense.
The Nittany Lions have become more focused and determined to improve their play
on the defensive end of the game, in order to make up for their losses in
standout players Megan Hodge, Alisha Glass and Kelsey Ream. This year, the team
has spent a lot of time fine-tuning its reception and blocking defenses.
Senior Arielle Wilson
said that the team is doing more than just one thing to change the style of
"We really have been working on our defense and trying to get the back row
people to create tunnels so that the ball comes to them easily," said Wilson.
"The blocking has been helping our movements to close the block and take away
certain areas and just working on penetrating kills over the net."
The 6-3 middle hitter is one of the most trusted blockers for the Nittany
Lions. She is currently posting 1.33 blocks per set of for the 2010 season, and
she had a season high of 9 blocks in the team's match against St. John's.
Wilson said that a key block is just as effective and important as a big kill
because it alters the way an opponent plays.
"Well blocking has, in a sense, that it makes somebody want to change their
shot," said Wilson. "So if they have one shot we try to take that away with
blocking so that they have to hit another shot. Another thing is, if we know
exactly where the ball is going than we probably will block so that we get a
point off the block and that creates offense."
When Wilson gets ready
to capitalize on a blocking opportunity, there are a few things that she makes
sure to do.
"I just make sure to watch the hitter's hand and line up with the hitter's arm
and make sure I'm getting over the net." It's as simple as that.
The Nittany Lions have
also relied heavily on the triple block as a main source of defense this
season. With three people contributing to one block, the team has had more
success in stopping its opponents from scoring.
"The triple block works because essentially we're taking up a bigger area, than
just with two people," said Wilson. "Basically, I think it's more effective
just because it's more than a two person block."
Senior middle hitter Fatima Balza also agrees that the triple block is
something that Penn State can use to its advantage.
"It's very, very effective," said Balza. "When we use a triple block the
opponent has nowhere to go. Every time we triple block we know it has to be a
good block, and that's why we triple block. If we're going to do a triple block
it's because we're sure that we're going to get the ball that we want to
Penn State currently
rosters three middle hitters who are averaging at least 1.30 blocks per set,
including Wilson (1.33bps), Balza (1.37bps) and freshman Katie Slay (1.48bps).
Their attention to detail on defense and continuing progress with blocking has
allowed the Nittany Lions to come up big in defensive play.
With a 13-2 record
overall and a 3-1 Big Ten record, No. 4 Penn State continues make strides on
the floor.Senior libero and defensive specialist Alyssa D'Errico said
that the young talent on the team is learning what it means to play volleyball
at the collegiate level.
"I think the difference is that we have a lot of young people that don't
necessarily understand the difference between high school and college, of which
college you have to focus more on the other team and what they're doing and how
to stop them," said D'Errico. "Now it comes down more to scouting and preparing
and understanding what's going on in the game and how to defend it so, we're
definitely starting to understand it more and people are starting to get the
scouting reports and figure out how to read them and adjust. "
As a true veteran of
the team, D'Errico has seen it all. Traveling to Purdue and Indiana this
weekend, D'Errico expects nothing less than what the Nittany Lions are used to
seeing from their opponents.
"Purdue and Indiana are hard places to play - both small gyms with big crowds
and student sections that, especially at Purdue, are all over you screaming
from beginning to end," said D'Errico. "The Big Ten is just so fun to play in.
Everywhere you go you draw a big crowd, especially with us."
The Nittany Lions continue
to work on their defense play, blocking and compatibility as a new team. This
group of athletes is one that showcases many new and old talents, but always
rises to the occasion of a challenge. D'Errico said that Penn State is a team
that opponents see as an ultimate threat.
"People want to beat us," said D'Errico. "It's going to be tough but it's a
challenge that we're looking forward to facing."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Four teams remain unbeaten heading into the second
week of conference games in the Big Ten.Let's take a look around the week six matchups in the Big Ten.
