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Muller Looks Back on Penn State Career

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By Anita Nham, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - When senior Carley Muller was in seventh grade, she visited family friends in the Philadelphia-area and had the opportunity to visit Penn State's campus. As soon as she stepped foot onto University Park, she knew that Penn State was her dream school. She loved it so much that the 2,500 miles away from home didn't present any sort of hesitation in her decision.

"In my junior year of high school, I was contacted by coach Rose and I pretty much immediately accepted it as soon as they offered me," Muller said. "It's definitely been life changing and I've become a different person entirely because of it. I think being so far away from my family, I've had to grow up a lot more than I thought I ever would and just do things on my own. Its been a really cool experience to see the person I've become from senior year of high school to my senior year of college."

Muller succeeded in high school, just like she's doing at Penn State. In her senior year of high school, she earned the Bay League Libero of the Year honor and led the team to two first-place finishes at the Pacific Northwestern and SCVA 17 Open tournaments.

At Penn State, Muller made her collegiate debut as a Nittany Lion in the 2013 season opener against Syracuse during her freshman year. Since then, Muller has only continued to grow. In her sophomore year, the Manhattan Beach, California native made 14 appearances on the court including five Big Ten matches and two NCAA Tournament contests. Contributing in the back row, she recorded a career-high performance against Mississippi State last year, leading the team with two aces and five digs.

"Carley has grown as a person and as a volleyball player," senior Taylor Krause said. "She's learned to read the game so well and she offers a lot of good advice to everyone who's on the court and even when she's playing on the court. She knows the game so well and it's beneficial to those around her. She's developed to be such an amazing individual and I'm excited for her future." 

With all these amazing moments in the last four years as a Nittany Lion, including Penn State winning the national championship in 2013 and 2014, it can be hard to find a favorite instant, but there's one that sticks out the most for Muller. 

"There's been a lot of really good moments, but my favorite one is where I turned to give Aiyana Whitney a high five in the national championship match during the second intermission timeout, and I went to give her a high five, but she was already trying to go to the locker room and it was caught on television. Totally my favorite moment," Muller said.

Aside from her work on the court, Muller has been succeeding in the classroom. During her time as a Nittany Lion, she has earned 2014-15 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar accolades as well as consecutive Academic All-Big Ten honors. 

Majoring in public relations and minoring in business, Muller will be graduating from Penn State come December. In February, she will be working at a recruiting and staffing firm in Los Angeles, and she has volleyball to thank for that.

"Volleyball has forced me to come out of my comfort zone and speak to a lot of different people," Muller said. "Penn State volleyball isn't just about volleyball. It's about being with the community and connecting with boosters and everyone here. I think that has been really helpful in changing who I am as a person." 

The support from her best friends have also helped her. Muller has been playing with Krause and Laura Broerman since their first semester together. All three of them hold the same position at defensive specialist, but that doesn't stop them from being the best they can be.

"It's actually not what people think it is. We all try to help each other and I think we're better because of it," Muller said. "We have to leave what happens on the court there and just separate the two, and I think that makes us stronger people - to be able to compete against your best friends is a really special experience and it's not easy, but it's been fun." 

Broerman can see just how valuable it is to be playing alongside best friends.

"Carley is someone who sees the court really well and can easily tell you what you're doing wrong or well, so even if you don't ask her 'What am I doing wrong here,' she has some insight for you, something to help you better your game," Broerman said.

Along with Krause and Broerman, Muller will be recognized on senior night when Penn State takes on Illinois Saturday, Nov. 26 at 8 p.m. in the final regular season match of the year. While she has already put together a great career, there are just two things she would tell her freshman year-self.

"Don't ever take any moment for granted and don't take anyone that you've played with for granted because they are the people you will always remember."

And that's the final goal for Muller this season.

"I want to leave this program knowing that I helped at least one person and changed them as a player or person, knowing that I was able to help them mature," Muller said. "That's been a goal of mine this season, to really help out the freshmen and show them the way. That's what I would like to leave here knowing.

