Archive: November, 2011
Devon Still was named the Big Ten Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year on Monday afternoon, just two days after being named the conference's top defensive lineman and a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection.
The defensive tackle from Wilmington, Del. has been the anchor of a stout Penn State defense that ranks eighth in the country in points allowed (15.67 per game) and 11th in yards of total offense allowed (300.92 per game). The 6-foot-5, 310-pound senior co-captain ranks second in the conference with 15 solo tackles for loss. For the season, he has 55 tackles, including four sacks, as well as a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
The award is named after late Minnesota star Bronko Nagurski, who went on to enjoy a Hall-of-Fame career with the Chicago Bears, and former Michigan standout Charles Woodson, now a perennial Pro-Bowl selection with the Green Bay Packers.
ESPN reported Tuesday that Penn State has expressed interest in Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen as it searches for its next head football coach. The report, which can be read here, cites an anonymous source.
In three years in Starkville, Mullen has a 20-17 record. He led the Bulldogs to a 6-6 record this season, including a 2-6 mark in SEC games.
Mullen was born in Drexel Hill and went to school at Ursinus College in Collegeville. He was an assistant to newly hired Ohio State coach Urban Meyer at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida, coaching talented collegiate quarterbacks such as Alex Smith, Chris Leak and Tim Tebow.
Devon Still won the Big Ten’s Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year Award, the conference announced Monday night. The senior defensive tackle from Wilmington, Del. was also named a first-team Big Ten selection by the conference's coaches and the media.
Still, who is second in the conference with 15 solo tackles for loss, is the fifth Nittany Lion named the Big Ten defensive lineman of the year. Courtney Brown (1999), Jimmy Kennedy (2002), Tamba Hali (2005) and Jared Odrick (2009) have also been recognized.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Still said. “I play in a conference with a lot of good defensive linemen. They (coaching staff) kept me on my toes throughout the season to be at my best. I think all of the credit goes to my coaches, especially Coach (Larry) Johnson. They put me in a position to make plays. And to be on a defense with so many talented players, I was able to play a dominant style of football because of the players around me.”
Urban Meyer was officially introduced as Ohio State’s new head football coach at a press conference Monday, ending weeks of speculation.
Meyer, the two-time (2006, 2008) national champion coach at Florida who stepped down after last season, reportedly agreed to a six-year contract that includes $4 million in annual pay plus bonuses. The 47-year-old is an Ohio native and served as an Ohio State assistant in 1986-87.
Luke Fickell, who served as the interim coach this season, will stay on the Buckeyes' staff as an assistant.
Penn State acting athletic director David Joyner will head a six-person search committee to find Penn State's new head football coach, the athletic department announced Monday. The committee will meet this week, Joyner said in a press release.
The committee includes:
-Linda Caldwell (Penn State's faculty athletics representative)
Video: The Inquirer's Jake Kaplan talks with Penn State wideout Curtis Drake, a Philadelphia native, about his increased role in the Nittany Lions' offense the past two weeks.
Running back Brandon Beachum underwent surgery Monday for a broken left ankle sustained late in Penn State's 45-7 loss at Wisconsin on Saturday, Penn State announced Monday afternoon. It's a tough break for the injury-riddled Beachum, a senior whose collegiate career now appears to be over.
Rehabilitation for the ankle will take four-to-six months, according to Wayne Sebastianelli, Penn State's Director of Athletic Medicine.
The injury occurred when Saturday's game was all-but decided, on the first play of a drive that started with 1:04 left in the game. Beachum caught a nine-yard pass from quarterback Rob Bolden but then needed help coming off the field.
Video: CineSport's Brian Clark and the Inquirer's Joe Juliano discuss Penn State's stunning defeat in Madison, WI and the Nittany Lions' bowl outlook.
MADISON, Wis. --- Wisconsin laid a 45-7 thumping on Penn State here Saturday, ending the Nittany Lions hopes of winning the Big Ten.
The Badgers advance to the inaugural Big Ten championship game on Saturday in Indianapolis, where they will play Michigan State. Meanwhile, the Lions await bowl selections.
Plenty went wrong for the Lions on Saturday. After going ahead 7-0 early, they allowed 45 unanswered points. They turned the ball over four times, including twice on special teams. The four turnovers led to three Wisconsin touchdowns and a field goal.
MADISON, Wis. --- It’s all on the line here today at a rainy Camp Randall Stadium.
Penn State concludes its regular season against Wisconsin with the winner claiming the Leaders Division and advancing to Indianapolis to play Michigan State Saturday in the first Big Ten championship game. The Nittany Lions' stout defense hopes to contains the Badgers’ high-powered offense.
With just more an hour before kickoff, here are some pre-game notes to help preview today’s crucial game between No. 20 Penn State (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten) and No. 15 Wisconsin (9-2, 5-2).