Indiana at No. 2 Ohio State -
Noon - ESPN
The Hoosiers are coming off a tough home loss to Michigan.Ohio State (5-0, 1-0) enters the game
following a closer than anticipated battle with Illinois.Both teams are seeking a victory, but the
second-ranked Buckeyes are tough to beat at home.Indiana (3-1, 0-1) quarterback Ben Chappell and the talented
Hoosier receivers will tally yardage against the Buckeye defense, but scoring
touchdowns is critical for IU.Nonetheless, Ohio State's offense (even with Terrelle Pryor not at 100
percent) will visit the end zone often against the inconsistent Hoosier
Minnesota at No. 20 Wisconsin -
Noon - Big Ten Network
Both teams suffered disappointing losses last week.Minnesota (1-4, 0-1) desperately needs
a victory after a tough start to the 2010 season, but Camp Randall Stadium is a
difficult place to play.Look for
a big afternoon from John Clay and James White in the Badger running
attack.Minnesota QB Adam Weber is
poised for another big game, but the Wisconsin (4-1. 0-1) offense should do its
part to help the Badgers keep Paul Bunyan's Axe for another season.
No. 17 Michigan State at No. 18
Michigan - 3:30 p.m. - ABC (regional); ESPN (outer market)
The Big Ten game of the day will be in Ann Arbor, as two unbeatens and
bitter rivals clash inside Michigan Stadium.Michigan (5-0, 1-0) quarterback Denard Robinson has been
virtually unstoppable in the first five weeks of the season.Nonetheless, Michigan State (5-0, 1-0)
will field the most talented defense Robinson and the Wolverines have faced all
season.On the other side of the
ball, Spartan quarterback Kirk Cousins should have his way with the Wolverine
secondary.It is shaping up to be
a high scoring shootout in the Big House on Saturday afternoon.
Purdue at Northwestern - 7:30
p.m. - Big Ten Network
Led by one of the nation's top passers in the first five weeks of the
season, Northwestern (5-0, 1-0) stands one victory away from being bowl eligible.Dan Persa and the Wildcat passing
attack will give the Boilers all they can handle in Evanston on Saturday.Without Robert Marve (ACL) in the
lineup, Purdue (2-2, 0-0) will be led by freshman Rob Henry.Purdue will put points on the board,
but Northwestern's offense should be the difference maker under the lights on
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - His sign hanging from the railing in front of the
Penn State student section on gameday reads, "What can Brown do for you?"
To answer that question, through five games, Justin Brown has already
more than doubled his receiving output from 2009, and the 2010 season is not
yet half old. The sophomore wide out has evolved into a consistent threat in
the Penn State passing attack.
The Delaware native heads into the Illinois game with 13 receptions for
190 yards, including a team-high 14.6 yards per reception average.Brown's 6-3, 216-pound frame has been a
reliable target for freshman QB Rob Bolden throughout the 2010 season.Brown has tallied eight receptions in the
past two games, including a career-high 84-yard outing against Temple.
"I feel like the receivers are doing a good job," Brown said."I am not going to say we are perfect,
but we are doing a good job."
As the season reaches the mid-way point on Saturday, Brown still feels
like we haven't seen the best of the Nittany Lion offense this fall.
"We haven't shown our full potential as an offense yet this season,"
said Brown, who also serves as Penn State's primary punt returner."But we have a lot of games left on the
schedule to prove how good we are.We are young, but are a good team."
The Delaware native expressed the magnitude of Saturday's game on a
conference call earlier this week.Brown wants to see the Nittany Lion offense to begin capitalizing on red
zone opportunities and avoid timely dropped passes to help Penn State's true
freshman signal caller.
"If it hits your hands, you have to catch it," Brown said.
He was instrumental in the Lions' game-clinching 96-yard touchdown drive
to knock off Temple. Brown's role in the passing game will continue to evolve
into bigger things as the season wears on.Brown brings superb size and the skill set of a possession
receiver to the lineup, but possesses the speed to turn a short gain into a
touchdown.He is still searching
for his first career touchdown, but it just a matter of time before the sophomore
jets into the end zone.
Coming off a pair of strong outings, the Wilmington, Del., product is
focused on a crucial game for the Nittany Lions.Look for No. 19 to continue playing a big role in the
Nittany Lion offense.
"This is a big game for us," Brown said."It is homecoming.We are playing at home.It
is a big game for them (Illinois), too, after Ohio State."
