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2014 Photo Blog - Penn State at Rutgers

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to's coverage of the 2014 football season. Check back often for an inside look at the Lions' Big Ten opener at Rutgers.


2014 Game Blog - Penn State at Rutgers

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Welcome to's live, interactive coverage of the 2014 football season. Tune in for live blog coverage from all 12 games on the schedule. The Nittany Lions open the Big Ten schedule on the road against Rutgers under the lights.

Live Blog 2014 Game Blog - Penn State at Rutgers

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

Senior Nittany Lions to Compete Final Spiked Shoe Invitational

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10302695.jpegBy Astrid Diaz, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's and women's cross country teams will have a chance to check out their regional and ranked rivals on Saturday when the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational kicks off at the Blue-White Golf Courses.

The Spiked Shoe Invitational will bring in a host of competitors in the region, including Pittsburgh (men and women), No. 20 West Virginia (women) and No. 29 Georgetown (men), along with the No. 8 Syracuse men's team and the 13th-ranked Syracuse women's team.

While national championship qualifying doesn't begin until October, the teams are entering this weekend with their notable relentless attitudes led by seniors like Matt Fischer and Abigail Benson, who are anxious to participate in the Spiked Shoe invitational for their final time.

Benson finished eighth last year and is entering this weekend with a new mindset and some new goals.

"I am excited about the competition this weekend. I am definitely in a better mind set this year than last. I believe [coach John] Gondak is an awesome coach and [he is] really taking the time to make us better runners," Benson said. "I believe in his coaching and [I] think this is going to be a good year and now that I am a senior I believe in myself. [I] want to make this year a great one."

Although he sat out last year, this weekend marks Fischer's third and final time running the Spiked Shoe Invitational. At his last Spiked Shoe, Fischer had the highest individual finish and with four-plus years of collegiate running experience under his belt, he is sure to be one of the top competitors of the weekend.

"At this point I know the course in and out really well and I'm going to start it off the right way. We want to go out there and have fun and use this as a confidence booster," said Fischer. "It's a good chance to see where the other teams are at and I'm going to use this as a step to get closer to achieving the goals I have set out for myself and my team."

After a successful weekend at the Dolan Duals, interim head coach John Gondak is excited to see some of the team's top athletes out for the first time this season.

"We will be seeing the full lineup for the first time and I'm excited to see them go up against some top teams and see where they can finish," said Gondak. "I was really impressed with the men's competitive attitude and fight [last weekend]."

There is no doubt that the Nittany Lions will benefit from racing on their home course. Both Benson and Gondak believe that the team will be able to carry a strong advantage from the beginning.

"Knowing the course is really an advantage and can go a long way. Being able to race on the course during the year really helps prepare us for the regional meet," said Gondak.

"If we can all just stay in a pack and work together, I feel that talking to each other and working off each other we can truly do some amazing things," said Benson. "It will be a fast first mile but after that if we pack up and work it, it should be fun."

The women will begin their 6k race at 10 a.m. and the men will run at 10:45 a.m., with a 5.2 mile run.

2014 Gameday Preview - Big Ten Opener at Rutgers

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GAME BLOG - Penn State at Rutgers

Game Notes | Gameday Central | Rutgers Scouting Report | Coach Franklin Wednesday

Press Conference Roundup | Coach Rahne Q&A | Player Q&A Video | PSU In The NFL

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State (2-0) will begin its 22nd season in the Big Ten on Saturday under the lights at Rutgers (2-0) in the conference's opening game of the 2014 season. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. with television coverage by BTN.

10299450.jpegThe Nittany Lions remained unbeaten with a 21-3 victory over Akron last week in the team's home opener. Sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg threw for 319 yards and three touchdowns in the victory. Junior Jesse James also hauled in a pair of touchdown catches to help fuel the Lions.

Defensively, the Nittany Lions were stout for the second-straight week. Through two games, the Lions have allowed just 93 rushing yards on 54 carries (1.7 ypc). Senior linebacker Mike Hull has been the catalyst of the defense. Hull is second in the Big Ten with 22 tackles in the first two games.

This will be the 25th meeting between Penn State and Rutgers. The border foes have not met since 1995 when the two squads clashed in Giants Stadium. Penn State leads the all-time series with Rutgers, 22-2. The two teams met annually from 1982-'95. Now, as members of the East Division, the Lions and Scarlet Knights will play every season.

