phillypressbox

Archive for August, 2012|Monthly archive page

2012 Penn State Season Preview

In College Football, Penn State Football on August 30, 2012 at 8:26 pm

With the college football season upon us we asked our friends at College Football Coverage to provide Philly Pressbox with an update preview of the upcoming 2012 season. As usual, they have provided in-depth position player analysis and game by game win-loss predictions. With all of the turmoil of the last year, a new coaching staff and the loss of several key players it looks like rough times ahead for Nittany Lions in 2012.

Feel free to leave your comments below. Also, you can follow all of college football, including weekly breakdowns of the top five games of the week, as well as order a nice college football preview at www.collegefootballcoverage.com. The website is free and the preview is available for only $2.99. The preview doesn’t cost much but it’s full of great information for the college football fan.

CollegeFootballCoverage.com

2012 Preview

Penn State Nittany Lions

 2011 Review

 Last season was a very disappointing year for the wonderful fan base, alumni and of course the storied football program of Penn State. Joe Paterno, the legendary coach of 61 years, was caught up in a very difficult situation that eventually led to his dismissal. With everything going on around the program, the team rallied and fought hard, but it was still another subpar season on the football field for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State finished the season at 9-4 and lost 3 of the last 4 games including a blowout loss to Houston in their bowl game. The offense really struggled in 2011 ranking near the bottom of the FBS in total offense averaging 342 yards per game. They also had a hard time scoring points averaging below 20 point per game. In fact, they were ranked 110 in scoring offense. The running game was really mediocre as well ranking 46th in the FBS with only 165 yards a game. Silas Redd is a very good player, but teams really stacked the box with the inability of the QB’s to distribute the football effectively. The passing offense ranked near the bottom at 96th in the FBS and only generated 177 yards a game. It was a very tough year across the board for the offense and the only positive was the offensive line which only allowed 1 sack a game and ranked 18th nationally in this category.

The defense was very strong in 2011, really driving the Nittany Lions to their 9-4 season. They ranked 5th in scoring defense at just over 16 points a game and 20th in total defense in the FBS. The rush defense wasn’t great ranking 42nd and giving up 165 yards a game, but the pass defense was strong ranking in the top 20 at number 17. They were also able to get pressure on the opposing QB’s ranking 26th in sacks for the season with over 2 sacks a game. The defense was the glue that held things together in this very difficult and tumultuous season for PSU.

Longtime assistant coach Tom Bradley filled in admirably when Paterno was let go, and he provided a glimpse into the kind of head coach he could be, but the Nittany Lions were just not talented enough to overcome their deficiencies on the offensive side of the ball.

 2012 Preview

  Penn State is looking for a fresh start as they embark on the first season without Joe Paterno on the sidelines. There were some people out there, including alumni, that didn’t particularly like the direction that the school went when they hired an outsider with no Penn State ties. Bill O’Brien, a first time head coach, and former offensive coordinator under Bill Belichick in New England, was hired to replace the long time legend in Happy Valley. We at CFC actually feel this was a great move by the school and not just a stopgap to something else in the future. This hire has the potential to be a monumental move and one that could save the program and actually propel it into the new age of college football. It will be tough with the hand that they were dealt by the NCAA, but he has handled himself very well and done a great job holding things together. O’Brien will implement more pro-style elements to the offense, he will develop the QB’s and the smartest thing he did upon being hired, was keep assistant coaches Larry Johnson, one of the best recruiters in the country and LB’s coach Ron Vanderlinden.

Before the sanctions came down, things looked positive for this new staff. They were recruiting well, there was a new buzz around the program and there was true optimism about what the future could hold.

Then came the very unique and uncharacteristic ruling by the NCAA, after the Freeh report was released, hitting the university with major sanctions including a 4 year bowl ban and the loss of scholarships over the next 4 years. This matter has been discussed and covered in this very forum, so we won’t get into the particulars of the validity of the report or the sanctions, but the NCAA was very heavy handed with the sanctions and it changed the entire dynamic for the 2012 season.

