PSU season snapshot: 2012


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

Year: 2012

Coach: Bill O’Brien

Final record: 8-4

Final ranking: Not ranked

Regular-season wins: Navy, Temple, Illinois, Northwestern, Iowa, Purdue, Indiana, Wisconsin

Regular-season losses: Ohio, Virginia, Ohio State, Nebraska

Bowl game: None

Team stat leaders: Zach Zwinak rushed for 1,000 yards; Matt McGloin passed for 3,271 yards and 24 TDs; Allen Robinson caught 77 passes for 1,018 yards and 11 TDs; Gerald Hodges had 109 tackles; Deion Barnes had 6 sacks; Michael Mauti intercepted 3 passes

All-American: LB Michael Mauti

Neil Rudel’s take: On Jan. 6, Bill O’Brien was named Penn State’s 15th head football coach, succeeding Joe Paterno. O’Brien was the New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator/QBs coach and was on the Pats’ staff for two Super Bowl appearances. Like Paterno, O’Brien was a graduate of Brown University, and the two spoke on the phone two weeks before Paterno died of lung cancer on Jan. 22. JoePa’s memorial service drew thousands, and the funeral procession packed the College Avenue route. Before O’Brien even coached a game, however, the NCAA announced brutal sanctions on PSU for its mishandling of Jerry Sandusky. The sanctions included a four-year bowl ban, scholarship reductions, immediate transfer opportunities without penalty and stripped Paterno’s 111 victories between 1998-2011. Senior leaders Michael Mauti and Michael Zordich — both legacy players whose fathers played at PSU — led a contingent that pledged their commitment to Penn State during an emotional press conference. (The wins were restored and sanctions were repealed in 2015). O’Brien put his stamp on QB Matt McGloin, and the two led the Lions to a 8-4 record, including a 24-21 Senior Day win over eventual Big Ten champion Wisconsin. McGloin set a season passing record with 3,271 yards. O’Brien was named Big Ten and national coach of the year.


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