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DOMINATE THE STATE



Updated: 2017-12-12T07:46:02-05:00

 



NEED TWO: Bowl Game Tickets

2017-12-12T07:46:02-05:00

Wow - we’ve reached the college football season finish line. Let’s look at secondary market ticket prices to the bowl games. Big Ten table.tableizer-table { font-size: 12px; border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; } .tableizer-table td { padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #CCC; } .tableizer-table th { background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold; } WHEN WHO-A WHO-B Bowl (First Year) City Midfield Nose Bleeds 30-Dec #6 Wisconsin #10 Miami Orange (1935) Miami, FL $293 $153 29-Dec #8 USC #5 Ohio State Cotton (1937) Arlington, TX $370 $85 30-Dec #11 Washington #9 Penn State Fiesta (1971) Glendale, AZ $289 $73 1-Jan South Carolina Michigan Hall of Fame (1986) Tampa, FL $214 $86 27-Dec Boston College Iowa Pinstripe (2010) New York, NY $156 $81 28-Dec #18 Washington State #16 Michigan State Holiday (1978) San Diego, CA $109 $35 27-Dec Arizona Purdue San Francisco (2002) Santa Clara, CA $170 $25 29-Dec Kentucky #21 Northwestern Music City (1998) Nashville, TN $127 $17 Leading the conference slate for most expensive ticket is the Big Ten runner-up, Wisconsin, who heads to Miami to play....Miami. The Badgers always travel well - but the Orange Bowl is no longer the Orange Bowl; it’s the “Hard Rock Cafe Stadium”, and it seats only about 2/3rds of the old Orange Bowl. But rumor has it the toilets flush now, so it’s not all bad. Top 25 table.tableizer-table { font-size: 12px; border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; } .tableizer-table td { padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #CCC; } .tableizer-table th { background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold; } WHEN WHO-A WHO-B Bowl (First Year) City Midfield Nose Bleeds 1-Jan #4 Alabama #1 Clemson Sugar (1935) Atlanta, GA $1,606 $275 1-Jan #3 Georgia #2 Oklahoma Rose (1902) Pasadena, CA $617 $256 1-Jan #12 UCF #7 Auburn Peach (1968) Atlanta, GA $260 $90 28-Dec #13 Stanford #15 TCU Alamo (1993) San Antonio, TX $239 $37 30-Dec Iowa State #20 Memphis Liberty (1959) Memphis, TN $96 $80 1-Jan #14 Notre Dame #17 LSU Citrus (1947) Orlando, FL $196 $40 16-Dec Oregon #25 Boise State Las Vegas (2015) Las Vegas, NV $112 $64 28-Dec #22 Virginia Tech #19 Oklahoma State Blockbuster (1990) Orlando, FL $126 $30 29-Dec Arizona State #24 NC State Sun (1935) El Paso, TX $55 $33 30-Dec Louisville #23 Mississippi State Gator (1946) Jacksonville, FL $53 $28 It’s no easy task to establish the bowl origins of some of these contests. The Liberty Bowl made a heckuva lot more sense when it was played in Philadelphia, as it originally was in 1959. What in the world does Memphis, Tennessee have to do with the Liberty Bell - or plain old Liberty, for that matter? It’s the birthplace of the Klan, and home of Nathan Bedford Forest. It would make far more sense to call it The Oppression Bowl, or The Segregation Bowl. But at least they’re not stuck with the corporate name for a chain of VHS rental stores. Blockbuster - a perfect match for Orlando, FL. Yes, friends, tradition is the bedrock foundation of college football. And what better monument to that tradition than bowl games, all but 6 of which were started in the previous two decades; and all of which are so shamelessly draped in corporate sponsorships as to become nearly unrecognizable? [...]



