PSU Season Snapshot: 2004


A daily series featuring each Penn State football season from 1947-2019:

Year: 2004

Coach: Joe Paterno

Final record: 4-7

Final ranking: Not ranked

Regular-season wins: Akron, UCF, Indiana, Michigan State

Regular-season losses: Boston College, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Purdue, Iowa, Ohio State, Northwestern

Bowl game: None

Team stat leaders: Tony Hunt rushed for 777 yards and caught 39 passes for 334 yards; Zack Mills passed for 1,722 yards; Paul Posluszny had 104 tackles; Calvin Lowry and Anwar Phillips each intercepted 4 passes

All-Americans: None

Neil Rudel’s take: In stumbling to a 2-7 record with non-con wins over Akron and UCF, PSU somehow managed to score less than 13 points in each of its losses and was checked to single digits in five of them. The highlight, or lowlight, was an infamous 6-4 home loss to Iowa in which Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz, leading 6-2, took a safety because he was confident the Nit offense — still led by Zack Mills — couldn’t inch its way into game-winning field-goal range. Mills didn’t play 12 years; it only seemed that way, and he regressed in part because of a lack of recruiting a better cast. The play-calling combo of Galen Hall (hired in 2000 as OC after Fran Ganter took an administrative job) and now-QBs coach Jay Paterno was not working. Late in the season, PSU brass gathered at JoePa’s home to map the future and was basically told to mind its own business. The Lions salvaged their last two games on a goal-line stand at IU and a blowout of the Spartans.


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