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Game Thread Game Five: Penn State 17, Ohio State 10 (Final)

Discussion in '2005 Football Season Capsule' started by Clarity, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. Clarity

    Clarity Will Bryant Staff Member

    ---
     
    Pheasant, Zurp and LordJeffBuck like this.
  2. PhxBuckeye

    PhxBuckeye Newbie

    I want to see if the failure to be prepared following a bye week (Northwestern last season) are a trend, or just a blip on the screen. I hear this will be a night game in Happy Valley. That should make everyone nervous. Nothing like the team having to wait around all day to play in exciting State College, Pennsylvania.

    Go Bucks!!! In Tress We Trust.
     
  3. I always feel confident when we play in the shoe, but when we go on the road and play a team we always struggle with at Happy Valley and it is at night. We could be undefeated going into this game. This is the most scariest of our games I think.
     
  4. thackattack

    thackattack Poison in a Pretty Glass

    I tend to agree with you, CBF40. While Iowa is probably our toughest opponent in conference this year, and of course going to scUM, PSU coming off a bye week, at night, in Happy Valley, is a dangerous game. While we would almost certainly gear up for Texas, the Hawkeyes, and those losers up north, Penn State will probably be under the radar a bit. Here's to hoping that the old one-game-at-a-time perspective holds true this year.
     
  5. sacosud

    sacosud Newbie

    Tickets

    Penn State defense is gonna suprise people outside the Big Ten, but the offense is pretty bad. They did get some big time recruits this year and the #1 Wr. coming out of High School. I would love to make this my road trip this season.
    Does anyone know about what scalping a ticket at Happy Valley would cost?
    and any tips on places to stay and eat. When is Joe going to play that Morelli kid at QB?????
     
  6. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    Report on Penn State's spring game, the same day as ours. Read the last sentence - pussies.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/football/ncaa/04/23/pennstate.scrimmage.ap/index.html

    STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Penn State coach Joe Paterno hopes flashes of offense on a cold, rainy spring day erase some of the dismal memories of last fall.

    The opening drives of the annual Blue-White game on Saturday, which ends spring practice each year, featured some long pass plays and intriguing offensive sets, including a four-wide receiver formation rarely seen last season.
    Penn State finished 2004 with a 4-7 record (2-6 Big Ten) and 105th out of 117th in total offense in Division I-A.

    Before the scrimmage, Paterno recounted to reporters how he told school officials "not to panic" after a humbling 14-7 home loss to Northwestern that left the Nittany Lions 2-7.

    "Let's just stay calm," Paterno said he told school officials. "We're not that far off, and if I can keep the coaching staff together, then I think we'll be good."

    And fast -- at least if Paterno sticks with some of the unusual lineups the Blue team displayed on offense in its rain-shortened 14-6 victory over the White team.

    First-string quarterback Michael Robinson opened the game with a 35-yard pass to incoming freshman Justin King down the left sideline out of the four-wideout set.

    King, who graduated from high school last winter and has been practicing with Penn State all spring, is a speedy, highly touted cornerback. But King also played wide receiver Saturday, as Paterno & Co. tinker with adding more speed to the offense.

    Then Robinson hit another speedster, wide receiver Derrick Williams, on a 9-yard screen pass out of the four-wideout set. Like King, Williams graduated from high school early and has been practicing with Penn State this spring.

    The drive was snuffed on a very conventional turnover -- running back Tony Hunt fumbled at the goal line. Still, expect the wide-open look to be a regular feature of the Nittany Lion offense, according to wide receiver Terrell Golden, who had two catches for 25 yards.

    "That will help our running game and our ability to stretch the field," Golden said.

    Hunt redeemed himself later with 5-yard touchdown run.

    Robinson, a senior who appears to have won the starting quarterback job, hit all six of his passes for 143 yards and ran for a 7-yard touchdown.

    Penn State allowed only 15.3 points per game, the fifth-stingiest defense in Division I-A last season. The defensive performances by the Blue and White teams Saturday shouldn't be an indication that things will get worse on that side of the ball -- Robinson said he "pretty much knew" what kind of defense to expect, so he knew what kind of play to call.

    "It was kind of cheating a little bit," he said.

    There was at least two other notable wrinkles early on, when King picked up a big gain up the middle on a double reverse and Williams lined up at quarterback on a shotgun formation and rushed for nine yards.

    Most of the top offensive and defensive players were on the Blue team. Paterno joked that that was just a coincidence because he let Nike founder Phil Knight -- who was standing just offstage as he talked to reporters -- pick the team.

    The game started in dreary conditions and the weather deteriorated by the third quarter into a cold, driving rainstorm that had fans seeking shelter. Play on both sides of the ball got worse as conditions worsened, and the game was called late in the third quarter.

    <!--startclickprintexclude-->
     
  7. B-UNIT

    B-UNIT Newbie

    This game should be fun. However because it is night we better sleep in our car because there is only one road out of there.
     
  8. BuckeyePride

    BuckeyePride All-Ohio

    Agree with you all. This is the only road game I'm worried about. Just cuz people are questioning Joe Pa about retiring etc. I think they'll be pumped up and that crowd behind them, it worries me more than the scUM game.
     
  9. BuckeyeNation27

    BuckeyeNation27 Goal Goal USA! Staff Member

    dont leave anything OSU related on your car if you go. last year i had my flag busted off the window.

    classy fans they have down there.
     
  10. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    Preview 2005
    Penn State Nittany Lions


    By Pete Fiutak
    The Rolling Stones might be old and way past their prime,
    but you'd still like to hear them rip off Satisfaction one more time. After forty licks, Joe Paterno will likely finish out one of the most successful eras any coach has ever had with one final run. After years of mediocrity, there's a sense that he has the band back together for one last encore. It would be nice to see a little of the old magic.