Penn State 2017 Senior Memories: The Defense

2017-12-12T07:09:01-05:00

Taking a look back at our favorite memories of the senior class. As Penn State prepares for its Fiesta Bowl showdown with the Washington Huskies, a special group of Nittany Lions prepares for its final game in the blue and white. The 2017 senior class came to Penn State when things looked bleak with a reduced scholarships and no likelihood of ever appearing in a bowl game. Yet somehow, they managed to claim an unlikely Big Ten Championship and helped bring the program back as a national title contender. While the future is incredibly bright for the program, the dedication and contributions from this incredible group of players will never be forgotten in Happy Valley. Marcus Allen Allen routinely made plays all over the field, and never shied away from lighting someone up to stop them dead in their tracks. This was obvious in the 2016 Big Ten Championship Game, when Wisconsin needed just one yard on fourth down to keep their drive alive in the hopes of tying- or possibly taking the lead with a touchdown in the final moments. Allen was having none of that, combined with frequent collaborator Grant Haley to stop Corey Clement at the line of scrimmage to seal a Big Ten Championship for the Nittany Lions. src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gRrvfvNpDLE?rel=0&" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> Troy Apke One of the cornerstones of Brent Pry’s defense is players having the discipline to stay home so they can make open field tackles in space, which Apke handled on a very regular basis. Perhaps one of the best was an absolute beauty against Michigan earlier in the season, which created a huge loss for the Wolverines on third-and-seven, forcing a punt when they were already down 14-0. src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yI2D3q3PyBE?rel=0&start=238" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> Jason Cabinda Not many exuded passion like Cabinda, who seemed to always feed off the Beaver Stadium atmosphere. That was never more apparent than the 2016 Iowa game where he channeled Paul Posluszny and Lavar Arrington, going over the top to stuff quarterback C.J. Beathard on fourth-and-inches. The crowd went into an absolute frenzy and the route was on, with the Nittany Lions claiming a 41-14 blowout victory. src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/neQ3ecat_YI?rel=0&" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> Christian Campbell Campbell may have been overshadowed by John Reid and Grant Haley over the years, but he was a consistent performer who really helped shore up the secondary during the past four years. Perhaps his most memorable play, however, was this beauty of a strip sack where he ran around/through his blocker to create a turnover that helped finish off Michigan in front of the White Out crowd earlier this season. src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yI2D3q3PyBE?rel=0&start=1489" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> Tyrell Chavis You know what’s really fun? Watching a massive defensive tackle bulldoze an overmatched interior lineman right into the quarterback for a sack, which Chavis did so masterfully on this play against (real) Akron. I could watch this all day long. src="https://gfycat.com/ifr/CalmBoilingAdder" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> Curtis Cothran Cothran spent meaningful time on the field throughout his career, but really started to stand out towards the latter stretch of the 2016 season. This was never more obvious than the Big Ten Championship Game, where he took residence in Wisconsin’s backfield. Penn State needed every last bit of effort to come away with the victory, and it wuld not have happened without Cothran making plays throughout the eve[...]



Saquon Barkley is an AP All-American

2017-12-11T12:38:31-05:00

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The all-everything back made the list, but not at running back.

He may not have been invited to the Heisman ceremony as he finished a distant fourth, but Penn State’s Saquon Barkley added onto his accolades today as he was named a first team All-American.

Barkley was named first team as an all-purpose player; Stanford’s Bryce Love and San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny made the cut as first team running backs.

Barkley is the only Penn Stater on the list (playoff team Oklahoma has four players, all offensive, on the list), and the first Penn State player to make the list since Carl Nassib was a first team defensive end in 2015. The last offensive player for Penn State to appear was Allen Robinson, who was inexplicably relegated to the third team in 2013.

Wisconsin’s Troy Fumagalli was selected to the second team ahead of Mike Gesicki, who was left off the list, despite being ranked by some as the best tight end in this year’s draft.




MMQB: What are Your Expectations for Penn State’s Offense in 2018?

2017-12-11T08:17:01-05:00

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Can Penn State’s offense keep up the same pace without Joe Moorhead and some key players?