By Kyle G. Arslanian, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - On a rain-soaked night in Happy Valley, Penn State redshirt
freshman keeper Brendan Birmingham stepped onto the soggy Jeffery Field pitch
for his second start of the season. Coupled with a strong outing from the
defense, Birmingham recorded his first shutout to lead the men's soccer team to
a 1-0 victory over Villanova.
Birmingham was aggressive all night, something that has become a key part of
his game early on in the season.By playing the ball, Birmingham helps to shorten the field for the Lion
defense, an aspect of his game that Coach Warming wants to see more of.
"I absolutely like it, I like it a lot," said Warming."Particularly tonight, when the grass
is so slick, it was very hard to play ball behind them, so when we did the ball
skipped through and he was able to clean some of them up for us."
Shutouts are almost always a team accomplishment.The Nittany Lions are known for their
firepower, but this game turned more defensive once they realized they needed
to focus on keeping the Wildcats from scoring.
"It was mid second half that we realized that really need needed to buckle down
and get a shutout," said team captain Drew Cost."It (the shutout) was huge, he (Brendan) made three or four great
saves, he commanded the defense well, all the credit to him for the shutout, he
Birmingham's shutout is certainly something to be proud of, and the entire team
is happy when there is a zero on the scoreboard after 90 minutes of play.
"As a back four that's incredible, it's what we look for," said Brian
Forgue."To come out and get a
shutout on our home field it feels great it really gives the back four and the
whole team a big boost."
Birmingham made three saves on three shots on goal from Villanova.The Penn State defense protected him
well all night, but he stepped up his game when he needed to.In the end, Brendan was all smiles
after blanking the Wildcats.
"It feels really good, as a keeper it's always great not to let up any goals,
its fantastic," said Birmingham. "That's the only way I can put it, it's
In his second game, Birmingham had more confidence and was able to play
his aggressive style.That style,
not only leads to good performances in net but helps the rest of the team keep
up the attack.
"Coach and I have been working on it (being aggressive) if that ball gets
played in behind them (the defense) I'm there to clean it up," said
Birmingham."It takes pressure off
them, and we can play it from there."
Despite the heavy rain keeping the keeping the crowd down, the weather did not
deter arguably the two most important people in the seats from watching
Birmingham record his shutout; his parents.After the game, he ran over to shake hands with someone in
"That was my dad, they come to most of the games," said Birmingham."It's always great he's there, my mom
is a nervous wreck, but that's the life of the parents of a goalkeeper."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State heads into its Big Ten home opener
against Illinois looking build some momentum before traveling to Minnesota
following the bye week.
We caught up with a pair of Nittany Lions inside the Lasch Football
Building this week to discuss a variety of things leading up to Saturday's noon
kickoff in Beaver Stadium.Cornerback Stephon Morris spoke about the Illinois offense
yesterday.Moving to the offensive
side of the ball today, we spent some time with senior offensive guard Stefen
Wisniewski to get his thoughts on the Illini defense.
Wisniewski has been a vocal leader for the Nittany Lion offense this
week.He is a distinguished member
of the squad, on and off the field of play.Take a look at the video scouting report for his thoughts on
the offensive line's preparation for Illinois.
Stay tuned for much more coverage
leading up to Saturday's clash with Illinois.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State heads into its Big Ten home opener against
Illinois looking build some momentum before the bye week.
We caught up with a pair of Nittany Lions inside the Lasch Football
Building this week to discuss a variety of things leading up to Saturday's noon
kickoff in Beaver Stadium.First
up is sophomore cornerback Stephon Morris.Morris has made 20 tackles thus far in 2010.He and the Nittany Lion defense head
into the Illinois game looking to get off to a fast start from the opening
Morris will be competing against a member of his family on Saturday
cornerback Travon Bellamy and Morris are cousins.Bellamy missed the Penn State game last year due to injury,
but the two will both be in the starting lineup on the same field on
Saturday.While they both fill the
same position on the depth chart, Morris said the two will go head-to-head on
punt coverage situations.
Take a look at what else Morris had to say about Saturday's big game
Stay tuned for another video
scouting report tomorrow from Nittany Lion offensive guard Stefen Wisniewski.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State's first day of preparations for
Saturday's game was a little different than a usual on Monday afternoon.