With ten players transferring including some of the very best on the roster in Silas Redd, Justin Brown and Khairi Fortt, this left PSU with a huge void in terms of depth and the offense will simply not be very dynamic with loss of such playmakers.

Penn State will now return two starters from last year’s offense that really struggled to be consistent. McGloin will be the starting QB and look for him to play better under the tutelage of O’Brien, but he has a very limited skill set.

The running game will look different with Redd at USC, and look for Bill Belton, Derek Day and freshman Akeel Lynch to get the bulk of the carries. This could be a serviceable group for PSU and Lynch is exciting, and could be the future at the position for the Nittany Lions.

The wide receivers will need to step up with the loss of Smith and Brown in the off season. Players like Shawney Kersey, Alex Kenney and Allen Robinson will have to produce. This is an inexperienced group, but they do have some talent.

The offensive line was pretty good last season, but they only return one starter from that group. Now, they do have some players coming back that have played before, so there is some experience. They will need to be the foundation for the Nittany Lions in 2012, and they have recruited well in this area, so we don’t expect a huge drop-off. This could actually be the best position group for PSU in 2012.

The defense will need to replace four of the front seven and two of the back four, but they have been able to recruit very well on this side of the ball, so we don’t expect a major drop-off in terms of production. A lot of the players that will fill-in next season have played for the Nittany Lions in the past. Players like LB’s Mike Hull and Glenn Carson.

Look for DE Deon Barnes and DE Sean Stanley to have a big years and DE Pete Massaro is back from an injury and he will provide depth. At defensive tackle PSU is pretty healthy with the likes of DaQuan Jones and Jordan Hill playing at the Nose and 3-Technique.

The second level will be solid with the above mentioned Carson stepping in. LB Michael Mauti is back and his leadership will be needed and of course the Nittany Lions return a tremendous player in Gerald Hodges at OLB.

If there is one area of concern for Penn State on defense though, it has to be the secondary, as they don’t have much depth. They will have two new starters pairing up with Stephen Morris and Malcolm Willis, who are back in 2012 for PSU. Corner Back Adrian Amos and Safety Stephen Obeng-Agyapong will have to step up and fill the void of the departing seniors from last season. Unlike up front on the defensive line, they just don’t have the bodies to feel comfortable if any injuries occur.

Overall we expect the defense to still be very good and they will likely keep PSU in a lot of the games in 2012.

 Prediction Time:

 The schedule will be tough on Penn State in 2012, even with 7 home games. There will be some highs and lows, but with us projecting inconsistent QB play again, the Nittany Lions will once again struggle in some of the bigger games. We expect the offense to really struggle with big plays in the pass game and the run game will be more serviceable than explosive. The defense will keep the Nittany Lions in some ball games, but it won’t be enough.

We believe that the Nittany Lions will play inspired ball early in the season, but once the schedule starts to get difficult, the season will turn for the worse and we expect to see a very tough run through late September all the way through the end of the season. Below is our forecast for the season with game predictions.

  Schedule and Prediction for 2012 Season

 CFC predicts that Penn State will go 4-8 in 2012

 9/1 OHIO AT PEN STATE –- WIN

9/8 PENN STATE AT VIRGINIA – LOSS

9/15 NAVY AT PENN STATE — WIN

9/22 TEMPLE AT PENN STATE — WIN

9/29 PENN STATE AT ILLINOIS – Loss

10/6 NORTHWESTERN AT PENN STATE – Loss

10/13 OPEN DATE

10/20 PENN STATE AT IOWA – Loss

10/27 OHIO STATE AT PENN STATE – LOSS

11/3 PENN STATE AT PURDUE– Loss

11/10 PENN STATE AT NEBRASKA — LOSS

11/17 INDIANA AT PENN STATE – WIN

11/24 WISCONSIN AT PENN STATE — LOSS

Feel free to click the COMMENT/RESPONSE button below and leave your thoughts as well as click the FOLLOW button on the bottom right of this page, input your email address, and receive your Philly Pressbox posts directly in your email.

