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Sports Columns

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 ...

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 ...

No easy fix to NFL’s instant replay

Steelers fans saw something during last week’s Monday Night Football broadcast as their team played the Bengals that they thought never see — a seemingly sure-fire replay challenge victory for coach Mike Tomlin. It’s been two-plus years since Tomlin has tossed a red challenge flag and ...

College athletes have every right to earn money

This is the United States of America. A free market economy. Where everybody has the right to make money in any legal way they see fit. Every. Single. Person. A 6-month-old can act in TV shows or movies. And make money. A 16-year-old can work at McDonald’s. And make money. A ...

Firing, arrest cap woeful year

The 2019 season was an unmitigated disaster for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and ultimately, manager Clint Hurdle’s firing Sunday was a change that needed to be made. On and off the field, the Pirates endured more calamity in a six-month stretch than many teams do in a decade. This season ...

Giger: Pirates have more issues within organization

Clint Hurdle had to go. That should have been obvious to anyone who follows the Pirates and saw how this debacle of a season unfolded with infighting in the clubhouse and a horrendous collapse on the field in the second half. Still, I was surprised to see Hurdle get fired Sunday. If only ...

October is the heart of the fall sports season

I saw a poster the other day that said, “My favorite color is October,” a reminder of how much I love this time of year. It’s not just the trees turning beautiful colors, or the vibrant mums and rustic cornstalks that seem to decorate every corner of our communities. And it’s more ...

Great night for Rahne, offense

As they stood with their children and players celebrating Friday night’s decimation at Maryland, Penn State coach James Franklin pulled offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne close and kissed him on the head. It was a fantastic night for many members of the PSU program, with Rahne right at or ...

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 ...