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2014 Gameday Preview - Lions Open Season In Dublin

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Game Notes | Depth Chart | UCF Scouting Report | Huge Crowd Greets Lions in Ireland

Ireland Day I Coverage | Ireland Day II Coverage | Ireland Photo Gallery

DUBLIN, Ireland - For the first time in its 128-year gridiron history, the Nittany Lion football team will play an international game. Penn State is set to meet UCF in the season-opening Croke Park Classic on Saturday (8:30 a.m. on ESPN2) in Ireland.

Head coach James Franklin will debut as leader of the Nittany Lions when he leads the team onto the infamous Irish pitch inside Croke Park Stadium. The Blue and White enter the season with seven returning starters on both offense and defense. The Lions begin the season with 54 true or redshirt freshmen on the roster.

Penn State traveled to Dublin overnight on Tuesday. After practicing at University College Dublin for three days, the Nittany Lions are focused on the season-opener against a very talented UCF squad. On the heels of a 12-1 season and a win in the Fiesta Bowl, the Knights are under the direction of 18-year veteran head coach George O'Leary.

The long wait is over. The 2014 Penn State Football season is here.  Welcome to an international version of the Gameday Preview for the season-opener against the UCF Knights.

Pregame Reading:
What to Watch For - Penn State
1. The Nittany Lions have been more than 3,000 miles away from Happy Valley since Wednesday morning, so game week has been anything but normal from a travel perspective. But the on-field preparations and meetings have been business as usual for the Nittany Lions across the pond. Penn State held three practices in Ireland and usual gameplan meetings throughout the week. The schedule has been as close to a typical game week as possible. As Coach Franklin has said all week, this is a business trip for the team and its staff. The Lions have been exposed to some of the finest cuisine and sites in Ireland during the week, but the group has been focused on the task at hand since it arrived.

10256181.jpeg2. Reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year Christian Hackenberg will lead the Nittany Lion offense for the second-straight season. Hackenberg, who was voted captain by his peers during training camp, is an improved player in all facets of the game after a strong offseason in the weight room and on the field. Franklin has noted several times during the offseason that the cast of players surrounding the quarterback is the key group to keep an eye on. Headlining the cast is a pair of senior running backs - Bill Belton and Zach Zwinak - and a corps of veteran tight ends led by Jesse James and Kyle Carter. Keep an eye on the youthful receiving corps made up of Geno Lewis, DaeSean Hamilton, Chris Godwin and Saeed Blacknall.

3. The Penn State defense had a superb training camp season. A group filled with veterans, the Nittany Lions enter the season with eight defensive starters who are juniors or seniors. The man calling the shots on the defensive side of the ball is fifth-year senior Mike Hull. Hull is the team's top returning tackler (78 stops in 2013). In addition to Hull, defensive end C.J. Olaniyan and safeties Ryan Keiser and Adrian Amos will start as seniors. Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop wants to see an attacking style with relentless pursuit of the ball every time his unit steps onto the field.

What to Watch For - UCF
1. The UCF defense features nine returning starters from last year's team that went 12-1. The Knights finished in the nation's top 20 in scoring defense in 2013, allowing just 21.3 points per game. Bednarik Award candidate Terrance Plummer returns as the team's top tackler. He finished with 110 tackles in 2013. The UCF secondary features two Jim Thorpe Award candidates in senior Clayton Geathers and sophomore cornerback Jacoby Glenn. Geathers recorded 100 stops, two interceptions and 10 pass breakups last season. Glenn had two interceptions and 15 pass breakups.

10256196.jpeg2. The Penn State coaching staff believes UCF has among the top receiving units that the Nittany Lions will face all season. Senior Rannell Hall made 57 receptions for 886 yards and had five touchdowns last year. Junior Breshad Perriman averaged nearly 21 yards per reception in 2013. Perriman finished with 811 yards and 39 catches. J.J. Worton is the third key contributor in the receiving corps. Worton tallied 47 receptions and seven touchdowns last season. Former UCF quarterback and NFL first-round selection Black Bortles is now playing on Sundays. Redshirt freshman Pete DiNovo will make his first career start, but he has a talented cast of receivers on the field to distribute the ball to.