We would like to thank our sponsor for their support. Click the following link to check out the latest 2012 Penn State football items.  http://www.shop.com/trends/ul-71235-WE+ARE-+ONE+TEAM

 Lastly, click on the business card below to see all of their items.

 

The Word of the Day – COURAGE – Nightingale

In The Word of the Day on August 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm

COURAGE

“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination”

Earl Nightingale

The Word of the Day – RESPOND – Epictetus

In The Word of the Day on August 29, 2012 at 7:21 pm

RESPOND

“We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them”

Epictetus

The Word of the Day – DREAM – King

In The Word of the Day on August 28, 2012 at 10:08 am

On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made his historical speech 49 years ago today!!!

DREAM

“I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Steve Van Buren – The Eagles Legend

In Philadelphia Eagles on August 26, 2012 at 8:42 am

When you think of the history of the Philadelphia Eagles two names stand alone at the top of the list, Steve Van Buren and Chuck Bednarik. There have been several other players that have become Hall of Famers like Pete Pihos, Alex Wojciechowicz, Bert Bell, Tommy McDonald, Sonny Jurgenson, Mike Ditka and Bob Brown but none was as good and well respected as Van Buren. If you took a poll of who’s the greatest Eagle player of all time it would be a split the vote between Van Buren and Bednarik. With that said, the Eagles lost one of their greatest players when Van Buren died on Thursday at the age of 91.

Van Buren was a 1st round draft pick, number 5 overall, of the Eagles in 1944, out of LSU.  Heisman Trophy winner Angelo Bertelli was chosen first from Notre Dame and Otto Graham, consider by many as the greatest quarterback of all time, was number four out of Northwestern. This in itself is impressive considering that Van Buren was cut from his high school football team as a sophomore. Van Buren went on to make the All NFL Team, they didn’t have the Pro Bowl at the time, every season from 1944 through 1950. During that time he led the league the Eagles to two championships in 1948 and 49. He led the league in rushing 4 times, 1945, 47, 48 and 49, rushing for over 1,000 yards twice. He led the league in touchdowns 4 times, rushing yards per game 5 times, total yards from scrimmage twice and total touchdowns in a season twice. He also led the league with the longest kickoff return in a season 3 times, yards per kickoff return twice, and total kickoff return yards once. He also returned two punts for touchdowns in his career. To top it off, Van Buren played defensive back, where he intercepted 9 passes and recovered 14 fumbles in his career.

When it came to the 1948 and 49 championship games Van Buren was the brightest star in leading the Eagles to victory. In the 1948 game against the Chicago Cardinals, Van Buren scored the only touchdown in the Eagles 7-0 victory. He rushed for 98 yards on 25 carries and scored the game’s only touchdown in a blizzard. He followed up that effort in the 1949 game by rushing for 196 yards on 31 carries, leading the Eagles to a 14-0 victory.

When Steve Van Buren retired he was the All Time leading rusher in NFL history with 5,860 yards and scored 77 touchdowns. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965, only the 3rd class inducted to the Canton shrine.

In 1994, he was selected to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team as well as the 75th Anniversary All-Two-Way Team and the 1940 All Decade Team. To put this honor in perspective, following are the other running backs selected; halfbacks, Van Buren, Walter Payton, Gale Sayers and OJ Simpson with fullbacks, Jim Brown, Marion Motley and Bronko Nagurski. Obviously, a tremendous group of football players!