Penn State’s offense will look different in 2018. Ricky Rahne will be the new offensive coordinator following Joe Moorhead’s departure to become head coach at Mississippi State. The program’s all-time leading receiver will be heading to the NFL following four years as a starter, as will explosive tight end Mike Gesicki, who developed into a human highlight-reel. It seems almost a certainty that Saquon Barkley will forgo his final season of eligibility and become one of the top draft picks in April.

With all of this in mind, what are your expectations for the Penn State offense in 2018?

Let’s make this a broad conversation. Can Penn State’s offense improve with more experience and overall talent on the offensive line? Will the line actually become a strength next season? What new elements will you hope to see from he offense under new leadership? Which players will have a breakout season and play a much larger role in the offense? Will they become an air raid offense in McSorley’s senior season? What are some of your biggest concerns for the offense heading into next season?

Let’s hear your thoughts, intrepid reader of BSD.




Ranking the B1G: Back To The Non-Conference

2017-12-11T04:56:15-05:00

Minnesota is this season’s sacrifice to the “Keep Tim Miles Around” God After two Big Ten games, we know a few things: 1) Michigan State is not immortal, 2) Nebraska has their early scalp, 3) Iowa is Rutgers, and 4) maybe Ohio State won’t be terrible this season? 1) Michigan State Spartans (Last Week: 1) Previously: W at Rutgers 62-52, vs Southern Utah 88-63 The Spartans were favored by 16 over Rutgers. They led 47-43 with 4:28 left in the game. But hey, at least they’re not Kansas (or Florida, or Notre Dame, or Duke). Up Next: vs Oakland (Sat)* 2) Purdue Boilermakers (LW: 3) Previously: W vs Valparaiso 80-50, W vs IUPUI 86-61 Valparaiso was undefeated when they faced Purdue (they have two losses now), but the record might have been deceiving, as there were no real wins of note. It’s still a 30-point drubbing against a not-bad team, though. Up Next: vs Butler (Sat)* 3) Ohio State Buckeyes (LW: 8) Previously: W vs Michigan 71-62, W vs William & Mary 97-62 It might be surprising to see Ohio State so high up, but they had an incredible week, so they’re kind of here by default. It helps that nearly every team ahead of them last week had mediocre to bad outings. Chris Holtmann said something to the effect of rebuilds take time and patience, but he’s not a patient man. Let’s see if that means Ohio State is already rebuilt. Up Next: vs Appalachian State (Sat) 4) Maryland Terrapins (LW: 4) Previously: W vs Ohio 87-62, W vs Gardner-Webb 82-60 Another team that’s here by default, based solely on what the other teams have (or haven’t) done. They cruised past two overmatched opponents, but that’s still better than actually losing every game you played. Up Next: BYE** 5) Minnesota Golden Gophers (LW: 2) Previously: L at Nebraska 78-68, L at Arkansas 95-79 Speaking of losing every game you played, hi Minnesota! Losing to Miami because Dupree McBrayer didn’t play is fine. Losing to Nebraska for any reason is not, not when you’re the number 14 team in the country. Following that up with a road loss to Arkansas just compounds on the issue, even if that loss would have been forgivable on its own. Up Next: vs Drake (Mon) 6) Michigan Wolverines (LW: 5) Previously: L at Ohio State 71-62, W vs UCLA 78-69 (OT) Michigan led Ohio State by as much as 17 in the first half. It was all Buckeyes from there. The Wolverines scored 19 points in the second half, after scoring 43 in the first. They did the opposite against UCLA, coming back from 15 down to force overtime. Up Next: at Texas (Tue), vs Detroit Mercy (Sat)* 7) Northwestern Wildcats (LW: 7) Previously: Idle Didn’t play, didn’t move. Up Next: vs Chicago State (Mon), vs Valparaiso (Thu), at DePaul (Sat) 8) Wisconsin Badgers (LW: 9) Previously: W at Penn State 64-63, L at Temple 59-55, L vs Marquette 82-63 A horrible game by Penn State gave the Badgers their only win in the past two weeks. Digging themselves out of the hole they’ve dug so far will be great to see, especially with D'Mitrik Trice and Kobe King out indefinitely. Up Next: vs Western Kentucky (Wed) 9) Penn State Nittany Lions (LW: 6) Previously: L vs Wisconsin 64-63, W vs George Washington 74-54 Wisconsin is a tire fire, but losing to them in the past week keeps the Lions below them in the rankings. If the Nittany Lions can fulfill their potential, we may look back at the Wisconsin loss as the inexplicable loss to a bad team Penn State is so well-known for. They’ll be favored against the rest of the non-conference slate. Up Next: at George Mason (Sun) 10) Nebraska Cornhuskers (LW: 13) Previously: W vs No. 12 Minnesota 78-68, L at Creighton 75-65 Nebraska is good for one of these a season before collapsing, so step right up Minnesota! As expected, the Huskers followed up their win against Minnesota by losing to Creighton. Up Next: vs No. 2 Kansas (Sat) 11) Illinois Fighting Illini (LW: 11) Previously: W vs Austin Peay 64-57, L vs UNLV 89-82* Two of Austin Peay’s four wins co[...]