The team holds daily positional breakdown meetings at 2:45 prior to
heading onto the practice fields.On Monday, though, the team gathered at 2:30 for a special players'
meeting inside Lasch Building before heading into breakdowns.
The squad congregated to renew focus for Saturday's Homecoming clash
with Illinois.The Iowa setback is
in the rearview mirror.The
Nittany Lions have seven games to play.With the rigorous nature of the Big Ten this fall, the conference
champion could likely have one loss in 2010.
That being said, the Nittany Lions have a lot of football yet to play,
and the team met on Monday to reaffirm the goal of competing for a top spot in
the Big Ten this fall.The end
result of Monday's meeting was a determined mentality heading into the week of
preparation for the Illini. Things got off to a very good start on the practice
field on Monday afternoon.
Coach Paterno met with the media on Tuesday afternoon in Beaver Stadium
to discuss his thoughts on the team leading up to Saturday's game.
"We've got to make some plays," Coach Paterno said."That's the biggest problem we have
right now.We can't make some
plays.So I'm not talking
about ‑‑ we had a couple of shots at a couple of passes that were thrown
that would have been tough catches (at Iowa), but they could have been
caught.Just a couple of tough
games we haven't come up with some plays.Fumbles.We don't get
enough good turnovers, those kinds of things."
It is a big game for both Penn State and Illinois.Fighting Illini head coach Ron Zook
called it a "must have" game on Tuesday.While Coach Paterno did not use those terms, there is no doubt
Saturday's contest is critical for the Nittany Lions.
"Obviously we're in a situation where
we need to go out and play well," Coach Paterno said."Winning is, yeah, certainly very, very high on our
priorities.But I don't think it's
a 'must' game in the sense that we need to win it or else."
Penn State needs to find a swagger that has been missing thus far in
2010.The Lion defense has played exceptionally
well in the second half of the past two games, but playing for 60 minutes is
what will take the Lions to the next level.It starts with the intensity level and playing with
With the Big Ten home opener looming on the horizon, this week is an ideal
time to find another gear.The
squad has turned the page on the Iowa game.Eight weeks of football (seven games) remain on the
schedule.The rest of the season
begins on Saturday when a talented Illinois squad rolls into town.
A big week for the Nittany Lions has gotten off to a strong start.
Stay tuned for much more coverage
leading up to Saturday's clash with Illinois.
Press Conference Nuggets:
- Coach Paterno spoke about the team's injury report on Tuesday
afternoon.Wide receiver Curtis
Drake (leg) is beginning to get close to a return to the field.It will not be this week, but Coach
Paterno said that he is getting closer to returning.Defensive lineman Jordan Hill (ankle) is likely to return to
practice on Wednesday after spraining his ankle on Saturday.Gerald Hodges (leg) began jogging on
the practice field on Monday.Coach Paterno said that Hodges is targeting a return to practice in the
next couple weeks.Tight end
Andrew Szczerba also began jogging on Monday, his first activity this season on
the practice field.
- Coach Paterno on the Linebackers
"I think the linebackers have played
good football; not great football.Yet, there's a lot of things that they're a little bit hesitant about,
because of some of the things we've seen.But I think we're doing okay.And I think we're getting better."
- Saturday's game will air live on
ESPN2 at noon with Bob Wischusen and Brian Griese calling the action.
By Kaitlyn Knopp, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Surrounded
by posters of female volleyball players in the Recreation Building, wearing her
Penn State volleyball shirt, Fatima Balza seems right at home.
Except her real home is in Merida, Venezuela, a place that Balza says is very
different from her new home here at Penn State.
"In Venezuela It is always warm," Balza said. "We don't have the four seasons
like we have here, we only have two seasons - summer and winter."
Balza, who has been at Penn State for two years, came to the United States four
years ago to attend a community college in Nebraska where she learned to speak
English - a prerequisite to play Division I sports. Once she completed her
studies there she came to Penn State where she was shocked by the differences
in sporting styles.
"So the first time I came here to the United States, and I saw my little
community college, I saw they have two, three volleyball courts and I was like
oh my god this is awesome! Two or more courts oh my god we can do so many
things," Balza said.