    Through all the criticism and calls for a coaching change, Paterno has hung around just long enough to see what should be his best team since his 1999 killer highlighted by one of his best defenses ever. There might not be a Millen an Arrington or a Conlan, but there are more than enough very, very good players returning from the nation's tenth best defense to carry the team to a big season. Unfortunately, there isn't a Blackledge, Collins or Warner on offense.

    In last year's 4-7 disappointment, the defense didn't give up more than 21 points in any game while the offense couldn't do anything suffering from a horrible season from the line, lousy receivers and an underachieving running back corps. Penn State lost five games by fewer than ten points and likely could've beaten Boston College and Ohio State if the offense had provided even the slightest amount of help. To turn things around and get back among the elite, the old legend will have take a dip into the fountain of youth.

    Ironically, Paterno, who has always been staunchly against playing young players when there's a perfectly acceptable veteran who has waited his turn, will need two flashy true freshmen, receivers Derrick Williams and Justin King (who will also play corner), to give it one last go for glory. If this is the end of the road, college football's greatest coach deserves to go out with, at least, a winning season. He has the team to do even more.

    The Schedule: Northwestern is always pesky, but there's no reason Penn State can't be 4-0 going into the make-or-break two-game home stand against loaded Minnesota and Ohio State teams. With a road game at Michigan to follow, there can't be any slips in the first half of the season to have any prayer of a Big Ten title. There's no Iowa on the slate, but there's no Indiana either. In the end, this is a great schedule getting the biggest games at home (outside of the Michigan showdown).
    Best Offensive Player: Freshman WR Derrick Williams. OT Levi Brown will end up making a lot of money in the NFL and is actually the best offensive player going into the season. RB Tony Hunt will have to carry the running game and is underrated in the horrible offense. However, Williams is the one, true lights out playmaker who can turn things around just by using his 4.3 speed to stretch the defense. Many are expecting him to be this year's freshman sensation.
    Best Defensive Player: Junior LB Paul Posluszny. You can take your pick of any one of a number of Nittany Lion defenders and you might have the best one, but Posluszny will once again be the leading tackler and the one to restore the good name of Linebacker U.
    Key player to a successful season: Senior QB Michael Robinson. With a veteran, but mediocre, offensive line, the speedy Robinson's mobility will come in handy. Now he has to show he can hit the broad side of a barn when he has to throw. The good: he's the team's most dangerous runner. The bad: he turn out to be the team's leading rusher.
    The season will be a success if ... Penn State wins eight games and briefly flirts with a Big Ten title run. Anything less than a bowl season will be an utter failure considering how good the defense is.
    Key game: October 1 vs. Minnesota. The Gophers have owned Penn State winning the last four meetings since 1999. With Ohio State and at Michigan ahead, the Nittany Lions can't let Glen Mason's bunch leave Happy Valley with another win.

    2004 Fun Stats:

    - Third quarter scoring: Penn State 71 - Opponents 23
    - Rushing yards per game: Penn State 129.9 - Opponents 129.3
    - Points scored against Akron, UCF and Michigan State: 122 (40.67 points per game). Points scored in the other eight games: 73 (9.125 points per game)
    <HR>
    <TABLE height=475 cellSpacing=0 width=170><TBODY><TR><TD width=157 bgColor=#ffffff height=32>
    [font=Arial, Helvetica]Head coach: Joe Paterno
    40th year: 343-116-3
    Returning O Lettermen: 14
    Returning D Lettermen: 19
    Returning ST Lettermen: 1
    Lettermen Lost: 16
    [/font]
    </TD></TR><CENTER><TR><TD width=157 bgColor=#ffffff height=1><HR></TD></TR></CENTER><TR><TD width=157 bgColor=#ffffff height=158>
    [font=Arial, Helvetica]Ten Best Penn State Players
    1.
    [/font][font=Arial, Helvetica]LB Paul Posluszny, Jr.
    2. CB Alan Zemaitis, Sr.
    3. CB Anwar Phillips, Sr.
    4. LB Dan Connor, Soph.
    5. OT Levi Brown, Jr.
    6. DE Tamba Hali, Sr.
    7. WR Derrick Williams, Fr.
    8. DT Jay Alford, Jr.
    9. RB Tony Hunt, Jr.
    10. QB/WR M. Robinson, Sr. [/font]
    </TD></TR><CENTER><TR><TD bgColor=#ffffff height=18><TABLE id=table22 width=160><TBODY><TR><TD align=left width=146 bgColor=#000066 colSpan=2>
    2005 Schedule
    </TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica]3[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=119>[font=Arial, Helvetica]South Florida[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica] [/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/10[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=119>[font=Arial, Helvetica]Cincinnati [/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/17[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=119>[font=Arial, Helvetica]Central Michigan[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/24[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=119>[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Northwestern[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica]1[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=119>[font=Arial, Helvetica]Minnesota [/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica]8[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=119>[font=Arial, Helvetica]Ohio State[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica]15[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=119>[font=Arial, Helvetica]at[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica] Michigan[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/2[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica]2[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=119>[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Illinois[/font] </TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]1[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica]0/29[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=119>[font=Arial, Helvetica]Purdue[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]11/[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica]5[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=119>[font=Arial, Helvetica]Wisconsin[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]11/19[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=119>[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Michigan State[/font]</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
    Penn State offense</TD></TR></CENTER></TBODY></TABLE>Basically ... A ton of experience returns to one of the worst Penn State offenses ever averaging 17.73 points per game with five games scoring seven points or fewer. The line has all five starters returning (if C E.Z. Smith and G Tyler Reed are back from spring suspension) and it has to be much, much better. The receiving corps got a major boost this recruiting season with lightning-fast Derrick Williams and Justin King adding some desperately needed pop. There has to be more from the quarterbacks with the underwhelming Michael Robinson getting the nod since star prospect Anthony Morelli hasn't progressed enough yet. There's talent in the backfield; now it has to do more.

    <TABLE cellSpacing=6 width="30%" align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width="100%">
    [font=Arial, Helvetica]Returning Leaders
    [/font]
    [font=Arial, Helvetica]Passing: Michael Robinson
    14-39, 170 yds, 1 TD, 5 INT
    Rushing: Tony Hunt
    169 carries for 777 yds and 7 TDs
    Receiving: Tony Hunt
    39 catches for 334 yds and 0 TDs
    [/font]
    <TABLE id=table1 cellSpacing=6 width=120 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width="100%"><!-- ---------- Banner Code -------------- --><SCRIPT language=JavaScript> var bnum=new Number(Math.floor(99999999 * Math.random())+1); document.write('<SCR'+'IPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript" '); document.write('SRC="http://servedby.advertising.com/site=692019/size=120600/bnum='+bnum+'/optn=1"></SCR'+'IPT>'); </SCRIPT><SCRIPT language=JavaScript src="http://servedby.advertising.com/site=692019/size=120600/bnum=37652436/optn=1"></SCRIPT> <!-- ---------- Advertising.com ---------- --></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
    [font=Arial, Helvetica].[/font]
    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
    Star of the offense: Junior RB Tony Hunt
    Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior QB Michael Robinson
    Unsung star on the rise: Redshirt freshmen WR Deon Butler
    Best pro prospect: Junior OT Levi Brown
    Top three all-star candidates: 1) Hunt, 2) Brown, 3) WR Derrick Williams
    Strength of the offense: Receiver
    Weakness of the offense:
    Quarterback
    Quarterbacks
    A rough spot over the last few year thanks to inconsistencies along with poor play from the line and receivers. There was a collective groan from the Nittany Lion faithful after Michael Robinson was named the starter coming out of spring ball as it means Anthony Morelli just isn't ready for prime time yet. This was the nation's 90th ranked passing offense and it might not be much better right away with Robinson adding more athleticism and leadership than passing ability. Player to keep an eye on: Anthony Morelli, Soph ... Quarterback Rating: 6.5Projected Starter
    - Michael Robinson, Sr. - Back for what seems like his 19th year in the program, the multi-talented Robinson was named the starter coming out of spring ball primarily for his experience and his leadership. He's a great runner and has had moments of looking like a good passer, but he's more valuable as a runner and a receiver finishing third on the team with 172 rushing yards and second with 33 catches for 485 yards and three touchdowns despite missing two games after getting knocked out by Wisconsin's Erasmus James. He threw for 170 yards completing a mere 36% of his passes with five interceptions and a touchdown pass. He's in the best shape of his career and will be a major contributor somewhere.

    Top Backups
    - Anthony Morelli, Soph. - The quarterback most Nittany Lion fans want to see, the 6-4, 214-pound Morelli has been brought along very, very slowly seeing a little bit of time as a true freshman completing five of 13 passes for 45 yards. He has the arm and the skills to become a star, and he'll be the starter next year, but he struggled in spring ball and appears to be trying too hard.
    - Paul Cianciolo, RFr. - The big redshirt freshman is the clear third man in the mix despite outplaying the more highly touted Anthony Morelli for most of this spring. He has a big arm, but he doesn't have the upside of Morelli.

    Running Backs
    There's a ton of talent but little production and not a lot of hope for an improvement from last year's 81st ranked rushing attack. Call this the million-dollar high school backfield with Austin Scott and Rodney Kinlaw the type of talents that normally become superstars once they hit Happy Valley; it hasn't happened and this spring wasn't much more promising. Tony Hunt is a serviceable Big Ten back who can be good if everything else in the offense is clicking. Former linebacker BranDon Snow will be excellent returning to his natural fullback position.
    Player to keep an eye on: Rodney Kinlaw, Soph. ... Running back rating: 6.5

    Projected Starters
    - Tony Hunt, Jr. - Hunt was the offense last year leading the team in both rushing and receiving with 777 rushing yards and seven touchdowns along with 39 catches for 334 yards. He had some big moments early, but failed to get over the 100-yard rushing mark after the third game of the season. He's not lightning fast and will fumble, but he has fantastic hands and is a hard runner who can be the workhorse if the line gives him a little bit of room.
    - Fullback BranDon Snow, Jr. - The former linebacker will move to a more natural fullback position taking over for Paul Jefferson. A broken foot slowed his career down, but he's expected to be a steady, punishing 242-pound blocker once he gets comfortable on the offensive side again.

    Top Backups
    - Austin Scott, Jr. - Scott has had a frustrating career so far rushing for 748 yards and seven touchdowns. The former high school phenom has the size, speed and talent to become a superstar, but he hasn't been consistent and hasn't been able to work his way into the mix rushing for 116 yards in the opener vs. Akron and 196 yards the rest of the way barely getting any carries until the final two games unable to get out of the coaching staff's doghouse. An ankle injury kept him down for most of spring ball.
    - Rodney Kinlaw, Soph. - Kinlaw came to Penn State with tremendous speed and quickness, but he has lost a little bit after getting knocked out with a knee injury early in his career. He's still fast and can make plays, but he doesn't provide much power at 5-9 and 193 pounds.
    - Matt Hahn, Soph. - In the search for any consistency in the backfield, the 219-pound sophomore will see time at fullback and tailback. He's a decent receiver with six grabs for 39 yards last year.
    - Fullback Dan Lawlor, RFr. - At 243-pound redshirt freshman will see plenty of action along with BranDon Snow to try to find the right fullback fit. He won't see many carries.

