Penn State vs. Purdue Game Notes and Depth Chart

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Purdue (3-1, 1-0) at Penn State (1-4, 0-1)
Saturday, September 30, 2000
Beaver Stadium       3:30 p.m. EDT

Game No. 6
Penn State hosts No. 19 Purdue in its Big Ten home opener. The Nittany Lions are coming off a 45-6 loss at Ohio State on Saturday, while the Boilermakers beat Minnesota, 38-24.

Television
The contest is being televised by ABC to a regional audience, with Brad Nessler, Bob Griese and Lynn Swann calling the action. The Lions are appearing on television for the 74th time in their last 75 games, including the last 40 contests.

Radio
The 60-station Penn State Sports Network has Steve Jones on play-by-play and Jack Ham on analysis. The Purdue Sports Radio Network and Westwood One also will broadcast.

Series
The Nittany Lions lead the series, 5-1-1, winning the last five games:

1951 - at Purdue 28, Penn State 0
1952 - at Penn State 20, Purdue 20
1995 - Penn State 26, at Purdue 23
1996 - at Penn State 31, Purdue 14
1997 - Penn State 42, at Purdue 17
1998 - at Penn State 31, Purdue 13
1999 - Penn State 31, at Purdue 25

      The squads will not meet again until the 2003 season, as Purdue and Minnesota exit the Penn State schedule in 2001-02, while Wisconsin and Northwestern return.

Last Meeting
Facing one of the nation's best quarterbacks and most prolific offenses, the Penn State defense made several big plays and a goal line stand in the final minute to secure a thrilling 31-25 win in West Lafayette on Oct. 23, 1999.
     The Nittany Lions forced four turnovers and turned them into 21 points in snapping Purdue's 10-game home winning streak. Penn State permitted just 65 rushing yards, recorded five sacks and scored a pair of defensive touchdowns in a game for just the third time under Joe Paterno.
     Trailing 7-0 early in the second quarter, LaVar Arrington stripped the ball from Drew Brees on a sack and returned it two yards for his second career TD. In the final seconds of the half, Arrington blocked a field goal keeping the score at 14-14.
     On the first play of the second half, QB Kevin Thompson hit WR Chafie Fields on a 78-yard score. Later in the stanza, Courtney Brown deflected a pass and returned it 25 yards for a 28-14 lead and the eventual game-winning score.
     The Boilers drew within 31-25 and mounted one final charge in the last :59. Three straight Brees completions took the ball to the PSU 12-yard line with :31 to play. But, the Lion defense stiffened, with his next four passes falling incomplete to seal the huge road win for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State Coach Joe Paterno
In his 35th season as head coach and 51st year as a member of the coaching staff, Joe Paterno is the nation's leading active coach in victories. Paterno owns a 318-87-3 record, a winning percentage of 78.3, which is third-best among active coaches.
      A 1950 graduate of Brown University, Paterno is third in all-time wins, has directed Penn State to five unbeaten seasons (1968, '69, '73, '86, '94), two national championships (1982, '86) and is the bowl wins leader with a 20-9-1 post-season record. He is second only to Chicago's Amos Alonzo Stagg (41) in years coached at one school.
      Paterno is one of just seven coaches in NCAA history to record 300 wins (five in I-A), reaching the milestone faster than anyone (380 games). He is the only Div. I-A coach with 300 wins at one school.
      Paterno has been instrumental in PSU's 422-135-7 record since 1950, with its 75.4 winning percentage the nation's best over the past 51 seasons.

Purdue Coach Joe Tiller
In his fourth season as coach of the Boilermakers, Joe Tiller has a 28-13 record. His career record is 67-43-1 in his 10th season. Tiller has led Purdue to three straight bowl games for the first time since 1978-80. He is a 1965 graduate of Montana State.

Penn State vs. Big Ten
Since starting conference play in 1993, Penn State is 71-19 (78.9) overall, narrowly trailing Ohio State's 71-18-1 (79.4) for the best record in the Big Ten. The Lions are 41-15 in league contests, second only to Ohio State's 42-13-1 mark.

Lions Drop Big Ten Opener
The setting was different but the outcome was the same, as Penn State dropped a 45-6 decision at unbeaten Ohio State Saturday in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
     The Buckeyes led 17-0 at halftime, but Eric McCoo's two-yard touchdown run with 9:56 left in the third quarter drew the Lions within 17-6. But, any momentum PSU had quickly faded, as the extra point attempt failed and Ohio State scored on its ensuing possession, intercepted a pass and scored on that drive and returned a fumble for a score in the final 4:43 of the stanza to take control.
     The loss dropped Penn State to 1-4 for the first time since 1964, two years before Joe Paterno became head coach.

