September 30, 2010

Preview: Penn State at Iowa

#22 AP / 3-1, 0-0 BigTen @ IOWA
#17 AP 3-1, 0-0 BigTen
10/2, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN Wk 4 - W, 22-13 vs TU Wk 4 - W, 45-0 vs BSU

Evan Royster runs for a big 4th quarter gain [2]
Evan Royster had his first big rushing game
this season last week, but Iowa's
defense is a whole different ballgame.
Has there been any more painful series for Penn State than that with the Iowa Hawkeyes? Probably not since joining the Big Ten, at least. Well, two years after the absolutely most soul-crushing defeat ever at the hands of the Pig Head Chuckers, it's time to head back to Kinnick Stadium, for what hopefully will not turn into yet another cut-wrenching disappointment.

So, let's get to it...

Always For the Glory: Week 4 NFL Update

Week three of the NFL season is in the books, and it was a week that one former Penn Stater will remember for years to come. While a couple PSU alums still remain on the sidelines as they battle injuries, others were seeing the field for the first time this season.

He wasn’t able to do much in week two for the Chiefs, but Hali had perhaps the best game of his career this past week against the San Francisco 49ers. Hali racked up three sacks and a forced fumble for Kansas City as they rolled over the 49ers 31-10 to remain undefeated.

BlogPoll 2010: Week 5 Final Ballot and Top 25

Here is this week's full BlogPoll Top 25. Below that is our final ballot for week five.

September 29, 2010

10 Minutes Or Less: 1994 Penn State vs Iowa

Someday, I am going to own every DVD from the 1994 season. Watching these games are like watching Seinfeld reruns, they never cease to become amusing. Seeing Ki-Jana Carter, Mike Archie, or one of the highly talented towel boys run roughshod over opponents (thanks in part to those gaping holes left by an elite offensive line anchored by Marco Rivera) while Kerry Collins carves up secondaries like Thanksgiving turkeys is always a sight to truly behold. Today's video, a 61-21 beat down of Iowa, is no different. 

Nittany Digs: Crashing back to earth

Senior Blair Brown had 16 kills
in the losing effort at Illinois.
We all knew The Streak would end at some point. It did two weekends ago. But damn, we didn't realize Penn State would drop another match so quickly afterward.

The Nittany Lions not only fell earlier this season to Stanford, but then this past weekend, lost again, this time in conference play at No. 9 Illinois. I guess it could have been worse, against a poor opponent. But that doesn't make losing any easier for the team. In sports your goal is to win all of your games. Well, for three years, this team did just that. It must be a weird feeling to not have a 1.000 record.

September 28, 2010

Joe Paterno Press Conference Recap:
Iowa Week

Joe Paterno pregame [5]
Joe knows Iowa all too well, and what the
Hawkeyes have done to Penn State...
Joe Paterno and Penn State are getting ready for Iowa. Here's the highlights from JoePa's weekly press conference.
  • Penn State can do better in the red zone, but that shouldn't take away from what Temple was able to do defensively. But the play calling could be a bit better, maybe throwing on earlier downs, stuff like that.
  • Iowa is a well-coached football team that will jump on any opportunity you give it to win. Kirk Ferentz is a Pennsylvania guy, who's father-in-law was Joe Paterno's high school teammate. So the connections are there to make the game a bit more personal. 
  • Iowa is still one of the best teams in the country. The Arizona loss was so unlike the Hawkeyes, with lots of mistakes. The Big Ten overall is greatly improved, and very, very tough this year all around.
  • Chima Okoli was a former defensive lineman that was moved to the offense this off-season. He's more suited to play offense, because he's not great at getting under blocks and stuff. It's going to be tough for him at Iowa, going up against Adrian Clayborn, but it hasn't been easy for any team.
  • The emphasis on special teams has obviously paid off this season. The spread punt was partly a move made to accommodate the personnel on this team (much faster players), and partly because of what happened last year against Iowa and Ohio State. 
  • Chaz Powell will stay at wide receiver, and not move back to cornerback, where he was this past spring. He's going to be a good football player. Right now, he's more suited to play offense.
  • Rob Bolden is a really fine young quarterback, with great maturity. He's a quiet leader who does pretty much anything asked of him. He just needs more experience.

Shawney Kersey not so missing after all

Shawney Kersey touchdown Sean Fitz and Bob Flounders each followed up with this sort of good news:
"After a one-week sabbatical, Penn State redshirt freshman wideout Shawney Kersey is back practicing with the team.

A source close to the program told The Patriot-News earlier this evening that Kersey practiced with the Nittany Lions Monday as they began preparations for Iowa Saturday."
I say sort of, because it's not like he won any more playing time (if any at all the rest of this season) by pulling a stunt like that. He might leave at the end of the season; we don't know. But whatever happened last week wasn't cute.

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September 27, 2010

BlogPoll 2010: Week 5 Rough Draft Ballot

Didn't have time to format all the schedules/results, but I'll have that ready for the final ballot. In the meantime, lots of big movers this week, none more so than Texas that put on a horrendous display at home against UCLA and I actually considered dropping entirely. Auburn and Stanford made big leaps this week as they appear to be real threats going forward. I was probably too harsh on Arkansas, but the way they ended that game left a bad taste, despite all the good they did earlier. Have at it, it pretty amorphous this week and open to scrutiny. Questions, corrections, suggestions and objections are always welcome.

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LBU Staff Reactions: Penn State 22, Temple 13

Updated, 11:15 p.m. (Nick's reaction)
Updated again, 9/28 1 p.m. (student section photos)

Penn State had a more-dramatic-than-necessary win over in-state foe Temple. Here are some thoughts from the LBU folks...

Pete Massaro pressures Chester Stewart into an interception
Pete Massaro (59) pressures Temple QB Chester Stewart into an errant pass.
Nate Stupar was waiting on the other end...

Sorry we missed last week, we will make this a weekly thing from now on.

Creepin' the Big Ten: Week 4

While Penn State was collectively ripping the hearts of their fans out before finally putting Temple away, there were other games going on and that's where 'Creepin' the Big Ten' comes in. So how did Michigan do?

This team sucks! Fire JoePa! We want Morelli! Linebacker U? Yeah right!

Joe PaternoOk, so that Morelli reference wasn't something I actually heard this past Saturday night, but I swear it was there in spirit.

I made the mistake of listening after the Penn State-Temple game to the ESPN radio post game show with Pat Boland, Keith Conlin, and Justin Kurpeikis. The mistake wasn't listening to those three guys, as they're really good and I enjoy them thoroughly. Rather, the mistake was listening to the listener/fan call-ins from the parking lots.

From what about 70 percent of the call-in listeners had to say, you would think this was a Temple team from before 2008. One caller's comment really stuck out in my mind, and is the only one I can remember verbatim:

September 26, 2010

Review: Penn State 22, Temple 13

Temple put quite a scare into the Nittany Lions yesterday, leading the hosts for most of the game. But Penn State dug down deep, played sensational defense in the second half, and put together one of the most impressive clutch drives we've seen in years.

Mike Zordich celebrates a tough run
Mike Zordich would not be denied his first career touchdown run, plowing in for the game-clinching fourth quarter score against the visiting Owls.

Don't say Penn State looked bad against a MAC team.

Photo Gallery: Temple at Penn State

Evan Royster Heisman shotHere are some shots from Saturday's game.

Penn State fought back to beat Temple 22-13, sparked by an opportunistic defense in the second half, and some big plays on offense.

I will be adding in more photos the rest of this weekend, so be sure to check them out when they're online.

For now, enjoy!

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September 24, 2010

11th Hour Depth Charting: Temple Edition

The latest depth chart (from what we can tell) for this week's game, with some complementary notes...

Brett Brackett lowers his shoulder

10 Minutes Or Less: 1976 Penn State at Temple

Undoubtedly, this is Temple's most talent-laden squad since the late 1970's when Wayne Hardin was coaching the program and gave PSU a run for their money during a few close contests that all ended in narrow defeats for the Owls. I figured a video from the aforementioned Hardin era would be appropriate considering the fact that tomorrow's game has potential to end up being a nail-biter of sorts.

This video from 1976 showcases one of those close contests in which PSU had secured the victory only after Temple failed on a game-winning two point conversion attempt as time expired. It also showcases just how different college football games were back then: No corny side segments on TV broadcasts (as much as I enjoy Todd Blackledge's "Taste Of The Town"), and no crappy piped-in music (are you reading this, Guido D'Elia?) after a touchdown.

Keep an eye out as well for:
  • A human-sized turd high-fiving the Temple players after every touchdown...actually, that's Temple's mascot. 
  • Some idiot fan running onto the field in the final seconds, getting in the face of a referee, then getting shoved onto his ass by that same ref. The fan is then slowly escorted off the field by ONE security guard. No mace, no handcuffs, and certainly no "don't tase me, bro!" were necessary.  Temple used this incident to their advantage by scoring an easy passing touchdown before PSU's distracted defense could react.
  • A Brooklyn accent that sounds like JoePa's. No, JoePa did not clone himself but rather his younger brother, George, was an analyst on this broadcast alongside the announcer, Ray Scott. George would go on to do radio play-by-play alongside Fran Fisher for many years.

*Apologies for my near complete lack of posting lately. I've been bogged down with real world responsibilities to the point where I wasn't able to edit this week's 10 Minutes Or Less video until last night.