3. The Knights also enter the season with a solid group of specialists on the depth chart. Placekicker Shawn Moffitt is a Lou Groza Award candidate after going 21-for-23 on field goal attempts in 2013. Punter Caleb Houston averaged 42.2 yards per punt last season, as well. Hall (KR) and Worton (PR) are the team's return threats. Hall is among UCF's leaders in nearly every kickoff return category. Worton has 55 punt returns for 573 yards in his career.

The Final Word:
Historic Croke Park will play host to Saturday's clash between Penn State and UCF. Finished in 1913, Croke Park Stadium has a 69,000-seat capacity for the football game. Home of the Gaelic Games, the stadium is a large structure that towers over most of the buildings in Dublin, but does so with an intimate feel inside. The sports and cultural heritage of the stadium can be felt from the moment an individual walks inside. The pitch is hallowed ground not touched by anyone but competitors or the grounds crew. The pitch itself is large enough to fit more than two football fields across it, giving Saturday's game a unique look. The football lines will be centered in the pitch, which provides significant space between the sidelines and the stadium structure. Playing inside Croke Park means a lot to the Nittany Lions.

"There is no doubt that it is a national treasure for them," Franklin said. "Sports are very, very important in this country. I think the whole thing has been surreal in a lot of ways."

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

Day Two Coverage of the Nittany Lions in Ireland

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10255504.jpegDay I Coverage in Ireland | Photo Gallery

DUBLIN, Ireland. - 
With the season-opener looming on Saturday inside Croke Park (8:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2), it was business as usual for the Nittany Lions on Thursday in their game preparations in Ireland.

The team held its normal team and position meetings in the morning before traveling to University College of Dublin (UCD) for practice. 
The Lions finished a busy Thursday in Ireland with a team meal at the Guinness Storehouse high above the Dublin skyline.

Head coach James Franklin was pleased with the team's focus level at practice on Thursday, and he said that he feels like the team is ready for the opener against UCF.

"We got really good work done. We basically repeated yesterday's practice, but went full speed," Franklin said. "Mother Nature cooperated. The weather is beautiful. We got a lot of really good work done...I think the guys have had a really good experience. The hotel has been unbelievable. The GAA has been unbelievable. And we are excited to get out there and play."

The team will hold its normal walkthrough on Friday at UCD before meetings and a team meal on Friday evening. Franklin said he feels good about where the team is heading into the final day of prep for Saturday's game.

"I think every day that it gets closer there is more anticipation," Franklin said. "There is no doubt about that. But I'm not a guy that gets excited until the morning of the game. Usually, I sleep very well the night before the game. I wake up that morning and kind of get those butterflies. In the locker room, I get the butterflies. And things like that. But before that, there are things like today that we have to get cleaned up that are on our mind. Until all of those things are done, that's where my focus is."

James Franklin Practice Update - Thursday

Following the practice session on Thursday, the Nittany Lions received an interactive informational session on Gaelic football and hurling, two games that are a fixture in Ireland. The Lions split into groups for hands-on instruction for both sports before professionals put on an exhibition of the two sports. Cormac o'Donnoha, Director of Experience Gaelic Games, led the instruction at UCD. Take a look.


The day concluded with a terrific factory tour and meal at the Guinness Storehouse in downtown Dublin. The team visited several levels of the factory before congregating on the fifth floor of the building for a buffet dinner. The building where the Storehouse is located was built in 1902 as a fermentation plant for the St. James's Gate Brewery. It was the first multi-story steel-framed structure to be built in Ireland.


Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

2014 Football Opponent Previews - UCF

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9362541.jpegUCF, Croke Park, Dublin, Ireland, 8:30 a.m. ET, ESPN2

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Knights, led by George O'Leary, open their 2014 campaign looking to repeat as American Athletic Conference champions.  UCF finished last year with a 12-1 record, including 8-0 in the AAC.  They were selected for their first BCS bowl in program history, defeating Baylor 52-42 in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.  O'Leary enters his 11th year as UCF's head coach with a 72-56 career record and was named AAC Coach of the Year in 2013.

The Knights return six starters from an offense that averaged 30.4 points and 441.5 yards per game last year.  UCF must replace three All-AAC offensive linemen and their backfield. 