Standing at 6-feet-3-inches tall, Balza was then recruited to the Penn State
women's volleyball team. As a Penn State student she is majoring in Communications
Arts and Sciences, besides her position as middle hitter for the Nittany Lions.
She says the coaches watched her play at her college in Nebraska then asked her
old team's coach for a tape, which led to her being recruited.
Of the things that Balza says she misses most from Venezuela, family and food top
"Here it is more like fast food, like you get a hotdog, hamburger, cheeseburger
whatever thing that you just eat on the way and that's it - in Venezuela it's
more like you make your own meal and you eat more rice, more beans," Balza said.
Adjusting to the American diet was not the only difficult thing Balza said she
changed her life around. She explained how on her last trip home, which was
over Christmas break for three weeks after the women's volleyball team won the
2009 national championship, she realized how much of an impact American
scheduling has made on her.
"Here everything is so organized; in Venezuela it is not like that," Balza
said. "Like here I was so surprised when people were like okay the schedule for
today is like this and this and they have it all organized by time."
When Balza first arrived, she also described how she felt when she realized she
was the only foreign person on the team. Her team welcomed her very quickly, including
her in what was her first Thanksgiving dinner.Adjusting to American customs is always a challenge, though.
"In Venezuela we like I just met you I'm going to say hi my name is Fatima, I'm
going to kiss you and I'm going to hug you even if it was the first time I see
you in my life," Balza said. She joked that she realized she had to change this
when she hugged and kissed a girl who was extremely shocked by the behavior.
Balza said as of now she has no plans for after college, but she thinks that
the women's volleyball team has a good year ahead of them.The Nittany Lions are off to a strong
start to the 2010 season.
"Volleyball is going well, very good, we have talent," Balza said. "We just
have to work together, that's what we need."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State returned to the practice field on
Monday afternoon in preparation for Saturday's 91st homecoming game against
Illinois.Here are some of this
week's storylines as the Lions prepare for the Illini.
- Gilliam Out with Knee Injury
The Penn State tight end stable is now down two players after freshman
Garry Gilliam suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in Iowa on Saturday
night.Junior Andrew Szczerba has missed
the first five games and all of preseason camp with a back injury, and is
likely to be out the rest of the season.Penn State will be relying on true freshman Kevin Haplea in the starting
Brackett will continue to play the role of a tight end in the passing game.
- Wagner Leading the Nation in
Field Goals Made
Collin Wagner spoke about his increased accuracy and leg strength
throughout the offseason, and it has showed on the field this fall.The junior place kicker has now made 13
field goals in 2010, more than any other kicker in America.He is 11-of-13 on the season, including
a 5-of-6 mark on kicks longer than 40 yards.
- Nittany Lions Leading the
Nation in Fewest Penalties
Penn State continues to lead the nation in fewest penalties per game
(3.0) and fewest penalty yards per game (18.00) this week.
- Illinois Running Game
The Fighting Illini come into Happy Valley with some confidence after
going toe-to-toe with second-ranked Ohio State on Saturday.Illini running back Mikel LeShoure
ranks second in the Big Ten in rushing with 119.5 yards per game.Slowing down LeShoure and the Illinois
running attack is critical this week. As a team, Illinois is averaging 201.5
yards per game.However, Illinois
ranks 11th in the conference in total offense (332.0 ypg).Illinois is 0-6 in games at Beaver
- Nittany Lions Bouncing Back
Penn State is 12-1 in its next game after a loss since the start
of the 2005 season.
Stay tuned for much
more this week as the Lions prepare for Illinois.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions (3-2) returned home late on
Saturday night looking forward to getting back on the practice fields after a
24-3 setback to Iowa (4-1).
A stingy Iowa defense held Penn State out of the end zone on a crisp
night inside Kinnick Stadium.As
we do every week, the Blog has singled out two Nittany Lions as this week's
Faces of the Game.
Let's begin with Brett Brackett, the first of two seniors in this week's
feature.Brackett tallied two
receptions for 63 yards on Saturday night, including a 49-yard catch just prior
to halftime.After the game, the
co-captain spoke about looking for more consistency out of the Nittany Lion
"I think we've made good progress over the first five weeks, but we are
still doing some things that we shouldn't be doing," Brackett said."We just need to go back and correct
ourselves and try to grow from it."