As senior day approaches, catch up with Penn State Muller, Krause and Broerman as they reflect on their time at Penn State and look ahead to the critical Big Ten matches this weekend at Rec Hall.

Garner Embracing Leadership Role

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - On the heels of his 40th consecutive start in the Blue and White, Penn State's Shep Garner has not only proven that he's back for another season to power the Nittany Lion offense this year. 

One of three top returning scorers from a year ago, Garner is already out to a blazing start, leading the team with 16.0 points per game. Highlighted by a pair of 20-point performances, Garner most recently logged 20 points against Cincinnati, following a 15-point outing in a close setback against top-ranked Duke.

For Garner though, a new year presents another added challenge outside of lighting up scoring column, as a talented freshman class presents an opportunity for Garner to step into a true leadership role.

Through six games, there has been no shortage of key Shep Garner moments. Looking back a few weeks, it was Garner who pulled the Nittany Lions within three with a trio of free throws against Albany with 17 seconds remaining. 

Against Grand Canyon, it was Garner again, picking off the Lopes for a steal before finishing with a bucket to spark the final push down the stretch for the win. A big moment and a key play by the junior captain, as Nittany Lion head coach Patrick Chambers described postgame.

As Chambers noted earlier this week though, Garner's growth as a leader has not simply been fashioned through his on-court success. Rather, it has come through a mature and professional approach to the little things. Leading by example. 

From cold tubs and visits to the training room, to an emphasis on eating right and putting in extra time in the weight room, Garner's actions are leading the way in his development as a leader. 

"He's one of the hardest workers on the team," Chambers said. "His actions are really showing it." 

In a tough weekend on the road at the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament, Chambers described moment after moment where Garner's leadership translated into a vocal presence on the court, rallying the team in a rough start to the opening half against then-No. 24 Cincinnati. 

"He got after them and I felt like they responded," Chambers said. "He got after them in the locker room at halftime and I felt like they responded coming out in the second half, playing much better basketball." 

Arriving home to look toward Colgate in Penn State's sixth game in the last two weeks, Chambers stressed that the road to success this season is a process that will take time. Although a work in progress, Garner's emerging presence as both a potent point-scorer and an all-around leader is exactly what the Nittany Lions need, especially with so much youth on the roster.

"We need that type of leadership," Chambers said. "I think that's one thing - other than offensive rebounds, that's another thing we need right now from him, Terrence [Samuel] and Payton [Banks] to guide these younger guys, showing them that you cannot take possessions off." 

The Nittany Lions are set to welcome the Raiders to for a Thanksgiving eve clash at 7 p.m. in the Bryce Jordan Center. Colgate enters the matchup at 1-2 on the year, coming off of a 74-68 loss to NJIT last weekend. Penn State and Colgate are set to square off in the 75th all-time meeting between the two team, but just the second since 1980. Playing their fourth of a string of five consecutive road games, the Raiders have returned nearly 70 percent of their offensive production from last year, currently led by junior Sean O'Brien who's averaging a team-high 12.7 points per game.

2016 Tuesday Press Conference Roundup - Michigan State

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Transcript: Franklin Transcript: Players VIDEO: Michigan State Player Q&As

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - No. 8 Penn State football is set to host Michigan State in the regular season finale Saturday on Senior Day at Beaver Stadium. 

The Nittany Lions (9-2, 7-1) and the Spartans (3-8, 1-7) will square off in a 3:30 p.m. matchup on ESPN. As he does every week, Penn State head coach James Franklin met with members of the media to wrap up the Rutgers win before turning the focus to Michigan State. 

Taking a look back to reflect on the win at Rutgers, Franklin was pleased with Penn State's ability to battle through challenging weather conditions for the team win, as well as the undying Nittany Lion fan support in the stands at High Point Solutions Stadium.

"The fans stayed and supported us," Franklin said. "It was just unreal. I'm just really proud of our guys. That was a mental toughness game, a physical toughness game. Great team win overall."

Prior to kickoff Saturday, the Nittany Lions will honor the contributions of the 2016 senior class, recognizing the individuals and their families in a special ceremony. Though small in size, the close-knit group of seniors is near the top of a short list of college football's program's with the fewest number of senior-eligible players.  

"They're special guys," Franklin said. "I think they're going to be remembered as the class that really kind of held this place together and also left out of here by making sure the program was headed in the right direction before they walked out the door."

Looking toward Michigan State, Franklin noted that the Nittany Lions have a sense of what to expect as the Spartans bring both talent and toughness. 

"We're going to have a team coming in here that's going to play with a tremendous amount of pride, passion," Franklin said.

For one final time this season, the Nittany Lions will have the added advantage of the electric Beaver Stadium crowd, which has been instrumental in guiding Penn State to a 6-0 mark at home this season. As Franklin has noted throughout the season, the enthusiastic home crowd has made all the difference.

"We're going to prepare like crazy all week long," Franklin said. "We're going to need that stadium jumping on Saturday, once again, so we can all support one another and do everything we possibly can to find a way to get a positive result on Saturday."

On The Quote Board
-  On the legacy that Brandon Bell wants to leave behind. 

"I think the legacy that I want to leave behind is that the circumstances never mattered to myself, my teammates, and this group of seniors that I came in with and have played with for the last four or five years. The circumstances never mattered to us and I think that's one of the reasons why we came to Penn State, to show that - and I think that's what I want my legacy to be."

- James Franklin on the impact and role Parker Cothren plays on the team and on the defensive line. 

"He's the guy that's going to do 90% of the dirty work that most people don't see. He's in there holding his gap. He's in there taking up double teams. He's going to make some plays, as well as some tackles, tackles for loss, sacks, things like that. Those guys are just so valuable, those defensive tackles, especially the nose who has a tough job."

- Evan Schwan on what has meant to him to become a leader on the team.

"It's been awesome. I feel like I've taken a few of the young guys under my wing and just kind of showing them what it means to be a Penn State football player, a blue-collar, hard working guy that goes to class, works hard in the classroom to get a degree that will be with them for the rest of their life, which means so much."

- Saquon Barkley on what the senior class has meant to the team. 

"Those seniors mean a lot to us. They're the rock of this team. They're the reason why this program was able to stay over. They were here when times were bad for us. Looking up to those guys in the recruiting process is a big reason why I wanted to come to this school. Underclassmen want to play hard for them, send these guys out on a high note."

- James Franklin on defensive end Evan Schwan and how he has come to be a representative of the team.

"He comes into this year, hadn't had a sack up until this year. Had played a decent amount of time as a backup. This was kind of his year. He put a lot into it in the offseason - really had a great attitude. He's had a great attitude for three years." 

- Saquon Barkley's thoughts on what it means to be at Penn State.

"We got something special going right now. We know that. We're aware of that. I'm just happy that I'm able to be part of that. Like I said, I'm so thankful that I'm able to play at this school. Coming to this school was the best decision of my life." 

- How does Franklin prepare his Thanksgiving plate of turkey?

"Needs to be gravy, a small portion of gravy on the turkey, a small portion of mashed potatoes, and a small portion of stuffing all in the same bite. Kind of like a cornucopia of flavors."

VIDEO: Michigan State Week Player Q&A

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -No. 8 Penn State football is set to host Michigan State in the regular season finale Saturday on Senior Day at Beaver Stadium. In preparation for the upcoming matchup against the Spartans, Penn State seniors Brandon Bell and Evan Schwan and sophomore Saquon Barkley took time to talk the 2016 season.

Check out updates from the Q&A session below. 

Brandon Bell

Evan Schwan

Saquon Barkley

Monday Notebook: Defense Relying on Preparation

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - When Penn State head coach James Franklin was asked postgame if he'd ever been a part of an outing where his team had held an opponent to fewer than 100 yards of total offense in game, he wasn't sure if he had.

Saturday evening at High Point Solutions Stadium, the Nittany Lions held the Scarlet Knights to just 87 yards of total offense, marking the fewest yards surrendered in a Big Ten game in program history. Holding Rutgers to nearly 150 yards below Penn State's previous single game low this season, the Nittany Lions also gave up just five first downs, marking another program first in conference action.

Acknowledging the unpredictable nature of the weather, Franklin was quick to direct credit to the leadership of Nittany Lion defensive coordinator Brent Pry, who has guided the defense through times of adversity and uncertainty to remarkable success to date.

"This team, tonight was a mental toughness game and physical toughness game and that's where we've been all year long," Franklin said. "There's been some adversity that's hit with the linebacker unit and o-line unit. It's been a next man in mentality with no excuses. We're going to make a way or find a way, and I'm really proud of the guys handled all those things."

Through preparation and execution, the Nittany Lion defense was on display once again Saturday, setting the tone early as safety Malik Golden took down Rutgers running back Josh Hicks for a loss of seven yards before defensive linemen Kevin Givens and Curtis Cothran halted quarterback Gio Rescigno on third-and-17 all on the first Scarlet Knight drive of the game.

With the Nittany Lions leading 3-0 in the opening quarter, linebacker Brandon Bell followed with a strip sack on third-and-3, forcing his second consecutive fumble to date. Although Penn State didn't recover the fumble, the Nittany Lions forced the second of 11 total Scarlet Knight punts.

In total, the Penn State defense matched a season-high mark with 11.0 tackles for loss, marking the Nittany Lions' fourth game with double figure tackles for loss this season. In the national FBS standings, Penn State is ranked fifth in team tackles for loss and second in the Big Ten conference.

Penn State's success on the defensive side of the ball hasn't been random though, as an increased focus on game week preparation with extra film sessions are now all part of the routine. 

"It's a routine and every guy knows, after class, when you get your school work done we need to get in the film room and get this extra stuff done," linebacker Jason Cabinda said. "We're in there and any time we have questions we leave them on the board for our coaches, asking questions about the offense even before we get a game plan. It's awesome the kind of things that guys are doing and how guys are trying to do everything they can, put so much effort in to make sure that we're 1-0 each week."

Mike Gesicki's Record-Setting Performance
With a team-high five catches against the Scarlet Knights, tight end Mike Gesicki broke the Penn State record for tight end receptions with 42 on the year. With the mark, he surpassed Penn State's Andrew Quarless who had 41 in 2009. 

Gesicki highlighted the opening quarter with a 26-yard grab from quarterback Trace McSorley, landing on one foot just inside the line before nearly hurdling the Rutgers defense for the Penn State first down on fourth.

Tyler Davis Earns Big Ten Weekly Honor
Following a career-high performance at Rutgers, Penn State place kicker Tyler Davis earned Big Ten Co-Special Teams Players of the Week honors, making him the ninth Nittany Lion to earn a conference weekly honor this season.
 

Davis enters the week ranked second in the conference and 11th nationally with a .909 field goal percentage. He's atop the conference standings and sixth nationally in the FBS standings averaging 1.82 field goals per game. 

More on his impact in the shutout victory at Rutgers here.

A Quick Look at Michigan State
Penn State is set to host the Spartans Saturday at Beaver Stadium in a 3:30 p.m. kick on senior day. Michigan State enters the matchup coming off of a close 17-16 loss to second-ranked Ohio State. It came down to the final five minutes as the Spartans missed a 2-point conversion, giving the Buckeyes the win at home in East Lansing.
 

At 3-8 on the year and 1-7 in Big Ten play, absolutely no Nittany Lion is counting out the Spartans, as Franklin noted postgame Saturday that the staff would be grading out the Rutgers film before arriving home in Happy Valley to focus solely on Michigan State.

"They're a tough team and have been a tough team for a long time," Franklin said. "Coach Dantonio has done a great job for a long time and they have talent. We're going to have to have a great week of practice."

Frantti Leads Nittany Lions to 20th Win of the Season

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By Jack Milewski, GoPSUSports.com Student Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Ali Frantti played arguably her best match of the season to help the Nittany Lions to their 20th win of the season, as Penn State topped Purdue in three sets to complete the season sweep of the Boilermakers.

Frantti led all players with 14 kills on 24 error-free swings, doing so in emphatic fashion, with one of the more efficient performances of the season, finishing with a .583 hitting percentage. Frantti was joined by Nittany Lion Simone Lee, who also finished with 14 kills to tie the match-high mark.

The Nittany Lions put down 50 team kills in the victory, marking the most in a three set match so far this season. Penn State also accumulated a .386 team hitting percentage, thanks largely in part to the errorless play of Frantti.

"I thought we passed really well, so we were able to run a three option pass," Frantti said. "Our middles were able to hold the block very well tonight so that gave me some room to take a few good swings."                            

Frantti was errorless on the attack for the first time since the first match of Big Ten play against Rutgers. For the fifth time this season, Frantti led the team in kills, but maybe more importantly, it came in the later portion of the season as Penn State is just two games away from the end of the regular season. Not only was the win convincing, but more importantly for the Nittany Lions, it answered a disappointing showing at Nebraska just a few nights earlier.

"It was huge for us," Frantti said. "It was a great answer and momentum changer heading in to the last part of our regular season and then the postseason." 

Though Frantti led the charge, she was not the only Nittany Lion to help Penn State to its 40th 20-win season in program history.

As mentioned, Lee was also an offensive force for Penn State, but Tori Gorrell had a perfect night too, posting 11 kills with no errors on a match-high .733 hitting efficiency. In terms of a team victory, Penn State put together one of its most balanced performances to date in Big Ten play, a sign that good things could be on the horizon for the Nittany Lions come NCAA Tournament time. 

The Nittany Lions are set to close out their season with two more Midwestern opponents, as they welcome Northwestern and Illinois for a Friday, Saturday series this weekend. The Nittany Lions swept past the Wildcats on the road near the end of September, but will host the Illini in the only meeting of the season on Senior Night Saturday at Rec Hall. 

Nittany Lion Offense Dominates Arizona State

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By Maria Canales, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Freshman forward Denis Smirnov became the fourth Nittany Lion to score a hat trick, notching three goals against Arizona State Friday night.

Smirnov, who didn't want to take all the credit for his hat trick, emphasized that it was his teammates and their contributions helping his own performance on the ice.

"It feels great," Smirnov said of adding to Penn State's hat trick history. "It feels great to get a huge win here."

The crowd went wild during the second period as Smirnov found the back of the net for the third time and the goal horn blasted in celebration. A handful of hats were thrown onto the ice, with a few fans leaving their seats to be closer to the boards so their hats would make it over.

Smirnov joins just three other Nittany Lions who have scored three goals in one game, David Glen, Casey Bailey, and most recently, Tommy Olczyk. Olczyk scored three in a 6-3 win over Princeton on December 11, 2015.

The top line of Smirnov, senior Dylan Richard and sophomore Andrew Sturtz found a lot of success against the Sun Devils, with Sturtz himself notching two goals and Richard picking up two assists Friday night.

Sturtz, who missed last weekend's games against Alaska Anchorage due to injury, was happy to be back in the lineup against Arizona State. 

"It felt great," Sturtz said. "I know school's going into break here but it definitely didn't feel like it, the place was still rocking. It's a blessing to play in a rink like this every day." 

In addition to the five goals combined from Smirnov and Sturtz, a goal each from freshman Nate Sucese and sophomore Alec Marsh lifted the Nittany Lions past the Sun Devils, 7-4. 

"I think everybody on the bench said he needed that," head coach Guy Gadowsky said of Marsh's goal. "He has been playing well, he has been working extremely hard and the puck just hasn't been going in for him."

Gadowsky said that he hopes Marsh's goal is the start of good things to come for the young forward.

The Nittany Lions came out swinging Saturday afternoon, quickly putting up five goals in the first period, all scored by different players. The Nittany Lions had great puck movement and communication setting up for each goal, each seemingly effortless.

Penn State then went into a defensive shell during the second period, using a low-risk offensive strategy. The Nittany Lions maintained their lead, allowing only seven shots during the second period, while sophomore goaltender Chris Funkey kept Arizona State scoreless.

Freshman forward Liam Folkes scored the only goal of the second period, sending Penn State into the second intermission with a 6-0 lead. It was his first goal as a Nittany Lion.

The Nittany Lions maintained their strategy shift into the third period, with freshman forward Nikita Pavlychev adding a goal for good measure. Sucese was posted in front of the net, but his shot went off the pipe and Pavlychev was able to tuck in the loose puck. Smirnov notched his fourth of the weekend quickly after.

In addition to the offensive display the Nittany Lions put on, Funkey recorded his first shut out between the pipes for the Blue and White. 

No. 10 Penn State sealed the deal, sending the Sun Devils back to Arizona with an 8-0 loss.

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By: Jeff Sattora, GoPSUsports.com Staff Writer 
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- The Penn State Lady Lions started off hot and didn't slow down, as an 11-4 early lead just was a sign of things to come in a 70-56 win over the 13th-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols, Sunday night inside the Bryce Jordan Center.  

Penn State had three big runs throughout the game, each at key moments to help secure the victory.  

Sophomore guard Teniya Page got the Lady Lions off to a quick start, hitting five of her game-high 29 points on a layup and transition 3-pointer in the first three minutes of play.  Page's points were bookended by triples from Amari Carter and Kaliyah Mitchell to get Penn State off and running.  

While Tennessee bounced back to take a 16-15 lead early in the second quarter, a second Lady Lion charge changed the game once again.   A jump shot by Carter gave Penn State a 17-16 lead they would not return the rest of the night.  Five different Lady Lions scored over the final seven minutes to spark a 16-0 run and 18-4 stretch to end the half.  

"The game is a game of runs," Penn State head coach Coquese Washington said on her team's first half bursts.  "We took advantage of what was there during those times.  We were able to get to the free-throw line or get out in transition and hit some 3's." 

"I think the biggest thing for us was rebounding and then running in transition and then keep running regardless of what happens," Page said, echoing her coach on the transition effort leading to success.  "The thing that we talked about the most in almost every timeout felt like rebound the ball and run in transition on a make and a miss.  I think that was a key to making our runs."

Coming out of halftime with a 33-20 lead, the Lady Lions looked to keep the momentum going.  While Penn State had the lead, it was Tennessee that chipped away, cutting the deficit to 44-40 at the end of the third. 

For Washington, responding at the start of the fourth quarter to that Tennessee comeback was all about the defensive end.    

"I thought we got some stops.  I thought Kaliyah Mitchell came down with some big rebounds.  We were tougher inside in terms of contesting shots.  But I thought the rebounding during that stretch was big for us.  We were able to rebound and get going."

When the Lady Lions get going it is often Page leading the way, and the fourth quarter was no different. 

The sophomore, who heading into the fourth led the Lions with 16 points, was not ready to go home on the losing end.   The guard scored Penn State's first six points of the quarter to respond to that Lady Vol attack. 

"I would just read the defense to see what they would give me," Page said on what led to her success all night long.  "I just had to pay attention to how they were guarding me and my teammates.  A lot of times I had to create off the dribble, but I also created enough space to at least shoot my pull-up." 

As well as Page played, it was a team effort to close out this win.  The start of the fourth quarter provided Penn State's third and final big run of the game.  A 3-pointer by Carter capped off a 13-2 run in the first 4:17 of the fourth to push the lead once again to double-digits, 57-42, and help seal the victory. 

Carter's big late bucket wasn't the only key play by the rest of that Lady Lion group, as Page's high-scoring effort was complimented by three others in scoring in double-figures. Mitchell filled in with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Carter and Sierra Moore added 11 and 10 points respectively in the victory.  

Penn State will look to keep a three game win streak rolling this week, as they head south to Florida for the San Juan Shootout Thursday and Friday.  

Davis Paces Penn State in Rutgers Shutout

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Whether rain, wind, snow or sleet, Penn State kicker Tyler Davis is as consistent as ever, helping guide Penn State to a 39-0 shutout victory on the road at Rutgers Saturday night.

The Nittany Lions (9-2, 7-1) blew past the Scarlet Knights (2-9, 0-8), notching their first shutout since taking down Illinois 39-0 last year, helped out a career-high four field goals from Davis.

Having already adjusted through the transition to a new holder, Davis faced a different kind of challenge Saturday, with unpredictable whipping winds mixed in with rain and sleet adding extra pressure. 

"The wind is a big thing for me," Davis said. "Really the the rain is bigger for the snapper and the holder to get it back there, catch it and get it down." 

Those challenges all seemed like just another day at the office for Davis and company, as he kicked three consecutive field goals for the Nittany Lions in the opening half, including a season-long 40-yarder on the third attempt. 

Relying on repetition and preparation, Davis calmly explained his process following his first half heroics that kept the Nittany Lions on top early.

"Really what I did, I just picked a spot on the scoreboard - I always look at the scoreboard to see where I'm going to aim my kicks. So I just pick a spot, a little inside the right post or a little inside the left post and just try to hit it."

Penn State head coach James Franklin had nothing but praise for Davis, noting that if he had pick an MVP, he'd select Davis.

"That guy is unbelievable," Franklin said. "He has a real maturity for a guy his age. He handles things really well. We changed the holder situation and a lot of times that can mess up a kicker and he has been great. He basically told me that whoever you put in there, I'll kick it through the uprights however they hold it - upright, sideways, crooked, laces." 

Getting It Done on Third Down
Penn State went 10-for-19 in third down conversions at Rutgers, converting at one of the highest clips of the season. 

Quarterback Trace McSorley led the way with three conversions, opening the game with a 4-yard run to put Penn State in position for the first of three consecutive Tyler Davis field goals.

McSorley certainly wasn't alone, as he was joined by a solid rotation of running backs. At least three different running backs helped the Nittany Lions in key third down situations, with Saquon Barkley running in for the 1-yard touchdown in the third quarter for Penn State's first touchdown of the night. Barkley's touchdown also set a Penn State sophomore program record as his 14 rushing touchdowns rank first first all-time for a Nittany Lion sophomores. 

Penn State also highlighted the evening with a 5-for-5 performance in the fourth quarter, featuring back-to-back 11-yard runs from McSorley early in the frame. Miles Sanders capped off the quarter with a career-long 57-yard run before back up quarterback Tommy Stevens added a 12-yard run on third and-6 in the final minutes of the game.

Running Backs Highlight Offense
Across Penn State's seven-game winning streak the Nittany Lions have seen at least two different running backs score a touchdown in a game on three occasions. Saturday, Penn State saw three different running backs in the end zone for the second time this season.

Following the 1-yard Barkley touchdown, Andre Robinson spelled a sidelined Barkley stepping in for the 2-yard rushing touchdown, his fourth of the season, to push Penn State up 19-0. 

Mark Allen added the final running back touchdown of the night, with a 27-yard touchdown catch from McSorley, dodging at the Rutgers defense with a pair of sharp cuts before finding the the end zone.

Juwan Johnson's Blocked Punt
Franklin said postgame that statistically speaking, a blocked punt has the ability to swing the moment of a game. Juwan Johnson's first career blocked punt did just that for the Nittany Lions as he came barreling off the edge to find Rutgers punter Michael Cintron without so much as a single hand on him. Penn State followed with their first touchdown of the game, sparking the offensive momentum in the second half. 

 

VIDEO: Postgame Players - Rutgers

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Several Nittany Lions took the time to meet with members of the media following the road win at Rutgers. 

Catch up with Trace McSorley, Juwan Johnson, Jason Cabinda, Brandon Bell, Tyler Davis and Brandon Bell following the win. 

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