At the time of his retirement following the 1951 season Van Buren held the following NFL records:

• [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Career 1,320
• [1st] Most Rushing Yards, Career
5,860
• [1st] Most Rushing Yards, Season
1,146 (1949)
• [1st] Most Touchdowns, Season
18
(1945)
• [2nd] Most Rushing Attempts, Season
263
(1949)
• [2nd] Most Touchdowns, Career
77

• [Tied for 2nd] Most Rushing Attempts, Game
35 (vs. N.Y. Bulldogs, Nov. 20, 1949)


Following are the Eagles team records Van Buren held through the 1951 season, his last season with Philadelphia:

• [1st] Most Rushing Yards, Season – 1,146 (1949)
• [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Season – 263 (1949)
• [1st] Most Touchdowns, Season – 18 (1945)
• [1st] Most Points Scored, Season – 110 (1945)
• [1st] Most Rushing Yards, Game – 205 (vs. Pittsburgh, Nov. 27, 1949)
• [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Game – 35 (vs. N.Y. Bulldogs, Nov. 20, 1949)
• [1st] Most Rushing Yards, Career – 5,860
• [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Career – 1,320
• [1st] Most Touchdowns, Career – 77
• [1st] Most Points, Career – 464
• [Tied for 1st] Most Kickoff Returns, Season – 14 (1948)
• [2nd] Most Rushing Yards, Season – 1,008 (1947)
• [2nd] Most Rushing Attempts, Season – 217 (1947)
• [2nd] Most Kickoff Returns, Season – 13 (1947)
• [2nd] Most Rushing Yards, Game – 174 (vs. N.Y. Bulldogs, Nov. 20, 1949)
• [2nd] Most Rushing Attempts, Game – 29 (vs. Washington, Nov. 21. 1948)
• [2nd] Longest Run From Scrimmage – 77 (vs. Brooklyn, Nov. 4, 1944)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Touchdowns, Game – 3 (vs. Boston, Dec. 9, 1945)
• [3rd] Most Passes Intercepted, Season – 5 (1944)
• [3rd] Longest Run From Scrimmage – 77 (vs. Oct. 14, 1944)
• [3rd] Longest Kickoff Return – 98 (vs. New York, Dec. 2, 1945)

I had an opportunity to meet the man that wrote the early record books of both the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles several times over the years and found him to be nothing but a fantastic and humble man, so unassuming that you would never know he was a football legend. However, the thing I will remember the most about Steve Van Buren was the respect that the other great Eagles players had for him. I have an Eagles helmet that I’ve been getting signed for nearly 20 years by my favorite Eagles. The first three that signed were Van Buren on one wing, Pihos on the other wing and Bednarik on the side. There are now 34 signatures on the helmet and no one would sign on the wing that was signed by Van Buren. The last signature that I added was another Hall of Famer, Bob Brown. There was no place for his signature to fit along with his HOF inscription. Bob said, “Would it be okay if I signed on this wing next to Mr. Van Buren”? I said, “Sure, if that’s where it will fit best.” His comment back was, “I wanted to be sure, he was the greatest Eagle of all time.”

Pretty much says it all!!!!

Feel free to click the COMMENT/RESPONSE button below and leave your thoughts as well as click the FOLLOW button on the bottom right of this page, input your email address, and receive your Philly Pressbox posts directly in your email.

We would like to thank our sponsor for their support. Click the following link to check out the latest 2012 Penn State football items.  http://www.shop.com/trends/ul-71235-WE+ARE-+ONE+TEAM

 Lastly, click on the business card below to see all of their items.

 

The Word of the Day – HAPPINESS – Lama

In The Word of the Day on August 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm

HAPPINESS

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions”

Dalai Lama

The Word of the Day – ENERGY – Adams

In The Word of the Day on August 21, 2012 at 5:43 pm

ENERGY

“Energy is equal to desire and purpose”

Sheryl Adams

The Word of the Day – BEST – Linkletter

In The Word of the Day, Uncategorized on August 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm

BEST

“Things turn out best for the people that make the best out of the way things turn out”

Art Linkletter

The Word of the Day – EFFECTIVENESS – Ward

In The Word of the Day on August 17, 2012 at 8:52 am

EFFECTIVENESS

“Flying off the handle sometimes causes hammers and humans to lose their heads, as well as their effectiveness”

William Arthur Ward

The Word of the Day – OPPORTUNITIES – Colton

In The Word of the Day on August 16, 2012 at 11:14 am

OPPORTUNITIES

“Great minds must be ready not only to take opportunities, but to make them”

C C Colton

%d bloggers like this: