Monthly Archives: October 2007

Tuesday news and notes

Penn State cornerback Lydell Sargeant got a little antsy with the media today during his teleconference.

Sargeant was asked by two very good beat writers about the play of the secondary.

Q: This is with all due respect, but something doesn’t seem to add up. Almost unanimously in the media we seem to think the secondary is really struggling, most of your fans seem to think the secondary is struggling, but yet we hear you and Justin King say the secondary is not struggling. Are you guys in denial or are we just all wrong?

Sargeant: Maybe you guys should understand defensive schemes. That’s just how it is. I said before we’re on the island. If we get beat deep and it’s a Cover-2 it’s going to be ‘where’s the corner at?’ That’s just defensive schemes and that’s how everybody sees the game. That’s nothing we can control. People are going to say what they’re going to say and think what they do, but unless they’re out there and they know what kind of defense we’re playing or scheme we’re doing we don’t think it’s anything of any significance.


Q: OK, Lydell, I think I understand these numbers though, six touchdown passes the last two games after four in the first seven, so something has changed?

Sargeant:  Um, what were the passes? Hardy on the fade, Hardy on the what, five yard out,

(writer interrupts): Well yeah there was the dump off to Thigpen at Indiana…

(Sargeant replies): The tight end, was it, the screen to the running back. You can throw the stats out there, but if you really want to watch the games and see the kind of passes they are throwing, I mean come on, you know what I am saying? What is it….at three….

(writer interupts again): I understand but I played football one time too. Not in college, but I understand a touchdown pass is a touchdown pass, I understand what you’re saying.

(Sargeant replies): A touchdown pass is a touchdown pass in the stats but if we’re in Cover-3 and they throw a 3-yard out, what’s a corner supposed to do? It sounds good in the media to knock on the secondary or whatever, but like I said before, we know what defense we’re in and that’s the only thing we can stop.

Just a point of order here, both writers are dead on. I think these guys are a little bit in denial, but what do you expect them to say? We stink and we can’t cover anybody? I mean guys that ooze self induced confidence like these two are not going to say that.

Kudos to the two for challenging Lydell.

More after Paterno speaks.


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Game Blog (4th quarter, 9:36 left)


OHIO STATE 34, PENN STATE 10. Malcolm Jenkins 23-yard interception return (Petorius kick). Key Play: On the play before the interception, Deon Butler appears to be interfered with downfield on a deep ball. The back official doesn’t think so. Replays show a 50-50 call. No clue where Morelli was throwing to on the pick-6.


OHIO STATE 27, PENN STATE 10. Petorius 37-yard field goal. 12 plays, 59 yards in 6:29. Key Play: More like player, Chris Wells carries the load getting the Buckeyes downfield. Boeckman does a nice job mixing the pass and run in a surgical drive that kills whatever momentum Penn State thought they regained.


OHIO STATE 24, PENN STATE 10. Kelly 27-yard field goal. 11 plays, 62 yards in 4:36. Key Play: Derrick Williams takes a reverse 21 yards, and Rodney Kinlaw then bursts through the line for 18 on a stretch play. Morelli warms up on the drive.

OHIO STATE 24, PENN STATE 7. Boeckman 23-yard pass to Jake Ballard (Petorius kick). 13 plays, 87 yards in 5:26. Key Play: On fourth down, Boeckman sneaks over the top to pick up the fresh set of downs to keep the drive alive. On the very next play, Boeckman burns Justin King by hitting Robiskie….again.

Question: What is Joe Paterno thinking on fourth down-and-2 from the Ohio State 38, AFTER getting a turnover??? He punts?? Does he know he’s down by 10???

Penn State is getting owned in every facet of this game so far. The offensive line has trouble blocking, Gholston is all over the map for OSU.

Evan Royster is out for the time being with an injury and Jordan Norwood appears to be the only guy along with Dan Connor who has come to play tonight for PSU.

It’s dead here, the crowd is totally out of his game, and the officials just blew a potential first down for PSU by NOT calling a roughing the punter on Jeremy Boone.

OHIO STATE 17, PENN STATE 7. Boeckman 16-yard pass to Brian Hartline (Petorius kick). 15 plays, 91 yards in 6:26. Key Play: Justin King is burned yet again on a 19-yard completion from Boeckman to Robiskie. Buckeyes appeared to score on a touchdown run by Beanie Wells, but it was called back due to holding. Buckeyes strike behind nice blocking and patience on the next play.


Tough to tell who has momentum at the end of one. PSU has missed some good chances, specifically after a 28-yard run by Anthony Morelli, who fumbled but PSU got the bounce. Ohio State is the real deal, for the record.

And Justin King?? Yeah, um, I’d stay in school.

OHIO STATE 10, PENN STATE 7. Boeckman 9-yard pass to Robiskie. 6 plays, 80 yards in 3:26. Key Play: Lions corner Lydell Sargeant blows coverage and lets speedy Ray Small get way behind him. Boeckmen connects for a 60-yard gain to the Lions 8. After a penalty, Boeckman scrambles, then on second down connects with Robiskie, who again schools King.

PENN STATE 7, OHIO STATE 3. Rodney Kinlaw 2-yard run (Kevin Kelly kick). 9 plays, 78 yards in 3:46. Key Play: On first down, Anthony Morelli, with great blocking rolls to his left and hit’s a streaking Andrew Quarless for a 30-yard gain to the Buckeyes 4-yard line. Kinlaw follows fullback Dan Lawlor through a gaping hole for the lead.

OHIO STATE 3, PENN STATE 0. Ryan Petorius 50-yard field goal. 8 plays, 45 yards in 2:44. Key Play: On second down, Buckeyes quarterback Todd Boeckman drops back and drills Brian Robiskie over the middle against Justin King for a 27-yard gain. On third down Sean Lee knocks away a pass setting up the field goal.

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Pregame update

As the crowd files in….

The atmosphere here seems sorta reserved, more so than it “should” be.

A record 606 media credentials have been issued. Everyone from ESPN’s Pat Forde to CBS Sportsline’s Gary Parrish are here. Lenn Robbins from the NY Post is here too.

The old media credential record was set in 1999 when Arizona came to town (603).

It’s been an insane day in college football again..

Georgia screws up the SEC race, Nebraska the same for the Big 12. What’s next? PSU cementing their place again nationally?

Oregon over USC is that really a surprise? USC is over. They are done. Florida is done too. Consider this. If Penn State wins tonight, the top three teams in the country will be Boston College, LSU and Oregon. And four is Arizona State if they can slip by Cal.

Kansas would be top five by that point too.

It’s a scary college football Universe this season.

A couple of pregame notes from here.

First, Tony Davis is officially OUT for tonight’s game.

A couple of notes…..

The higher ranked team has won 15 of the last 16 meetings. The home team has won 12 of the last 14 meetings.

Six Nittany Lions are from Ohio (Cadogan, Clark, Dailey, Davis, Hill, Stout)

Penn State is 28-13 against schools from Ohio.

More after the first quarter….

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PSU Preview (Friday night update)

No. 1 Ohio State (8-0, 4-0) at No. 24 Penn State (6-2, 3-2)

Where: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA

When: Tonight, 8 p.m.

The Line: Ohio State by 3.5

Weather Report: AccuWeather calls for cloudy and breezy with a chance of rain in the afternoon, and cloudy during the afternoon and partly cloudy and 51 for a kickoff temperature.

Radio: The Penn State Sports Network will have live coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. The game can be heard locally on WHP 580 AM. There is also a webstream available at The game is available on XM Radio channel 196 and Sirius Satellite Radio channel 123. ESPN Radio’s GameDay will be broadcasting live from Beaver Stadium from 12 p.m.-7 p.m., check local listings (available on XM 140)

Television: ABC (WHTM-27) will provide live national coverage at 8 p.m. with Brent Musberger, Kirk Herbstreit and Lisa Salters calling the game. ESPN’s College GameDay will originate from Beaver Stadium 10am-Noon. WHTM-27 will have a pregame show “Penn State Primetime” beginning at 7:30 p.m. live from Beaver Stadium.

The Series: The all-time series is tied 11-11.

Coaches: Penn State — Joe Paterno, 42nd year, 369-123-3; Ohio State — Jim Tressel, 7th year 70-14 (205-71-2 overall in 22 years)

Notes: The last time Penn State hosted the No. 1 team at Beaver Stadium was in 1989 when they lost to Notre Dame 34-23….Paterno is 4-7 all-time against the No. 1 team….this will be the third time the teams have met with the Buckeyes ranked No. 1…..the last time Penn State beat the No. 1 ranked team was in 1990, a 24-21 win over Notre Dame….Penn State is 5-3 against the Buckeyes at home….Jim Tressel is 22-8 on the road as head coach of the Buckeyes…Ohio State has set a school record for most consecutive regular season wins (26) and most consecutive conference wins (18)…Tressel is the third winningest active D-I head coach behind Florida State’s Bobby Bowden and Paterno…The Buckeyes are 34-39-7 on the road against ranked teams…the last time the Buckeyes lost a Big Ten game was October 8, 2005 against the Nittany Lions.Prediction: Another No. 1 stunner……Penn State 20, Ohio State 16

Davis to miss game

Fight on State is reporting that PSU starting safety Tony Davis will miss tomorrow night’s showdown with Ohio State for an unspecified medical reason.

Sources indicated to me tonight that Davis underwent a medical procedure earlier this week that will keep him from playing Saturday night. It is unknown what type of procedure.

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You just never know (afternoon update)

Of all places to run into an Ohio State fan, I run into one at the Starbucks right down the street from the office this morning.

The guy was in town for business, donning a bright red hoodie with bold white lettering.

He pondered which version of Anthony Morelli will show up this weekend in Happy Valley and said he would not be attending the game.

Today’s must read link: Part II of the Philly Daily News’ interview with (former) Penn State running back Austin Scott, which can be viewed here.

 Post Teleconferences update

Just wrapped up the PSU teleconferences for the week. Here’s what not to ask Anthony Morelli when speaking to him via phone. (No disrespect intended for the writer who asked)

Q: Apart from the fact that you’re playing No. 1, it’s a night game, nationally televised, white out, all that other stuff, there was just a reference to last years game, might you personally feel a little more satisfaction from winning this game, because you know, um, uh, the fourth quarter picks that got return in last years game?

A: Nah, I’m not worried about no picks, man. I don’t live and die by interceptions, you’re a quarterback, you’re going to make some mistakes. It’s how you bounce back from it. The Ohio State game from last year is long gone. We won tons of games since then, I’m not worried about that, I’m just ready to go.

 Nice one.

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Paterno Tuesday

Joe Paterno just wrapped up his weekly teleconference with the media.

Among the highlights.

-Thinks James Laurinanitias is similar to Connor, Lee, maybe a little bigger. But he is a smart, fine player, he’s alert to the play.

-Regarding Matt Hahn’s injury, Paterno said “Dan Lawlor’s going to have to do it,” Paterno also mentioned that walk-on Larry Federoff could get some reps. Paterno said that Lawlor has all the things to be a fine fullback but he needs to step up to the plate this weekend.

-Doesn’t think Mike Lucian will play this week against Ohio State.

-Saturday is more interesting for the fans, if they are good enough to win, they will.

-Joe thinks Justin King played well, he was concerned for him going into the Indiana game last week, he had a tough assignment.

-Credits Tressel by saying he’s a great coach and has a fine staff.

-Joe isn’t sure how playing a night game once already this season will help his team Saturday, but he doesn’t believe it will hurt them.

-Mike Gross of the Sunday News had the best question of the session, asking if it’s tough to keep injured players on the up and up. Joe said it absolutely is and that some of that goes to the position coaches. (Note: interesting question because you have to wonder how a kid like Matt Hahn is doing, given that he is done as a player. At least Jared Odrick has two more years.)

Today’s must read link comes from the Daily News in Philadelphia, which conducted an interview with Austin Scott.

You can read that right here.

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Gameday coming, Evans honored

A couple of PSU notes to kick off the week.

ESPN’s College Gameday (Built by The Home Depot) will be live and in living color at Beaver Stadium this weekend for the showdown between No. 1 Ohio State and No. 24 Penn State.

No surprise here.

ESPN Radio’s College Gameday will be broadcasting all day long from outside Beaver Stadium.

Defensive end Maurice Evans was honored as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. Again, no shock. Evans was unstoppable in PSU’s 36-31 hang on at Indiana on Saturday.

Another 4.5 TFL effort will be needed this week against the Buckeyes.

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