Lions-Boilers At A Glance

Who: Purdue (3-1, 1-0) at Penn State (1-4, 0-1)
When: Saturday, Sept. 30, 2000; 3:30 p.m. EDT
Where: Beaver Stadium (93,967)
Attendance: 96,000+ (sold out)
Radio: Penn State Sports Network -- 60 affiliates (Steve Jones, play-by-play; Jack Ham, analysis);
Purdue Sports Radio Network (Joe McConnell, play-by-play; Pete Quinn, analysis); Westwood One Radio Network (Joe Beninati, play-by-play; Tom Walsh, analysis)
Television: ABC regional telecast (Brad Nessler, play-by-play; Bob Griese, analysis; Lynn Swann, sideline)
Penn State Coach Joe Paterno: 318-87-3 (78.3) in his 35th season. In 51st year on Penn State staff. Leads active coaches in victories; third all-time. Seventh coach in NCAA history with 300 wins (fifth in I-A). Reached 300 wins faster than any coach. Is 5-0 vs. Purdue.
Purdue Coach Joe Tiller: 28-13 in his fourth year at Purdue; 67-43-1 in his 10th season overall. Is 0-3 vs. PSU.
Series History: 8th game; Penn State leads, 5-1-1.
Last Game: Oct. 23, 1999 - PSU, 31-25
Last Purdue win: Nov. 3, 1951 - 28-0
Series Streak: Penn State - 5
Best Rushing Performance In The Series:
Curtis Enis, Penn State, 37 for 186, 1997
Mike Alstott, Purdue, 24 for 149, 1995
Best Passing Performances In The Series:
Wally Richardson, Penn State, 18 of 29, 281 yards, 1995
Drew Brees, Purdue, 39 of 58, 361 yards, 1998
Drew Brees, Purdue, 31 of 48, 379 yards, 1999
Best Receiving Performances In Series:
Bobby Engram, Penn State, 9 for 203, 1995
Vinny Sutherland, Purdue, 10 for 152, 1999
Paterno Teams vs. Big Ten: 50-22 (69.4); 41-15 (71.9) since joining conf. in 1993
Paterno Teams In Big Ten Home Games (since 1993): 21-7 (75.0)
Paterno Teams In September: 90-23, a winning percentage of 79.6, having won 32 of the last 36 games in September.
Paterno Teams on National Network Telecasts: 128-62-1 mark since 1966.

Penn State Schedule/Results
Aug. 27 vs. USC, 5-29
Sept. 2 Toledo, 6-24
Sept. 9 Louisiana Tech, 67-7
Sept. 16 at Pittsburgh, 0-12
Sept. 23 at Ohio State, 6-45
Sept. 30 Purdue, 3:30
Oct. 7 at Minnesota
Oct. 21 Illinois, 12:10
Oct. 28 at Indiana (RCA Dome),7:00
Nov. 4 Iowa
Nov. 11 at Michigan
Nov. 18 Michigan State, 3:30

Purdue Schedule/Results
Sept. 2 Central Michigan, 48-0
Sept. 9 Kent State, 45-10
Sept. 16 at Notre Dame, 21-23
Sept. 23 Minnesota, 38-24
Sept. 30 at Penn State, 3:30
Oct. 7 Michigan
Oct. 14 at Northwestern
Oct. 21 at Wisconsin
Oct. 28 Ohio State
Nov. 11 at Michigan State
Nov. 18 Indiana

Big Ten Standings

Conference Overall
Ohio State 1 0 0 1.000 4 0 0 1.000
Michigan 1 0 0 1.000 3 1 0 .750
Northwestern 1 0 0 1.000 3 1 0 .750
Purdue 1 0 0 1.000 3 1 0 .750
Michigan State 0 0 0 .000 3 0 0 1.000
Indiana 0 0 0 .000 1 2 0 .333
Iowa 0 0 0 .000 0 4 0 .000
Illinois 0 1 0 .000 3 1 0 .750
Wisconsin 0 1 0 .000 3 1 0 .750
Minnesota 0 1 0 .000 2 2 0 .500
Penn State 0 1 0 .000 1 4 0 .200

This Week's Schedule (ET)
Purdue at Penn State, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
Wisconsin at Michigan, 12:00 p.m. (ABC)
Northwestern at Michigan State, 12:10 p.m. (ESPN+)
Illinois at Minnesota, 12:10 p.m. (ESPN )
Iowa at Indiana, 7:00 p.m. (ESPN+)
Ohio State is idle

Lions-Boilers Notebook

Six Opponents Ranked In Polls
Having played eight opponents which were ranked during the 1999 season, Southern California was the first of six Penn State opponents in 2000 which are ranked in the polls.
     In addition to the Trojans, No. 7 in the Sept. 24 USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll, Penn State is facing Ohio State (10), Purdue (19), Illinois (22), Michigan (9) and Michigan State (15) this season. Foe Pittsburgh also received votes in the Sept. 24 survey.
     Sports Illustrated rated the Lions' strength of schedule ninth-toughest among the nation's 115 Div. I-A programs.
     Penn State does not play Wisconsin (14), the sixth Big Ten team in the rankings.

Impressive Record By Opponents
The cumulative record of Penn State's opponents, not including the result vs. the Lions, is 26-15 (63.4).
     The cumulative record of the four teams the Lions have lost to is 14-1 (93.3).

Paterno One Win Away From Tying Warner With 319 Victories
With the Lions' next win, Joe Paterno will tie Pop Warner for second place among major college coaches with 319 victories.
     Warner earned a 319-106-32 (73.3) record in 44 years as head coach at Georgia (1895-96); Cornell (1897-98, 1904-06); Carlisle (1899-1903, 1907-14); Pittsburgh (1915-23); Stanford (1924-32) and Temple (1933-38).
     Warner's 457 games coached are second only to Amos Alonzo Stagg's 548 among major college coaches. Joe Paterno is fifth at 408, with Bear Bryant (425) and Hayden Fry (420) just ahead of him.

