Monthly Archives: November 2008

Pac-10 World is USC’s if they want it

Raise your hand if you thought Oregon State would respond to the challenge without Squizz Rodgers last night?

Raise your hand again if you thought Oregon wouldn’t tear through the Beavers rush defense with relative ease?

One last time, raise your hand if you think UCLA has ANY chance against USC next weekend?

They didn’t, they most certainly did and of course the Bruins have no shot next weekend against the Trojans.

All the talk of the Rosey rematch is dust today, thankfully for Penn State fans. If you are a Nittany Lions fan there’s no way you should have been hoping for a rematch against the Beavers in the Rose Bowl. Send your thank you notes to the Oregon Ducks.

If (WHEN) USC defeats UCLA next weekend, the Trojans will secure the Pac-10 title and the automatic berth to the Rose Bowl opposite Penn State. Whether or not they feel like going to Pasadena, again, is a moot point. They will go. They will play Penn State like it or not.

To me the storyline there is whether or not USC is really interested in playing there. They feel they have nothing to gain and that they’ve already proven time and time again that they are better than “slower midwestern teams.”

Whether they are or aren’t is irrelevent. If you don’t want to get stuck playing those teams, then beat Oregon State early in the year.

Part of me wants to think that USC really doesn’t care about playing in the Rose Bowl, part of me feels like Penn State could beat them regardless. But we’ll see.

We’ll see if USC is really interested in getting there.


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Paterno returns home

From Jeff Nelson, Penn State SID

UNIVERSITY PARK – Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was released early from the Mount Nittany Medical Center and returned home today. He no longer experiences hip-related pain and will continue his rehabilitation at home following hip replacement surgery on Sunday.


Coach Paterno has been working on bowl preparation schedules while in the hospital and intends to begin evaluation of last Saturday’s 49-18 win over Michigan State at home. Paterno is expected to resume a coaching regimen on Monday, Dec. 1, when the players return to school following the Thanksgiving break. 

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Nittany Lions clean up conference awards

UNIVERSITY PARK — A school record 10 members of Penn State’s Big Ten Championship football team have been selected first team All-Big Ten, with a record total of 14 Nittany Lions being recognized on the first or second team in voting by the conference coaches and media.

In addition, Joe Paterno has been named Dave McClain Coach of the Year and senior center A.Q. Shipley (Coraopolis) was selected Offensive Lineman of the Year.
The All-Big Ten football team was announced tonight live on the Big Ten Network. Penn State’s 10 first team honorees easily led all conference schools. Iowa was second with four selections.
Six Nittany Lions were selected to the first team offense: Shipley, senior tackle Gerald Cadogan (Portsmouth, Ohio), junior quarterback Daryll Clark (Youngstown, Ohio), senior placekicker Kevin Kelly (Langhorne), senior guard Rich Ohrnberger (East Meadow, N.Y.) and senior wide receiver Derrick Williams (Greenbelt, Md.).
Four Nittany Lions were named to the first team defense: sophomore linebacker Navorro Bowman (District Heights, Md.), sophomore defensive end Aaron Maybin (Ellicott City, Md.), junior defensive tackle Jared Odrick (Lebanon) and senior safety Anthony Scirrotto (West Deptford, N.J.).
Shipley and Scirrotto are two-time first team All-Big Ten honorees and Ohrnberger was a second team honoree last year.
Four Penn Staters earned second team All-Big Ten honors: senior wide receiver Deon Butler (Woodbridge, Va.); sophomore tailback Evan Royster (Fairfax, Va.), senior cornerback Lydell Sargeant (Lompoc, Calif.) and sophomore guard Stefen Wisniewski (Bridgeville).
Seven Nittany Lions earned honorable mention all-conference recognition: junior punter Jeremy Boone (Mechanicsburg), senior cornerback Tony Davis (Warren, Ohio), senior defensive end Josh Gaines (Ft. Wayne, Ind.), junior tackle Dennis Landolt (Butlington, N.J.), senior wide receiver Jordan Norwood (State College), senior safety Mark Rubin (Amherst, N.Y.) and senior linebacker Tyrell Sales (Butler).
Paterno previously was selected Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1994 and 2005. The award honors former Wisconsin coach Dave McClain. Michigan’s Bo Schembechler is the only coach to win the honor more than Paterno (four times) since its inception in 1972. In his 43rd season as head coach, Paterno is the all-time victories leader among major college coaches with a 383-126-3 record.
A starter at center in the past 38 games, Mid-season All-American Shipley is Penn State’s first recipient of the conference’s Offensive Lineman of the Year honor.