Led by head coach Kyle Flood, Rutgers enters the week with a 2-0 mark after knocking off Howard (38-25) last week. The Scarlet Knights defeated Washington State (41-38) in Seattle during the opening weekend of the season. Flood is 9-0 as a head coach during the month of September. Rutgers officially became a member of the Big Ten Conference on July 1.

Penn State's Adam Taliaferro and Eric LeGrand of Rutgers, forever linked through horrific spinal cord injuries suffered on the field and their courageous recovery efforts that followed, will serve as honorary game captains on Saturday. Both players will be on the field for the pre-game coin toss.

Welcome to the Gameday Preview for the trip to Rutgers.

Pregame Reading:
What to Watch For - Penn State
10299409.jpeg1. No game is more important to Coach Franklin and the Nittany Lions than the next game on the schedule. The mindset never changes for the Lions. Regardless of the week's news and events or the opponent, focus is solely on preparing to the best of the team's ability leading up to Saturday's game. This week, the coaching staff and players have worked to maximize each day with preparation for the conference opener. Corrections from the Akron game were made on Sunday afternoon. From there, the team has been focused on Rutgers and the challenges it presents on offense, defense and special teams. Coach Franklin said on Tuesday that the big thing he is looking for across the entire depth chart is consistency this week.

2. First and foremost on the defensive side of the ball, the Nittany Lions will be looking to defend the run like they have during the first two weeks. Forcing teams to be one-dimensional on offense is a big point of emphasis every time the Lions step onto the field. Nonetheless, Penn State will be looking to limit the big-play ability of Rutgers. Through two games, the Scarlet Knights have scored 10 touchdowns on offense. Five of the 10 visits to end zone have come on plays of 30 or more yards, including three scores of more than 50 yards. Limiting big plays when the Nittany Lions are on defense is a key area to watch. Last week, the Penn State defense did not allow a running play of more than 13 yards or a passing play of more than 23 yards against Akron.

3. The Nittany Lions enter the third game of the season looking to take better care of the football and force more miscues on defense. Penn State has committed six turnovers and forced just one during the opening two games. Taking care of the football is priority number one for quarterback Christian Hackenberg and the offense. Defensively, Coach Franklin said this week that he is looking for a big play from the defense on Saturday night. The Nittany Lions have done a great job limiting big plays since the season-opener in Ireland, but the defense is searching for a turnover.

What to Watch For - Rutgers
10299404.jpeg1. Energy will be high inside High Point Solutions Stadium on Saturday night. The Scarlet Knights have had this date circled, and they will host a raucous sold out crowd in their first Big Ten game. Penn State and Rutgers are separated by 228 miles. There are 15 players on the Penn State roster from New Jersey. All that being said, there is a regional component to Saturday's matchup between the Nittany Lions and Scarlet Knights. Like any other game, though, this contest counts for just one victory for the triumphant group. On the field, the Scarlet Knights are 15-2 when they score 20 or more points under head coach Kyle Flood.

2. Senior quarterback Gary Nova headlines a veteran group of offensive players for Rutgers. Nova has started 30 games for the Scarlet Knights, and he enters the weekend playing with great confidence. Nova is the Big Ten's leader in pass efficiency (208.9) after opening the season with six touchdowns and just one interception. Junior Leonte Carroo is Nova's primary big-play target in the passing game. Carroo has two touchdown catches this season, both of which coming on plays of more than 35 yards or more. In his career, Carroo has 10 scores of 60 yards or longer. Junior running back Paul James spearheads the rushing attack. James enters week three with 216 yards and four touchdowns. The Scarlet Knights return all five offensive line starters from 2013.

3. Sophomore linebacker Steve Longa is the top tackler on the Rutgers defense. Longa has 15 stops this season. Redshirt freshman Komoko Turay leads the unit with 3.5 sacks during the first two weeks of the season. As a group, Rutgers has allowed 31.5 points per game and 482.5 yards per contest, but the Scarlet Knights have averaged two turnovers forced during the first two games of the season.

The Final Word:
The Nittany Lions will play their 19th night game during the past 10 seasons on Saturday at Rugers. Penn State has played in at least one primetime game in each of the past 15 seasons. In 2014, the Nittany Lions will play three night games, including two on the road. The Lions last played to night games on the road in 2008 when they met Wisconsin and Ohio State under the lights away from Beaver Stadium. In a series that began in 1918, Penn State and Rutgers have met just three times on the Rutgers campus. The Nittany Lions have traveled to New Jersey to meet Rutgers nine times, with six of those games coming at Giants Stadium, including the most recent meeting in 1995. Penn State has not played on the Rutgers campus since 1955. Kickoff is slated for just after 8 p.m. on Saturday inside a sold out High Point Solutions Stadium.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony


By Miranda Kulp, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - While starting every game for the Nittany Lions' women's soccer team and excelling in Penn State's architectural engineering program, Kori Chapic shines both on and off the field. 