    Receivers
    Rarely does a team make such a dramatic upgrade in talent with one recruiting class. The top three pass catchers last year were RB Tony Hunt, QB Michael Robinson and TE Isaac Smolko with the wide receivers a painfully slow afterthought. With the addition of true freshman superstars Derrick Williams and Justin King along with the lesser heralded Jordan Norwood, the corps got a whole bunch faster. Deon Butler and Mark Rubin aren't bad young prospects who should do better with more production from the quarterbacks. The tight ends will be fine with the return of Smolko. The ranking will likely be higher at the end of the year once the freshmen get their feet wet.
    Player to keep an eye on: Derrick Williams, Fr. ... Receiver rating: 6

    Projected Starters
    - Derrick Williams, Fr. - One of the nation's top recruits, Williams can do it all with tremendous athleticism and blazing 4.3 speed. He was picked by some as the top receiver prospect coming out of high school and saw plenty of time with the first teamers this spring looking every bit as good as the hype. He'll be starting by this fall.
    - Mark Rubin, Soph. - At 6-3 and 213 pounds, Rubin is a physical receiver with good speed and great hands coming through with a strong true freshman season catching 16 passes for 187 yards. He's also one of the only receivers with any experience. He might be holding the seat warm until Justin King learns the job, but he'll be a needed veteran.
    - Tight end Isaac Smolko, Sr. - Smolko started every game and turned into one of the offense's most consistent players. The 6-5, 257-pound senior is a good blocker with excellent hands catching 21 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns.

    Top Backups
    - Deon Butler, RFr. - The speedy redshirt freshman has tremendous speed and should be a gamebreaker on the outside. Consistency early on will be the question and he isn't all that huge at 5-10 and 163 pounds, but he has the talent to become a top target if the quarterbacks come around.
    - Justin King, Fr. - A top cornerback prospect, King will likely be shuffled between offense and defense playing behind Alan Zemaitis at left cornerback and seeing time behind Mark Rubin on offense. he has way too much speed to be kept off the field.
    - Terrell Golden, Soph. - With a little bit of experience last year, Golden is one of the old veterans of the receiving corps catching three passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. The 6-3, 212-pound sophomore will have trouble getting into the mix with all the new young talent, but he has the ability to see time as the year goes on.
    - Tight End Patrick Hall, Jr. - The former defensive end and linebacker is a physical tight end making the move at the end of last year. He made a catch for five years, but the 6-2, 251-pound junior will be used for his blocking.

    Offensive Line
    The good: five starters (maybe) return. The bad: five starters (maybe) return. This was one of the team's biggest problems as the front five did next to nothing in the running game and struggled too much with consistent pass protection. When things completely broke down, like they did in the loss to Wisconsin, the quarterbacks got crushed. The issue is with some off-the-field suspensions with center E.Z. Smith and guard Tyler Reed off the team this spring. Preparations were made to go on without them, but they're desperately needed back with the second team looking way too average.
    Player to keep an eye on: C Lance Antolick, Sr. ... Offensive line rating: 6.5

    Projected Starters
    - Tackle Levi Brown, Jr. - At 6-5 and 324 pounds, Brown is a huge presence on the left side starting almost every game over the last two years only missing time with a sprained knee. He'll be an All-Big Ten selection and should be the team's most dominant blocker.
    - Guard Charles Rush, Jr. - This will be Rush's third year as a starter getting the nod at left guard again. The 6-2, 304-pound junior started off his career as a defensive tackle but has found a home on offense.
    - Center E.Z. Smith, Jr. - Smith is a major question mark after getting suspended from the team for an alleged incident with a bow and arrow. If he's back, which is questionable at very best, the 278-pound senior will be a steady blocker in the middle who has to become more dominant in the running game.
    - Guard Tyler Reed, Sr. - Suspended this spring for the off-the-field bow and arrow incident, Reed was cleared by the school and should likely get his starting spot back on the right side. The 6-4, 307-pound senior has started the last two years at right guard and has the potential to have a big year if he can be more consistent.
    - Tackle John Wilson, Sr. - The 6-6, 317-pound Wilson quietly had a good season coming through when Levi Brown was hurt and ended up starting over the second half of the year at right tackle. Now that the starting job is his, he should be better.

    Top Backups
    - C Lance Antolick, Sr. - With questions about the status of E.Z. Smith, Antolick, a former walk-on will get every shot at starting the season in the middle after getting most of the first team reps this spring. He's a hard working overachiever; Paterno loves him.
    - T John Shaw,Jr. - The former defensive lineman moved over toe right tackle this spring to add a veteran body to the mix and get him on the field. He's physical with good athleticism.
    Penn State defense
    Basically ... The nation's tenth best defense and fifth best scoring D should be even better with almost all the parts returning and FS Chris Harrell coming back after missing all of last year with a neck injury. The defense didn't allow more than 21 points per game coming up with a shockingly good season. The corners will be among the best in the nation as will the starting linebackers. Overall depth and a lights-out pass rusher are the slight weaknesses, but that's nitpicking.
    <TABLE cellSpacing=6 width="30%" align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width="100%">
    [font=Arial, Helvetica]Returning Leaders
    [/font]
    [font=Arial, Helvetica]Tackles: Paul Posluszny, 104
    Sacks: Scott Paxson, Paul Posluszny, Matthew Rice, 3
    Interceptions: Calvin Lowery, Anwar Phillips, 3
    [/font]
    <TABLE id=table1 cellSpacing=6 width=120 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width="100%"><!-- ---------- Banner Code -------------- --><SCRIPT language=JavaScript> var bnum=new Number(Math.floor(99999999 * Math.random())+1); document.write('<SCR'+'IPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript" '); document.write('SRC="http://servedby.advertising.com/site=692019/size=120600/bnum='+bnum+'/optn=1"></SCR'+'IPT>'); </SCRIPT><SCRIPT language=JavaScript src="http://servedby.advertising.com/site=692019/size=120600/bnum=34366220/optn=1"></SCRIPT> <!-- ---------- Advertising.com ---------- --></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
    [font=Arial, Helvetica].[/font]
    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>​

    Star of the defense: Junior LB Paul Posluszny
    Player that has to step up and become a star: Junior LB J.R. Zwierzynski
    Unsung star on the rise: Junior DT Steve Roach
    Best pro prospect: Senior CB Alan Zemaitis
    Top three all-star candidates: 1) Posluszny, 2) CB Alan Zemaitis, 3) CB Anwar Phillips
    Strength of the defense: Experience, cornerback
    Weakness of the defense: Dominant pass rusher

    Defensive Line
    This isn't a line full of all-stars and it's not a killer at getting into the backfield, but it's rock-solid and should become better with four starters returning (assuming Scott Paxson is back off of suspension) and some decent reserves. It's not a huge line that will occasionally get pushed around a little bit, but it's an athletic line that should help put Penn State among the nation's top 20 in run defense.
    Player to keep an eye on: DT Steve Roach, Jr. ... Defensive Line rating: 8.5

    Projected Starters
    - DE Tamba Hali, Sr. - 51 tackles, 2 sacks, 12 tackles for loss ... The former defensive tackle became an excellent end becoming a good pass rusher and stayed an excellent run defender. Hali is a 267-pound senior will get the start on the left side where his tremendous motor and intensity should make him an All-Big Ten performer.
    - DT Jay Alford, Jr. - 24 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, 5 broken up passes ... A steady performer over the last two seasons with 49 tackles and six tackles for loss, the 285-pound junior is a nice cog in the middle. He's great at batting down passes and should be better overall after starting in nine games last year.
    - DT Scott Paxson, Jr. - 33 tackles, 3 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss, 3 broken up passes, 5 blocked kicks ... The 275-pound Paxson turned into a good starter and is fantastic at getting a push up the middle. He's especially adept at blocking kicks with seven over the course of his career. Now he has to get back in the mix after being suspended this off-season for off-the-field problems.
    - DE Matthew Rice, Sr. - 51 tackles, 3 sacks, 6 tackles for loss ... The long-time starter is the best athlete among the starting four. He's a big pass rusher who is extremely active in all-phases. He'll rotate with Lavon Chisley on the right side.

    Top Backups
    - DT Steve Roach, Jr. - The 304-pound junior moved to the top of the depth chart this spring at right tackle after the suspension of Scott Paxson. He's the biggest body on the line and should be a factor in the rotation no matter what Paxson's status.
    - DE Lavon Chisley, Sr. - 14 tackles, 1 sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, 3 broken up passes ... The senior has a nice reserve last year after coming up with 41 tackles and four sacks as a sophomore. He's tremendously quick with long arms that work well at batting down passes and grabbing ball carriers.

    Linebackers
    It'll be hard to get too much recognition in the Big Ten with Abdul Hodge and Chad Greenway at Iowa and A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter and Anthony Schlegel at Ohio State, but the Nittany Lion linebacking corps is as rock-solid strong as any in the country led by Dan Connor and Paul Posluszny. Tim Shaw is a more-than-adequate replacement for Derek Wake for the third starting spot. The reserves are unpolished, but promising. The only thing keeping the ranking from being a 10 is developed depth.
    Player to keep an eye on: J.R. Zwierzynski, Jr. ... Linebacker rating: 9.5


    Projected Starters
    - Dan Connor, Soph. - 85 tackles, 1 sack, 4.5 tackles for loss ... Connor turned in a tremendous true freshman season showing surprising instincts in a player so young and great range at any linebacker position. He's 6-3, 220 pounds with the speed to be a terror on the outside, and strong enough to see time in the middle when needed.
    - Tim Shaw, Jr. - 50 tackles, 5 broken up passes, 1.5 tackles for loss ... Shaw can play in the middle or on the outside, but he's better suited inside where he made 50 tackles last season in a limited role due to an ankle injury and the play of Dan Connor. With Connor moving to the outside, Shaw will get the starting nod inside where he'll be a big hitter and a top tackler if he can stay healthy.
    - Paul Posluszny, Jr. - 104 tackles, 3 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, 3 broken up passes ... One of the breakout stars of 2004, the 229-pound junior is a tackling machine after leading the team in stops last season. He's a smart player who's always in the right position and always flying around the ball. He'll be on the short list for All-Big Ten honors in a loaded year for linebackers.

    Top Backups
    - J.R. Zwierzynski, Jr. - 9 tackles, 1 sack ... Mostly a special teamer so far with nine career tackles, the 235-pound junior has the toughness of an inside linebacker playing on the outside. He'll play behind Paul Posluszny at one of the outside spots.
    - Tyrell Sales, RFr. - The 233-pound Sales is tough as nails as a good looking young backup on the inside. Tim Shaw will get the first crack in the middle with the second option being Dan Connor moving inside. Even so, Sales will see plenty of action.
    - Spencer Ridenhour, RFr. - The 204 pound redshirt freshman is a speedy defender who'll mostly see time on special teams and in passing downs. He'll play behind Dan Connor and could be a major factor if Connor moves inside.

    Defensive Backs
    The nation's sixth best pass defense only gets better with the return of veteran Chris Harrell to free safety after missing last year with a neck injury. The corners are more than set with Alan Zemaitis and Anwar Phillips likely to be the nation's best duo that doesn't get enough press. The reserves are big and speedy with star recruit Justin King likely to be an instant factor as a backup corner to go along with his receiver duties.
    Player to keep an eye on: SS Donnie Johnson, Jr. ... Secondary rating: 10

    Projected Starters
    - CB Alan Zemaitis, Sr. - 47 tackles, 2 interceptions, 6 broken up passes ... Zemaitis had a great season even though few offenses threw his way. With size, speed and great ball skills, he's one of the Big Ten's premier cover corners and is also a fantastic open-field tackler. He'll be assigned to most number one receivers on the left side.
    - FS Chris Harrell, Sr. - Harrell missed all of last year with a neck problem and now returns as one of the experienced defense's best veterans. The 6-2, 210-pound senior has 140 career tackles with linebacker-like hitting ability and cornerback speed.
    - Hero Calvin Lowry, Sr. - 50 tackles, 4 interceptions, 5 broken up passes ... Lowry started in every game last season and was always around the ball as a hitter and playmaker with four recovered fumbles. He's also a good punt returner averaging 8.3 yards per try last year.
    - CB Anwar Phillips, Sr. - 41 tackles, 4 interceptions, 10 broken up passes ... With teams staying away from Alan Zemaitis, Phillips got plenty of work his way and came through with a huge season. The former receiver has been a natural cover corner getting better and better over the last three seasons. Now he should be an All-Big Ten performer.

    Top Backups
    - Hero Paul Cronin, Sr. - 23 tackles, 1 interception ... A spot starter filling in when injuries have struck, the 6-2, 216-pound senior has been more than reliable. He's a great reserve with a big hitting style and the experience to step in at Hero behind Calvin Lowry. - SS Donnie Johnson, Jr. - 6 tackles ... The former wide receiver is more of a corner than a safety, but he'll be needed more as an athletic strong safety to go along with his duties on special teams.- CB Justin King, Fr. - The only question will be where the true freshman plays. Expected to be a much-needed receiving threat, the star recruit is a more natural corner and will probably end up there next season. He has tremendous speed and all the skills to be a star.

    Special Teams
    Punter Jeremy Kapinos is a weapon able to bail the offense out of jams, but the placekicking game is a question mark needing redshirt freshman Patrick Humes to shine right away, but Kevin Kelly could end up starting. The return game could use more pop, especially on kickoff returns, averaging a Big Ten worst 17.48 yards per return. Calvin Lowry averaged a decent 8.3 yards per punt return.
    Special Teams rating: 5.5
    - Placekicker Patrick Humes, RFr. - The kicking game was mediocre at best with Robbie Gould only hitting 7 of 13 field goals and this spring didn't offer too much hope, at least initially, that things will be appreciably better. Humes has to prove he can be consistent after a lousy spring. Kevin Kelly will get a shot..
    - Punter Jeremy Kapinos, Jr. - Kapinos had a good season great at his directional kicks putting 20 inside the 20 and forcing 14 fair catches. He can air it out when he has to.
    <TABLE class=MsoTableGrid id=table1 style="BORDER-TOP-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-LEFT-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM-WIDTH: 0px; BORDER-COLLAPSE: collapse; BORDER-RIGHT-WIDTH: 0px" cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-RIGHT: 5.4pt; PADDING-LEFT: 5.4pt; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0in; WIDTH: 221.4pt; PADDING-TOP: 0in" vAlign=top width=295>OFFENSE Returning Starters: 9
    QB 12 Michael Robinson 6-2, 217, Sr.
    14 Anthony Morelli 6-4, 214, Soph.
    15 Paul Cianciolo 6-4, 224, RFr.


    RB 26 Tony Hunt 6-2, 219, Jr.
    8 Rodney Kinlaw 5-9, 193, Soph.
    34 Matt Hahn 6-0, 219, Soph. OR
    33 Austin Scott 6-0, 21, Jr.


    FB 30 BranDon Snow 6-1, 242, Jr.
    38 Dan Lawlor 6-1, 243, RFr.
    22 Jed Hill 6-2, 250, RFr.


    WR 3 Deon Butler 5-10, 163, RFr.
    5 Jim Kanuch 6-1, 192, Jr. OR
    2 Derrick Williams 6-0, 191, Fr.
    24 Jordan Norwood 5-10, 160, Fr.

    WR 80 Mark Rubin 6-3, 213, Soph.
    43 Ethan Kilmer 6-0, 205, Sr. OR
    7 Justin King 6-0, 181, Fr.
    4 Terrell Golden 6-3, 212, Soph.


    TE
    81 Isaac Smolko 6-5, 257, Sr.
    44 Patrick Hall 6-2, 251, Jr.
    89 Jordan Lyons 6-5, 248, RFr.


    LT 67 Levi Brown 6-5, 324, Jr.
    79 Chris Auletta 6-4, 293, Soph.
    76 Gerald Cadogen 6-5, 203, RFr.


    LG 59 Charles Rush 6-2, 304, Sr.
    71 Mark Farris 6-6, 286, Jr.
    56 Austin Hinton 6-2, 282, RFr.


    C 77 E.Z. Smith 6-1, 276, Jr. OR
    66 Lance Antolick 6-3, 275, Sr.
    60 Patrick Weber 6-1, 267, Soph.
    57 A.Q. Shipley 6-1, 192, RFr. OR
    72 Trent Varva 6-2, 302, RFr.


    RG 74 Tyler Reed 6-4, 307, Sr. OR
    65 Robert Price 6-0, 298, Jr.
    58 Greg Harrison 6-5, 283, RFr.
    75 Richard Cheek 6-1, 287, Jr.


    RT 68 John Wilson 6-6, 317, Sr.
    78 John Shaw 6-4, 294, Jr.
    73 Joel Holler 6-5, 324, Soph. OR
    50 Andrew Richardson 6-5, 306, Sr.
    </TD><TD style="PADDING-RIGHT: 5.4pt; PADDING-LEFT: 5.4pt; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0in; WIDTH: 221.4pt; PADDING-TOP: 0in" vAlign=top width=295>DEFENSE Returning Starters: 9
    LDE 91 Tamba Hali 6-3, 267, Sr.
    54 Amani Purcell 6-3, 262, Soph. OR
    47 Josh Gaines 6-2, 258, RFr.


    LT 13 Jay Alford 6-3, 285, Jr.
    95 Elijah Robinson 6-2, 285, Soph.
    75 Lee Kuzemchak 6-4, 288, Jr.


    RT 41 Scott Paxson 6-5, 275, Jr. OR
    53 Steve Roach 6-2, 304, Jr.
    99 Jim Shaw 6-3, 260, Jr.
    86 Mike Lucian 6-2, 273, RFr.


