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PSU Snapshot: 2000

Casey

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

Year: 2000

Coach: Joe Paterno

Final record: 5-7

Final ranking: Not ranked

Regular-season wins: Louisiana Tech, Purdue, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State

Regular-season losses: USC, Toledo, Pitt, Ohio State, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan

Bowl game: None

Team stat leaders: Eric McCoo rushed for 692 yards; Rashard Casey passed for 2,001 yards and 14 TDs; Tony Stewart caught 38 passes for 451 yards; James Boyd had 109 tackles; Michael Haynes, Jimmy Kennedy and Justin Kurpeikis each had 6 sacks

All-Americans: None

Neil Rudel’s take: Over the course of the Paterno era, the aftermath of teams that reached the national championship level or expected to were followed by a dropoff. It happened in 1970, 1979, 1983 and 1987-88. And it really happened in 2000, the beginning of the dark period that produced an unprecedented five-year slide. The trouble started with projected starting QB Rashard Casey getting in legal trouble before the opener. He was eventually cleared, but it didn’t help preparation that led to a 1-4 start. The low moment came when promising freshman Adam Taliaferro was critically injured and nearly paralyzed in a loss at Ohio State. The season’s highlight was a win over Purdue, the fourth straight victory over Drew Brees, the Big Ten’s all-time passing leader. The losing season was Penn State’s first since 1988.

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