First 1-4 Start Since 1964
Penn State is 1-4 for the first time since 1964, two years before Joe Paterno became head coach. Rip Engle's '64 Lions won their last five games to finish 6-4.

Opportunity To Beat Higher Ranked Opponent Awaits
Penn State's last win against a higher ranked foe (AP) came in 1996, when No. 15 PSU beat No. 11 Northwestern, 34-9 in Beaver Stadium.
     The Lions have lost their last five games against teams ranked higher in the AP poll, including USC and Ohio State this season.
     Last year, Penn State defeated Arizona and Texas A&M, who were ranked higher than the Lions in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll.

Six By End of September
For the first time in its 114 seasons of football, Penn State will have played six games before October 1. Having played in the Kickoff Classic, the Purdue game will mark the halfway point of PSU's regular season.
     The Nittany Lions have played five games by the end of September on four previous occasions -- 1978, '91, '96 and '99. In the latter three seasons, PSU played in either the Kickoff or Pigskin Classics.
     In 1971, the first year teams could play an 11-game regular season schedule, Penn State played just two games by October 1.

Penn State Returnees
Penn State returned 31 lettermen and eight starters from last year's 10-3 squad, which capped the season with a 24-0 thumping of Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl. Six starters and 18 lettermen returned on offense and two starters and 13 letterwinners are back on defense. Twelve additional returnees also had starting experience.
     Guard Greg Ransom was a starter last year, but he is being redshirted this season.

Scouting The Boilermakers
Purdue returned 37 lettermen, including 14 starters, from last year's 7-5 squad, which lost to Georgia in the Outback Bowl. If not for a field goal on the game's final play by Notre Dame, the Boilermakers would enter Saturday's contest 4-0.
     The Boilermakers are coming off a 38-24 victory over Minnesota Saturday, building a 31-3 lead early in the third quarter. Quarterback Drew Brees broke Big Ten career records for pass completions and attempts with his 33 of 49 effort for 409 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 12 carries for 88 yards and another score.
     Heisman Trophy-candidate Brees is the catalyst for one of the nation's most prolific offenses. Purdue is averaging 350.8 yards passing (second in nation), 503.8 ypg in total offense (second in nation) and 38.0 ppg, which is 11th nationally. The Boilers lead the Big Ten in all three categories
     Brees is 103 of 159 (64.8) for 1,363 yards, with nine touchdowns and only two interceptions. He also is the team's second-leading rusher with 170 yards on 28 attempts (6.1) and three scores. Brees is averaging 383.3 ypg in total offense, which leads the nation. He is fourth nationally in passing yardage per game at 340.8 and is ninth in passing efficiency with a 153.0 rating. He leads the Big Ten in all three categories.
     Brees has a bevy of receivers to throw to, with TE Tim Stratton leading the team with 24 receptions for 295 yards and one score. Wideout John Standeford has 21 catches for 275 yards and one TD and speedy WR Vinny Sutherland has 16 catches for 294 yards and five touchdowns. Sutherland also is averaging 16.1 yards on his six punt returns and 22.7 yards on his seven kickoff returns for a 191.1 all-purpose yards per contest, second-best the Big Ten.
     Montrell Lowe is the leading rusher with 188 yards on 55 carries and one score.
     The Boilermaker defense is allowing only 14.2 points, 81.8 yards rushing and 259.8 total yards per game. The Boilers lead the Big Ten in total and rushing defense and are second in scoring defense. Linebacker Landon Johnson leads with 26 tackles, including four TFL. Tackle Matt Mitrione has 20 stops, with a team-high five TFL, and LB Akin Ayodele has 19 hits, with three minus-yardage plays. Free safety Stuart Schweigert has 15 tackles and both of Purdue's interceptions.

Big Numbers For Brees In Last Two Meetings
The last two times Penn State and Purdue have met, Boiler QB Drew Brees has put up gaudy numbers, but the Nittany Lion defense has made the plays to lead the way to PSU victories.
     In 1998, Brees broke the PSU opponent and Beaver Stadium records with his 39 completions. He was 39 of 58 for 361 yards, but was held to one touchdown pass and threw one interception in PSU's 31-13 win.
     Last season, Brees was 31 of 48 for 379 yards, with two touchdown passes and one interception, but Penn State won a 31-25 thriller in West Lafayette.