Last season, Chapic punched in the third most minutes on the field and continues to put in hard work and dedication as the 2014 season rolls. Her excellence comes as no surprise. Chapic earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in both 2012 and 2013.

Kori Chapic is the all-around definition of leadership.

"Architectural engineering is a passion of mine," she said. "When you have something that is a passion of yours, like soccer, it seems less of a job and more of something you do for fun. It's a lot easier dedicating the time and managing it because you enjoy it and want to be involved."

Not only is Chapic a serious student and tremendous athlete, but she is also a member of a few leadership programs on campus. Chapic is one of 30 students in her class who were selected to the Presidential Leadership Academy and
 is also involved in the Athletic Director's Leadership Institute, or commonly known as ADLI.

"I just love staying active," said Chapic. "I want to make use of everything this school has to offer since Penn State is full of opportunity."

Staying committed and continuing to better herself on and off the field, Chapic stepped up and became a role model on the team for her senior season.

"Kori is the ideal student athlete," said head coach Erica Walsh. "She
's grown both technically and tactically the last few seasons. But most importantly, she has grown as a leader on this team."

Chapic moved from Russell, Ohio to become a Lion. However, her passion for Penn State is rooted back to when she was a little girl.

She explained how she fell in love with Happy Valley when she was younger and on a college visit for one of her two older sisters. When it was Kori
's turn to find her school, she noted that both Penn State's amazing engineering program and highly competitive soccer program won her over.

"I was told when it
's the right field and the right team you'll know. I fell in love with the school as soon as I stepped foot on it," said Chapic.

Playing alongside Chapic is one of her best friends, and roommate, classmate
 Kindrah Kohne. 

"Since freshman year, she has always been my sounding board for anything going good or bad in my life," Kohne said. "It's fun always having her around."

Competing the last four years together has led the pair to become extremely close. The two have been a part of the women
's soccer team since their freshman year and continue to put as much effort into their schooling as they do soccer.

"We both are each other's motivation factors," Chapic said. "When I see her working so hard in the classroom, it makes me want to be better. I look up to her as a person and as a friend."

Known as one of the hardest workers on the team, Chapic works through any challenge that comes her way. Chapic handles everything that is thrown her way with ease and determination. 

Walsh stated that
 Chapic is essential to the team because of her mental strength to not only accept any challenge, but to conquer it, as well.

Chapic and the other Nittany Lions are prepared and excited to go back on the road for this weekend's
 matches at Purdue and Indiana.

's Chapic's motivation for success that keeps the Lions doing their best, reminding them to embrace every challenge thrown their way.

"Part of what keeps me motivated is this team," she said. "It
's about having a great team and great chemistry. We're a family that sets expectations for each other and we want the best for one another."

By Gabrielle RichardsGoPSUsports Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Leadership isn't always something you can learn in a classroom; it's something you have to experience. For Penn State field hockey team, choosing seniors Katie Andrews and Laura Gebhart as team captains was an easy choice. 

Between the two seniors they have shared the field together 58 times in their four years at Penn State. Andrews, who plays defense, and Gebhart, who shifts between the forward and mid position, have helped lead their team to two Big Ten Championships. 

"It's a huge honor to know that our teammates respect us and think highly enough of us to put us in this position," Andrews said. "It's exciting to know that we get to lead the team this year to all of our success." 

Their team is off to a great start. With a record of 3-1 and a No.6 ranking heading into this week's matchups against Princeton and Lafayette, the Nittany Lions are on the right track to make this one of the best seasons yet. 

The Nittany Lions' only loss came to defending NCAA Champions, University of Connecticut. They lost in overtime off of a corner shot bringing the final score to 1-0. 

"Everyone knows what that devastating loss feels like," Andrews said. "We are just focusing on taking that mentality and that excitement we had during that game into the rest of the season."

"It was amazing to see everyone on the field gut it out," Gebhart said. "At that point we [as captains] don't really need to say anything. We just feed off our teammates and work together." 

