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By Gabrielle Richards, GoPSUsports
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
"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
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.
Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student
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
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
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
"[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
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
"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 team...you 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
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
"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
"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."
UNIVERSITY 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.
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
Rahne: "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."
Do you ever have to remind yourself that Christian is only 19?
Rahne: "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."
Overall, through the first two games, how would you assess the way Christian
Rahne: "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."
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?
Rahne: "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."
What have you seen from the Rutgers passing defense leading up to this game?
Rahne: "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."
How are Trace McSorley and Michael O'Connor progressing and are either one
ready to play in a game right now?
Rahne: "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."
GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
Nham, GoPSUSports.com Student Staff
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
"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
"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.
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.
Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
By Meghan Miceli, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State swim team is eager to dive into
the 2014-'15 season. With four new captains
and an approaching intra-squad meet, the Nittany Lions are ready to make their
mark. Coming off a strong first season
as head coach, Tim Murphy is excited to see what this year has in store.
Since its return to campus team has been preparing for the season both in and
out of the pool. Between goal sheets, early
mornings in the weight room and afternoons in the pool, the Nittany Lions have
hit the ground running. Murphy is
pleased with what he has seen from his team so far, specifically the leadership
from his captains and the senior class as a whole.
"We're really working hard on carrying initiative and establishing the
program we want to have," Murphy said when asked about his focus for the
Leading the Nittany Lions this year are seniors Caitlyn Karr, Carolyn
Fittin, Nate Savoy and Larry Virgilio.
"This squad of seniors has been a tight group from the day we stepped onto
campus as freshmen," said Virgilio, "I couldn't be happier that we are still
here and captains together, working to bring this team as far as we can one
last time around."
The Nittany Lions lost a strong class last season, many of which scored at
the NCAA Championships. With the men
finishing 24th in the nation and the women placing 19th, there
are some gaps to fill. But for now,
Murphy is taking the season one day at a time.
This week's focus is the Blue/White intra-squad meet on Friday.
For Murphy, the Blue/White meet will be a good assessment for the teams
progress so far this season and will help lay the groundwork for what needs to
be done differently as the Nittany Lions prepare for their first regular season
"I'm very excited for our season," said Karr, "I think this team has a lot
of potential. Practices have been going well, but there's always room for
Catch the teams in action on Friday in McCoy Natatorium at 5 p.m. as they
start their season with the Blue and White competition.
Rutgers | High Points Solutions Stadium | 8 p.m. | Big Ten Network
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The
Nittany Lions travel to New Jersey on Saturday to take on Rutgers in the Big
Ten opener for both teams and the first ever Big Ten conference game for
Rutgers. Get to know the Scarlet Knights in this week's scouting report.
Kyle Flood, who is in his third year leading the Knights, has a record of 17-11
at Rutgers. The Knights went 6-7 overall and 3-5 in the American Athletic Conference
last year. They lost 29-16 to Notre Dame in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. Rutgers
returns 44 letterwinners and 16 starters from a year ago.
Rutgers is 2-0 after last week's 38-25 win over Howard. The Scarlet Knights
gained 397 yards of offense, including 288 through the air. Quarterback Gary
Nova completed 15-of-19 passes for 282 yards and four touchdowns. Running back Paul
James ran for 43 yards, a touchdown and caught two passes, both for touchdowns,
including a 69-yard reception. Leonte Carroo and John Tsimis each caught a
The Scarlet Knight defense allowed 427 yards, including 259 on the ground.
Linebacker Steve Longa led the defense with eight tackles (five solo). Defensive
end David Milewski recorded six tackles, two for loss, and forced a fumble. Milewski
was one of five Knights to record at least half of a sack on the day. Cornerback
Gareef Glashen intercepted a pass.
Through two games, Nova, a senior, has completed 67 percent of his passes for
563 yards, with six touchdowns and an interception. Nova leads the Big Ten in
James, a redshirt junior, has 216 rushing yards and four touchdowns, while
averaging 5.1 yards per rush. The six-foot, 205-pound James leads the Big Ten
in scoring, with six total touchdowns. Desmon Peoples will also see time in the
backfield. Peoples has 91 yards with a 4.8 yards per rush average.
Carroo leads the Rutgers receivers with eight catches for 195 yards and two
scores. The 6-1 Carroo is fifth in the conference in receiving yards. Joining
Carroo are 5-foot-11 sophomore Janarion Grant, who has seven receptions, and
Tsimis, who has six receptions and two touchdowns. Grant also returns kicks and
punts for the Knights.
The Scarlet Knight offensive line includes three seniors, led by Kaleb Johnson,
a preseason first-team All-Big Ten selection by Phil Steele.