Prep Teammates Renew Ties
Former prep teammates facing each other this week:

Hamilton West HS (Trenton, N.J.): Terrence Glover (PSU); Tim Upshur (Purdue)
Purcell Marian HS (Cincinnati): T.J. Gholston (PSU); Doug Swann (Purdue)
Willingboro HS (Willingboro, N.J.): Kareem McKenzie (PSU); Shawn Phillips (Purdue)

Taliaferro Hospitalized After Injury Against Ohio State
Penn State freshman cornerback Adam Taliaferro (Voorhees, N.J.) was injured in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game at Ohio State. He was transported to the Ohio State University Hospital in Columbus where he was expected to remain until at least Monday.
     According to Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli, Penn State's Director of Athletic Medicine, Taliaferro suffered a cervical spine injury and was undergoing evaluation and treatment Saturday and Sunday. He said there is some neurological involvement and incomplete paralysis.
     Taliaferro was injured while tackling OSU tailback Jerry Westbrooks with 1:39 to play in the game. Westbrooks' knee appeared to hit Taliaferro's head. Taliaferro was taken off the field on a stretcher.
     The 5-10, 183-pound Taliaferro has played in all five games this season, making three tackles, including two against Ohio State. The Philadelphia Inquirer's 1999 Player of the Year and an honorable mention USA Today All-American, he graduated from Eastern High School.

Injuries Hamper Continuity For Offensive Line
An assortment of injuries have produced five different starting line-ups in the initial five games where continuity is most critical -- the offensive line.
     The Nittany Lions may finally be able to start the same five players against Purdue that got the nod against Ohio State last week, which can only help the unit's cohesion and productivity.
     Senior guard Jordan Caruso (Medford, N.J.), who started 11 games last year, missed the initial two games after fainting during a pre-season practice and earned his first start against Pittsburgh. In the Louisiana Tech game, All-Big Ten tackle Kareem McKenzie (Willingboro, N.J.) suffered a concussion, which knocked him out of the Pitt game.
     Junior guard Gus Felder (Philadelphia), who started against Toledo, missed the Ohio State game with a sprained knee and is questionable for Purdue.
     In addition, senior center Francis Spano left the team after the Toledo game, moving redshirt sophomore Matt Schmitt (Allison Park) into the starting line-up. Schmitt was shifted to center from tackle in the pre-season.
     The only offensive lineman to start every game has been senior long tackle Imani Bell (Philadelphia). Nine players have earned starts.

OSU Notebook
The loss to Ohio State was the Lions' worst since a 55-14 setback to Navy in 1944. Penn State had lost by 38 points twice under Joe Paterno -- 49-11 to UCLA in 1966 and 44-6 to Nebraska in the 1983 Kickoff Classic...Penn State is 5-5 all-time in Columbus, but 0-4 since starting Big Ten play in 1993, the only conference venue the Lions have yet to win in...The higher ranked team has won the last 12 meetings between the Lions and Buckeyes.

Boyd Setting Pace For Defense; Collects Four Turnovers vs. La. Tech
Senior free safety James Boyd (Chesapeake, Va.) has emerged as one of the leaders of the defense and with the Lions in need of a spark vs. Louisiana Tech he provided it with a remarkable performance.
     Boyd grabbed two interceptions and recovered a pair of fumbles, returning one for a score, to lead Penn State's superlative defensive performance and earn Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors on Sept. 10. Boyd secured all four of his turnovers in Tech territory and they led to 27 points, including his score. He also made four tackles and had a pass break-up.
     With the score 7-7 and Louisiana Tech taking possession at its own four-yard line, senior DE Justin Kurpeikis (Allison Park) forced a fumble, which Boyd scooped up at the six yard line, shaking off a potential tackler for his first collegiate touchdown.
     Against Ohio State, Boyd collected his team-high third interception of the season and sixth in his career.
     For the season, Boyd leads the Lions with 49 hits (35 solo), three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He is tied for the team lead with four pass break-ups and has one TFL. Boyd is third in the Big Ten in interceptions and leads the conference in overall tackles (third in tpg at 9.8). He also is second in fumble recoveries and third in passes defended with seven (three int., four PBU).
     The former Indian River HS standout made a career-high 16 tackles against Toledo, the most for the Nittany Lion since linebacker Gerald Filardi made 17 against Wisconsin in 1996.

Drummond Provides Spark In Return
Having left the season opener with USC with a sprained knee after just two plays, junior wideout Eddie Drummond (Pittsburgh) provided a spark for Penn State against Pitt.
     Drummond made a career-high eight catches for 54 yards, with a long grab of 17 yards. His previous high was six catches (three times in 1999) as he made the most receptions for a Nittany Lion since WR Joe Jurevicius had eight against Michigan State in 1996.

Lions Suffer Just Seventh Shutout Under Paterno
Penn State's 12-0 loss to Pittsburgh was just the seventh time in Joe Paterno's now 408 games as head coach the Lions were shutout. The last time had been 27-0 at Michigan in 1998.

Defense Forces Seven Turnovers; Halts Potent La. Tech Passing Attack
Facing one of the nation's top passing attacks, the Penn State defense put forth a superlative effort in the Lions' 67-7 win over Louisiana Tech on Sept. 9.
     Penn State forced seven turnovers (5 int., 2 fumbles) and blocked two punts. The seven turnovers were the most the Lions had forced since gaining seven vs. Miami (Fla.) in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl and the most in a regular season game since Boston College had seven miscues also during the Nittany Lion' 1986 National Championship season. The five thefts were the most since Pitt had five in 1991.
     The Lions turned the seven Bulldog turnovers into 37 points; 44 including points scored after one of the blocked punts.
     Louisiana Tech entered the game averaging 340.5 yards passing (sixth nationally) and 471.5 yards in total offense (14th in nation), but the Lions limited the Bulldogs to just 45 yards rushing and 122 passing. Tech's longest play all day was a 16-yard pass.
     The 122 passing yards were the fewest for the Bulldogs since the 1995 season and snapped a string of seven consecutive 300-yard passing games. Tech's 19 rushing attempts were the fewest by an opponent in the Joe Paterno era.
     Louisiana Tech scored just 2:14 into the game after recovering a fumble at the Penn State 14-yard line. But, on all of their remaining 17 possessions, the Bulldogs did not advance any further than their own 44-yard line the remainder of the game.
     Penn State is allowing 155.3 ypg through the air to rank 25th nationally.