Penn State Hockey Wins 7-4, Completes Sweep of Robert Morris

2017-12-09T21:40:08-05:00

The game was close into the final minutes but the Lions pulled it out. Penn State (11-7-2) got the much-needed sweep in the final non-conference series of the season. The win will extend the 6-0-2 unbeaten stretch that the team will take with it to the break. After a slow start, the Lions scored three straight goals to gain a 3-1 in the first period. Robert Morris added a very late goal in the first period, with just 8 seconds on the clock. Each team scored a goal in the second period for a 4-3 score at the final intermission. Penn State added three goals in the final period to grab the win. The Lions will play next on January 5, at home versus Wisconsin. The second half of the season will feature some exciting hockey, with 9 out of the final 14 regular-season games being broadcast on the Big Ten Network. Additional games will be available on other networks and free online streams, so it will be very easy to follow the team for the stretch run. Recap Robert Morris struck first, scoring with less than a minute off the clock. The Lions killed a penalty a few minutes later, and after five minutes it was 1-0 with RMU having a 5-1 advantage in shots on goal. Penn State had a power play of its own a couple of minutes later and Denis Smirnov didn’t take long to make it pay off. src="https://streamable.com/t/97q6p" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> Seven minutes in, the game was tied 1-1 and the teams were squared up at five shots apiece. At that point the home team, playing in front of a half-capacity crowd inside of the Pegula Ice Arena, began to take control. Smirnov added a second goal with this amazing pick out of mid-air to give Penn State the lead. The initial deflection was stopped but the rebound went a couple of feet in the air, and Smirnov swatted it in the back of the net. src="https://streamable.com/t/r2qou" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> Nate Sucese joined the scoring barrage with this shot that surprised RMU goalie Andrew Pikul moments later. src="https://streamable.com/t/84h8o" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> With 1:22 left in the first period Andrew Sturtz had a clear breakaway while short-handed. Sturtz was unable to score but on the play he was taken to the ice, so the play negated the RMU advantage. Following the period captain James Robinson had a very lengthy discussion with the referees to get clarification on the call. With 8.1 seconds left RMU scored to cut the lead to 3-2. Denis Smirnov had a turnover that led to a 2 on 1 that Peyton Jones could not defend. Sturtz forced a penalty early in the second period and the Lions held the puck for almost a minute with Jones pulled in net with the delayed penalty. Half-way through the power-play Trevor Hamilton stepped up from his defensive position to finish a rebound, giving the Lions back to a two-goal lead. src="https://streamable.com/t/2st7a" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> Midway through the game Nikita Pavlychev took a penalty and Robert Morris had a chance to cut into the lead with the extra skater. The Lions were able to kill it off and on the first shift afterwards, RMU was called for a penalty. That advantage came and went as well and with five minutes left before the second intermission PSU had a 27-22 shots on goal lead. Late in the period Robert Morris struck again to cut the lead to 4-3 heading to the final frame. The Lions killed a penalty early in the final period with a great deal of work by Peyton Jones, who was tested several times. PSU went on a power play a few minutes later, and then Denis Smirnov was hit from behind into the boards during the adva[...]