So far in 2014, Rutgers has allowed 31.5 points and 482.5 yards per game,
including 350 yards passing per contest. They rank 13th in the Big Ten in
scoring defense and 14th in total defense.
The Rutgers defensive line features a pair of seniors and a pair of juniors. Milewski
leads the unit with seven tackles. He also has three tackles for loss, a sack
and a forced fumble. Kemoko Turay has 3.5 sacks.
Longa was named First Team All-Big Ten in the preseason by Phil Steele. The
redshirt sophomore leads the team with 15 tackles, nine solo. Fellow linebacker
Kevin Snyder has 12 stops and a forced fumble.
Glashen, a senior, leads the secondary with 13 tackles, 10 solo, and an
interception. Safety Delon Stephenson has recorded 11 stops, while Justin
Goodwin has a pick.
Kicker Kyle Federico has connected on three-of-four field goals, with a long of
42. Punter Joey Roth averages 38 yards per punt.
Penn State is 22-2 all-time against Rutgers. The schools last met in 1995, when
the Nittany Lions earned a 59-34 win at Giants Stadium.
What Kyle Flood is saying about Penn
"It's still early in the year and I haven't seen all the quarterbacks around
the country, but I find it hard to believe that there's a better quarterback in
the country that we'll face as an opponent. Hackenberg is the prototype NFL
quarterback, he has the prototype arm, and he has weapons all over the field to
use. He's an excellent player. You can tell he's been coached very well."
"They are very good on defense and they're very good on the defensive front.
They are difficult to run the ball against. They are very active. They do an
excellent job pressuring the quarterback and stopping the run."
Contributions on all of the
2014 Opponent Previews provided by GoPSUsports.com Student Writer Paul Marboe.
By Julie Bacanskas, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - While most Penn State fans were basking in a football
victory last weekend, the men's ice hockey team had someone more special to celebrate,
Colton Buckley. Buckley, the team's THON child, not only turned eight this past
Saturday, but he also got to see his "big brothers" for the first time since officially
Tucked back behind Jeffery Field, the team hosted a post-game birthday and
cancer-free tailgate for the 8-year-old, complete with cake, singing, presents
and party masks.
"He got cancer free recently, which is huge," said sophomore forward Ricky
DeRosa. "Everybody was so excited for him and everything. He was actually the
THON child at the football game today, so we figured they were coming up here,
which gave us a great opportunity to have a little birthday party tailgate for
Buckley's nomination to serve as an honorary captain for a football game this year
put the tailgate plan into motion. His mother, Nicole, originally tried to
schedule the appearance for the annual THON football game, but after all spots
were filled, she quickly realized the home opener would be a great second
At the game, Buckley was brought down to the field of Beaver Stadium, rushed
around from place to place, introduced to countless people and even featured on
the video boards. The overall experience was something new for him, but
throughout the entirety of the day, Buckley knew he had his post-game party
with the team, his extended family, to be even more excited about.
"Colton is our THON child," said newly appointed captain Patrick Koudys. "Some
of the guys who were here before me know him a little bit better than I do, but
he's a great kid. We love his family. He's always around the rink. He's got his
own stall in the locker room. I mean, he puts a smile on all of our faces
whenever we see him, so it's great to have him and great to be able to
celebrate his birthday with him."
After quickly unwrapping and assembling his present from the hockey team, a new
Nerf gun, Buckley got to work, using sophomore Dylan Richard as a human target.
The scene of the 8-year-old laughing and playing with 27 of his favorite people
highlighted the importance of his bond with the team and of his journey to
beating pediatric cancer.
"I look at it as relief because he's not
going to the hospital every single month anymore," explained Denny Buckley,
Colton's father. "You try to believe the doctors that he's cancer free, and
it's not going to come back. When he was on treatment and in treatment, there
was such a high risk.
"Anything can really be bad like a virus or
any kind of illness because he had no immune system when he was on treatment.
That was our biggest worry, and now he's back to pretty much himself again,
being crazy like he is."
"It's more stress now, too," added Nicole
Buckley. "You don't have that blanket, that cushion anymore. I mean, we still
go to the doctors every month, but you don't have that treatment. You know, the
chemotherapy keeps it away. Now that's all gone, and his whole body is
basically starting over. It's relief, but it's stress as well."
The connection between the Buckley family and the hockey team is
incredibly special to both parties. They are family now and will continue to be
there for each other throughout each and every step of Colton's journey.
As the festivities wrapped up, Buckley's father asked him to name his
favorite hockey team. The answer was simple and came to the birthday boy in a
matter of seconds. Penn State.
"I honestly cannot even put it in words," said Denny Buckley of his
family's relationship with the hockey team. "It means way too much to try and
put it into words. They could have just looked at Colton as their THON kid and
done things with him here and there, but they've been so much more than that.
"We consider them family and vice versa. When we come up here, we say
we're coming up to see family. We feel at home when we're here, and he
absolutely loves these guys. That in itself says everything. They're family to
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - GoPSUsports.com catches up with junior center Angelo Mangiro and sophomore receiver Geno Lewis leading up to the Rutgers game.
James Franklin Transcript - Sept. 9
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions head back on the road this week
for the Big Ten opener at Rutgers on Saturday (8 p.m. on BTN).
Head coach James Franklin previewed the week three matchup against the Scarlet
Knights on Tuesday afternoon inside the Beaver Stadium Media Room. Saturday
will mark Franklin's first Big Ten game as a head coach. Franklin is looking
for the team to continue making strides on both sides of the ball and on special
teams following the victory over Akron.
"We have got to continue to improve each day and each week which is something
that I think this staff historically has done a good job of," Franklin said.
"...Offensively, we are going to have to develop a more consistent running game. I'm
not telling you guys anything you don't know. We are going to have to keep
doing that and we are going to keep investing in that every single day. That
will happen... Defensively, continue to not give up big plays, stopping the run
has been huge for us in making teams one‑dimensional. We want to continue to do
that. And then on 'wefense', we need a little bit more consistency in our
kicking. When I talk about kicking, I'm talking about our kickoff and our
kickoff coverage, making sure the ball location is where we want it so our
defense can start out with a better field position."
With the Akron game in the rearview mirror, Franklin and the team are focused
solely on preparation for Rutgers. This is a big week for team. Every week is a
big week for the Nittany Lions. Franklin noted that all 12 weeks on schedule
are treated the same. The approach remains constant from the start of the year
to the end. The next game on the schedule is the biggest game on the schedule,
and one game is no bigger than the next.
"Our approach to this game is going to be exactly the same as it was for
Central Florida, exactly the same way it was for Akron. It will not change,"
Franklin said. "We are just as motivated in this game as we were for Akron and
we are just as motivated for this game as we were for Central Florida. Our
approach will not change."
With it being a primetime kick on Saturday, Franklin said the team would stick
to its normal routine on gameday. The group will sleep in Saturday morning before
meetings and a walkthrough. Because of an extended day, Franklin said there
would be two team meals instead of one.
While the Nittany Lion football program received very good news on Monday when
the NCAA and Big Ten announced that Penn State is eligible to compete for a
spot in a bowl game and the Big Ten Championship, the focus is solely on the
task at hand this week. The team spent very little time talking about Monday's
news before shifting immediately back into Rutgers game prep. The team is focused
on one team this week.
"I do think this game from a regional perspective is good for Pennsylvania,"
said Franklin. "I do think it's good for New Jersey and I think it's good for
the Big Ten and I think it's good for both institutions. I think it's going to
be a fun game and we're looking forward to playing it. But we have got
tremendous respect for Rutgers, for what they have done on the football field
and what they have done in the classroom."
Saturday's game will mark the 25th time Rutgers will play at Penn State. The
Lions are 22-2 against the Scarlet Knights. The squads last met in 1995 with
the Nittany Lions knocking off Rutgers by a score of 59-34. Saturday's game is
just the fourth time Penn State has played on campus at Rutgers.
Press Conference Notes
- Following the news on Monday of the sanctions modification, Coach
Franklin called a team meeting inside the Lasch Building. After Franklin
outlined the announcement, he called the players and staff members who stuck
with the program through the entire duration of the sanctions to the front of
the room. Franklin recognized the group for their dedication and efforts during
- Coach Franklin announced that Geno Lewis (offense), Mike Hull (defense) and
Chris Gulla (special teams) were the internal players of the week for the Akron
- Franklin on the Rutgers offense:
"Their coordinator Ralph Friedgen, in his 42nd year of coaching. He's made a
noticeable difference in their offense and their confidence and consistency. They
run a pro‑style offense, eight returning starters, five offensive touchdowns of
30 yards or more averaging seven yards a play, and they are No. 2 in the Big
Ten in scoring."
- Franklin on the Rutgers defense:
"Their defensive coordinator, Joe Rossi, has done a really, really good job for
them. He's a guy that's been on the staff, left and has comeback. They have
seven starters, five senior starters and they play a 4‑3 base defense. Quarter,
quarter half in the secondary, very good movement up front, very disruptive,
very aggressive, blue collar, hard‑nosed defense."
- Franklin on the Rutgers special teams:
"Their kick returner, No. 1, Janarion Grant we need to be aware of.
I think last year as a true freshman, first time he touched a ball, he took it
back for a touchdown and has done some really nice things. Then he's their kick
return and punt return guy, so we are going to have to be aware of him and make
sure he doesn't have too big of a factor in the game."
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