UCF will have a new quarterback in 2014 after Blake Bortles entered the NFL Draft and was selected third overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars.  The Knights will start redshirt freshman Pete DiNovo, native of Tarpon Springs, Fla. DiNovo got the nod over Justin Holman and Boise State transfer Nick Patti.

The Knights will also have a new running back after Storm Johnson also entered the draft.  Six-foot-one, 225-pound sophomore William Stanback will take over the main role after gaining 443 yards and six touchdowns on 105 carries (4.2 yards per carry).  The Doak Walker Award candidate also caught 15 passes for 186 yards and a score. 

A talented receiver group will lead the offense with three of their top four wideouts back from 2013.  Each receiver brings a good combination of size and speed that will be a challenge for a Penn State secondary that is one of the most experienced units on the defense. 

Senior Rannell Hall led the team with 886 yards on 57 catches, while adding five touchdowns.  The 6-foot-1 Hall will also contribute on kick returns after he averaged nearly 24 yards per return in 2013.

Joining Hall are junior Breshad Perriman and redshirt senior J.J. Worton.  The 6-foot-3 Perriman averaged almost 21 yards per catch last year, totaling 811 yards and four touchdowns on 39 catches. Worton, 6-foot-2, gained 721 yards and seven scores on 47 receptions. Worton will also contribute on punt returns.  Tight end Justin Tukes caught 13 passes for 116 yards and a score last year.

The offensive line will include three new starters after All-AAC linemen Chris Martin, Jordan McCray and Justin McCray all graduated.  Tackle Torrian Wilson returns and was named a preseason First Team All-AAC player by Phil Steele. 

UCF returns nine starters from a defense that ranked among the nation's top 20 in scoring defense in 2013, allowing just 21.3 points per game.  They also had a strong run defense, giving up 122.5 yards per game.

The Knight defensive line is led by two redshirt juniors, tackle Demetris Anderson and end Thomas Niles.  Anderson recorded 24 tackles, including seven for loss and a sack in 2013, while Niles compiled 30 tackles, with eight for loss and four sacks. 

Bednarik Award candidate Terrance Plummer leads the linebacking corps.  Plummer led the knights with 110 tackles, 62 solo, and 8.5 for loss. He added 2.5 sacks and two interceptions as well as two forced fumbles.

The secondary returns all four starters, including two Jim Thorpe Award candidates.  Redshirt senior safety Clayton Geathers recorded 100 tackles, 64 solo, two interceptions and 10 pass breakups last year.  He is joined by redshirt sophomore cornerback Jacoby Glenn, who picked off two passes and broke up 15.  Safety Brandon Alexander and cornerback Jordan Ozerities also return.  Alexander picked off three passes in 2013, while Ozerities picked off one.

UCF is also strong in the kicking game. Kicker Shawn Moffitt, a Lou Groza Award candidate, connected on 21-of-23 attempts, with a long of 50 yards.  Ray Guy Award candidate Caleb Houston averaged 42.2 yards per punt.

Penn State is 2-1 all-time against the Golden Knights and will look to bounce back from last year's 34-31 setback at Beaver Stadium.

What George O'Leary is saying about Penn State:
"Christian (Hackenberg) was really an exceptional player for a freshman. The Big Ten certainly thought so. I would expect that if he keeps improving like he did as a freshman, each game he got better and understood more about the defense, he will be a quarterback that you hear a lot about in college football."

"I think (Austin Johnson) is a really good tackle. Their two ends are back; we played against them last year. In my opinion, the bulk of their defense is the Mike linebacker, (Mike) Hull.  He's a very good player. They've always had good linebackers there. They always have good players."

"Penn State is a school with a rich football tradition for a long, long time. That hasn't disappeared and they have a lot of good players that can win games for them."

Contributions on all of the 2014 Opponent Previews provided by Student Writer Paul Marboe.

Nittany Lions Complete Busy First Day in Ireland

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Photo Gallery - Ireland Day One

DUBLIN, Ireland - It was a whirlwind 24-hour period for the Nittany Lions as they journeyed across the Atlantic Ocean in preparation for Saturday's season-opener against UCF (8:30 a.m. ET, ESPN2) in Ireland.

