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Sports Columns

Time for hard truths after PSU defeat

Seeing Penn State ranked in the top four of the College Football Playoff last week had to be pretty cool for all Nittany Lion fans. But be honest here: Didn’t it feel like a bit of a mirage? The Lions had the resume, relative to everyone else, to deserve their No. 4 ranking. No question ...

Pirates’ general manager switch will impact Curve in big ways

Firing GM Neal Huntingdon was the appropriate move for the Pirates, without question, but it may not have been the best thing for the Curve. That might not mean much to a lot of fans who only care about the success of the big league club. But if you’ve become spoiled by watching a great ...

Mention of Minnesota stirs up 1999 nightmare

This week’s topic doesn’t specify good or bad memories, and at the risk of being a wet blanket while the Nittany Lions are 8-0, there’s really no doubt for me. I, like most Penn State followers who witnessed it, will never forget — 20 years later — the 1999 game/nightmare at Beaver ...

Comeback against Gophers in 2016 was monumental

James Franklin was in big trouble. The Penn State football program was going nowhere fast. Then came a vital second-half comeback against Minnesota at Beaver Stadium on Oct. 1, 2016 that turned everything around. The Nittany Lions returned to national prominence with a huge upset of No. 2 ...

Giger: PSU can make playoff with one (good) loss

This should be an exciting time for Penn State football fans with the program very much in the running for a chance to make the College Football Playoff for the first time. The Nittany Lions are No. 5 in the latest AP and coaches polls and would be a lock for the CFP if they go undefeated ...

As November looms, Penn State still perfect

EAST LANSING, Mich. — No lightning bolts this time, and with the obvious difference in the Nittany Lions and Spartans, it would not have mattered. Two years ago, when Penn State visited Spartans Stadium, a three-plus hour lightning delay stopped the Lions’ momentum and contributed to a ...

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 ...

Point-counterpoint: Offense relies too much on chunk plays to score

Penn State is tied for 10th in the country in scoring at 40 points per game. Which brings me to the old saying about “lies, damned lies and statistics.” Take away the meaningless 79 points in a scrimmage against woeful FCS opponent Idaho and 45 against a bad Buffalo team, and the ...

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 ...

Lions still perfect, but inconsistent

UNIVERSITY PARK — We’re all looking for reasons to feel great about Penn State, to believe that this undefeated squad that will be ranked at least No. 6 in the country this week legitimately is one of the best teams in the country and has a strong shot at the College Football Playoff. But ...

Forfeits having major impact

On Wednesday, two more District 6 football games, Bishop Carroll at Bellefonte and Portage at Conemaugh Valley were canceled. Those games joined the Clearfield at Philipsburg-Osceola game, which was called off on Monday. The Mounties will also be forfeiting their game at Penns Valley next ...

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 ...

‘The Catch’ in 2013 game led to incredible 4OT win

I still can’t believe the pass. I still can’t believe the catch. I still can’t believe the comeback. What Penn State pulled off in a magical 23-second span against Michigan in 2013 was then and still today remains unbelievable. Aside from the program-changing blocked field goal ...

By thinking pink, sports raising cancer awareness

It’s become as synonymous with October as the falling leaves: breast cancer awareness. On NFL fields around the country, the league’s toughest are donning pink socks, gloves and other accessories, many in support of a loved one. In fact, we’d be hard-pressed to find someone whose life ...

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 ...

Young Lions have lots of weapons

IOWA CITY, Iowa. — Enough of this four-man tailback rotation already. Give the dang ball to Noah Cain and let him do his thing. Penn State has a lot of weapons at a lot of positions all over the field, and that was on display in Saturday night’s 17-12 win over Iowa. No one was more ...

Iowa has provided me some great memories

We usually get to see a great football game at Iowa, which is what it’s all about, and two of my favorite personal stories also took place on trips there. I’ve told the following story dozens of times to friends and on the radio but have never written about it. It occurred during Penn ...

Stevens’ departure opened door for Clifford to excel

There was an interesting visitor for Penn State’s homecoming over the weekend — none other than former Nittany Lion quarterback Tommy Stevens. You know, the guy who now plays for Mississippi State, which had a bye Saturday. Rarely will you see someone who plays for another school visit ...