Offense Busts Loose Against Tech; Casey's Five TD Passes Tie PSU Mark
The Nittany Lion defense provided numerous opportunities for the offense to get on track against Louisiana Tech and the unit obliged, scoring on seven of its nine possessions which began in Bulldog territory.
     Penn State exhibited a potent and balanced attack, gaining 299 yards rushing and 194 through the air to end two weeks of frustration. Senior quarterback Rashard Casey (Hoboken, N.J.) led the way with a superb 12 of 15 effort for 162 yards and a school record-tying five touchdowns, with no interceptions. Casey tied the mark held by Tony Sacca, who had five TD passes against Georgia Tech in the 1991 Kickoff Classic. Casey's five scoring strikes are tied for ninth-highest in Big Ten history.
     The Lions scored their initial three touchdowns in a span of 5:37 in the first quarter and led 27-7 after the period.
     Penn State's 67 points were the fourth-highest under Joe Paterno and the 60-point margin of victory was PSU's largest since beating Maryland 70-7 in 1993.

McCoo Sparks Ground Game
Penn State's running game found success against Louisiana Tech, gaining 299 yards on 63 attempts, as nine players carried the ball.
     Following Louisiana Tech's quick score for a 7-0 lead, the Lions got a spark on Larry Johnson's 65-yard kickoff return to the Tech 35-yard line. On first down, junior TB Eric McCoo gained 24 yards and he capped the drive with a five-yard TD catch. Later in the first stanza, McCoo dashed 41 yards for his first rushing TD of the season and he added a two-yard TD catch with just :08 left in the first half for his first career multiple TD game.
     By halftime, McCoo had gained 136 yards on 16 carries and he finished with 131 yards on 17 attempts for his seventh career 100-yard effort. He averaged 7.7 yards per carry and added three catches for 10 yards and two scores.
     Redshirt freshman Ricky Upton (Jefferson City, Tenn.) gained 65 yards on 10 carries and scored his first collegiate TD on a five-yard run. Junior Omar Easy (Everett, Mass.) rsuhed for 55 yards on 12 attempts.

Red Zone Success
Penn State is 10 of 10 (100.0) at or inside the opponents' 20-yard line, converting all eight opportunities against Louisiana Tech. The Lions have tallied seven touchdowns and three field goals in the "Red Zone." Three scores have been on the ground and four via the pass.
     The Lions did not reach the 20-yard line against Toledo and Pittsburgh.
     The opposition is 15 of 19 at or inside the 20 (10 TD, 5 FG), with one fumble, turning the ball over on downs once and the game ending twice.

Tough In Tight Games
Penn State is 82-33-3 (70.7) under Joe Paterno in games decided by seven points or less, winning of 18 of 23 such games since 1993. The Lions had won their last eight tight games prior to losing their last three to Minnesota (24-23), Michigan (31-27) and Michigan State (35-28) in 1999.

Injury Report
Safety Shawn Mayer (knee) is out for the season. Cornerback Adam Taliaferro (neck/spine), WR Sam Crenshaw (shoulder) and FB R.J. Luke (knee) are out. Guard Joe Iorio (mononucleosis) is doubtful. Tight end John Gilmore (back), G Gus Felder (knee) and LB Tom Williams (knee) are possible.

Nittany Lion Expo on Saturday
Penn State Sports Marketing is hosting its fifth annual "Nittany Lion Expo," a tailgating and business event, on Saturday, Sept. 30 prior to the Penn State-Purdue game. The Expo tent will be located near Gate B of the Bryce Jordan Center, across Curtin Road from Beaver Stadium.
      The event is free and open to the public and will be held from 12:00-3:00 p.m. The Nittany Lion Expo will house up to 15 area companies sampling and displaying products to the anticipated crowd of more than 96,000. The event will include a live broadcast of the Sheetz Tailgate show with Steve Jones and Jack Ham on the Penn State Sports Network starting at 2:00 p.m.

Casey A Candidate for Unitas Award
Rashard Casey (Hoboken, N.J.) is among the 23 candidates for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented to the nation's top senior quarterback. The award has been presented annually since 1987 by the Frank Camp Chapter of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation.
     The winner will be announced December 8 in Louisville, Ky.

Kurpeikis A Nagurski Candidate
Senior defensive end Justin Kurpeikis (Allison Park, Pa.) is one of 30 pre-season candidates for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented to the nation's top defensive player. The award is sponsored by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

Non-Conference Success
Penn State had won all 23 of its regular season non-conference contests since starting Big Ten play in 1993 before falling to USC in the Kickoff Classic. The Lions have won 30 of 34 non-conference games overall since '93, with the other losses coming to Toledo and Pittsburgh this season and to Florida in the 1998 Citrus Bowl.

