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Neil Rudel’s Commentary

Michigan St.-PSU highlights, lowlights

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Following are the highlights and lowlights from Penn State’s 28-7 victory over Michigan State on Saturday at Spartan Stadium: Play of the game: Facing fourth-and-1 at the Michigan State 45 with 2:38 left in the first half, leading 14-0, Penn State went for it, and ...

Michigan State game belongs as regular-season finale

Penn State is headed to East Lansing today, and it should be playing Rutgers instead. Almost never, at least in its current state, is a matchup with Rutgers anticipated, and it wouldn’t be as today’s opponent. But Michigan State — not Rutgers — ought to be the Nittany Lions’ ...

Rahne, Clifford and Co. have done their part

In answering this week’s question, first ask yourself: How much better did you expect this Penn State offense to be? Thank you. That’s why there’s been too much consternation about the offense. Yes, it has built some big leads, against Purdue and Michigan, that it hasn’t turned ...

Officiating bug spreads to game with Michigan

A week after Penn State felt it was on the short end of the officiating stick, which made a victory at Iowa more difficult, the tables were turned Saturday night in the Nittany Lions’ 28-21 win over Michigan. At least if you consider Jim Harbaugh’s viewpoint. The Wolverines were ...

Rudel: ’16 blowout served as PSU springboard

Three years can be a college football lifetime, and Penn State is proof. Since the Nittany Lions visited the Big House for a September 2016 matchup – and lost 49-10 – they’ve won 35 of 42 games with every loss being by four points or fewer. Every loss except one – at Michigan last ...

Wolverines have shown influence, dominance

Since Penn State joined and started to play a Big Ten schedule in 1993, it was clear the Nittany Lions’ success would be gauged on their performances against the two longtime conference heavyweights, Ohio State and Michigan. The series with Saturday’s opponent, Michigan, has brought a ...

Lions can win in multiple ways

Penn State’s 17-12 win at Iowa — the best road win of James Franklin’s six-year tenure — was most impressive in that the Nittany Lions beat the Hawkeyes at their own game. Iowa is not a great team because it doesn’t have enough offense and/or Kirk Ferentz can’t get more out of the ...

Distractions provide latest test for Lions

Tonight’s visit to Iowa is a great test for Penn State on several fronts. Number one, after landing in the Top 10 for the first time this season, the Nittany Lions will find out how they handle prosperity with the campus slapping their backs and heaping praise on them. There’s less ...

Sportsmanship keeps Nebraska a cut above

Before we even start, to not disappoint our more veteran/senior readership, let’s establish that, for me, none of the Big Ten trips compare to Pitt and West Virginia — the rivalry of Pitt in historic Pitt Stadium and the convenient ride down to Morgantown with the backdrop of autumn ...

PSU-Purdue highlights, lowlights

UNIVERSITY PARK — Following are the highlights and lowlights from Penn State’s 35-7 victory over Purdue on Saturday at Beaver Stadium: Play of the game: Sean Clifford hit Jahan Dotson with a 72-yard touchdown pass with 5:20 left in the first quarter, upping the Nittany Lions’ lead to ...

Penn State report card

Following is Neil Rudel’s report card from Penn State’s 35-7 win over Purdue on Saturday at Beaver Stadium: POSITION GRADE COMMENT Quarterback B- Tale of two halves for Clifford. Went 11-14-205 and four TDs (three pass, one rush) in first half, ...

Fortunately for Nits, defense hasn’t rested

UNIVERSITY PARK — Noon starts haven’t always brought out the best in the Nittany Lions, but that wasn’t the case Saturday as Penn State was on top if its game early and built a 28-0 lead against Purdue. Then, apparently, the Lions got drowsy and needed an afternoon nap because they sure ...

Rudel: ‘LawnBoyz’ chain linked to success

With Penn State’s 59-0 victory over Maryland safely tucked away — actually, that happened shortly after the opening kickoff — a collision of the past and today’s Nittany Lions took place. The presence of a “LawnBoyz” chain, worn by the PSU running back who scored a touchdown, drew ...

Legislation would create chaos in college sports

No, and, if passed, I predict this will create more chaos than already exists in high-profile college sports (particularly football and men’s basketball) and be nearly impossible to manage. I realize there are current inadequacies, and athletes feel like they’re window dressing for the ...

Penn State report card

Following is Neil Rudel’s report card from Penn State’s 59-0 win over Maryland on Friday night at Maryland Stadium: POSITION GRADE COMMENT Quarterback A Clifford went 26-31-398, three TDs, 54 rush yards and an interception. Tommy Stevens ...

For Lions, it’s full-steam ahead

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Penn State arrived here unblemished at 3-0, but aside from their season-opening scrimmage against Idaho, the Nittany Lions had yet to put together a complete game. They emphatically checked that box Friday night. The Lions forced a turnover on the game’s fifth play ...

Rudel: Terps’ Holliday is the ultimate host

When it comes to college football play-by-play announcers, there may be no one who has combined more versatility with a longer tenure than Maryland’s Johnny Holliday. Consider some of these impressive resume items: n He emceed the final scheduled concert of the Beatles at Candlestick Park ...

Room to tinker with RBs versus non-con opponents

As soon as Penn State loses a game, then, of course, the answer will be yes. James Franklin’s commitment to playing all four tailbacks has raised more questions than any other aspect of the Nittany Lions’ 3-0 start. He deflected a couple inquiries about it Tuesday, saying, “We’re ...

Finale reflects old-school series

UNIVERSITY PARK — If we don’t see a renewal of the Penn State-Pitt rivalry for years, decades, or even ever, those who were fortunate enough to witness Saturday’s last scheduled game between the neighboring schools were treated to a performance that did the series proud. Penn State won, ...

Rudel: Emptiness fills final chapter of Pitt-Penn State

I will miss this game. I’m not fighting city hall anymore about which camp is more to blame for going their separate ways 30-plus years ago, or how rivalries all over the country have been lost due to dollar-driven conference realignments, or whether it should now be a 2-for-1 arrangement, ...