Gebhart's success on the field is unprecedented; she has represented Penn State and her country on the U.S. National Team and the Junior World Cup Team. Big Ten Freshman of the Year, All-American and U.S. Team Captain are just a few titles that follow her name. 

"Going into this season with Laura and someone of her caliber is really exciting," Andrews said. 

Andrews, an agriculture major and business minor, and Gebhart, a community and environmental development major, are not only a leaders on the field, but in the classroom. Since 2012, Andrews and Gebhart have made the Academic All-Big Ten list (2012, 2013) and the NFHCA National Academic Squad (2012, 2013). 

But when all is said and done after this season and Gebhart and Andrews turn their tassels at graduation, they will miss their teammates the most. 

"It has been such a learning experience over the years," Gebhart said. "Its heartwarming to know that these girls will be there for me and I will be there for them, no matter what." 

The captains understand that their success on the field and in the classroom wouldn't be possible without the help of their coaching, academic and support staff. 

"The relationships we have with our teammates are amazing," Andrews said. "But our support staff, academic advisors at the Morgan Center, the Varsity 'S' Club...those are priceless relationships we have been able to build together." 

The Nittany Lions take on No. 14 Princeton (Friday) and Lafayette (Sunday) this weekend at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex.

By Matt Allibone, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Penn State men's soccer head coach Bob Warming likes to compare the ascension a program makes over a number of years to someone climbing a mountain. 

A year after guiding the Nittany Lions to the Sweet 16, Warming believes his team has the top of the mountain in sight. On Saturday, Penn State will face a team that has been there recently. 

Indiana, the 2012 NCAA National Champions, will host the Nittany Lions at legendary Bill Armstrong Stadium in both team's Big Ten opener. Although they are coming off a disappointing 8-12-2 season, the Hoosiers have gotten off to a 3-0-1 start this year, the same as Penn State. 

"We know our conference is amazing," Warming said. "The venue is going to be terrific for it. They have some super talented players. The big pieces are there and the little pieces that still cause you problems...they've got a lot of weapons." 

Although the Hoosiers have graduated last year's top three leading point scorers, they return a collection of young talent. Sophomore Tanner Thompson is a dangerous playmaker who can play forward or midfield and junior Femi Hollinger-Janzen, who tied for the team lead in goals last season with five, offers similar versatility. 

Sophomore goalie Colin Webb has gotten off to a fast start in his first season as the team's full-time starter, allowing just one goal in the Hoosiers first four games. 

Still, the Nittany Lions have recent history on their side, having defeated the Hoosiers 2-0 in Bloomington last season.

"In the past they've played better soccer than us but I think we play a much quicker style now and they're the one's that lump it a little more," senior defender Owen Griffith said. "I think that's going to help us.

"[The atmosphere] is good and it's just like here. They've got a ton of kids lining the sideline and the band going so it's going to feel just like home, except the fans are going to be cheering for them instead of us." 

Griffith had perhaps the highlight of his career last season against the Hoosiers when he scored a goal from 18 yards out to give the Nittany Lions a 2-0 lead in their eventual victory. Still, he has not forgotten how difficult an opponent Indiana has been over his four years in blue and white.

The Nittany Lions fell to Hoosiers in 2012 and 2011, Griffith's first two years at Penn State. In Warming's five years in Happy Valley, the Lions are 2-3-1 against the Hoosiers. 

"They're historically a really big rival of ours," Griffith said. "[Beating them last year] was a big statement for us. It's going to be a battle this year...they lost a bunch of guys but they're still looking pretty tough." 

One player who will be particularly amped on Saturday is midfielder Christian Kaschak, who missed last season with a torn ACL and has never set foot inside Armstrong Stadium. 

"Just hearing what the guys had to say [about Armstrong Stadium], it seems incredible," Kaschak said. "Their fan base is amazing and historically they're a tremendous always want to go there and show them what we have." 

Even coming off of consecutive Big Ten regular season titles, the Nittany Lions still view the Hoosiers as the pinnacle of where they want to be.

Hoosiers coach Todd Yeagley is entering his fifth year at Indiana, the same amount of time Warming has been at Penn State, and the Blue and White want to give their coach the national title their rival has won. 

"Coach Warming has only been here a couple of years now and I think it's his idea to get Penn State to be one of those nationally acclaimed programs like Indiana," Griffith said. "We want to be consistently at the top of the country in soccer." 