Among Elite in 1990's
In the 1990's, Penn State's 78.9 winning percentage (97-26-0) was fifth-best nationally and tops in the Big Ten. Only Florida State (109-13-1), Nebraska (108-16-1), Florida (102-22-1) and Tennessee (99-22-2) had better records.

Best Record Since 1950
It should come as no surprise than Penn State has the nation's best winning percentage since Joe Paterno joined the staff in 1950.
      The Nittany Lions have a 422-135-7 (75.4) record over the last 51 years, followed by Ohio State (399-129-15; 74.8), Nebraska (426-144-9; 74.3), Oklahoma (412-140-12; 74.2) and Alabama (412-156-17; 72.1).

Nine Games Scheduled for TV
Nine Penn State contests thus far are slated for television. The Lions have appeared on television 73 times in their last 74 games.

TV schedule as of September 24:
vs. USC -- ABC (national)
vs. Toledo -- espn2
vs. Louisiana Tech -- ESPN Regional
at Pittsburgh -- CBS
at Ohio State -- ABC (national)
vs. Purdue -- Sept. 30, ABC (regional), 3:30
vs. Illinois -- Oct. 21, 12:10 p.m. , TV TBA
at Indiana -- Oct. 28, 7:00 p.m., espn2
vs. Michigan State, Nov. 18, 3:30 p.m., ABC

Beaver Stadium Expansion & Renovation Project Underway
The unparalleled interest in Penn State football has triggered a seventh expansion of Beaver Stadium that will boost capacity to approximately 105,000 seats by the 2001 season.
     Work began on the $93 million project in November, 1999 immediately following the last home game. The expansion and renovation project will add a second deck in the South end zone as well as an East side pavilion with 60 enclosed skyboxes. A club level seating section and stadium club, the Mount Nittany Lounge, will be included in the South stands.
     In addition, the project calls for dramatic improvements in the stadium infrastructure, including new restrooms and concession stands; a new upper concourse; expanded lower concourses for easier traffic flow into and out of the seating area; upgraded spaces for the team, game officials, media, cheerleaders and other game-day activities; an upgraded game day ticket office; video replay scoreboards and improvements to meet ADA standards and a new facade.
     A new video scoreboard, with replay capability, on the north end of the stadium is in use for the 2000 season.
     When completed, more than 107,000 spectators will be able to watch the Lions, with the throng comprising the third-largest municipality in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
     Penn State averaged 96,500 spectators at its seven home games last year and has ranked no lower than third in Division I-A attendance each of the past nine years.

State College Voted Nation's Best College Football Town
State College was selected as the nation's "Best College Football Town" in North America this past summer in voting by the readers of sportingnews.com.
     State College received 17 percent of the 99,071 votes cast in the best college football town category, which easily had the largest number of voters among the various "Best Town" categories surveyed. The survey was conducted in conjunction with The Sporting News' annual report on the best sports cities in North America, which was featured in the Aug. 14 edition of The Sporting News.
     Following State College in the "Best College Football Town" voting were: Oxford, Miss. (15%), Auburn, Ala. (11%), Tuscaloosa, Ala. (9%) and College Station, Texas (8%). The top five cities earned 60 percent of all the votes.
     Located in Centre County, the geographic center of Pennsylvania, there are more than 75,000 residents in State College and the Centre Region. Combined with the more than 40,500 Penn State students brings the community's population to close to 120,000 from mid-August through mid-May each year. Centre County also is consistently ranked first or second for the lowest unemployment rate in the Commonwealth.

Lions Visit Minnesota Next
The Nittany Lions will play their fourth road game of the season Oct. 7, visiting Minnesota. Kickoff time and TV likely will be announced on Sept. 25. Penn State leads the series, 4-1, but the Golden Gophers won, 24-23, last November 6 on a field goal on the final play of the game, handing the 9-0 Lions their first loss.

Briefly Speaking...
Penn State has a record of 735-309-42 in its 114th season and is tied for fifth in all-time wins with Alabama.

Offensive Averages

Penn State Purdue
98.4 Rushing/Game 153.0
2.7 Rushing/Att. 3.8
135-65-3 Passing 173-108-2
149.4 Passing/Game 350.8
247.8 Total/Game 503.8
3.9 Total/Att. 6.1
16.8 Scoring/Game 38.0
+ .40 Turnover Margin - 0.25

Defensive Averages

Penn State Purdue
143.8 Rushing/Game 81.8
3.4 Rushing/Att. 2.5
122-68-8 Passing 122-72-2
172.0 Passing/Game 178.0
315.8 Total/Game 259.8
4.7 Total/Att. 4.1
23.4 Scoring/Game 14.2

Nation's Top Records In 1990's*

1. Florida State 109-13-1 .889
2. Nebraska 108-16-1 .867
3. Florida 102-22-1 .826
4. Tennessee 99-22-2 .819
5. Penn State 97-26-0 .788

* Minimum Five Years In I-A

NCAA Leaders in Victories

Michigan 799
Notre Dame 769
Nebraska 746
Texas 737
Penn State 735
Alabama 735

All-Time Coaching Victories

408 Eddie Robinson
367 John Gagliardi (active)
323 Bear Bryant
319 Pop Warner
318 Joe Paterno (active)
314 Amos Alonzo Stagg

Joe Paterno By The Numbers
139,000: Square feet in Paterno Library, which opened in Summer, 1999
671: Number of coaching changes in Division I-A since 1966.
562: Games coached as Penn State assistant or head coach
422: Wins as member of staff (422-135-7) 408: Games as head coach
300: Earned 300th win vs. Bowling Green (48-3) on September 12, 1998
250: Earned 250th win at Iowa (31-0) on September 18, 1993
225+: Players in the NFL
200: Earned 200th win vs. Bowling Green (45-19) on September 5, 1987
150: Earned 150th win at Pittsburgh (48-14) on November 28, 1981
100: Earned 100th win vs. North Carolina State (41-20) on Nov. 6, 1976
84: Graduation rate ('99 NCAA report)
78: Four-year graduation rate ('99 report)
69: Length of his game-winning punt return for Brown vs. Holy Cross in '49.
55: First team All-Americans
51: Years on Penn State staff
50: Earned 50th win vs. Maryland (63-27) vs. Maryland on November 6, 1971
36: Jersey number as QB-DB at Brown
35: Years as head coach
33: Shutouts by Penn State
31: Longest unbeaten streak (30-0-1; 1967-70)
30: Bowl trips as head coach (leader)
25: First round NFL draft choices
23: Winning streak from 1968-70
21: First team GTE Academic All-Americans
20: Teams ranked in the final top 10
20: Bowl victories (all-time leader)
16: NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winners
14: National Football Foundation Hall of Fame Scholar-Athletes
14: Interceptions made as Brown DB
14: New Year's Day bowl wins
8: Grandchildren
7: Unbeaten, untied regular seasons
7: Years had a team ranked No. 1
6: Beaver Stadium expansions since '66
5: Children
5: Unbeaten, untied seasons
4: He and wife, Sue, have given more than $4 million to Penn State to endow scholarships, professorships and assist in facilities projects
2: National Championships
1: First win was a 15-7 victory over Maryland on Sept. 17, 1966 before a Beaver Stadium crowd of 40,911
1st: Graduation rate among schools ranked in 1999 pre-season AP and USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls.

Paterno Library Dedicated
The Paterno Library was dedicated September 8. The library is named after Joe Paterno and his wife, Sue, who the led the fundraising campaign for the library and made a personal contribution of $250,000.
     The 1994 campaign for the Paterno Library raised $13.75 million from 3,000 individuals and ground was broken in April, 1997. The $34.4 million completed project included the Paterno Library construction and extensive renovations to adjoining Pattee Library. The new facilities house eight subject libraries and provide an assembly room, auditorium and cafe.
     The completed Pattee and Paterno Libraries encompass approximately 490,000 square feet, including 139,000 (135,000 in Paterno) new square feet and 250,000 renovated square feet (140,000 in Paterno). The facilities have an estimated two million volume capacity; seat 2,000 and offer 475 public and staff computers.
     Joe and Sue Paterno's active support of Penn State's Libraries began in 1984 with the establishment of the Paterno Libraries Endowment, with contributions pushing the Endowment's total to $4 million.

2000 Penn State Starters

OFFENSE

Game SE ST SG C LG LT TE QB TB FB FL
USC Drummond McKenzie Hartings Spano Mitchell Bell Stewart Casey L. Johnson McCoo* Crenshaw
Toledo Perry McKenzie Felder Spano Hartings Bell Stewart Casey McCoo Cerimele Crenshaw
Louisiana Tech Watson McKenzie Mitchell Schmitt Lenda Bell Stewart Casey McCoo Cerimele B. Johnson
Pittsburgh Drummond Caruso Mitchell Schmitt Lenda Bell Stewart Casey McCoo Easy* Watson
Ohio State Drummond McKenzie Mitchell Schmitt Caruso Bell Stewart Casey McCoo Cerimele Watson
Purdue
Minnesota
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Michigan
Michigan St.

* Opened with two tailbacks

DEFENSE

Game LE LT RT RE OLB ILB OLB LCB Safety Hero RCB
USC Jones Adams Kennedy Kurpeikis Gatten Graham Finney Scott Boyd Pettigrew Jue
Toledo Jones Adams Kennedy Kurpeikis Sturdifen Graham Finney Branch Boyd Pettigrew Jue
Louisiana Tech Jones Adams Kennedy Kurpeikis Toles* Yisreal* Finney Branch Boyd Pettigrew Jue
Pittsburgh Jones Adams Kennedy Kurpeikis Gatten Graham Finney Branch Boyd Pettigrew Jue
Ohio State Jones Adams Kennedy Kurpeikis Sturdifen Graham Finney Branch Boyd Pettigrew Jue
Purdue
Minnesota
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Michigan
Michigan St.

* Opened with six defensive backs

Penn State Depth Chart
Classes in parenthesis are academic rank/year in eligibility. Current 9-23-00

OFFENSE

SPLIT END
20 Eddie Drummond (5-9, 182, Jr/Jr)
11 Tony Johnson (5-11, 194, Fr/Fr)
18 Rod Perry (5-10, 185, Jr/Jr)

SHORT TACKLE
67 Kareem McKenzie (6-7, 314, Sr/Sr)
76 Damone Jones (6-4, 303, So/Fr)

SHORT GUARD
75 Josh Mitchell (6-4, 285, Sr/Jr)
72 Gus Felder (6-5, 314, Jr/Jr) or
71 Joe Hartings (6-4, 263, Sr/Jr)

CENTER
64 Matt Schmitt (6-4, 288, Jr/So)
59 Eric Rickenbach (6-5, 277, Jr/So)

LONG GUARD
74 Jordan Caruso (6-4, 281, Sr/Sr)
50 Tyler Lenda (6-3, 272, Jr/So)

LONG TACKLE
57 Imani Bell (6-4, 305, Sr/Sr)*
77 Chris McKelvy (6-3, 315, Fr/Fr)
68 Jason Bisson (6-7, 301, Sr/Jr)

TIGHT END
89 Tony Stewart (6-5, 257, Sr/Sr)
85 John Gilmore (6-4, 250, Sr/Jr) or
82 Sean McHugh (6-5, 252, Fr/Fr)
93 Casey Williams (5-11, 231, So/Fr)

QUARTERBACK
12 Rashard Casey (6-1, 204, Sr/Sr)*
4 Matt Senneca (6-3, 227, Jr/So)

TAILBACK
8 Eric McCoo (5-10, 205, Jr/Jr)
34 Omar Easy (6-1, 246, Sr/Jr) or
5 Larry Johnson (6-2, 216, Jr/So)

FULLBACK
36 Mike Cerimele (5-10, 226, Sr/Sr)*
39 Paul Jefferson (6-1, 262, Fr/Fr)
42 Mick Blosser (6-0, 218, Sr/Jr)

FLANKER
22 Kenny Watson (6-0, 201, Sr/Sr)*
7 Bryant Johnson (6-2, 196, So/So)
84 Steve Delich (6-1, 189, Jr/So)

DEFENSE

LEFT END
96 Bob Jones (6-5, 260, Sr/Jr)
65 Sam Ruhe (6-5, 248, Fr/Fr)

LEFT TACKLE
98 Anthony Adams (6-0, 289, Jr/So)
99 Tim Falls (6-3, 269, Jr/So)

RIGHT TACKLE
73 Jimmy Kennedy (6-5, 320, Jr/So)
92 T.J. Gholston (6-3, 280, Jr/So) or
60 Tyler Valoczki (6-4, 281, Jr/So)

RIGHT END
37 Justin Kurpeikis (6-4, 248, Sr/Sr)*
81 Michael Haynes (6-3, 255, Jr/So)
49 Dave Jens (6-1, 241, Jr/So)

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
58 Eric Sturdifen (6-2, 227, Gr/Sr)*
40 Aaron Gatten (6-1, 221, Sr/Sr)*
54 Charwan Wood (6-1, 231, So/So)

INSIDE LINEBACKER
3 Ron Graham (6-2, 245, Sr/Jr)
47 Gino Capone (6-1, 232, So/Fr)
97 Brandon Steele (5-11, 239, Sr/Sr)*

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
21 Shamar Finney (6-2, 235, Jr/Jr)
2 Deryck Toles (6-0, 209, So/Fr)
94 Derek Wake (6-3, 229, Fr/Fr)

LEFT CORNERBACK
1 Bruce Branch (5-11, 184, Sr/Jr)
25 Richard Gardner (5-11, 181, So/Fr)

FREE SAFETY
6 James Boyd (6-0, 200, Sr/Sr)
15 Yaacov Yisreal (5-11, 191, So/Fr)

HERO
9 Titcus Pettigrew (6-0, 203, Sr/Sr)*
32 Bryan Scott (6-2, 211, So/So)

RIGHT CORNERBACK
10 Bhawoh Jue (6-1, 193, Sr/Sr)
32 Bryan Scott (6-2, 211, So/So)

SPECIALISTS

PUNTER
14 David Royer (6-3, 211, Jr/So)
26 Joe Nolan (6-1, 200, Fr/Fr)

KICKER
29 Ryan Primanti (5-11, 209, Sr/Sr)*
95 David Kimball (6-2, 195, Fr/Fr) (KO)

HOLDER
4 Matt Senneca (6-3, 227, Jr/So)

KICK SNAPPER
59 Eric Rickenbach (6-5, 277, Jr/So) (FG/PAT)
96 Bob Jones (6-5, 260, Sr/Jr) (Punts)

KICKOFF RETURNERS
22 Kenny Watson (6-0, 201, Sr/Sr)*
5 Larry Johnson (6-2, 216, Jr/So)
8 Eric McCoo (5-10, 205, Jr/Jr)

PUNT RETURNERS
18 Rod Perry (5-10, 185, Jr/Jr)
22 Kenny Watson (6-0, 201, Sr/Sr)*
1 Bruce Branch (5-11, 184, Sr/Jr)

* Fifth-year senior

 

 

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