Cory Giger

Lions must focus on fixing flaws down the stretch

Program development for next season and beyond is my biggest concern for the Penn State football team down the stretch. The Nittany Lions are going to whip up on Rutgers, Nebraska and Maryland and finish 10-2. But I want to see how they do it. Then I want to see how they line up up against a ...

Coaching deserves some blame

The sky is not falling on Penn State. The team is still going to finish 10-2 and go to a decent bowl game, most likely the Citrus or Outback. Still, there are serious problems the Nittany Lions must address for this season and beyond if they’re going to remain nationally prominent and take ...

Young proud of Bell’s development

Josh Bell had a terrific season for the Pirates, finally giving the club the everyday first baseman it sought for so many years. Among the people who are very proud of Bell’s development at first base is the last guy who held that everyday job for a long time with the Bucs, Kevin ...

Times have changed, making blowouts necessary

As soon as Kirk Herbstreit said it, I knew Neil and I had our point-counterpoint topic for this week. “The best thing that Penn State can do is blow people out … by 40 or 50 points if they can,” Herbstreit said on the College Football Playoff ranking show Tuesday. For many years, Neil ...

Lions not tough in run game

Saquon Barkley is awesome. The best running back in Penn State history. So how on earth has the program gotten to the point where it cannot run the ball effectively in clutch situations? The great Bill Murray line from the classic comedy “Stripes” is appropriate: “There’s something ...

Several key advantages give Ohio State an edge

Penn State is every bit as good as Ohio State and certainly can win Saturday’s showdown. But the Buckeyes have not just one, but three major elements in their favor, which is why I’m picking them. The game is in Columbus, first and foremost. Winning at The Horseshoe is always difficult ...

Michigan’s Harbaugh not living up to all of the hype

One of the best things I read this weekend about Penn State’s 42-13 blowout of Michigan was this single line: “The Harbaugh worship has to stop.” It came from a Wolverines beat writer, Shawn Windsor. In the Detroit Free Press, of all places. And it’s 1 million percent spot ...

Offense needs to pass first big test against Michigan ‘D’

Michigan’s offense is not all that good, which makes this question easy to answer. Penn State has a terrific defense that leads the country in fewest points allowed (just 9.0 per game) and should play well Saturday night. But even if it doesn’t, the Wolverines don’t have the kind of ...

Play on field favors McSorley

I won’t say a bad word about Christian Hackenberg the man. He’s a good, intelligent, respectable person who was a terrific representative of Penn State, and I wish him nothing but the best in life. But Hackenberg is not a very good quarterback. He did some things well at Penn State but ...

O-line needs to play to potential

Gone are the days when the offensive line was Penn State’s biggest weakness, but we are not yet to the point where we can call the line a major strength, either. That was expected to be the case this season, and it hasn’t played out that way yet. The yet part is a key word because the ...

Two ways to view Lions’ win

Commentary How on earth did Penn State only win 21-19 Saturday at Iowa after dominating statistically? And did we see some things to be concerned about for the long haul in the game? Let’s play the glass is half full/half empty game. Half full: A win is a win is a win, especially on the ...

No reason to nitpick so far

We love to nitpick in sports. When all else fails, let’s just find something to complain about. But here’s a nifty little idea: Let’s not. Not when it comes to Penn State’s 3-0 start, during which the Nittany Lions have outscored their opponents, 141-14. The belief here is that ...

Giger: Let’s be honest in sports

This is always an interesting time of year for me because I’m finished covering the Curve and now focus pretty much solely on Penn State football for several months. I’m one of the few full-time baseball beat writers around who also covers a major college or pro football team on a daily ...

Curve title a great moment for Altoona sports fans

We are so, so lucky as sports fans to be living in an area where championships aren’t just the hope, they are the expectation. Since 1971, there have been 16 major sports titles won by teams from central and western PA, including the Steelers (6), Penguins (5), Pirates (2), Penn State ...

Altoona playing with cohesion

TRENTON, N.J. — A win tonight would cap a remarkable season for the Curve by giving them a clean sweep of the Eastern League playoffs and just the second championship in franchise history. This is a terrific Double-A team. And the key word is team. The Curve’s tremendous pitching is ...

Yes, Franklin got dig in at Pitt, but so what?

I usually spend this Monday column looking ahead to Penn State’s next opponent or weekly story lines, but despite what James Franklin says, no one in the world considers playing Georgia State like the Super Bowl. So, let’s take one last look back at that doozy of a comment Franklin tossed ...

Important to look to future

Nostalgia is very nice. I, for one, listen to nothing but 1980s music and still dress like it’s 1996, so I know plenty about getting stuck in the past. The rivalry with Pitt is a huge part of Penn State’s past. And for a legion of Nittany Lion fans — older ones who grew up with the ...

Eldred reaches 400 home runs while in Japan

Brad Eldred is the best pure power hitter I’ve ever seen covering the minor leagues, and it may surprise some people to know that he’s still launching home runs in impressive numbers. Two days ago, Eldred blasted the 400th home run of his career while playing for Hiroshima in the Japanese ...

… But don’t overlook McSorley in the race

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State could have a Heisman Trophy winner this season, but don’t just assume it would be Saquon Barkley. As good as the stellar running back was last season, the view here is that quarterback Trace McSorley was more deserving of Heisman consideration. I vote for ...

Pirates banking on Newman to hit

The Pirates have an interesting decision to make with shortstop Jordy Mercer, and it’s not making matters easy for them that the Curve’s Kevin Newman is having a down year so far at the plate. Newman is the Bucs’ shortstop of the future. A first-round draft pick in 2015, he can hit for ...