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LBU Staff Predictions: Temple at Penn State

The non-conference season wraps up for our Nittany Lions, as in-state "rivals" the Temple Owls roll into Happy Valley. Temple is in the midst of one of its best winning records in decades, while Penn State is still struggling to find itself. Is an upset brewing? Here are our thoughts on the game, with a little score prediction action.

Flipping the ball carrier
Penn State's defense can't improve much on last week's shutout performance, but you never know...

Big Ten Bloggers Pick'em: week 4

Week 4 of the college football season is upon us and it’s a chance for a lot of the Big Ten teams to get a tune-up before the real season starts. When I say “tune-up” I mean it’s a chance for all the Big Ten teams to feast on cupcakes and boy do we have some sickening sweet cupcakes this week.

mmmmmmmm cupcakes!

September 23, 2010

Always For The Glory: Week 3 NFL Update


There are injuries all over the place for our Penn State alums this week in the NFL, as Jared Odrick, Josh Hull, and Paul Posluszny were forced to cheer on their teams from the sidelines.

A couple solid performances though by the Penn Staters that did play, and a midweek transaction put one of the great running backs in PSU history on the unemployment line. Without further ado, here's what happened in week 2 of the NFL season for the Penn Staters of the past.

Blue & White Roundtable: The It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia edition

This week's roundtable brought to you by Nittany White Out which won't be available at a home game until 2011 (see what I did there? Nevermind) As always, check out the other members of our esteemed group:

William World News
Joe Pa's Doghouse
2 the Lion
Penn State Clips

Preview: Temple at Penn State

NR AP / 3-0, 0-0 MAC @ PSU
#24 AP / 2-1, 0-0 BigTen
9/25, 3:30 p.m. ET, BTN Wk 3 - W, 30-16 vs UConn Wk 3 - W, 24-0 vs Kent

Evan Royster
Evan Royster in a slump?
The Temple run D might be just the cure...
Penn State enters the final non-conference game of this season, as the Nittany Lions play host to in-state foe Temple. If this game were played three, four or five seasons ago, it would be a laugher for Penn State fans. But head coach Al Golden is brewing up something special in Philly--a winning football program. The Owls could reach consecutive bowl games for the first time since... ever!

This game is far from a cakewalk for Penn State. So, let's get to it...

September 22, 2010

September 21, 2010

Shawney Kersey missing from practice, could be leaving for good

Shawney Kersey touchdown (2)
Uh oh... is Kersey actually leaving this time?
Bob Flounders is reporting* today that receiver Shawney Kersey hasn't shown up to practice this week.
The Patriot-News has learned the Penn State football program may be on the verge of losing one its most talented young wide receivers.

Two sources close to the program said redshirt freshman Shawney Kersey, upset over a lack of playing time, did not show up for practice Monday. One source told The Patriot-News that Kersey did not practice today, either.
I swear we've heard this rumor for about a year now, but does that mean he's transferring/leaving for real this time?

Joe Paterno Press Conference Recap:
Temple Week

Joe Paterno pregame [3] Here's the long and short of what happened today at Joe Paterno's Temple game week press conference. With Mark Dantonio's recent heart attack, things took a much more perspectived tone this week from the start.

Fox Sports Florida needs to STFU about the 'New Linebacker U'

If our blog was of any other name, this wouldn't warrant a post of its own. However, we here at take Penn State's earned nickname very seriously. And when any other moron tries to claim his or her school is the "next" or "new" Linebacker U, it makes our blood boil.

The latest weak argument, courtesy of (of course) SEC country:

September 20, 2010

BlogPoll 2010: Week 4 Rough Draft Ballot

It took us a few weeks, but we've finally got the BlogPoll standing up straight and hair combed. A few notes about this week's ballot, big drop for Iowa, of course, not particularly high on Texas or Oklahoma after this past weekend, but still too early to move them. Increasing interest in Oregon, Nebraska and Stanford, could be big movers in the future - sorry about last week Arizona, I went with Sparty instead of you to finish out the poll expecting an Iowa victory that didn't pan out the way I imagined at the time. Here are the Top 25 as I have them with schedules and offensive yards gained/defensive yards surrendered in parentheses. Questions, corrections, suggestions and objections are always welcome.

Nittany Digs: 'The Streak 2.0 starts today'

Penn State's all-sports blog had a really nice piece about the atmosphere in Rec Hall, and how one of college sports' best fan bases is lifting this team back up after its first loss in 109 matches.
Students even created a Facebook event specifically promoting what they call 'The Beginning of the Streak 2.0'. More than 2,000 students planned on attending the event and they even orchestrated a white out for Friday night's match against George Washington...

"I think a crowd definitely plays a part in the opponents head and you know it helps us the whole time to get energy if we're needing energy, which we should be making our own," said Brown. "But you know if it's not coming naturally it's great for them to be there and to kind of lift us up when we need it and for the opponent it's tough playing in a place where everybody is rooting for the other team."

Penn State extends Temple series for 3 more years

Penn State announced today a three game extension of its current seven game series with the Temple Owls, with games planned for 2014, 2015 and 2016. This is a decent move by Penn State, as Temple is definitely a program on the rise, also providing an in-state "rival" in a major metropolitan media market (Philly).

Our buds at Nittany White Out had a great rundown of the entire Temple-Penn State history, also explaining how even though this is turning into a rivalry in the technical sense, actual competitiveness in the series will probably continue to be faint at best:
"Alot of Temple fans are optimistic and deservedly so. Temple wins have steadily increased during Al Golden’s tenure. But it just doesn’t look good for them against Penn State. Penn State has outscored Temple 154 to 9 in the last 4 games in this series. To call this a rivalry would really be using the term loosely. But there is still hatred there. I’ve traveled to Temple in 2007 for the game at the Linc and many Owl fans really despise the Lions (can’t understand why)."
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September 18, 2010

Photo Gallery: Kent State at Penn State

I will add more photos as the weekend wraps up. For now, enjoy a few shots from Penn State's 24-0 win over Kent State. Remember to check back here later this weekend for more photos...

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Penn State rolls to 24-0 without Evan Royster in Second Half

Devon Smith touchdown celebration

After the first two weeks of action, Penn State fans were left unsatisfied with the Nittany Lion offense and anxious to see it finally click. They did not quite get that this week.

The team scored 14 points in the first eight minutes of the game, but that is all the scoring you got to see out of the first half of the 24-0 victory.

September 17, 2010

11th Hour Depth Charting: Kent State Edition

The latest depth chart (from what we can tell) for this week's game, with some complementary notes...

Gerald Hodges (3)
Gerald Hodges is out for at least the next month, if not more, creating a big hole in the linebacker position.

-Remember, this isn't the "official" depth chart that Penn State releases each week. What would be the point of reprinting that here? I mention this because you'll notice that Michael Mauti is listed as the second team linebacker at all three positions. I put him there because Penn State seems to use a system now that resembles the defensive line rotation that's worked for years. I don't think this will be permanent at the linebacker position, but until they find the best lineup, expect this to be the case. Khairi Fortt and Mike Yancich are the other two next in line to come off the bench.
-Gerald Hodges will miss several weeks with a broken bone in his leg. Some estimates are four weeks, some up to eight weeks or the season. This is a big loss. Hodges was supposedly going to start the Alabama game instead of Bani Gbadyu.
-Johnnie Troutman is the starting left guard. At his presser this week, Joe Paterno said Troutman was doing better than DeOn'tae Pannell.
-Silas Redd is now the official third running back. I wouldn't be surprised to see him get five to seven carries tomorrow.
-I'm not moving Joe Suhey out of the first fullback spot, but Mike Zordich has been getting much more time, especially carrying the ball, than I thought. This could end up similar to the Brian Milne/John Whitman duo in the mid-1990s.
-Devon Smith is now the starting slot receiver.
-Early in the season, we thought Brett Brackett would be a slot receiver, but has since been used in the split end role.

LBU Staff Predictions: Kent State at Penn State

Penn State returns home after a rough trip to Tuscaloosa. This week is a bit different, as Kent State comes to town with one of the better defenses in the nation, but a much, much less potent offense than the Crimson Tide fielded last week. Here are our thoughts on the game, with a little score prediction action.

Nate Stupar [4]

PSU Division I Hockey Beginning in 2012

(Photo: Ryan)
It took years to finalize, but Penn State fans are finally getting what they wanted, a Division I hockey team.

Starting in the 2012-2013 season, both women's and men's hockey will be competing at the Division I level, with a new arena set to begin construction in the coming months.

Where did this money come from? An 88 million dollar donation from Penn State alumnus Terry Pegula. Pegula is the founder and former CEO and president of East Resources Inc.

The donation comes as the largest private donation in the history of the Pennsylvania State University.

More to come later.

Big Ten Blogger's Pick'em: Week 3


The Big Ten Bloggers Pick’em rolls on to week 3 and Linebacker-U is sitting in 2nd place behind The Daily Gopher. Curious that the guy that runs the Pick’em is in first place huh?

September 16, 2010

Blue & White Roundtable: the Golden Flash-in-the-pan Edition


So it's just Kent State you say, no big deal you say? Well the Blue & White Roundtable takes no one for granted. This week Penn State welcomes the Silver Foxes Golden Flashes of Kent State. All the information about what a Golden Flash is and much more than you ever wanted to know about the University can be found here. Did you know Carl Monday was a famous Alumnus? If you read Linebacker-U you would. This week's B&W Roundtable was brought to you by the fine fellas over at Joe Pa's Doghouse which we assume was pretty crowded this summer. Onward!