    RE 55 Matthew Rice 6-4, 256, Sr. OR
    17 Lavon Chisley 6-5, 259, Sr.
    47 Josh Gaines 6-2, 258, RFr.


    OLB 40 Dan Connor 6-3, 220, Soph.
    37 Spencer Ridenhour 6-0, 204, RFr.
    51 Joe Cianciolo 6-0, 226, Jr.


    ILB 20 Tim Shaw 6-1, 233, Jr.
    46 Tyrell Sales 6-2, 233, RFr.
    52 Dontey Brown 6-2, 231, RFr. OR
    32 Pat Bedics 6-0, 240, Soph.


    OLB 31 Paul Posluszny 6-2, 229, Jr.
    35 J.R. Zwierzynski 6-2, 235, Jr.
    88 Kevin Darling 6-3, 238, Jr. OR
    19 Andy Kubic 6-4, 201, Jr.


    LCB 21 Alan Zemaitis 6-2, 201, Sr.
    15 Brent Wise 5-10, 198, Soph. OR
    7 Justin King 6-0, 181, Fr.
    32 Rocky Washington 5-7, 161, RFr.


    FS 27 Chris Harrell 6-2, 210, Sr.
    6 Donnie Johnson 6-0, 205, Jr.
    22 Darien Hardy 5-10, 185, Jr.


    Hero 10 Calvin Lowry 6-0, 200, Sr.
    29 Paul Cronin 6-2, 216, Sr.
    24 Nolan McCready 6-0, 199, Jr.

    RCB 1 Anwar Phillips 6-1, 182, Sr.
    11 Tony Davis 5-10, 189, RFr.
    35 John Royse 6-0, 182, Sr.
    SPECIAL TEAMS
    PK 13 Patrick Humes 5-8, 150, RFr.
    P 36 Jeremy Kapinos 6-1, 222, Jr.
    49 Brandon Ream 6-2, 205, Jr.
    KR 8 Rodney Kinlaw 5-9, 193, Soph.
    26 Tony Hunt 6-2, 219, Jr.
    3 Deon Butler 5-10, 163, RFr.
    PR 10 Calvin Lowry 6-0, 200, Sr.
    2 Derrick Williams 6-0, 191, Fr. OR
    7 Justin King 6-0, 181, Fr.


    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>​
    1<SUP>st</SUP> and Ten – Time to Shine – It’s always fun to think about how things could have been different. What if Portland had drafted Michael Jordan? What if Dylan would have chosen Brenda over Kelly? What if Penn State had, say, North Carolina’s offense last year? The last one of course is more fun to think about in a way, but take a second to really think about it. That offensive talent rolled up points on anyone (with the exception of Utah and Louisville), and combined with the defense that resided in Penn State last year…ah, the defense. Lost in the 4 and 7 season that was last year was the wonderful coaching job of defensive coordinator Tom Bradley. Take a look at some of the particulars from last season. PSU gave up only 15 points per game. Teams averaged less than 300 yards in total offense, which is on par with some of the best units in the nation the past five or six years. They gave up on 14 total touchdowns, a little over one per game. The most points that they gave up last year was 21. Twenty-freaking-one! Now, you tell me, if Darian Durant and his crew took the field after the defense had cleaned up, how good would this team have been last year? A lot better than 4 and 7, that’s for sure. But, what makes this even more exciting for the Penn State faithful is the return of most every key defensive player from last year. Paul Posluszny, Dan Connor and Tim Shaw took over at linebacker last year and showed that they’re ready to follow the Linebacker U tradition. The secondary, well, more on them later, but they started Purdue’s Kyle Orton on his downward spiral last year. The front four is going to be extremely quick and athletic. The combination on defense makes this one of the best units in the nation. With any offensive output at all (i.e winning games), this unit will start to get the acclaim it richly deserves.

    <TABLE cellSpacing=7 width=301 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width="100%"><TABLE id=table1 cellSpacing=7 width=301 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD align=middle width="100%"><!-- ---------- 300x250 Code -------------- --><SCRIPT language=JavaScript> var bnum=new Number(Math.floor(99999999 * Math.random())+1); document.write('<SCR'+'IPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript" '); document.write('SRC="http://servedby.advertising.com/site=697646/size=300250/bnum='+bnum+'/optn=1"></SCR'+'IPT>'); </SCRIPT><SCRIPT language=JavaScript src="http://servedby.advertising.com/site=697646/size=300250/bnum=17932600/optn=1"></SCRIPT> <!-- ---------- Copyright 2000,---------- --></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>2<SUP>nd</SUP> and Seven – Primarily Important – The Penn State secondary is absolutely loaded this year. Alan Zemaitis, Calvin Lowry and Anwar Phillips literally shut teams down last year. Opponents averaged only 162 yards and scored only 5 passing touchdowns. Folks, that’s flat-out wicked pass defense. Especially on the corner with Phillips and Zemaitis, the Nittany Lions are rock solid. With such strong cover corners, Bradley can ‘play’ with his defensive schemes more than he has in the past, but he may not have to do so. There’s no question that Happy Valley will be a no-fly zone this fall with this trio roaming the secondary.

    3<SUP>rd</SUP> and Three – Heard this one before? – Okay, so does this sound somewhat familiar? Big Ten school. Conservative coach (relatively speaking, of course). Magnificent high school talent. Struggling offense that needs help from magnificent high school talent. But, magnificent high school talent resides on bench. Okay, okay, this isn’t the Ted Ginn, Jr. story all over again, but as it pertains to Derrick Williams, Nittany Lion fans had better hope that it isn’t. Once Jim Tressel finally put Ginn on the field, he was instantly a game changer, but where was he earlier in the year? Williams has that same breakaway potential, but will he ‘shelved’ until midseason like Ginn was? Let’s hope not. This offense needs him to explode on the scene, even more than OSU’s Ginn did last year.