Penn State 74, George Washington 54: Lions Cruise To Victory

2017-12-09T18:15:52-05:00

The Nittany Lions led wire to wire in the contest. Penn State went back to the non-conference schedule after taking a two game break to start Big Ten play. After nearly completing the 17-point comeback against Wisconsin, Penn State hosted the George Washington Colonials in the final game of a four game series, renewal yet to be determined. The Nittany Lions started exactly like they have in most games. They opened up a double-digit lead fairly early in the game. However, unlike plenty of other games, this would not be a lead they’d relinquish in any way shape or form. Ten minutes into the game, Penn State was already up 17 points, leading 24-7, and well on their way to dominating the rest of the way. The Colonials aren’t exactly the team that made the tournament a few years ago (or even the one who had a deep NIT run not long ago), but they’re by no means a pushover, having beaten Temple recently, who, as we all know, just beat Wisconsin. To put them away so quickly and soundly is impressive, even if they were expected to win by a comfortable margin. Four Factors Analysis Analysis, here, is being used lightly. The numbers paint a clear picture here, but the game was even clearer. The first 10 minutes of the second half made the numbers a little better for George Washington, but this was a domination from start to finish. Penn Stae’s aggressive approach led to more opportunities at the line for the Colonials, but the substantially better field goal rate more than made up for it, let a lone the second change opportunities the Lions took. Players of the Game Mike Watkins 15 points 12 rebounds 4 blocks 1 assist Josh Reaves 11 points 3 rebounds 3 assists 3 steals .summary, .detail{ box-sizing: border-box; } .summary{ margin: 18px 0; border: 2px solid #160b5a; } .summary:after{ content: ''; display: table; clear: both; } .summary h4{ background-color: #160b5a; color: #fff; text-align: center; padding: 9px 0; clear: both; } .detail{ float: left; text-align: center; color: #160b5a; width: 25%; } @media screen and (max-width: 768px){ .detail{ float: none; width: 100%; } } Mike Watkins and Josh Reaves were a one-two punch for most of the game, doing most of the dirty work as the rest of the cast pitched in as well. Watkins had his second double-double of the season in this game. Random Observations Is it confidence, or a derivative of - When Penn State plays a team they know they’re substantially better than, they play loose, they share the ball, they let the offense do what it’s supposed to. When they don’t think they’re as good as the competition, or rather, when they don’t know if they are, they play tight. This game and the one on Monday are complete opposites of each other. Ironic, as previous, less talented teams, always believed they could compete with anyone. Free throw shooting is still a problem - Penn State went 9-16 from the free throw line today. It didn’t cut it against NC State, and it won't cut it against the rest of the Big Ten. Press State - The Nittany Lions applied pressure all game, which had everything to do with George Washington not reaching double-digits until 4:16 in the first half. The press has worked wonders multiple times when they have needed to come back from deficits. It works even better when they do it all the time. Keep the foot on the gas - Penn State had a 29-point lead at halftime. The Lions played disinterested early in the second, and George Washington was able to cut the lead down to as little as 20. Fortunately, the lead was too large to overcome regardless, and Penn State finally woke up midway into the second half. Looking Ahead Penn State next plays at the other George, Mason. That one will tip off on Sunday, December 17, at 4:00 PM Eastern. Network TBD. [...]



YAY HOOPS: Penn State vs George Washington Open Thread

2017-12-09T15:43:02-05:00

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Penn State meets George Washington for the fourth straight season.

Penn State returns to its nonconference schedule against the George Washington Colonials. The Nittany Lions have taken two out of the four games so far, looking to make it three of four. George Washington has been up and down so far, competing against Kansas State and beating Temple, but also losing to Florida State, Xavier, and Rider.

Penn State should be able to put this game away easily, which is why the line sits at 14 points as of right now. We’ll see if the Lions deliver.

As always, open thread rules apply.