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April 21, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - In a battle of offense versus defense, the blue-clad defensive squad posted a 77-65 win over offensive unit wearing the white uniforms in the Beaver Stadium debut of head coach Bill O'Brien in front of an estimated 60,000 fans at the annual Blue-White Game presented by AAA.
The special scoring system awarded the offense six points for a touchdown, one point for a PAT, three points for a field goal and two points each for a big play (15+ yards) and two consecutive first downs. The defense earned points by scoring a defensive touchdown (7 pts.), a turnover (6 pts.), sack (4 pts.), tackle for a loss (2 pts.) and forcing a three-and-out (1 pt.).
The Blue-White Game presented by AAA will re-air on the Big Ten Network Monday at 9 p.m., Tuesday at 10 a.m. and Wednesday at 12:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
At halftime, the Nittany Lions honored their spring award winners. Rising senior cornerback Stephon Morris (Greenbelt, Md.) was presented the Jim O'Hora Award and rising senior center Matt Stankiewitch (Orwigsburg) earned the Red Worrell Award. The Nittany Lion coaching staff singled out Morris and Stankiewitch as the defensive and offensive players, respectively, who have best demonstrated exemplary conduct, loyalty, interest, attitude and improvement during spring practice.
Guard John Urschel (Williamsville, N.Y.), who will be a redshirt junior this fall, was named recipient of the Frank Patrick Total Commitment Memorial Award. The Patrick Award is presented to a junior who consistently displays a total commitment to academics, off-season preparation, in-season commitment and community service. Urschel owns a perfect 4.0 grade point average through five semesters and is on schedule to graduate with a degree in mathematics in May, doing so in three years.
The Nittany Lion defense forced five interceptions and recorded eight sacks to pace their winning effort. C.J. Olaniyan (Warren, Mich.) racked up three sacks to go along with the two sacks and two tackles for a loss by Brad Bars (Nashville, Tenn.). Ben Kline (York, Pa.), Adrian Amos (Baltimore, Md.), Devin Pryor (San Bernardino, Calif.), Jordan Hill (Steelton, Pa.) and Jesse Della Valle (Pittsburgh, Pa.) each grabbed interceptions for the defensive squad.
Paul Jones (McKees Rocks, Pa.) threw for 113 yards and a touchdown, while Matt McGloin (Scranton, Pa.) added 105 yards an a scoring strike as the Nittany Lions rotated in six quarterbacks during the spring game. Allen Robinson (Southfield, Mich.) had a team-best 87 yards receiving and Matt Lehman (Newport, Pa.) and Christian Kuntz (Camp Hill, Pa.) snagged passes for scores.
The rushing game was solid, accounting for 144 yards and a pair of scores. Sophomore Bill Belton (Sicklerville, N.J.) rushed for 52 yards and a touchdown and junior Zach Zwinak (Frederick, Md.) clicked off 37 yards on the ground with six-yard scoring run. All-Big Ten tailback Silas Redd (Norwalk, Conn.) played only one series.
O'Brien and numerous head coaches will be participating in the seven state, 18-stop Penn State Coaches Caravan, starting April 30 in Philadelphia and ending May 16 in Buffalo. O'Brien is scheduled to appear at all 18 events. For all the Coaches Caravan event dates and locations, go to www.GoPSUsports.com.
The defensive award is named in honor of Jim O'Hora, a long-time Penn State assistant coach who was a member of the coaching staff for 31 years. Loyalty and attitude especially characterized Jim O'Hora and has typified many of the previous winners, including Walker Lee Ashley, Andre Collins, Michael Haynes, Anthony Adams, Michael Mauti and the 2011 winner, senior defensive tackle Jordan Hill (Steelton). The O'Hora Award was first presented in 1977.
The Worrell Award is presented to the offensive player whose spring contribution is most worthy of special tribute. The prize was first presented in 1958 and is named in the honor of the late Red Worrell, a high school All-American from Centerville HS who was tragically electrocuted in an accident after an exceptional season on the 1957 Nittany Lion freshman team. Past Worrell Award winners include former assistant coach Fran Ganter, Lydell Mitchell, Kyle Brady, Bryant Johnson and last year's winner, senior wide receiver Devon Smith (White Plains, N.Y.).
The Frank Patrick Memorial "Total Commitment" Award goes to junior class squad members who consistently follow through with their responsibilities in all facets of the football program and do so in exemplary manner. This includes academic pursuits, off-season preparation, in-season commitment, demeanor and community service. The award was first presented in 1995 and includes Courtney Brown, Jeff Hartings, Justin Kurpeikis and Wally Richardson among previous recipients. Patrick was a member of the Lions' coaching staff from 1949-73.
Penn State returns 36 letterwinners and 10 starters for the upcoming season (5 offense, 4 defense, 1 specialist), as well as 17 players that have starting experience. The 17 additional players with starting experience have a combined total of 78 starts (44 defense/34 offense) among them.
Season tickets are available for the 2012 season, with the Nittany Lions hosting five teams that played in a bowl game last year. Penn State will host Ohio State (Oct. 27), Wisconsin (Nov. 24-Senior Day), Northwestern (Oct. 6-Homecoming), Indiana (Nov. 17), Navy (Sept. 15), Temple (Sept. 22) and Ohio (Sept. 1) in Beaver Stadium this fall.
For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can call 1-800-648-8269 (1-800-NITTANY) weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Ticket Center.