    4<SUP>th</SUP> and One – To QB or not to QB – Alright, alright, let’s down to the major question facing the Nittany Lions this season. Morelli or Robinson? Gunslinger or magical feet? Sophomore or Senior? Well, the cynics of Penn State football think they know the answer after that last question. Joe Pa has traditionally favored seniors over youngsters, but this might be one time to go young. Rocket armed Anthony Morelli still has a lot to learn to be the starter at PSU, but if you put the aforementioned Williams, alongside Michael Robinson out on the perimeter, it’s a scary, scary thought for opposing defensive coordinators. Offensive coordinator Galen Hall could have a field day dreaming up ball plays with those two out at WR/Slot WR. That’s what PSU hasn’t had in years - an offense that puts pressure on defenses. With Williams, Robinson, Tony Hunt, Austin Scott (if he plays up to potential) and a thrower like Morelli calling the shots, they might just do that.
     
  11. Honor&Glory

    Honor&Glory Paper,Rock, Scissors, Lizard, Spock!

    Really? I went with a a few of my friends to Happy Valley two years ago and we were treated like family. We were invited by complete strangers (PSU fans) to join their tailgate party and they shared all of their food, beer and bourbon that they had. I thought most of them were classy, actually....but I certainly understand how one bad apple reflects on the whole.
     
  12. BuckeyeNation27

    BuckeyeNation27 Goal Goal USA! Staff Member

    one bad apple? I live in penn state country. the ratio of idiot fans to good ones is 10:1
     
  13. Honor&Glory

    Honor&Glory Paper,Rock, Scissors, Lizard, Spock!

    Then I got extremley lucky given that ratio. Forgive me.:)
     
  14. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    Former top recruit Joel Holler (4-star OL in 2003) will be leaving Penn State for Delaware. The article also mentions that A.Q. Shipley moved to the OL this spring.

    centredaily.com

    Holler leaving Penn State

    By Jeff Rice
    [​IMG]
    jrice@centredaily.com

    [​IMG]


    Penn State offensive lineman Joel Holler has been granted his release from the program and will transfer to the University of Delaware, his mother, Judy, confirmed Wednesday.

    The 6-foot-5 redshirt sophomore from Lancaster battled weight issues during his first two seasons in University Park which, according to Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, was the primary reason Holler, who was listed as both a guard and tackle, never saw the field at Penn State.

    Holler could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Penn State spokesman Jeff Nelson had no comment Wednesday evening.

    Holler, who checked in at 370 pounds at the Big 33 game in July 2003, lost some 40 pounds by the start of that season, during which he was redshirted. He was listed on this spring's roster at 324 pounds, but Paterno said during his Blue-White Game press conference that he wanted to see Holler even lighter, around 305 pounds.

    Because Delaware is a Division I-AA school, Holler will not have to sit out a season and would be able to compete this fall, maintaining his sophomore eligibility. Judy Holler said her son plans to apply for a scholarship to the school.

    The 21-year-old Holler collected numerous accolades as a four-year starter at J.P. McCaskey High School, including first-team Lancaster-Lebanon League honors in 2001 and 2002 and an Associated Press Big School first-team honor in 2002. He also lettered in basketball and track in high school.

    His size was the issue from the beginning of his collegiate career, however.

    "He's tough, he's smart, and one of these days he's going to be really good ... The No. 1 thing he has to do is get his weight down," Paterno said in August 2003. "Once he does that, I don't think there's going to be any question he's going to be a pretty good football player."

    Holler was not on the three-deep list in Penn State's spring depth chart, but the Nittany Lions' offensive line is already one man short as fifth-year senior center E.Z. Smith serves a two-semester deferred expulsion. However, Penn State redshirted 10 offensive linemen last season, and defensive tackle A.Q. Shipley was moved to the offensive line this spring.<!-- end body-content -->
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2005
  15. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    Nits getting very thin at WR.

    post-gazette.com

    WR Rubin could miss season
    Monday, August 22, 2005

    By Chico Harlan, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    Penn State sophomore wide receiver Mark Rubin, who single-handedly injected experience into a position where the Nittany Lions had little else, had a serious ankle injury before the weekend, his mother, Mary Ellen, confirmed yesterday.


    It is possible that Rubin will miss the season.

    And, in the meantime, it is certain a far less experienced player will be forced to replace him.

    Rubin, who developed during 2004 into the team's most reliable possession receiver, has the option of taking a redshirt. Not counting Michael Robinson -- now Penn State's starting quarterback -- wideouts returning from last season combined for 22 catches in 2004. Rubin had 16 of them for 187 yards. He entered 2005 as a starter at flanker.

    Rubin's injury will test the Lions' depth. Talented freshman Derrick Williams, who finished high school early and enrolled at Penn State for the 2005 spring semester, figures to start at one wideout spot.

    Among others, fellow freshman Justin King, redshirt sophomore Terrell Golden or redshirt freshman Deon Butler will be given a chance to fill in for Rubin.

    Last season, Rubin did not appear in the team's first three games. He followed his debut in Week 4 -- a two-catch performance against Wisconsin -- with six catches for 60 yards against Minnesota.

    By midseason, coach Joe Paterno acknowledged that "he has been a big addition for our program."

    This latest injury only extends a recent stretch in which Penn State has watched its depth erode. Freshman linebacker Sean Lee's medial collateral ligament was strained in practice recently and he is likely to miss between a week and 10 days.

    On Friday, the athletic department announced that starting linebacker Dan Connor had been suspended indefinitely for his alleged involvement in a series of prank calls.

    Two other players to admit involvement -- safety Nolan McCready and wideout Jim Kanuch -- may still face punishment. Penn State spokesman Jeff Nelson added that other players, still unnamed, also may have participated in the prank calling.
     

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