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VIDEO: Men's Hoops Preseason - Brandon Taylor

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Senior forward Brandon Taylor sits down with GoPSUsports.com to talk about the 2015-'16 season in this one-on-one interview from media day.

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VIDEO: Ohio State Week Player Q&As

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - GoPSUsports.com talks with offensive lineman Andrew Nelson and linebacker Jason Cabinda during Ohio State week.

Andrew Nelson

Jason Cabinda

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2015 Tuesday Press Conference Roundup - Ohio State Week

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CRNiv0uWwAAT3PY.jpgVIDEO: Ohio State Week Player Q&A | Transcripts - James Franklin | Players

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach James Franklin spent time with the media on Tuesday to preview Penn State's trip to No. 1 Ohio State.

The Nittany Lions (5-1, 2-0) and Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0) will meet in a primetime matchup (8 p.m. on ABC) inside Ohio Stadium on Saturday. Franklin reviewed Penn State's 29-7 win over Indiana and looked ahead to the first Big Ten road game on the schedule.

Behind another dominant effort from the Nittany Lion defense, Penn State reached the mid-point of the 2015 season with its fifth-straight victory. The Lions are one of only 28 teams in the country with five or more wins. Additionally, the Nittany Lions are now 2-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since 2012. With all that in mind, Coach Franklin pointed to one thing as a crucial part of the team's success.

"I think a statistic that really has a big impact in those things so far is we're eighth in the country in turnover margin," Franklin said. "We preach that all the time, the importance of that statistic. I think that's been huge in our development and our opportunities to be successful."

The Nittany Lion offense is No. 6 in the country in fewest turnovers committed. Penn State has lost just four turnovers through the first six weeks of the season. The turnover battle will again be at the forefront when the Nittany Lions face their toughest test of the season on the road against the No. 1 Buckeyes.

"I think we'll learn a lot this week," said Franklin. "We'll learn a lot Saturday. I think we're resilient. I think we're resilient. I think we have found ways to be successful each week, different ways of doing it. We're getting better, like every team in the country. You're finding ways to hide some of your deficiencies or weaknesses and play to your strengths, and we're doing a better job of that each week."

In a hostile environment, Penn State is preparing for a stiff test under the lights on Saturday, but Coach Franklin sees the challenge as a great opportunity.

"I think every day we're getting closer as a team," said Franklin. "We're getting a better understanding of how to work together and how to complement one another, but Saturday will obviously be a real challenge. The way we look at it is a tremendous opportunity."

Communication will be a point of emphasis throughout the week as the team preps for a noisy environment at The Horseshoe. Ensuring that everyone is on the same page before each snap is paramount every week, but it's magnified when playing a team like Ohio State on the road.

"It'll be a hostile environment Saturday night. Communication is everything," said Franklin. "...It's the defense being able to communicate. If you get into these offenses and they're look-look offenses, which means they get up to the line of scrimmage, they use a false cadence, they look to the sideline, they've seen what kind of defense you're in."

There's a general excitement level around the Lasch Football Building about preparing for this week's trip to Ohio State. The Nittany Lions are embracing the opportunity to play against the No. 1 team in the nation. A Penn State team has only played a No. 1 team just five times in the past 25 years.

"It's awesome. It's a unique challenge," said linebacker Jason Cabinda. "That's why we came here, to be in big games against the No. 1 team in the nation. I think it's a unique challenge. It's something we're very excited about. It's going to be a great environment over there, and it's something we're going to be able to overcome and be 1-0 this week, and that's what we're going to do. We're going to prepare this week as hard as we can so we can be 1-0 at the end of the week."

The Nittany Lions will practice in pads on Tuesday and Wednesday before the final game week session on Thursday. Penn State will travel to Columbus on Friday. Saturday's game will kick at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Press Conference Notes:
- Coach Franklin announced that Christian Hackenberg (Offense), Austin Johnson and Carl Nassib (Defense) and Jordan Dudas (Special Teams) were the internal players of the week following the victory over Indiana.

- Chance Sorrell is the lone Nittany Lion on the roster from the state of Ohio. Coach Franklin mentioned that fact during the press conference as he discussed the importance of recruiting.

