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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Several Nittany Lions address the media following Saturday's 20-19 setback to Maryland. For the first time in program history, the Nittany Lions have played in an overtime and one-point game in consecutive weeks.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to GoPSUsports.com's live, interactive
coverage of the 2014 football season. Tune in for live blog coverage from all
12 games on the schedule. Penn State meets Maryland for the first time as a member of the Big Ten.
Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
One of the many traditions of the Penn State football program's gameday
experience is the Beaver Stadium Pictorial, the official gameday magazine of
the Nittany Lions. The publication originated in the 1920s and continues to
evolve, bringing fans closer to the football program, its student-athletes and
the entire Penn State athletic department.
Each week throughout the home portion of the of the Nittany Lions' schedule you can find a preview of the content for the upcoming Beaver Stadium Pictorial on GoPSUsports.com.
Here is a preview of the feature content inside the Penn State vs. Maryland BSP that will be sold during the longtime rivals first meeting as Big Ten foes.
Pick up your copy on each home game day for just $5.00.
Crime & Punishment Two Passions For Zwinak
BY: Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
Zach Zwinak has always been one to trust his gut. It's what led the Penn State running back to choose criminology as his major during his sophomore year. Although no one in his immediate family had ever worked on a police force, he couldn't help but feel it was right for him.
This past summer, Zwinak was given the opportunity to work in law enforcement, as he completed an internship with the Spring Township Police Department near State College.
As a student intern, Zwinak was required to do much more than simply sit in an office. A typical day for him usually included going on a ride-along with an officer and learning how to handle the different situations that could arise at any time.
Community Service Vital Aspect To Penn State Student-Athlete Experience
by: Greg Campbell, Penn State Athletic Communications
The complete Penn State student-athlete experience includes a multitude of areas. From excelling in competition, to succeeding in the classroom, to building lifelong friendships, that is what each of the more than 800 student-athletes strive to accomplish during their time on the University Park campus.
The nearly 90,000 residents of Happy Valley are the heartbeat of Penn State University and regularly attend sporting events on campus. From Beaver Stadium to McCoy Natatorium, Rec Hall to Bryce Jordan Center or Pegula Ice Arena, the inhabitants of Happy Valley are Penn State athletics' No. 1 supporters.
Likewise, the Penn State student-athletes are their top supporters and they make it a point to show this through community involvement and fundraising efforts throughout the year.
Men's Basketball Returns Six Lettermen With Multiple Starts
By: Tony Mancuso, Penn State Athletic Communications
In just under two weeks, the Penn State Nittany Lion basketball team will open the 2014-15 season with a 7 p.m. tipoff Friday, Nov. 14, against Morgan State in the Bryce Jordan Center.
For the players, coaches and staff, it cannot get here soon enough. This offseason has been filled with relentless dedication by all involved, growing stronger and faster with more focus and consistency.
Patrick Chambers enters his fourth season with a veteran roster for the first time in his career. There are six players who made multiple appearances in the starting lineup last season. Seventy percent of scoring is back and more than 80 percent of the team's rebounds.
The Penn State vs. Maryland BSP also features;
Expanded Game Notes
Unrivaled Moment: vs. Ohio State
Player Q&As w/ Ben Kline, Eugene Lewis & Trevor Williams
University Feature: At Penn State We Are -- Sustainable
2014 Penn State Football Team Photo
Upcoming Events: Penn State Athletics Sports Planner
GAME BLOG - Penn State vs. Maryland
Game Notes | Gameday Central | Maryland Scouting Report | Coach Franklin Wednesday
Press Conference Roundup | Coach Smith Q&A | Player Q&A Video | BSP Preview
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - For the first time in 21 seasons, Penn State (4-3, 1-3) and Maryland (5-3, 2-2) will collide on the gridiron on Saturday when the Big Ten East Division foes meet at noon (ESPN2) in Beaver Stadium.
The regional foes have met 37 times prior to this week's matchup in Happy Valley. Maryland is the eight-most played opponent in Penn State's history. The Nittany Lions own a 35-1-1 mark in the all-time series against the Terrapins, with the lone setback coming in 1961.
On the heels of a superb second half against No. 13 Ohio State last week, the Nittany Lions enter the eighth game on the schedule with confidence. Penn State's defense kick-started a stretch of 24-unanswered points for the Lions in a 31-24 double-overtime setback to Ohio State last week. The Lions shut out the Buckeyes in the final two quarters of the game.
The Nittany Lions remain ranked among the top units in the country in three of the four major statistical categories. Penn State is No. 3 in rushing defense, No. 7 in total defense and No. 9 in scoring defense. After tallying 19 stops against Ohio State, senior linebacker Mike Hull is ranked sixth in the nation with 11.9 tackles per game.
Sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg led a 77-yard scoring drive in the final three minutes of regulation to send last week's game into overtime. Hackenberg continues to rank among the top signal callers in the Big Ten. He is leading the conference in passing with 265.9 passing yards per game. Coming off a Penn State record-breaking 14-reception effort against Ohio State, wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton is the nation's top freshman receiver in receptions (57) and receptions per game (8.1).
Maryland fell to 5-3 on the season following a 52-7 loss at Wisconsin last week. The Terps are 2-2 in conference play during their first season as a member of the Big Ten. Maryland knocked off Indiana (37-15) and Iowa (38-31) en route to a 2-1 start to Big Ten play. The Terrapins are ranked ninth in the Big Ten in total offense (373.9 ypg) and 13th in total defense (458.4 ypg).
Saturday's game will feature the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) for the event's amazing fundraising efforts in the fight against pediatric cancer. The THON Executive Committee will present the theme for the 2015 Dance Marathon and the final total amount raised in the 2013-'14 academic year.
Additionally, the Maryland game will be the annual celebration of all Commonwealth campuses. Two students from each of Penn State's 24 campuses will proudly represent their campus by carrying its banner onto the field during halftime.
Welcome to the Gameday Preview for the week eight matchup against Maryland.
What to Watch For - Penn State
1. Head coach James Franklin said it best earlier this week when he talked with GoPSUsports.com. Following the second-half efforts against Ohio State, Franklin wants to see the Nittany Lion offense take the next step against Maryland this week. Penn State found some momentum and success in the latter stages of Saturday's game with two critical scoring drives, which sent the contest into overtime. Freshman Saeed Blacknall hauled in the first touchdown reception of his Nittany Lion career on a 24-yard throw from Hackenberg. The offense also marched 77 yards on its final drive for a game-tying field goal attempt in the final seconds of regulation. Finding consistency in the trenches will be critical for the Lions moving forward, and Franklin is hopeful that senior captain Miles Dieffenbach could see some action for the first time on Saturday.
2. Simply put, the Nittany Lion defense turned in a dominant performance against Ohio State. Hull's stellar 19-tackle effort speaks for itself, but the Nittany Lion defensive line has played at an elite level during much of the 2014 season. The impact Penn State's D-Line has made on every snap doesn't necessarily show up on the stat sheet every week, but the group has been disruptive on a consistent basis. Ends Deion Barnes, C.J. Olaniyan, Carl Nassib and Brad Bars have all made a tremendous impact off the edge. Inside, Anthony Zettel and Austin Johnson have been among the top interior tandems in the Big Ten. Zettel is leading the defense in tackles for loss (8.0) and tied for the team lead in interceptions (2), which includes his interception return for a touchdown against Ohio State.
3. Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop challenges the defense to force more turnovers every time it steps on the field. Penn State's two turnovers against Ohio State played a paramount role in the team's ability to put itself in a position to win last week. The Lions enter the final five games of the season looking to extend the streak of forcing a turnover in five-straight games. The Penn State defense has forced 10 turnovers in the past five games.
What to Watch For - Maryland
1. Maryland senior quarterback C.J. Brown is a dynamic player for the Terps. The team's leader in rushing and passing yards, Brown is ranked second in school history in touchdowns responsible for (50). Brown is one of just 10 active players in the FBS to pass for 4,000 or more yards and rush for 1,000 yards. In 2014, Brown has thrown for 1,316 yards and rushed for 376 yards. He has accounted for 13 touchdowns this season (8 passing; 5 rushing). Brown's favorite target is junior Stefon Diggs, who has big-play ability every time he touches the ball. Diggs, who has at least one reception in 26-straight games, has made 46 catches for 601 yards and scored five touchdowns in 2014.
2. Maryland's defensive unit provides the look of a 3-4 scheme. Senior defensive end Andre Monroe is a name to watch on Saturday. Monroe is ranked third in the program's history with 21.0 sacks. He leads all active players with 32.5 TFL for his career. Maryland is tied with Michigan State in sacks during conference games this season (13). Cornerback William Likely has been a difference-maker in the secondary for the Terps in 2014. Likely has two interception returns for a touchdown this season, and he ranks fourth in the Big Ten in passes defended per game. As a unit, Maryland has 14 takeaways this season.
3. The return game has been a big piece of Maryland's success this fall. The Terps boast the Big Ten's top punt returner and kickoff returner in Likely and Diggs, respectively. Likely has one punt return for a score this season and is averaging 16.3 yards per touch. Diggs is averaging 25.2 yards per return each time he touches the ball on kickoffs.
The Final Word:
Dating back to 1917, Maryland is one of Penn State's oldest foes. Separated by just 198 miles, the Nittany Lions and Terrapins played 37 times from 1917 to 1993. Penn State and Maryland met during every season from 1960-'75 before a one-year break. The two teams then played one another during each season from 1984-'93 before the series took a break. Now, as members of the Big Ten East Division, Penn State and Maryland will meet on a yearly basis. The Nittany Lions are unbeaten in 21 games played against the Terps in Happy Valley. Penn State and Maryland will play at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore in 2015. Kickoff is slated for 12:01 p.m. on Saturday with Beth Mowins, Joey Galloway and Paul Carcaterra on the ESPN2 broadcast.
Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
Penn State defensive recruiting coordinator and cornerbacks coach Terry M. Smith
spoke with the media on Thursday. The
Nittany Lions host Maryland on Saturday at noon (ESPN2). Take a look at a
Q&A with Smith.
Q: What are your memories of the Penn State-Maryland series? You played in a couple of those games when you were here as a player.
Smith: "Back a long time ago when I played (laughter), the games were always competitive. We've always had players on our roster from Maryland. So there is always a battle for recruiting ground. It was always a physical game. It was always a tough game to mentally prepare for because you knew the physical battle that was coming. We anticipate another tough battle again on Saturday. Both teams have to get back on track after tough weeks. And it is going to be a battle for each to get back on track."
Q: With Troy Apke set to be on the field for the first time on Saturday in the secondary, what have you seen from him in practice?
Smith: "Troy is an extremely athletic kid. He is very explosive. He is very fast. He has very good size. He's also a bright kid. He's going to bring added athleticism to us. He's working really hard in practice to get caught up on his special teams assignments and his secondary assignments. He just brings a wealth of athleticism to us."
Q: How have you guys had to change your play-calling, so to speak, in the secondary with Ryan Keiser out? Coach Franklin has said he was like the quarterback of the secondary.
Smith: "Keiser is the quarterback. He helped us stay in the right call. He is a terrific communicator. Now, with a freshman safety back there, Marcus (Allen) did a really good job back there this past week against Ohio State. He's communicating a lot better each day as we speak. He's getting more reps. There is a little more demand on his communications skills, and he is doing a terrific job. All of the other secondary guys - Adrian Amos, Jordan Lucas and Trevor Williams - they have to increase their communication as a whole. It was very loud in the game against Ohio State. We just have to do a better job as a whole, verbally and physically, communicating our signals."
Q: How would you sum up the year Jordan Lucas has put together so far?
Smith: "With Jordan, I think he is playing really good. He has been consistent all year. He hasn't given up many pass completions in his area. He's extremely physical. He knocked the ball out on a hit in the game against Ohio State. He brings a lot of leadership to our secondary. He's a guy that's been through it. He's a guy that when the lights come on, it doesn't matter to him. He can help the younger guys, like Marcus (Allen), to get through those moments. He's brought a wealth of experience to us. We want to try to get him to the point - he hasn't had an interception on the year, but he hasn't had a lot of opportunities, too, which a lot of times offenses go away from who they think is the best defensive back. So his opportunities are limited. I just told him that you have to be prepared for when the one or two come."
Q: You've worked with a number of units in your career, most recently wide receivers, what went into the move to working with corners, and how do you think it has gone?
Smith: "I knew for me to achieve my long-term goals, I needed to get some defensive experience. I didn't think it would come necessarily so quickly. But when the opportunity arose, I took advantage of it. And Coach Franklin had enough trust in me to handle the corners. I think so far this season we are playing really sound football. We have been really consistent in the secondary. And that's the most important trait right now."
Q: What have you seen from the Maryland passing game?
Smith: "In the passing game, they have a tremendously athletic (group) on the perimeter. Stefon Diggs is a very explosive athlete. He leads them with 46 catches. I think he has scored in the last four games. We need to keep him out of the end zone and keep his explosiveness away. Deon Long is a guy who can stretch the field. He is a good-sized athlete who has a lot of playing experience. And then they have another couple guys. Marcus Leak is a guy who can stretch the field. He's very fast. We've got to make sure we contain his speed. And then Jacquille Veii - he's kind of a do-everything guy. They try to get him some touches for him. We have to be able to contain their athletes on the perimeter when they run quick screens and bubbles. If we can contain them, obviously the No. 1 goal for the defense is to stop the run, but at the perimeter and in the secondary, we need to contain their athletes and not let them have explosive plays."
Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
Maryland | Beaver Stadium | 12 p.m. | ESPN2
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions meet the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday in the first meeting between the schools since 1993, and the first since Maryland joined the Big Ten.
Randy Edsall is in his fourth year leading the Terrapins with a mark of 18-27. Edsall is 92-97 overall in his 16th year as a head coach. Maryland went 7-6 overall and 3-5 in the ACC in 2013. They fell 31-20 against Marshall in the Military Bowl. The Terrapins returned 52 lettermen and 17 starters.