Penn State's journey to Dublin began on Tuesday night, and the team did not see its hotel until dinnertime on Wednesday. followed the Nittany Lions every step of the way. Take a look at a busy day of travel with the team.

8:13 p.m. ET (Tuesday Night) - Buses Depart State College
The first wave of staff buses pulled out of the Bryce Jordan Center parking lot just before 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday evening to begin the first leg of the travel to Europe. The players and coaches followed the staff buses with a 9 p.m. departure from the Lasch Football Complex after Tuesday afternoon's practice.

irelandblog_1.jpg10 p.m. ET (Tuesday Night) - Arrival at Harrisburg
The first set of buses arrived at the main terminal of the Harrisburg International Airport at 10 p.m. Each member of the more than 300 in the travel party visited the United desk inside the terminal for passport verification and the reception of a printed boarding pass.

irelandblog_2.jpg 12:01 a.m. ET (Tuesday Night) - Flight Departs the USA
Just after midnight, the United Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet backed away from Gate B6 in Harrisburg. The jet had spent the day traveling from Tokyo to Chicago and then to Harrisburg before transporting the Nittany Lions to Ireland. The jet itself was a tremendous aircraft featuring two levels, 180-degree seats in three of its cabins and a total of 370 passenger seats in 60 rows.

irelandblog_3.jpgirelandblog_4.jpg11:09 a.m. IST (Wednesday) - Touch Down In Dublin
The charter flight touched down at Dublin Airport just after 11:09 a.m. IST. From there, the party deplaned and collected luggage before working through customs and boarding a total of eight tour buses. Head coach James Franklin took a few minutes to meet the media before the squad left the airport to talk about the team's overnight travel.


12:15 p.m. IST - 3 p.m. IST - Travel Party Visits Croke Park
With the eight tour buses and luggage packed, the group traveled to Croke Park Stadium for a welcome reception and buffet lunch. Following lunch, the group dispersed for a tour of the facility. The players had the opportunity to see the Dublin skyline from the roof of Croke Park, walk on the pitch and visit the locker rooms.    

irelandblog_7.jpgirelandblog_8.jpgirelandblog_10.jpgirelandblog_9.jpg4:30 p.m. IST - Practice at University College Dublin
After the visit to Croke Park Stadium, the team travel party drove approximately 30 minutes to the Penn State practice site for the week at University College Dublin. The Lions conducted a normal "Thursday" practice session, according to Coach Franklin.

irelandblog_11.jpgirelandblog_12.jpg6:20 p.m. IST - Media Interviews After Practice
At the conclusion of Wednesday's practice session, Franklin and a host of players visited with 28 members of the media who attended the last portion of practice. More than 20 of the 28 media members in attendance traveled from Pennsylvania to cover the Nittany Lions during their trip to Dublin.

7:15 p.m. IST - Hotel Check In and Dinner
The busy first day across the pond ended at the Powerscourt Hotel when the Nittany Lions held a team meal and checked into their home during the trip.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

VIDEO: UCF Week Player Q&As - Mike Hull & C.J. Olaniyan

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - catches up with seniors Mike Hull and C.J. Olaniyan at Beaver Stadium prior to the team's departure to Ireland on Tuesday.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

Week One Press Conference Roundup - UCF Week

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10249251.jpegJames Franklin Transcript - Aug. 26 | VIDEO: UCF Week Player Q&As
Depth Chart Released for Opener | Breaking Down the Travel Logistics | Game Notes

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach James Franklin addressed the media inside the Beaver Stadium Media Room on what will be a very busy Tuesday for Penn State Football.

The equipment staff spent several hours in the morning packing the approximately 20,000 pounds of cargo that will travel to Dublin for Saturday's game against UCF. Franklin and a trio of players spoke to the media at 12:40 p.m. The team then held meetings in the afternoon before practice. After dinner, the group will board buses bound for Harrisburg in preparation for an overnight flight to Dublin.

Before shifting into Ireland mode, Franklin opened the press conference with an academic update from the summer's academic sessions. While there are still a few more grades to come in, there were 69 players on the roster who had a 3.0 summer grade-point average or better. That list included seven players who had a 4.0. Additionally, Ryan Keiser, C.J. Olaniyan, Devin Pryor and Deron Thompson all graduated in mid-August.

From there, Franklin addressed the season-opener against the UCF Knights. In all, UCF returns 15 of their 22 starters, including nine on defense, from last year's team that went 12-1 and won the Fiesta Bowl. Head coach George O'Leary returns for his 11th season as head coach of UCF.

"It's game week. It's finally here. I know everybody's excited," Franklin said.

Penn State will practice as normal on Tuesday. Given the rigors of traveling overnight, Wednesday's session will be a little lighter than normal. The team will then practice on Thursday and Friday before Saturday's 1:30 p.m. IST kickoff in Croke Park.

"You guys have heard me say this before. I'm a nervous wreck before games in terms of preparation. Sunday through basically the game," Franklin said. "But once the game comes, I'm pretty confident because I know we've done everything we possibly can do to be prepared for the game. Now it's just an opportunity to go out and watch the kids play and have fun, and that's what I want them to do. I want them to go out and enjoy it. I want them to play fast. I want them to play aggressive. But there is no reason to be nervous on game day as long as you've done everything you possibly can to put the kids in position to be successful, and that's what we've tried to do."

Franklin is expecting a big challenge against a veteran UCF team on Saturday. He credited the UCF receiving corps and linebacking unit as two groups that stand out.

"I think more than anything, they play like a veteran team," Franklin said. "They're fast, they're aggressive, they don't give up a whole lot of big plays. George O'Leary is I think one of the better defensive coaches around, and it's been that way for a long time with him. So I don't expect a whole lot of new."

With preparations in the final stages, the Nittany Lions are ready for the trip across the pond.

"For us, this is a business trip to go play a football game no different than if we were playing at State College High School," Franklin said. "We'd be excited to play Central Florida wherever the game would be... This is an opportunity to take a special trip. I think it's going to be great for the fans, but we're going to play a football game."

Press Conference Notes
- Coach Franklin said that roughly 80 percent of the players have not been outside of North America. Two players have traveled to Ireland before.

- Franklin on the UCF offense:

"They're returning six starters. They're going to be a multiple pro‑style offense with more spread philosophies probably here recently. They're starting a red‑shirt freshman at quarterback, Pete DiNovo, their running back, William Stanback, No. 28 was second team All‑Conference last year, and then their big play wide receiver, No. 6, Rannell Hall, that is the position that really jumps out to us on film is their wide receivers. They have tremendous depth and talent at that position."

- Franklin on the UCF defense:

"They've got nine starters returning. No. 41, linebacker Terrance Plummer we think is a difference make are for them. Safety, No. 26, Clayton Geathers, and quarterback No. 10 Jacoby Glenn are the guys that really jump out to us."

- Best part of the Ireland trip for Franklin:

"I think the best part personally is my mother I think you've heard me say before, my mother is originally from England and my parents got married in Ireland. I've got family in England that I haven't seen in over 15 years that are coming to the game, so I'm going to see them on Thursday at the hotel, and I'm excited about that. I got a phone call in the staff meeting the other day, and I looked down and there were a lot of numbers, so I knew it probably wasn't one of my buddies, it was someone calling from England. So I stepped out of my staff meeting. I'm really looking forward to that."

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

Depth Chart Released for Season Opener vs. UCF

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Penn State Depth Chart - Aug. 26

Press Conference Roundup - UCF Week | James Franklin Transcript - Aug. 26

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach James Franklin released a depth chart heading into the season-opener against UCF on Tuesday afternoon.

The first depth chart of the fall season features six senior starters (one on offense, four on defense and one specialist).  With four days remaining until Saturday's opener, there are still positional battles up for grabs at practice this week.

On offense, both redshirt sophomore Derek Dowrey and redshirt freshman Brendan Mahon are both listed on the top line at left guard. Dowrey moved from the defensive line to guard prior to spring practice. Mahon made great strides on the scout team last season.

On defense, juniors Trevor Williams and Da'Quan Davis head into the season-opener in Ireland sharing the top line at the cornerback position opposite junior Jordan Lucas. Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop praised the improvement both Williams and Davis have made during camp when he addressed the media on Monday.

The front seven of the defensive unit is headlined by senior defensive end C.J. Olaniyan and junior defensive end Deion Barnes. The defensive line boasts one of the most experienced units on the depth chart, with Olaniyan and Barnes joined by junior tackle Anthony Zettel and redshirt sophomore tackle Austin Johnson.

In the linebacking corps, senior Mike Hull is the centerpiece with sophomores Nyeem Wartman and Brandon Bell lining up alongside him. Shoop noted Wartman as a player that took his game to another level during preseason practice. Seniors Adrian Amos and Ryan Keiser will anchor the back of the defense at the safety positions.

On offense, 2013 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Christian Hackenberg will direct the offense for the second-straight season at quarterback. Penn State's running back corps features a host of talent, including seniors Bill Belton and Zach Zwinak. Sophomore Akeel Lynch and sophomore Cole Chiappialle will look for playing time, as well.

The projected starting offensive line includes junior Angelo Mangiro at center, sophomore Brian Gaia at right guard, Dowrey or Mahon at left guard, junior Donovan Smith at left tackle and redshirt freshman Andrew Nelson at right tackle.

The depth chart features six tight ends, including returnees Jesse James and Kyle Carter, who are two of Penn State's most experienced offensive players. Redshirt sophomore Brent Wilkerson and true freshman Mike Gesicki will likely see action at tight end, as well.

Sophomore Geno Lewis and redshirt freshman DaeSean Hamilton are the starting receivers listed on the depth chart, but look for contributions from a host of players.  In addition to Lewis and Hamilton, junior Matt Zanellato and true freshmen Saeed Blacknall and Chris Godwin are poised to play a key role at the wide receiver positions.

Senior Sam Ficken will kick, while redshirt freshman Chris Gulla is listed as the top punter. Keiser is the top holder, while sophomore Tyler Yazujian is the kick snapper. Lynch and Lewis are listed as the top two kickoff returners, and Lucas and Della Valle are the top two punt returners.

There are 17 true freshmen listed on the three-deep depth chart, including Blacknall (WR), Godwin (WR), Trace McSorley (QB), Chasz Wright (RT), Jason Cabinda (LB), Grant Haley (CB) and Danny Pasquariello (P), who are all on the second line at their respective positions.

Penn State kicks off at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday (ESPN2) against the UCF Knights inside Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland. The trip to Dublin marks Penn State's first international game.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

Game Week Arrives as Lions Prep for Trip Across the Pond

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7247379.jpegUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The long wait is nearly over for the Nittany Lions and their first international game in program history.

Penn State is scheduled to board a United 747-400 charter flight in Harrisburg on Tuesday night to begin its quest across the pond for the season-opener against UCF in Dublin, Ireland
(Saturday at 8:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2).

Monday is an off day for the players, but the Lasch Football Complex remained a hub of activity as the staff busily finalizes all of the logistics that go along with transporting equipment and a travel party of more than 300 members to Ireland for the season-opener.

The Croke Park Classic was announced on July 14, 2013. From that day forward, the support staffs inside the athletic department have been organizing and planning for the trip to Dublin. The first game of a season always presents a set of logistical challenges, but to open a season 3,370 miles away from Beaver Stadium is unique.

When the original announcement was made in 2013, a small group from the athletic department was on site in Dublin to preliminarily take a look at the area. A second site visit of the practice site, hotels and the Croke Park stadium took place in late April to iron out more details. The Nittany Lions will practice it University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland's largest university (30,000 students), beginning on Wednesday.

"It is a challenge. There are a lot of moving parts," said Director of Operations Michael Hazel. "When you are going overseas, you are required to complete certain documents and documentation where you basically have to list every item that you are taking with you. From a box of 24 pencils to 180 socks to 190 cleats whatever you are taking, it needs listed A to Z...That's probably the most difficult part - making sure you have everything accountable."

All of the cargo being transported to the game must be sent to Harrisburg prior to the plane's departure on Tuesday night.
With the exception of the Gatorade supply for the team, which left several days ago on a ship, all of the equipment will be transported by plane. Once it arrives in Dublin and the group clears customs, the cargo then must be delivered to the practice site at UCD, the hotel and the stadium.