Shipley and Clark have been instrumental in helping the Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in two of the four primary categories and rank no lower than third. The Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in total (452.2 ypg, 15th in nation) and scoring offense (40.2 ppg, 10th), are second in the conference in rushing (211.6 ypg, 15th) and third in passing offense (240.6 ypg, 37th).

Penn State and Tulsa are the only teams in the nation averaging more than 210 rushing yards per game and 240 passing yards per game, according to the Nov. 23 NCAA statistics.

Cadogan, a 2007 first team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American, was named Penn State’s Sportsmanship recipient.

Paterno’s squad is ranked No. 8 in this week’s BCS standings and will play in the Rose Bowl (Jan. 1,  2009) or BCS National Championship (Jan. 8). Penn State is No. 6 in the Associated Press, USA Today Coaches and Harris Interactive polls. The BCS pairings will be announced Sunday, Dec. 7.

Penn State will be playing in its 35th bowl game under Paterno, who is the all-time leader in bowl appearances and wins (23-10-1 record).

(For the complete All-Big Ten teams, go to

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Clark shares offensive honor


Daryll Clark, Penn State, JR, QB, Youngstown, Ohio/Ursuline

Clark accounted for a career-high five touchdowns and 341 passing yards to lead Penn State to a win over Michigan State and a share of the Big Ten title. The junior quarterback completed 16-of-26 passes (61.5 percent) with a career-best four touchdowns and added a one-yard rushing score against the Spartans. Clark averaged 21.3 yards per completion, connecting on throws of 70, 49, 37, 33 and 32 yards. The Ohio native opened the scoring with a five-yard toss in the first quarter and his one-yard touchdown run and 32-yard scoring strike in the second quarter pushed the hosts ahead 28-0. He added touchdown passes of four and 70 yards in the third quarter before sitting out the final stanza. Clark’s 341-yard passing performance marked the most yards through the air for a PSU player since 2003 when Michael Robinson compiled 379 yards against Wisconsin. Clark picks up his second weekly accolade this season and for his career after being honored on Oct. 13.

LAST PSU OFFENSIVE POW: QB Daryll Clark on Oct. 13, 2008.

Curtis Painter, Purdue, SR, QB, Vincennes, Ind./Lincoln

In his final college football game, Painter set a season high with 448 passing yards and connected on five scoring strikes to lead Purdue to 62 points and give head coach Joe Tiller a victory in his last game on the sidelines. The senior quarterback equaled a career high with 38 completions on 54 attempts, connecting on 70.4 percent of his passes, and added an 18-yard reception to help the Boilermakers reclaim the Old Oaken Bucket. Painter tossed touchdowns to five different players in the game, including three scores in the first quarter as Purdue sprinted to a 24-0 lead. He added two more touchdown passes in the second half, the last of which made the final score 62-10, the largest margin of victory against Indiana since 1893 and tied for the biggest deficit in Ross-Ade Stadium history. Painter earns the fourth offensive player of the week award of his career after being honored on Sept. 10, 2007, and Oct. 16 and Nov. 27, 2006.

LAST PUR OFFENSIVE POW: QB Justin Siller on Nov. 3, 2008.


Kevin Mims, Northwestern, SR, DE, The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands

Mims equaled a season high with seven tackles, including 2.5 sacks, and forced a fumble to help hold Illinois’ high-powered offense to a season-low 10 points and boost Northwestern to its ninth victory of the season. The Illini entered the game averaging a conference-best 440.3 yards of total offense per game but were held 113 yards below their season average by the Wildcats defense. Mims’ 2.5 sacks pushed the visitors back 14 yards as NU recorded five quarterback drops on the day. The senior defensive tackle added a key forced fumble in the fourth quarter as Illinois drove to midfield looking to cut into a 24-10 deficit. With less than eight minutes remaining, Mims broke through for the sack and knocked the ball loose to set up a short drive which led to a field goal and the final score of 27-10. Mims collects the first weekly accolade of his career.

LAST NU DEFENSIVE POW: S Brendan Smith on Nov. 3, 2008.


Ryan Donahue, Iowa, SO, P, Evergreen Park, Ill./St. Rita

Donahue averaged 48.5 yards per punt and placed one inside the 20-yard line to help Iowa pick up a road victory at Minnesota. The sophomore punter booted four kicks for 194 yards, including a long of 57 yards. The Hawkeyes also collected a fumble on one of his punts which led to a short touchdown drive and a 34-0 lead. He has recorded at least one punt over 50 yards in eight of his last 10 games. Donahue picks up his second weekly laurel in as many seasons after being honored as a freshman on Oct. 29, 2007.

LAST IOWA SPECIAL TEAMS POW: PR Andy Brodell on Sept. 15, 2008.

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Paterno surgery a success

From PSU Sports Information

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., November 23, 2008 — Successful hip replacement surgery was performed today on Penn State Coach Joe Paterno at the Mount Nittany Medical Center. Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli reports that all objectives were accomplished and that Paterno is resting comfortably and anxious to get home.
Paterno is expected to be on his feet Monday and able to resume a coaching regimen next Monday, Dec. 1, when the players return to school following the Thanksgiving break.
Dr. Sebastianelli, who led the surgery team, is Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Director of Athletic Medicine.

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MSU: The Day after

A little pimpin’ with Daryll Clark for your Sunday afternoon.

Clark was noticeably giddy after throwing his touchdown passes to Williams and Butler, to the point he had some swagger to his step.

A “little pimp” in his step as quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno said.

“That’s a little confidence step,” Clark said. “When things are going right and you’re throwing the ball and the guys are making plays and you’re moving the ball, you get a little pep to your step and you get excited.

“This is the football I like playing here, this is what I am capable of doing. When that happens everyone else plays well and our defense did a good job of containing (Javon) Ringer and the quarterback (Brian) Hoyer. It was just an all around great day,” Clark said.

“A little pimp, little pimp to the step, yep, a little pimp to the step.”

POSTGAME NOTES (courtesy of SID Jeff Nelson)

With its victory over Michigan State, Penn State claimed its third Big Ten Championship and second in the past four seasons (1994, 2005, 2008). The Nittany Lions will be the Big Ten’s automatic qualifier into the Bowl Championship Series and will play in the Rose Bowl (January 1, 2009) or BCS National Championship game (Jan. 8). The BCS match-ups will be announced Dec. 7.

• The victory over the Spartans marked the 800th in Penn State history as the Nittany Lions became just the sixth school to achieve the mark, joining Michigan (872), Notre Dame (830), Texas (830), Nebraska (815) and Ohio State (808).  Penn State has an all-time record of 800-348-42 in its 122nd season.
• Joe Paterno improved his NCAA record victory total to 383. He is now 383-126-3 (75.1) in his 43rd season collecting his third conference title to go with two national titles.
• The game marked the last in Beaver Stadium for 17 seniors. The class is the first to have 40 or more career wins at Penn State since the Class of  ’97 went 41-8.
• Penn State has a 40-10 (80.0) record since the start of the 2005 season, tied for No. 8 in the nation with TCU.
• Penn State posted its 14th 11-win season under coach Joe Paterno and the first since the 2005 Big Ten Championship team went 11-1. The Nittany Lions have at least two seasons with 11 or more wins in each of the past five decades under Paterno.
• Penn State has won 27 of its last 29 games (93 percent) in Beaver Stadium, dating to a 37-13 win over Michigan State on Senior Day 2004.
• Penn State set a school record with 419 passing yards. The previous mark was 399 yards vs. Iowa in 2002 (all by Zack Mills).
• Penn State had a season-high nine plays over 20 yards on the game, eight passing and one rushing. Among them were plays of 70, 59, 49, 37, 33 and 32 yards, all through the air. The Nittany Lions averaged 8.4 yards per play.
• Penn State’s 86-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter was its longest drive by yardage this season, until it was surpassed by a 96-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter.
• Penn State held Michigan State’s Javon Ringer to a season-low 42 yards, 98.7 yards below his average. Ringer entered the game ranked third in the NCAA in rushing averaging 140.7 yards per game and was fourth in all-purpose yards (173.2 ypg). He tallied 69 all-purpose yards, 104 below average.
• Penn State and Iowa are the only teams in the country to have faced 3 of the 10 semi-finalists for the Doak Walker Award. Penn State faced Jacquizz Rodgers of Oregon State, Shonn Green of Iowa and Javon Ringer, all of whom were held below their season averages vs. Penn State. Green (117 yards) was the only back among the three to eclipse 100 yards vs. the Nittany Lions.
• Penn State’s rushing defense has held opponents to an average of 95.9 yards per game this season, including giving up just 35 to Michigan State. The Lions lead the Big Ten and are No. 8 in the nation in rushing defense.
• Daryll Clark passed for a career high 341 yards and four touchdowns, the sixth-highest passing yardage game in school history. It was the first 300-yard passing game and the most passing yards for a Penn State player since Michael Robinson threw for 379 yards vs. Wisconsin in 2003. Anthony Morelli had the last four-touchdown passing game for a Penn State quarterback vs. Buffalo in 2007.
• Daryll Clark’s 70-yard touchdown toss to Deon Butler in the third quarter was a career long. Clark completed passes of 70, 49, 37, 33, 32, 28 and 26 yards, with TD passes of 32 yards to Derrick Williams and 70 yards to Deon Butler. Clark averaged 21.3 yards per completion.
• Daryll Clark completed 11-of-18 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, marking his fifth 200-yard passing game of the season.
• Daryll Clark surpassed 2,000 yards passing on the day, marking the fourth straight season in which a Penn State quarterback has done so. It is the 13th 2,000-yard passing season in Penn State history and Clark is the 12th player to accomplish the feat. His 2,319 yards on 171-of-285 passing (60 percent) currently rank as the seventh best passing yardage season in Penn State history. His 171 completions rank seventh in a season and his 17 touchdown passes are tied for seventh.
• With one rushing touchdown on the day, pushing his season rushing TD total to nine, Clark has accounted for 26 scores this season.
• Deon Butler made a career-best three touchdown catches on the day, including catches of 70 and 59 yards. Each of his three catches on the day went for touchdowns as he brought his career TD total to 22. He ranks third all-time behind Kenny Jackson (25) and Bobby Engram (31) in TD receptions. Butler totaled 133 yards on his three catches, his third 100-yard receiving game of the season and the sixth of his career. He averaged 44 yards and six points per touch on the day.
• With four receptions in the first half, senior Derrick Williams posted his third straight season with 40 or more receptions. He finished the game with four catches for 51 yards, giving him 40 for the year. He moved into 10th all-time on the Penn State career receiving chart with 1,709 yards on his career passing Tony Johnson’s total of 1,702.
• Jordan Norwood posted his third 100-yard receiving game of the season and the fourth of his career catching five passes for 127 yards.
• Evan Royster gained a game-high 79 yards on just 12 carries (6.6), becoming the ninth Nittany Lion to surpass 1,200 rushing yards in a season (11 times). Royster has 1,202 yards, with Curtis Enis (1,210 in 1996) in 10th place.
• Graham Zug’s touchdown catch was his second on the season.
• Senior Anthony Scirrotto recorded his second interception of the season in the second quarter. It marked the 12th of his career tying him with Junior Powell (1961-63), Derek Bochna (1990-93), Brian Miller (1993-96) and Alan Zemaitis (2002-05) for fifth all-time at Penn State.
• Senior Lydell Sargeant made his team-leading fourth interception of the season and the seventh of his career. Sargeant is tied for second in the Big Ten with four picks.
• Senior placekicker Kevin Kelly connected on all seven of his PAT attempts, giving him 419 career points. He moved in to fifth place in NCAA career scoring (all players) and is in third place in NCAA career scoring among kickers. Former Houston kicker Roman Anderson is next on both lists with 423 points.
• Kevin Kelly moved into second place in Big Ten career scoring with 419 points, breaking a tie with Indiana’s Anthony Thompson. Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne is the leader with 426 points (includes bowl scoring, which NCAA does not recognize prior to 2002-03 season.)
• Kevin Kelly did not attempt a field goal, ending his NCAA record of 31 consecutive games with at least one field goal made.
• Senior fullback Dan Lawlor scored his second touchdown on the season and third of his career to put Penn State up 14-0.
• Maurice Evans recorded his third sack of the season in the second quarter. It was the 17th sack of his career tying Justin Kurpeikis for 13th all-time.
• Abe Koroma recorded his second sack of the season on Michigan State’s first possession.
• Ollie Ogbu recorded his second sack of the season in the first quarter.
• Penn State improved to 13-12-1 in the series with Michigan State, returning the Land Grant Trophy to Happy Valley for the 12th time in 16 Trophy game meetings since 1993.
• Penn State and Michigan State have combined to score 1,004 points in their 16 Big Ten games, an average of 62.7 points per game. The Nittany Lions have scored 566 points (35.3 avg.) and the Spartans have scored 438 points (27.3 avg.).



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Game Blog: Michigan State

UNIVERSITY PARK — Keep it here for live updates from Beaver Stadium as No. 8 Penn State hosts No. 15 Michigan State with a shot at the Rose Bowl and a share of the Big Ten title on the line. Ohio State earned at least a share of the title earlier today with their beatdown of rival Michigan.

14:10: Pat Devlin is in to begin the fourth. Paul Cianciolo HAS to get the final snap here….59-yard bomb to Butler, who has three catches, three touchdowns. It’s 49-7. I’m headed downstairs in a few. More after the game.


1:27: Salt in the wound, Clark to Butler, 70 yards, it’s 42-7. Fourth touchdown pass by Clark, he’s tossed for a new career high 341 yards. He has a QB rating of 222.47. Off the charts. He celebrated after the toss…but the thing is, it’s not like anyone but Daryll was hard on himself….whatever mindset Clark put himself in he sure got himself out of today.

3:51: Navorro Bowman just dismantled Brian Hoyer on a double-pass between Ringer and Hoyer. Bowman came clean to an unprotected Hoyer and drilled him right in the chest. By the way Lydell Sargeant picked off the pass and PSU has the ball on its own 4-yard line. How Hoyer is still alive I have no idea…

4:34: Clark hits Deon Butler for a 4-yard touchdown pass to make it 35-7. Butler is the third senior to score today behind Williams and Lawlor. Clark as of that pass has 252 yards passing a career high and Norwood is over the 100 yard receiving mark. Penn State converted its seventh third-and-long on the drive. Amazing.

7:55: No scoring so far in the third, but Evan Royster just ripped off a 23-yard run. The story of this game is how Penn State has converted on third and long today.


0:16: Michigan State’s Ringer scores, but the drive is keyed by two very questionable pass interference calls on PSU DBs Lydell Sargeant and Anthony Scirrotto. It’s 28-7 as Penn State runs a screen pass to close the half.

2:52: Seven seconds later….that is ballgame. Clark hits Derrick Williams, 32 yard touchdown. The Rose Bowl is eagerly awaiting Penn State’s arrival. This is no contest folks….none. 28-0 Penn State

2:59: Anthony Scirrotto just picked off Hoyer, this one might be all but wrapped up.

3:57: Clark scores from a yard out to make it 21-0 PSU. Lions have converted five 3rd down-and-10 plus plays, including one more on this last drive. A 13-yard PI penalty helped out the Lions as well.

11:58: Dan Lawlor has a 4-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0. On the play, Lawlor gained more yards than he had rushing all season (he had three). Michigan State is not built to come back and they are not playing well right now.


We’ve reached the end of one, 7-0 Penn State. Nittany Lions have just missed on a couple of plays, Clark overshot Jordan Norwood on a deep ball, then just missed on a deep ball to Graham Zug…on the Zug pass Clark rolled to his left, had no time, got set and slinged it just out of Zug’s reach.

7:41: Graham Zug has a 5-yard touchdown reception from Daryll Clark, it’s 7-0 Penn State. Clark hits Jordan Norwood on a 49-yard pass to open the drive.

FIRST QTR 9:35: We are scoreless, Penn State has its second offensive possession of the game. The defense has already asserted itself with a sack and two loss-yardage plays. Javon Ringer has carried twice for minus-6 yards.


From the press box at a bitterly cold Beaver Stadium. The tarp is just about off the field, workers have been out there with blowers getting all the flakey snow off the field and then removing the tarp. The snow is coming and going. It will flurry for a little, pick up some then go away. They are expecting 1-3 inches here during the game.

Traffic is apparently a mess before you get to the mountains at 322. Otherwise it is smooth as can be.

Also a note, Director of Football Branding Guido E’Elia just stopped by to say hi….people, there is NO announcement of any sorts at halftime. Guido just showed me the script for the game, nothing is listed. As he said unless someone is breaking in the video booth and gagging him, nothing is going to happen.

That means there is no Hall of Fame video or anything as some have (properly) speculated or retirement announcement as some have (been dumb enough to say will happen) speculated on.

Right now going on Michigan is hanging around with the Buckeyes, getting good pressure on Terrelle Pryor, but they couldn’t capitalize on an early Pryor INT as K.C. Lopata missed a field goal. There have been five straight three-and-outs in the first 11 minutes of the game.

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