The Terrapins dropped to 5-3 overall and 2-2 in conference play on Saturday, losing 52-7 at Wisconsin. The Maryland offense gained 175 yards, with 129 coming through the air. Quarterback C.J. Brown completed 13-of-29 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown. Running back Wes Brown gained 22 yards on five carries. Deon Long caught six passes for 59 yards and Stefon Diggs hauled in a 21-yard touchdown pass.
The Terrapins allowed 527 total yards, including 311 on the ground and five rushing touchdowns. Safety Sean Davis recorded 17 tackles, including 14 solo, and broke up a pass. Cornerback Jeremiah Johnson made seven stops, six solo, and forced a fumble. Defensive end Andre Monroe added a 10-yard sack.
Maryland ranks fifth in the conference in scoring, averaging 31.6 points per game. They also rank ninth in the Big Ten, gaining nearly 374 yards of total offense per contest. They average 137.5 yards rushing and 236 yards passing, ranking 11th and seventh in the conference, respectively.
Brown has completed 55 percent of his passes for 1,316 yards, eight touchdowns and six interceptions. He also leads the team with 376 yards rushing and five touchdowns. Brown is seventh in the conference in total offense, averaging 211.5 yards per game.
Junior Brandon Ross and sophomore Wes Brown join C.J. Brown in the backfield. Ross, a 5-foot-10, 210-pound junior, has 257 yards rushing and two touchdowns, gaining 4.4 yards per carry. Ross also has 11 catches for 202 yards and two scores. Wes Brown has recorded 231 yards and three touchdowns. Brown also has 115 yards on 11 receptions. Fullback Kenneth Goins has 41 rushing yards, 45 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown.
The Terrapins have a very strong receiving corps, led by junior Stefon Diggs. One of the fastest players in the country, Diggs leads the team with 601 yards and five touchdowns on 46 catches, averaging 13 yards per catch. Diggs has caught a pass in 26 straight games. Senior Deon Long has caught 33 passes for 366 yards and a touchdown. Junior Marcus Leak has 253 yards and three touchdowns on 16 receptions.
The Maryland offensive line includes two seniors, two juniors and a sophomore. Three linemen have at least 21 career starts.
The Terrapins use a 4-3 style defense, but provide the look of a 3-4 scheme (standing defensive end). They allow 29.2 points and 458.4 total yards per game, ranking 11th and 13th in the Big Ten, respectively. They rank 13th in the conference, giving up 212.4 yards rushing. They are 11th in the league, giving up 246 yards passing. They have forced 14 turnovers this season.
The defensive line is led by end Andre Monroe. The senior has 44 tackles, including eight for loss and 6.5 sacks and has forced a fumble. Fellow end Keith Bowers has recorded 27 tackles, 14 solo, and 2.5 tackles for loss. Tackle Darius Kilgo has made 30 stops, 22 solo, six for loss and two sacks. Kilgo has also recovered three fumbles and blocked a kick.
Cole Farrand, an inside linebacker, leads the unit with 67 tackles, including 35 solo, and four tackles for loss. He has also broken up five passes. Also on the inside is L.A. Goree, who has made 66 stops, 43 solo and two for loss. On the outside, Yannick Ngakoue has a team-leading 10.5 tackles for loss. Ngakoue also has 28 tackles, 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
Cornerback William Likely leads the Big Ten with four interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns. He has 134 total return yards on those four picks. Likely also has 51 tackles this year, nine passes defended, a sack and a forced fumble. Fellow cornerback Jeremiah Johnson has three pass breakups and an interception. Safety Sean Davis leads the team with 75 tackles, 52 solo. He has two tackles for loss and four pass breakups. The other safety, Anthony Nixon, has 34 tackles, an interception and a blocked kick.
Kicker Brad Craddock, a Lou Groza Award candidate, has hit on all 12 attempts this year, including a 57-yarder against Ohio State. Craddock has made 18 straight attempts, dating back to last season. Punter Nathan Renfro averages 41.1 yards per punt and has placed 15 inside the 20-yard-line. Diggs and Likely handle the return duties. Diggs has averaged 25.2 yards per kick return. Likely leads the Big Ten and ranks seventh nationally, averaging 16.3 yards per punt return. Likely returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown against West Virginia.
Penn State is 35-1-1 all-time against Maryland. The schools last met on Oct. 2, 1993, with Penn State winning 70-7.
What Randy Edsall is saying about Penn State:
"They have a tremendous history with their football program over the years. I think it's great to be able to be in the same conference with them, in a bordering state."
"[Hackenberg]'s big, he's strong, and he can make every throw that you want a quarterback to make. He's mobile and able to move around, so when an opportunity does present itself, he can hold the ball down and run."
"I think when you take a look at their defense, it starts with Mike Hull. That guy is all over the place. He is a tremendous football player. He makes a ton of tackles and is a leader for them... They are very strong up the middle and have very good athletes at the other positions."
Contributions on all of the 2014 Opponent Previews provided by GoPSUsports.com Student Writer Paul Marboe.