PSU season snapshot: 2008

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

Year: 2008

Coach: Joe Paterno

Final record: 11-2

Final ranking: AP No. 8, ESPN/USA Today No. 8

Regular-season wins: Coastal Carolina, Oregon State, Syracuse, Temple, Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan State

Regular-season losses: Iowa

Bowl game: Lost to USC, 38-24, in the Rose Bowl

Team stat leaders: Evan Royster rushed for 1,236 yards and 12 TDs; Daryll Clark passed for 2,592 yards and 19 TDs; Deon Butler caught 47 passes for 810 yards and 7 TDs; Kevin Kelly made 20 of 24 field goal attempts; NaVorro Bowman had 106 tackles; Aaron Maybin had 12 sacks; Lydell Sargeant intercepted 4 passes

All-Americans: DE Aaron Maybin, C A.Q. Shipley

Neil Rudel’s take: Paterno, now 81, coached most of the year in the press box after aggravating a leg injury while attempting an onside kick during a late August practice. Tom Bradley managed the sidelines. The Lions opened 9-0 and moved up to No. 3 in the polls. They whipped Michigan at home and followed that up with a 13-6 win over Ohio State, a defensive struggle clinched when safety Mark Rubin punched the ball away from freshman QB Terrelle Pryor to set up the winning score. Quarterback Daryll Clark suffered a concussion against the Buckeyes, giving way to Pat Devlin. Clark attempted to play at Iowa the next week and the Lions were upset 24-23. PSU dropped a half-dozen passes at frigid Kinnick Stadium and Paterno allowed heaters on the sideline for the first time two weeks later, and the Nits buried MSU to clinch a Rose Bowl bid. They were no match for USC, which went up 31-7 in the first half and breezed to a 38-24 win.


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