"If you look back historically at Penn State, we've had some great players from the state of Ohio, so that's something that we're obviously looking at and want to do a better job there. It's an area that we would consider in our footprint, and like I said earlier, there's been a lot of good players coming from the state of Ohio who've had great careers at Penn State. We want to make sure that we're continuing to do a good job there."

- Coach Franklin on limiting Ohio State's big-play opportunities:

"You look at Ohio State, a lot of their scoring in the second half are big plays. Their tailback, it seems like every game he has two or three runs of 60 yards or more. So being able to stop the big plays if something is really important - I think you guys remember last year going into the Indiana game, their running back had rushed for over 100 yards 10 straight games, had big runs, and we were able to help there. That's something our defense has done a good job. We put a huge priority on it every single week, creating big plays with our offense, stopping big plays with our defense, and that's going to be really important this week because they are fast. They are fast at wide out. They are fast at running back. They are big and physical on the offensive line."


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Gene Wettstone and Gymnastics Success Recognized in Facility Upgrades

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IMG_5617.JPGBy Anita Nham, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - "Throughout his 36 year coaching tenure, Gene Wettstone achieved an unmatched level of success. His dedication to his student-athletes, Penn State, and the sport of gymnastics established him as a pillar among his peers. In honor of his outstanding contributions as coach, mentor, and friend, this facility proudly bears his name."

Those are the words engraved in the gymnastics practice facility located inside the White Building, now named the 'Gene Wettstone Gymnastics Complex,' to honor the history of Wettstone and both the men's and women's gymnastics programs.

Wettstone was a legendary Penn State men's gymnastics coach. He brought Penn State and collegiate gymnastics to the forefront by leading the Nittany Lions to nine NCAA championships (the most by any men's gymnastics coach), 13 Eastern Intercollegiate Gymnastics League victories, more than 200 meet wins, 35 individual national titles, 13 Olympians and three Nissen-Emery honorees.

He left a mark on Penn State that could never be forgotten, and that is now displayed in tremendous fashion at the facility.

Before fully entering the gymnastics complex, curved trophy cases, with blue light glowing from the top and the bottom, can now be seen on both sides. The left side features the achievements of women's gymnastics and the right side shows the numerous accolades of men's gymnastics.

When walking towards the complex, a picture of Wettstone and a short biography of him can be seen. In the complex, on the right wall, images of past men gymnasts are shown alongside the number of Olympians, team national championships and individual national championships. There are also displays for the Nissen-Emery Award winners. Down the hallway are two displays of the individual national champions as well as the Olympians.

"It's just nice to be able to have our story in a visual way now for people to really see and understand," said men's gymnastics head coach Randy Jepson. "We couldn't do that before; we could talk about it, but there was no real visual way to do that, where people could really grasp the success of the program. It's unprecedented the NCAA record of individual titles and team titles, much less the Olympians and the international success that Penn State has developed."

But this renovation does not just inspire visitors, it encourages the current team, too.

"[The team and I] talk about the legacy and the standard of what Gene established and what we want to see continue here, and they walk by it every day. It's a constant reminder of the standard that they're to aspire to," said Jepson. "When you walk into the gym, you see 12 Championship banners for the NCAA and three Big Ten banners. My reminder to them is that it's not the banners hanging there, it's the empty space on the wall. The guys that were outside on the wall earned honors, like the Nissen-Emery or Olympian or a national champion. They are the standard, and you can't walk by that without being inspired and motivated."

On the left side of the complex, the women's gymnastics program is featured. The left wall shows the number of All-Americans, team national championships and national championship appearances seen throughout its history. The individual champions and the female gymnasts that earned a perfect 10.0 score are also honored.

The current women's gymnastics roster is presented on the side wall where each gymnast's individual headshots, name and hometown is shown.

"When you want teams to win championships, you need to treat them like champions. If they feel like  a champion, then they are more likely to perform like champions," said women's gymnastics head coach Jeff Thompson. "So the first day, when the team all rounded the corner saw their headshots out there, you should have heard them...They all had a sense of Penn State pride."

Both programs feature a rich history of success on the competition floor and in the classroom. Donations and fundraising efforts made the enhancements possible.

"That says a lot. That the donors were willing to do that and to give the money and recognize the women's achievements even though we've only been around since the early '60s," said Thompson. "We don't have the long history that the men have, but there are a lot of good things that happened here. For them to give that much money so we can look equal is awesome."

Two years ago, when Wettstone was approaching 100 years old, fellow alumni, especially Ira Stolzer, co-captain of the 1976 national champion men's gymnastics team, wished to create something to honor Wettstone's legacy as well as the future of the men's gymnastics program.

Stolzer and all the captains from the Varsity 'S' Club led the fundraising efforts for the department and renovation. In only 90 days, Stolzer and the committee were able to raise nearly $500,000 from former Penn State gymnasts and former Penn State gymnasts' families and friends. Wettstone passed in July, 2013, less than one month after turning 100.

"Ira Stolzer has just been a tremendous guy to our team and our program here," said Jepson. "He's really done a lot for Penn State, and this is the guy that could do anything he wants, and he puts a lot of effort into this. We're fortunate for him."

There were numerous people that stepped up to help with the program and some names are included on a plaque in the Gene Wettstone Gymnastics Complex.

"It's just great to be able to showcase [all the accomplishments], and be able to have that support from our alumni," said Jepson. "We're very gracious and appreciative of what they have done. They've just been very gracious with their gifts, and it's really a real tribute to Gene...There's a lot of people that contributed to make this happen, and it just really makes a statement about how they feel about Gene and how he made an impact on the individuals when he was here."

FullSizeRender %281%29.jpgIMG_5619.JPG

By Miranda Kulp, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's soccer team fell in a 4-3 defeat against Maryland in a Big Ten Conference match Friday, Oct 9.

However, there are some noticeable positives that came out of the heartbreaking loss. Friday's match was the highest scoring match for the Nittany Lions this season.

"I think that we have a lot of things to build on," commented Head Coach Bob Warming. "All of our guys felt that we played as well as we have all year and we don't accept any moral victories but we know how we can play against one of the most talented teams out there."

The entire team played great; however some players such as senior Drew Klingenberg especially shined during the match.

"I thought we had a great game plan and the guys stuck to it, I think Drew was special tonight with this goal. We have several players really step up today to keep us in this game,"
said Coach Warming.

To start the game, Klingenberg netted his first goal of the season by striking the ball in the center of the box in the 18th-minute with assist by teammate Riley Grant.

"There definitely was a crazy score line, it felt great to get that goal for my team and get us on the board," said Klingenberg. "The second and third goal were just as great, unfortunately they got more goals though. Games like these we just need to work on some things so that won't let that happen again."

Klingenberg's goal not only got the Nittany Lions on the scoreboard, but it also set the momentum for the entire match.

"The epitome of this team is passion, we want to be here and play well for our fans, for our family, and for our teammates. We want to represent this university the best way we can," stated Klinenberg.

Klingenberg is a veteran midfielder who has always remained an essential player for the Blue and White not only skill wise but for his willingness to never give up during the game.

Throughout the match, the Lions never gave up the fight. The team took 18 shots over all and ten shots on goal.

Another standout player for the Nittany Lions was junior Connor Maloney, who scored twice for the Blue and White.

"Everybody fought hard today, although we didn't win, everyone played great today," said Maloney.

Penn State walks away from this match holding its head high as the team remains focused and determined as it carries on the rest of the season.

"The overall lesson from this match is this is the epitome of how we want to play every game. Although we lost, the team played fantastic," stated Klingenberg.

"The next step now is we have to keep our heads up and prepare for West Virginia and arrive with the same intensity," continued Klingenberg.

The Nittany Lions will be back in action Tuesday, Oct. 13 when they hit the road to West Virginia for a mid-week non-conference match against the Mountaineers. Match time is set for 7 p.m. at Dick Diesk Soccer Stadium.

By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Six coaches from various parts of the world made the trip to Penn State last week to work with the Penn State track and field coaching staff and student-athletes as a part of the eighth edition of the International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program (ICECP).

The ICECP is a six-week intensive coaches' education program broken into four modules that provides coaches from around the world an opportunity to attend lectures and presentations while participating in hands-on coaching work in the United States for the benefit of their education and career.

Penn State head track and field coach John Gondak and his coaching staff hosted Emanuela Aparecida Santana Coito (Brazil), Leyhor Tolud (Suriname), Josephine Mary Singarayar (Malaysia), Rashid Burnashev (Uzbekistan), Nedim Covic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Niuone Eliuta (Tuvalu) for a week of experiences while sharing with them the track and field facilities, workout routines, coaching strategies, sport science and introducing them to Penn State student-athletes.

The visit with the Penn State track and field program was a part of the ICECP's second module relating to sport-specific apprenticeship that allowed participants to observe and interact with coaches from National Governing Bodies (NGBs), university athletic teams or elite sport clubs in each of their respective sports.

Coach Gondak gave the coaches the opportunity to do hands-on track and field work focusing on the specific disciplines of sprints, mid-distance and jumps. Gondak's experience with the coaches allowed the coaches to participate in activities different from normal ICECP lectures and presentation trainings.

"I'm very thankful to the ICECP because they give us the opportunity to come and explore Penn State," said Singarayar, a sprinting specialist from Malaysia and Malaysian women's 800 meter record holder.

Singarayar noted that she definitely learned a lot from the Penn State coaches. Most importantly she would llike to take the sports science aspects back to her country to try out. She also marveled at the Penn State track and field program's way of doing things. "The system they are brought up on is amazing to see," the former track standout said.

The student-athletes impressed Singarayar as well. "They (the student-athletes) are very confident, very self-motivated and very independent. What I mean is they come, they know what they have to do, they warm up and the coaches are there ready to give them the workout. The moment they are finished they are back to their own life," she said.

Gondak and the Penn State track and field coaching staff took some time a break from the program to have some fun as they headed over to the Pegula Ice Arena to ice skate. This was the first time some of the coaches ever ice skated. "I liked it. It was very funny and it was my first time," said Aparecida Santana Coito, a youth coach from Brazil focused on physical education.

Not only is the program fun and valuable for the coaches, it remains very important to the Penn State track and field program. "Over the years, the staff has been incredible ambassadors for the US Olympic Community, their sport, Penn State and the United States. They have demonstrated all that is good about sport in the US. They have not only shared with the coaches, but they have embraced the experience so that the Penn State coaching staff and student athletes have benefitted. Penn State track and field has contributed to making the world a better place through sport and I thank them," said the Dr. Matthew J. Robinson, Professor of Sport Management University of Delaware and Director of the ICECP.

"The Penn State University track and field program's contribution to the success of the International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program (ICECP) over the past eight years cannot be quantified. In the early stages of the program Coach Gondak and Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan helped us define the apprenticeship experience, which is an essential part of the six week experience," said Robinson.

The ICECP is in conjunction with the United States Olympic Committee, the University of Delaware and the International Olympic Committee, the International Coaching Enrichment Certification Program which aims at assisting national-level coaches in developing proficiency in the areas of sport sciences, talent identification, athlete development, safe sport, coaching education, coaching management and grassroots sport development, according to the ICECP's website.

The intended outcome is for ICECP participants to return to their countries and serve as coaches within their respective sports, while becoming foundation builders for future coaches and athletes and spreading Olympic spirit.

This year's ICECP features coaches representing five continents, 34 countries and 14 sports. Through the first seven years of the program, the ICECP has reached 198 participants from 23 sports and 87 countries. Last year's segment at Penn State included four coaches from around the globe.

Before Penn State, the visited the University of Delaware for part of the program. As the experience finished up at Penn State, the group of coaches from the ICECP class of 2015 will travel to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado for the third module then lastly to the International Olympic Committee's headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland for the last module of the program.

Monday Notebook: Nassib's Impact Beyond Sacks

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11397200.jpegUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Defensive end Carl Nassib's motor never stops.

He's the type of player every coach dreams of mentoring. When Nassib practices, it's like every rep is being contested in the Super Bowl. That mindset translates into the games, and he refuses to be blocked by anyone.

Simply put, the 6-foot-7, 272-pound defensive end has been lights out in 2015. The nation's leader in sacks, Nassib has 10.0 sacks and 12.0 tackles for loss in Penn State's first six games.

"I think that work ethic and that mentality and that drive, along with some of the physical skills and traits that he has, has created a really nice - you know, really nice complement of skills that's allowed him to be successful, so I don't know if there has been an Ah-ha moment, but I know when we created last year's tape, he didn't have as many 'splash' plays as he has had this year, but he played at probably a higher level than we realized," said head coach James Franklin.

An area being a bit overlooked in Nassib's stellar first half of the season is his ability to force fumbles. The former walk-on is leading the nation with five forced fumbles in six games. Nassib has an uncanny ability to jar the ball free when he has his hands on a quarterback or ball carrier. He is directly responsible for more than 40 percent of Penn State's forced turnovers this season.

Nassib's five forced fumbles are the most by a Penn State player since defensive end Maurice Evans had five in 2007. Michael Haynes owns the record with seven forced fumbles in 2002.


Meeting the No. 1 Team
Saturday will mark the 16th time in Penn State football's history that the Nittany Lions will collide with the No. 1 team in the nation. It will also be the first time Penn State has played the No. 1 team since traveling to Alabama in 2010. Of the 16 meetings, this will be the fourth time the Lions have played against Ohio State when it was ranked No. 1. The team's history stretches back to a 1937 meeting at Pittsburgh. Penn State has four wins against the No. 1 team in the nation, including the 1983 Sugar Bowl (Georgia) and the 1987 Fiesta Bowl (Miami). The most recent win over a No. 1 team came in 1990 when the Lions knocked off Notre Dame, 24-21 in Beaver Stadium.

Five-Game Winning Streak
The Nittany Lions improved to 5-0 inside Beaver Stadium with the victory over Indiana, marking the first time since the 2008 season with five-straight wins to open the home slate. It is only the fourth time since 2000 that the Nittany Lions won five-straight at home. The Lions went 7-0 at home in 2008 en route to winning the Big Ten and playing in the Rose Bowl.

Additionally, Penn State has now won five consecutive games for the 11th season since joining the Big Ten Conference in 1993. The Lions have tallied six-straight wins during six different seasons during that span, with the most recent coming in 2011.

Early Look at Ohio State
The defending national champion Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) remain unbeaten in 2015 following a 49-28 victory over Maryland on Saturday. The top rated offense in the conference enters the week averaging 36.8 points and 460.0 yards per contest. The Buckeyes are 2-0 in conference play following a road victory at Indiana (34-27) and the triumph over Maryland. Ohio State also knocked off Virginia Tech (42-24), Hawaii (38-0), Northern Illinois (20-13) and Western Michigan (38-12).

Running back Ezekiel Elliott enters the game as the nation's fourth-highest rusher with 835 yards through six games. Elliott has scored 10 touchdowns in 2015. Senior Cardale Jones and sophomore J.T Barrett have split time at quarterback, with Jones starting each of Ohio State's six games. Jones has thrown for 1,158 yards and seven touchdowns. Michael Thomas is Ohio State's leading receiver with 27 receptions for 399 yards and four touchdowns.

Defensively, the Buckeyes have limited their opponents to 17.3 points and 300.2 yards per contest. Linebackers Raekwon McMillan and Joshua Perry lead the team in tackling with 62 and 52 stops, respectively.

Extended Game Highlight
Watch extended game highlights from the victory over Indiana on Saturday.

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Seniors Seize the Moment in Fourth Consecutive Win

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11396826.jpegBy Jack Dougherty, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's soccer team defeated Big Ten foe Indiana, 4-0, on Senior Day Sunday afternoon for its fourth straight victory. The win propelled the Nittany Lions to 10-2-2 on the year and 5-1-1 in Big Ten play.

The seniors led the way for the Blue and White on an emotional day that featured family, flowers, and a few tears, happy and sad. They wasted no time getting to work after the senior day festivities halted and the whistle blew.

In the sixth minute, Raquel Rodriguez netted her second goal of 2015 off a rebound from point blank range. A well-timed ball found sophomore Frannie Crouse in the box against the keeper, but Indiana's Sarah Stone was able to turn away the close range shot. Luckily, Rodriguez was the player on the pitch who followed the shot, and she converted with a wide open net.

"It's really important to score early because it opens up the scoreboard and gets us going," said Rodriguez. "We're not settled with just one or two, though. We always want to go for more and more."

Later in the half, Rodriguez found herself with another promising chance off a corner kick, but the senior's header slammed off the crossbar and bounced out of harm's way.

Penn State mustered up numerous chances the rest of the half but couldn't find the back of the net again until close before the halftime whistle. This time, it was fellow captain and senior Mallory Weber's turn. In the 41st minute, Nickolette Driesse received a ball near the box with plenty of room to run and eventually found Weber alone on the right side who fired a low shot to the bottom left corner to make it 2-0.

"It's still a competition with the forwards," Weber said. "I still have to show the coaches I can still play up top and finish my chances so it's always nice just to get on the board and help the team and keep the momentum."

"You can't replace those guys," said head coach Erica Walsh. "I know you say that every year but look at this senior class.  Straight across the board, all five of them. This is an unbelievable senior class."

Weber's goal marked her team leading fifth on the year and 35th of her illustrious career. She is now 10th all-time in Penn State scoring history. She also moved up to third in the Big Ten this season with 19 points in 2015.

It wasn't solely seniors who contributed to the score line, however. Sophomore Megan Schafer got in on the fun a minute into the second half with a jumping deflection off a corner kick that squeaked past the keeper for her second goal in as many games.

The Nittany Lions continued to pile it on late in the game courtesy of Elizabeth Ball. The primary starting center back got some work at forward for the last few minutes of the contest, and she made them count. In the 89th minute Ball received a pass in the middle of the field, beat the lone defender to her left and accurately placed a shot into the lower corner to seal the 4-0 win.

Penn State outshot Indiana 35-2 in the contest. Senior goalie Britt Eckerstrom wasn't called upon much, but she recorded her sixth shutout win this season and third in a row. The defense collectively has allowed a meager six shots in those games combined, while PSU has taken 45 and scored eight.

The Nittany Lions head to West Lafayette, Ind., on Thursday to battle the Purdue Boilermakers at 7 p.m. searching for their fifth straight victory.

Lions Kick Off Season With a Win

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11396683.jpegBy Maria Canales, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Penn State men's hockey offense shined during the season opener road matchup against Canisius on Saturday. Penn State (1-0-0) jump-started its season with a 6-1 win over the Golden Griffins (0-1-0).

Senior forward Curtis Loik struck first for the Nittany Lions early in the first period and never looked back.

"I think we came out real quick, real fast in the first and had some good opportunities early on," said Loik.

Loik would have three points in the first period alone, something he wanted to credit his line mates with, as well. Loik would be just one of multiple Nittany Lions with a multi-point game.

"My line mates (Chase) Berger and (Kenny) Brooks played vital roles on that first goal," said Loik. "Everyone on offense played really well and played their roles really well."

The offense powered through the first period and dominated in front of the Canisius net. Fellow Nittany Lions Ricky DeRosa and Berger would finish out the scoring a three-goal first period, with Berger getting his first collegiate goal.

The key to their early success Loik attributed to the team's ability to keep the momentum consistent throughout the game.

Another standout for the Nittany Lions was at the other end of the ice. Junior goaltender Eamon McAdam received the nod at starting in net for the Nittany Lions and turned away 27 shots.

"[Canisius] didn't have a ton of shots, but there were a few times where they had some pretty good chances," said McAdam. "I felt up to the task and all in all the team was up to the task as well."

Head coach Guy Gadowsky had said earlier in the week his team was working on their power play strategy. Penn State scored two power play goals against Canisius, but Loik explained that's something the team still would like to focus on.

"I think absolutely we can work on them more," said Loik. "It's something we need to work on every day and if we do we could have one of the best power plays in the league."

Visiting the HARBORCENTER for the first time, Penn State was welcomed by a large fan base. Several Nittany Lions had family in attendance, as the team has several players from the Buffalo area. Notably, freshman Andrew Sturtz and his family's nicknamed "Sturtz Section" kept the HARBORCENTER cheering in favor of the visiting team.

This large fan base in attendance was something Loik said was extremely motivating.

"We felt right at home," said Loik. "I think were was maybe more Penn State fans than Canisius fans there. We loved playing there, we loved the atmosphere and we loved that people came out to support us."

Although they started their season on the road, the Nittany Lions are looking forward to being back in Pegula this coming weekend when they take on Notre Dame. Loik is looking forward to playing in front of the home crowd for one final season.

"The atmosphere [in Pegula] is great, the student section is great, it's just a different feeling being at home, you get goose bumps from it," said Loik. "It's something I'm kind of sad with my senior year having to eventually give up but I'm excited for the season at home."

McAdam explained what he's looking forward to about being back in Pegula Ice Arena for the first home game of the season.

"For one the Roar Zone, but also being on the ice for that first puck drop is going to be awesome," said McAdam. "The first home game is always something special since we haven't played at home in a while. I'm just looking forward to being in front of the home crowd and getting to play in front of the Roar Zone again."

Hackenberg Steers Offense with Arm and Legs Against Indiana

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11394880.jpegUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Christian Hackenberg's decorated Penn State career is filled with standout performances.

Now just the second player in program history to become a 7,000-yard passer, Hackenberg has thrown 39 touchdowns, which puts him in a tie with former All-American Kerry Collins for sixth place in Penn State history.

But no day in his career of 31 starts under center did Hackenberg exhibit the ability to be a dual-threat player like he did on Saturday in Penn State's 29-7 romp of Indiana.

He tossed a pair of touchdowns, a 39-yarder to Brandon Polk and a 39-yarder DaeSean Hamilton, finishing 21-for-39 with 262 yards and two touchdowns in his 17th 200-yard passing effort.

But Saturday was a complete performance from Penn State's leader of the huddle.

"I thought he played really well, as a passer and as a runner and the way he managed the game," said head coach James Franklin. "He did some great things, and there were a lot of positives for the offense today."

He finished with a career-high 21 rushing yards and visited the end zone twice with his feet, marking the first time a Penn State quarterback tallied two rushing scores since Matt McGloin in 2012. Hackenberg again managed the game to near perfection, took what the defense gave him and made the plays necessary to win, whether it was with his arm or his feet.

I think it's just one of those things you get a feel for and today I was able to get a feel for it," Hackenberg said. "In terms of how they were rushing, the lanes that were opening and being able to take advantage of it."

An underrated athlete, Hackenberg can move very well with the ball in his hands. Indiana's zone coverages opened lanes for running, and he took advantage. It's something his teammates see frequently at practice, and they enjoy watching No. 14 on the move.

"I love watching him run," said Hamilton. "A guy getting his knees up and things like that, plus he has a little bit of juice in him so he's fast too. When those zone plays aren't going so well or when the pocket starts to break down and he takes off, it's really a nice thing to see."

No play was more telling of Hackenberg's athleticism than his plunge into the end zone when the Lions led 19-7 early in the fourth quarter. On second and goal from the Indiana 5, Hackenberg dropped back to pass. As he worked through the play's progressions, everyone was covered. A running window opened and he took off for the goal. The play ended with Hackenberg leaping parallel to the ground on his way into the end zone for the second time.

"It was fun. I don't get to do that too often," joked Hackenberg. "They jumped our read and what we were looking at through the air. A lane opened up, hit it, made a move and go make a play."

The fans in the north end of the stadium roared as Hackenberg stood up in the end zone to celebrate with his teammates. It was a telling play on a day where the Nittany Lions played with great enthusiasm on both sides of the ball and looked to be on a mission to again go 1-0 for the fifth-straight week.

"I think that's one of the things we've done as a team, we've played with our emotions on our sleeves for the most part, each week so far this year," Hackenberg said. "I think you obviously need to come back and get ready for the next challenge and I think we were able to do that. We had our highs, we enjoyed them and then we were kind of back to even keel making sure we were doing what we needed to do to move the football on the next drive."

The Lions fed off of the energy provided from the nearly 100,000 fans in Beaver Stadium on Saturday. The 96th Homecoming game was played before a boisterous crowd, and it's something the team appreciates every single week and never takes for granted.

"We had a great atmosphere. The fans played a huge part in the game at key times, and we were able to go out and get a big team win," said Hackenberg. We capitalized on momentum shifts that the defense created. Offensively, we created our own momentum at times, as well.

Riding a five-game winning streak, attention now shifts towards a trip to No. 1 Ohio State. The Nittany Lions will collide with the Buckeyes under the lights on Saturday.

"It's a great challenge. Ohio State is obviously on a role as the No. 1 team in the country," Hackenberg said. "I know that we are going to go out and prepare as hard as we can, and we are going to go out and try to execute."

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