Warming Marvels at 1954-'55 Championship Teams' Reunion

Bob Warming couldn't help but think about the future last Friday as his Nittany Lions defeated Temple 1-0.

Not just the rest of his team's season, but the future of his players in general. With members of Penn State's 1954-'55 national championship team in attendance to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their first title, there were plenty of emotions being felt all night.

"I told our guys, 'I want you to think about, if we win [the NCAA Championship] this year, what will the world be like in 2074,'" Warming said. "That's when we would be celebrating again. Think about the changes that those men have seen, and that their families have seen in the last 60 years."

Fifteen players from the two teams made it back for the game, which included a halftime ceremony in front of 4,052 fans. The group was honored again the next day at Beaver Stadium during the football team's 21-3 victory over Akron. 

"How special it is for them to come back and see 4,000 people in the stands," Warming said. "With this kind of atmosphere, and this kind of quality soccer and this kind of quality field. I'm just so happy that so many of them are alive and well and healthy enough to travel and come here and enjoy the game." 

Andrew Stelnyk, a defender on those teams and a native Ukrainian, spoke about the experience of seeing his old teammates, as well as being back on campus.

"It's a great time to be here," Stelnyk said. "The change over here is unbelievable. All of us are getting older but the spirit is still here, there is no question about it."

Rutgers Week Q&A - Assistant Coach Ricky Rahne

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10298565.jpegUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne talked to the media on Thursday.  The Nittany Lions travel to Rutgers on Saturday for a primetime game against the Scarlet Knights (8 p.m. on BTN). Take a look at a Q&A with Rahne leading up to Saturday's Big Ten opener.

Q: Being a former quarterback, can you talk about what it's like being able to relate to a guy like Christian (Hackenberg), who is always a tough critic of himself?
"I was like that as a player. It's one of those things where it is one of your greatest strengths and one of your greatest weaknesses at the same time. My wife would probably say that I am still like that. I don't think anyone is harder on me in terms of coaching than me. I do understand how it is. The one thing that I am not going to do, and Christian knows this, and he doesn't want me to do it - it doesn't mean I give him a pass when he makes a mistake...That's really one of his greatest strengths - despite his abundance of mental and physical talent, he still is not only willing to be coached, he wants to be coached. That's the thing that makes it easier for him and I to have a good relationship. I understand where he is coming from in a lot of aspects because we have similar personalities. We both want to be the best we can be at all times."

Q: Do you ever have to remind yourself that Christian is only 19?
"Every day. Every day. Not only because of his genetic gifts that he has, but also his maturity. Watching him deal with all of the pressures that he has every day, I have to remind myself in the rare instance that he acts like a 19-year-old kid, I have to remind myself that in fact, that is how old he is...Not only should we be thankful (as the Penn State community) that he is a great player, and he really is, that he is a great person. He has handled some pressure situations very well."

Q: Overall, through the first two games, how would you assess the way Christian has played?
"Christian has played very well. There have been a couple plays in each game where we've just had lapses in judgment, and that's my job to get that fixed. Overall, he has played very well. He has thrown the ball accurately. He's made the plays that were there. I've been pleased with that. The other thing, and just like the other guys on the team, we've been able to come out with two victories, and we are working on it every week to come out with another one. I've been pleased with his play. It's cleaning up those three to four to five plays a game that we need to clean up. Some of the plays are things you probably see, some of them you probably don't. Not only have I been pleased with his play, I've been pleased with how coachable he has been."

Q: When you look at film from the first two games, how do you think Christian has done in terms of going through his progressions and putting the ball where you want it to go?
"Like I said, there are probably three to four plays a game where he didn't. Other than that, he has been very good. He has been getting back to third and fourth progressions at times, which speaks to his knowledge of the offense and the offensive line playing well and giving him time to do so. I've been pleased with how he has been working through his progressions. I think the one thing it has allowed us to get done is get the ball to a bunch of different people. A bunch of different guys have catches this year, and that helps us to get a nice balance."

Q: What have you seen from the Rutgers passing defense leading up to this game?
"I think they are a well-coached team. They are talented. They play fast. A lot is given to yards and statistics, but sometimes that's who you are playing...I know their defense has helped their team go 2-0 to this point, and the defense has helped put them in a position to start the season off in the way that they want to start off. We have to be ready for them. They've got some good schemes, in terms of their pressure game. We have to be ready and able to adjust on the fly. I think our guys have really prepared well this week knowing they are about to play a good football team."

Q: How are Trace McSorley and Michael O'Connor progressing and are either one ready to play in a game right now?
"I feel very confident in both of them to be really honest. They both have a very good grasp of the offense, which I have been really pleased with. I have been really pleased with how both of them approach the mental aspect of it. I think they both go into every week thinking, hey, I'm going to play. They both have done a nice job of their approach. I'm very confident in those guys. I think they are ready to go. If their number is every called, they are going to go in there and help us win the game."

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

Nittany Lions Head to Villanova Classic

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10267656.jpegBy Anita Nham, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 3-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team (4-1) will be heading back on the road again this weekend for the Villanova Classic to face off American, Villanova, Yale, and Kansas.

The Nittany Lions will be playing doubleheaders on Sept.12 by taking on American at 2:30 p.m. and Villanova at 7:30 p.m. The action will continue into Sept. 13 as Penn State competes against Yale at noon and Kansas at 5:30 p.m.

Penn State traveled to California last weekend for the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge. The Lions fell to No. 2 Stanford (4-0) in a tight five-set match. Freshman Ali Frantti led the offense with a career-high performance of 22 kills, in addition to 11 digs and two blocks. Junior Megan Courtney finished the match with 18 kills, nine digs and five blocks.

"Obviously Stanford didn't turn out the way we wanted [it] to, but I think we did a lot of things good and a lot of things not as good that led to us losing, like we can't make six errors in the last game, especially when they made zero," said Courtney. "Honestly, a win is a win just like a lost is a lost and a lost is a way to learn. It's not a way to sulk in your sorrows; it's a way to take what you did bad and turn it into something better the next day."

After the team fell to Stanford, the group rallied back by sweeping UCLA (3-2) the following day. Frantti logged her fourth double-digit kill record with 14 kills on .619 hitting. Senior Nia Grant chipped in with nine kills.

"Losing to UCLA was not an option. It was a great team effort by everyone and I think everyone brought their energy and understood that losing sucks, so we don't want to feel that feeling again," said Courtney. "It was a collective effort."

"It's a long season. We will work on the things that we need to work on," said head coach Russ Rose.  "I am not discouraged by losing to Stanford."

Penn State vs. American
The Nittany Lions are 6-0 all-time against the Eagles. The two teams last met on Dec. 3, 2004, and Penn State won the match, 3-0.

Scouting the Eagles
American (4-2) started the season well with a four-game winning streak, but is currently on a two-game losing streak after falling to Marquette (3-0) and seventh-ranked Florida State (5-0) over the weekend.

Penn State vs. Villanova
Penn State leads the series with a 13-0 record. The last matchup was on Aug. 28, 2010, and the Lions defeated the Wildcats in three sets.

Scouting the Wildcats
Villanova (4-3) opened up the season with a solid 3-0 start at the James Madison Classic, but recently struggled at the USD/SDSU Tournament by losing all three matches. The team was able to gain their winning record once again after beating Lehigh in straight sets at their home opener.

Penn State vs. Yale
The Nittany Lions have won all eight matches against Yale. Penn State's most recent win was a 3-0 sweep on Sept. 21, 2013. 

Scouting the Bulldogs
Yale owns a 1-2 record so far this season. It opened the season with a 1-2 record at the Yale Invitational where both Minnesota and Boston College swept Yale in three sets, respectively. The Bulldogs did end up with a win after beating Albany, 3-1. 

Penn State vs. Kansas
This is the first meeting between the Jayhawks and the Nittany Lions.

Scouting the Jayhawks
With a 6-1 record and a four-game winning streak, the Jayhawks are off to a strong start this season. They opened their season in the Kansas Invitational against Utah Valley, Lipscomb, and Creighton. The Jayhawks came out of the tournament with only one lost by falling to Lipscomb 2-3. A week later, the Jayhawks became tournament champions at the Denver Invitational after they defeated Bradley, Sam Houston State, and Denver. The Kansas winning streak continued earlier this week when the Jayhawks defeated UMKC.

Following the weekend in Philadelphia, Penn State will return to Rec Hall on Sept. 19 and 20 to take on Eastern Illinois, DePaul, UIC, and East Carolina in the Penn State Alumni Classic.

VIDEO: James Franklin Practice Update - Rutgers Week

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach James Franklin provided an update to the media following Wednesday's practice session at the Lasch Football Complex. The Nittany Lions travel to Rutgers on Saturday for an 8 p.m. kick on BTN.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony