Monthly Archives: October 2008

NLH: Paterno updates

Joe Paterno is on the phone tonight with host Steve Jones. He said his injury is “not something that cannot be fixed” and reiterated that he will get it done as soon as possible so he can get out on the road and recruit, which is something he apparently really wants to do.

Joe said the Ohio State win was “a great game to be involved in as a coach.”

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Paterno may discuss results of tests

Penn State sports information sent out a release this after that said Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno “plans to appear” on tonight’s edition of Nittany Lion Hotline (6:05 p.m., check local listings), and “MAY discuss the results of his recent medical examination,” according to SID Jeff Nelson.

Paterno had his injured hip/knee/leg checked out by doctors yesterday. Penn State is currently in a bye week and returns to action next weekend against Iowa.  

Again, the show begins at 6:05 p.m., eastern time. It’s been standard to have a player on at the beginning of the show and hold that player for two segments, so it’s possible Joe will not appear until 6:30ish.

In recent weeks Paterno has done the show from his State College home, rather than in “studio” with Steve Jones.

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Joe Speak: Bye Week Edition

Penn State head coach Joe Paterno held his weekly teleconference despite being on the bye week.

He said that Wednesday he will have the doctors look at his hip and make a determination as to what will happen. Paterno said the doctors will give him some tests, and he said if he has to get something done, he will try to get it done as soon as possible so he can “go on the road and recruit.”

Paterno said he doesn’t know if he will need surgery just yet.

About quarterback Daryll Clark, Paterno said Clark hasn’t practiced this week and won’t for a couple of days. But Paterno said there is no question that Clark will be ready for the Iowa game on November 8.

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Texas coach paying attention to Lions

Texas head coach Mack Brown talked to reporters today about the upcoming matchup with No. 7 Texas Tech on Saturday.

Brown, as you may or may not know, has a pretty good relationship with Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, to the point that Paterno went down to honor Brown at a dinner earlier this year, just a day after the 81-year old Paterno was treated for dehydration and taken to the hospital.

I jumped on the call (hey, it’s a bye week for PSU, I need something to write about, so why not parachute in on Mack during another hectic week for him) to ask Brown about the relationship with JoePa.

“I love Joe to death, he’s a great friend,” Brown said. “He and Sue are great friends of mine and (wife) Sally. And like (former Texas) coach (Daryl) Royal he’s a true rolemodel for all the guys my age and younger. Just his energy, his knowledge, his ability to win, the classy way in which he’s done it, I just think it’s the best.”

“I really admire the fact (Joe is hanging around). He’s got more energy at 81 than I have at 57 so it makes me mad every time I get around him and he wears me out. He wants to move, wants to do this and I’m tired. I think it’s a great message not only to coaches about having energy and fighting through adversity, but it’s also a great message to everybody else in America. For a guy that’s won more games than anybody he and (Florida State) coach (Bobby) Bowden, people wanted him fired a couple of years ago and he didn’t even care, he just went back to work and it was not an issue to him at all and I’m really, really happy for him and he’s got another great team and looks like he’s got a team this year that’s just as good as anybody.”

I then asked about Paterno reinventing himself this year with the spread offense.

“I think you can teach an old smart dog new tricks.”

Brown also said that despite the hell that’s been the last four weeks (Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State and now Tech), he is actually telling his kids the four-game stretch to end the season is the most crucial stretch of all, calling Saturday’s game “the first of a tough four game stretch to end the season.”

Take note, after Saturday’s clash in Lubbock, Texas has Kansas, Baylor and Texas A&M…note that Baylor’s defensive coordinator is former Penn State defensive backs coach Brian Norwood. Karma anyone?

IOWA TIME, NETWORK SET

According to the Des Moines Register the November 8th game between Penn State and Iowa is a 3:30 p.m., kickoff and ABC will televise.

MORE HONORS FOR LIONS

The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) has honored PSU as it’s Fiesta Bowl team of the week for the 13-6 tractor pull with the Buckeyes. From the home office in Dallas, Texas.

DALLAS (FWAA) – With their 13-6 win at 9th-ranked Ohio State, the Penn State Nittany Lions (9-0) are the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week for games of the weekend of Oct. 25.
 
Reserve quarterback Pat Devlin came off the bench and led the Nittany Lions to 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. His one-yard run capped off a 38-yard drive that gave Penn State the lead for good.
 
Penn State had not won in Columbus since joining the Big Ten and the win was their first at Ohio State since 1978. It came in front of a record crowd of 105,711.
 
Other Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Bowl National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Oct. 25 included:
 
· Minnesota (7-1): The Golden Gophers forced four turnovers and recorded five sacks in a 17-6 win at Purdue, their first win in West Lafayette since 1990.
 
· Rutgers (3-5): Mike Teel threw a school-record six touchdown passes in a 54-34 rout at Pittsburgh.
 
The FWAA has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season. This is the fifth season that the award has been sponsored by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
 
Members of the FWAA board of directors and All-America committee decide the weekly honor. Each Monday during the 2008 college football season, the FWAA will name the Tostitos Bowl National Team of the Week through Dec. 1.
 
Since 1971, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl has hosted six games that have decided the college football national championship, including three Bowl Championship Series title games. This season the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl game will be played on Jan. 5, 2009 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and the Insight Bowl will be played on Dec. 31, 2008 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
 
For more information on the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week, go to footballwriters.com or fiestabowl.org.
 
CLARK A SEMIFINALIST
Even more good news for PSU today.
Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark has been named one of 13 semifinalists for the coveted Davey O’Brien award. The list will be trimed down to three finalists on Nov. 24th, then awarded to the winner as part of ESPN’s College Football Awards show on Dec. 11 in Orlando.
Both Todd Blackledge and Kerry Collins have won the award, Michael Robinson was a semifinalist in 2005.

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Rubin honored by conference

The Big Ten announced the following student-athletes as the football offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week for games on Saturday, Oct. 25. This information will also be included in the weekly Big Ten football release, which will be sent out later today.

OFFENSE:

Brian Hoyer, Michigan State, SR, QB, North Olmstead, Ohio/St. Ignatius

Hoyer completed 17-of-29 passes (58.6 pct.) for 282 yards and a season-high three touchdown passes to lead Michigan State to its first win at Michigan since 1990. The senior quarterback added a 24-yard reception and surpassed 200 passing yards for the third time this season and the 11th time in his career. Hoyer opened the scoring just over three minutes into the game with a 61-yard strike to give the Spartans an early 7-0 advantage. After the Wolverines claimed a 21-14 lead in the second half, Hoyer tossed a four-yard touchdown pass to even the score at 21-21. After MSU reclaimed the lead, he put the game away with a seven-yard scoring toss with just over three minutes remaining for a 35-21 victory. Michigan State snapped a six-game losing streak in the series for its first win over Michigan since 2001. Hoyer picks up his first career weekly accolade and the fourth by a Spartan offensive player this season as running back Javon Ringer was honored for three straight weeks on Sept. 8, 15 and 22.

LAST MSU OFFENSIVE POW: RB Javon Ringer on Sept. 22, 2008.

DEFENSE:

Mark Rubin, Penn State, SR, S, Amherst, N.Y./Amherst

Rubin collected a career-high 11 tackles and made the play of the game when he forced a fumble in the fourth quarter, which Penn State turned into the game-winning scoring drive to remain undefeated and stand alone atop the Big Ten standings. The senior safety registered nine solo stops on the night to spearhead a Nittany Lions defense which held the Buckeyes to only six points, its fewest points at home since 1982. PSU limited OSU to 61 rushing yards on the night, more than 100 yards below its season average, and forced two turnovers. The biggest turnover occurred in the final stanza. After Penn State missed a potential game-tying field goal at the start of the fourth quarter, Ohio State held a 6-3 lead and drove to midfield before Rubin hit the Buckeyes quarterback to force a fumble. Linebacker Navorro Bowman recovered the loose ball at the 38-yard line with just over 10 minutes left. The Nittany Lions scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive to claim a 10-6 lead on the way to the victory, PSU’s first win in Columbus since 1978. Rubin collects his first career weekly laurel.

LAST PSU DEFENSIVE POW: DE Aaron Maybin on Oct. 13, 2008.

SPECIAL TEAMS:

Brad Nortman, Wisconsin, FR, P, Brookfield, Wis./Central

Nortman averaged 51.7 yards per punt and placed three kicks inside the 20-yard line in a victory over Illinois. The freshman punter recorded six punts for 310 yards, including a career-long 64-yard boot. He continually pinned the Illini deep in their own territory, highlighted by one punt downed on the four-yard line. Illinois’ average offensive starting position in the first half was the 25-yard line. Nortman earns his first career player of the week award and the first for a Badgers special teams player since last season.

LAST WIS SPECIAL TEAMS POW: P Ken DeBauche on Sept. 24, 2007.

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No changes in BCS top five

The new BCS standings were just released on Fox. As expected, no change.

1. Texas .998

2. Alabama .949

3. Penn State .925

4.Oklahoma

5. USC

Charles Davis said it will be difficult for both Texas and ‘Bama to run the table. Jimmy Johnson said Texas will run the table, ‘Bama won’t.

About the Nittany Lions….the bad rap the Big Ten has will hurt the Nittany Lions, but both agreed there is no way a one-loss team will be in front of them.

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Ohio State: The day after

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Some thoughts from the day after, really the early, way too early morning after Penn State’s 13-6 defeat of No. 9 Ohio State.

It seems as thought each week someone in the secondary is going to step up and make plays. We’ve now seen Mark Rubin, Lydell Sargeant, Drew Astorino and to a degree Anthony Scirrotto all have a say in a key play one way or another. A.J. Wallace, paging A.J. Wallace.

Astorino is going to be really good by the way.

Here’s some thoughts on the win….look fans who are disturbed that the Nittany Lions went to a more controlled passing attack and conservative play calling, consider this. They tried getting the ball downfield more, but Daryll Clark had little if any time, and honestly, you are going to have to win games in all areas of your team.

That means special teams, defense, running, passing, kicking, play-calling. The offense has done it the majority of the season, defense takes its turn here and there. Like Purdue, like the second half of Michigan, like last night.

Cherish the win, quit worrying about the (lack-of) offense last night. They were fine.

Where was Todd Boeckman?? You know, the quarterback that directed a run at the national title last season for the Buckeyes? I got the feeling that Boeckman might have provided some of the poise that Paterno talked about his team having late in the game.

I guess the tricky spot is that if Jim  Tressel pulled Terrelle Pryor after the fumble that would send the wrong message. But what type of message did it send his team pulling the guy that got them a Big Ten title and national title game spot last year in favor of Pryor? Its not like this team had to rebuild.; They returned five guys who are going to get drafted in the higher rounds for sure. You can’t help injuries, they happen, but why not Boeckman at some point last night just to give PSU a different look? Ohio State wasted a play each possession and you have to wonder if that would have been different with the veteran Boeckman in there?

Clark has what’s called a “head injury” and if I were a betting man would think that he’d probably sit out had the Lions had to play next week at Iowa. As it is that game will be a trap game regardless. Iowa’s defense is getting better, plus you have to wonder how this team could handle more pressure should, say, Texas’ brutal schedule finally take its toll and the ‘Horns lose to Texas Tech bumping PSU up one notch. Not saying I am picking the Red Raiders, but I’m picking the Red Raiders. It has to catch up with Texas at some point.

The bounces are going Penn State’s way, and that is also something that hasn’t been said in a long time.

Paterno said during his postgame he is going to have his leg checked out this week sometime. And despite the bye week it’s expected some players will meet with the media at various points. Paterno will not have his weekly teleconference, rather he will still participate in the Big Ten conference call with reporters on Tuesday afternoon. So Tuesday will be the only time we hear from Joe and any possible update on the hip/leg/knee/whatever it is.

Here’s today’s links.

AN UNLIKELY HERO EMERGES | DEVLIN DOESN’T MISS A BEAT | PSU NOTEBOOK

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