In all, approximately 20,000 pounds of cargo will be transported to Dublin for the game. The list includes more than 9,000 individual items, ranging from 12 pads of Post It notes to 225 spare metal detachable cleats to 500 blue index cards.

With a travel party in excess of 300 people, which includes nearly 120 players, the group is allotting approximately two hours to clear customs upon arrival in Dublin on Wednesday morning. The travel party will disperse over eight buses for the trip. Each set of personal luggage will be assigned a color-coded tag for organization throughout the bus transportation process.

Penn State's first day in Ireland will be a long one. After an overnight flight, the travel party will go straight from the airport to Croke Park for lunch and a tour of the stadium. From there, the group will go to practice. The team travel party will not arrive at the hotel until after practice in the evening on Wednesday. While the day will be long, the idea is to keep everyone awake as long as possible on the first day to get acclimated to the time change (Five hours ahead of State College).

In addition to three days of practice leading up to Saturday's game, the team is scheduled to have dinner at the Guinness Storehouse on Thursday and enjoy a bus tour of the city on Friday.

The return trip to the United States will take place following dinner at the stadium after the game ends. The return flight will land in Pittsburgh before the group boards buses for State College after clearing customs late on Saturday night.

The buses are scheduled to arrive in the overnight hours early on Sunday morning. The coaching staff will head home for a couple hours of sleep before working on prep for the noon home opener against Akron on Sept. 6.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

2014 Football Training Camp Central

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TC_Central_2.jpgUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Training Camp Central is home to all of the content on the Nittany Lions as they prepare for the 2014 season.

Stay tuned for continuous updates throughout training camp for exclusive written and video content on the Nittany Lions.

Week One

August 4
Media Day Central
Video Feature - Training Camp Kickoff

Photo Galleries: Media Day | Practice One

Media Day Video Interviews:
Coaches: James Franklin | Bob Shoop | Charles Huff | John Donovan
Players: Christian Hackenberg | Geno Lewis | Sam Ficken | Ryan Keiser | Donovan Smith
Jesse James & Kyle Carter | Jordan Lucas | C.J. Olaniyan & Brad Bars | Adrian Amos
Brandon Bell & Nyeem Wartman

August 5
Video Feature - Jordan Lucas Interviews the Media

The Nittany Lions Learn the Alma Mater:

August 6
Inside Training Camp - The Secondary

August 7
Inside Training Camp - Special Teams

August 8
Inside Training Camp - Defensive Line

August 9
Photo Gallery - BTN Visits Practice

August 10
Coach Hand & O-Line ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

August 11
Breaking Down the Roster Geographically

August 12
Behind the Scenes - First Two-A-Day

August 13
Feature - Seven Captains to Lead Nittany Lions

August 14
Inside Training Camp - Offensive Line
James Franklin Training Camp Update

August 15
Feature: Franklin Pleased with Team's Energy, Progress

August 16
Video Feature - Unrivaled Commitment

August 18
Inside Training Camp - Running Backs

August 19
Inside Training Camp - Quarterbacks & Receivers

August 20
Feature: Leadership Council Important to Lions, Franklin
Training Camp Notebook: James Franklin Update

The Nittany Lions took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

August 21
Inside Training Camp - Linebackers

August 22
The Nittany Lions help students move into the dorms.

August 23

Coach James Franklin visited the Blue Band.

August 24
Inside Training Camp - Tight Ends

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

VIDEO: Inside Training Camp - Tight Ends

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Inside Training Camp - The Secondary | Inside Training Camp - Special Teams

Inside Training Camp - Defensive Line | Inside Training Camp - Offensive Line

Inside Training Camp - Running Backs | Inside Training Camp - Quarterbacks & Receivers

Inside Training Camp - Linebackers

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions are less than one week away from the first game on the 2014 schedule.

For the past three weeks, has given the fans a detailed look inside Penn State's preparation for the season with the Inside Training Camp series. Today, we close out the video features with an all access practice with the tight ends. The tight end position is one of the deepest on Penn State's depth chart. Take a look with coach John Donovan.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony