2009 Penn State Nittany Lions football team

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2009 Penn State Nittany Lions football
Capital One Bowl vs LSU, W 19–17
Conference Big Ten Conference
Ranking
Coaches #8
AP #9
2009 record 11–2 (6–2 Big Ten)
Head coach Joe Paterno
Offensive coordinator Galen Hall
Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley
Captain Daryll Clark
Captain Sean Lee
Home stadium Beaver Stadium
(Capacity: 107,282)
Seasons
« 2008 2010 »
2009 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#5/5 Ohio State   7 1         11 2  
#7/7 Iowa   6 2         11 2  
#9/8 Penn State   6 2         11 2  
#16/16 Wisconsin   5 3         10 3  
Northwestern   5 3         8 5  
Michigan State   4 4         6 7  
Purdue   4 4         5 7  
Minnesota   3 5         6 7  
Illinois   2 6         3 9  
Michigan   1 7         5 7  
Indiana   1 7         4 8  
† – BCS representative as conference champion
‡ – BCS at-large representative
Rankings from AP Poll / Coaches' Poll

The 2009 Penn State Nittany Lions football team represented the Pennsylvania State University in the 2009 college football season. The team was coached by Joe Paterno and played its home games in Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania. Penn State had the highest graduation rate among all of the teams on the Associated Press Top 25 poll with 89% of its 2002 enrollees graduating. Miami and Alabama tied for second place with a graduation rate of 75%.[1] The Nittany Lions finished the season with an 11–2 record and won the Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy award to the best team in the ECAC for the 28th time and the second consecutive year.[2]


Previous season[edit]

The 2008 season began with the Nittany Lions ranked #22 in the AP and Coaches preseason polls. The team was ranked as high as #3 in the AP and #2 in the Coaches polls prior to losing to the Iowa Hawkeyes 23–24. Despite the loss, Penn State were Big Ten co-champions with Ohio State and won the automatic BCS Rose Bowl bid due to Penn State winning the head-to-head matchup. After losing the 2009 Rose Bowl to the USC Trojans by two touchdowns, Penn State finished the season ranked #8 in both polls with a final record of 11–2.

Preseason[edit]

In December, backup quarterback Pat Devlin decided to transfer from Penn State and would not play in the Rose Bowl. Devlin appeared in ten games for the Nittany Lions, passing for 459 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.[3] Devlin later committed to Delaware, a Division I FCS school, where he will have two years of eligibility left.[4]

In the Rose Bowl, backup tailback Stephfon Green left the game after sustaining what appeared to be a sprained right ankle. However, tests conducted after the team returned home revealed that Green sustained broken bones in his right leg and ankle and would require surgery to help repair the bones. Green is expected out of action for up to three months and will likely miss all of spring practice.[5]

After the Rose Bowl, defensive line coach Larry Johnson, Sr. interviewed with Illinois head coach Ron Zook to become the Illini's defensive coordinator. While many anticipated Johnson to take the job, in the end Johnson decided to stay at his current position at Penn State.[6][7]

In January, redshirt sophomore defensive end Aaron Maybin announced that he was skipping his final two seasons of eligibility and declared for the 2009 NFL Draft.[8] Junior defensive end Maurice Evans, despite losing his starting position and playing time to Maybin due to a three-game suspension for marijuana possession, also declared for the draft.[9]

In addition to losing Maybin and Evans to early entry, the defense loses its entire starting secondary to graduation.[10] However after redshirting the previous season due to injury, linebacker Sean Lee returns to the line-up for his senior season.

The offensive unit loses three-fifths of the offensive line to graduation including All-American and Rimington Trophy winner A.Q. Shipley. Also lost to graduation are the wide receiver trio of Derrick Williams, Deon Butler and Jordan Norwood, all four-year starters for the team. Paterno and the coaching staff will also need to find backups for returning starting quarterback Daryll Clark after losing backup Devlin to transfer and third-stringer Paul Cianciolo to graduation.[10]

Sean Lee and Daryll Clark were named team co-captains for the 2009 season. Lee also served as a captain the previous season.[11]

Recruiting class[edit]

The Nittany Lions received 27 letters of intent on National Signing Day, February 4, 2009.

Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Mark Arcidiacono
OT
Philadelphia, PA St. Joseph's Prep School 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 285 lb (129 kg) NA Apr 30, 2008 
Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:2/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 78
Justin Brown
WR
Wilmington, DE Concord HS 6 ft 3.5 in (1.92 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 4.48 Feb 4, 2009 
Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 80
Nate Cadogan
OT
Portsmouth, OH Portsmouth HS 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 250 lb (110 kg) 5.00 Jul 11, 2008 
Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 70
Glenn Carson
MLB
Manahawkin, NJ Southern Regional HS 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 4.60 Sep 29, 2008 
Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 78
Curtis Drake
CB
Philadelphia, PA West Philadelphia Catholic HS 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 170 lb (77 kg) 4.68 Jun 11, 2008 
Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:2/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 72
Curtis Dukes
RB
Philadelphia, NY Indian River HS 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 235 lb (107 kg) 4.50 Jul 2, 2008 
Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 77
Brandon Felder
WR
Oxon Hill, MD Oxon Hill HS 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 165 lb (75 kg) 4.50 May 27, 2008 Grayshirt.png
Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 40
Anthony Fera
K
Houston, TX St. Pius X HS 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 230 lb (100 kg) 4.8 Oct 22, 2008 
Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 80
Frank Figueroa
OG
Alexandria, VA Edison HS 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 275 lb (125 kg) 5.2 May 15, 2008 
Scout:2/5 stars   Rivals:2/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 77
Gary Gilliam
TE
Hershey, PA Milton Hershey School 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 245 lb (111 kg) 4.80 Nov 13, 2008 
Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:2/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 40
Darrell Givens
CB
Indian Head, MD Lackey HS 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 178 lb (81 kg) 4.50 May 10, 2008 
Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 82
Adam Gress
OT
West Mifflin, PA West Mifflin Area HS 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 290 lb (130 kg) 5.22 Jul 2, 2008 
Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 76
Jordan Hill
DT
Steelton, PA Steelton-Highspire HS 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 280 lb (130 kg) 4.82 Jan 3, 2009 
Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:2/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 76
Gerald Hodges
WLB
Paulsboro, NJ Paulsboro HS 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 4.55 Dec 12, 2008 
Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 80
Ty Howle
C
Bunn, NC Bunn HS 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 290 lb (130 kg) 5.40 Mar 23, 2008 
Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 79
Shawney Kersey
WR
Woodbury, NJ Woodbury Junior-Senior HS 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 4.45 Jan 17, 2009 
Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 78
Christian Kuntz
WR
Camp Hill, PA Trinity HS 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 4.46 Jul 4, 2008 
Scout:2/5 stars   Rivals:2/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 76
Stephon Morris
CB
Greenbelt, MD Eleanor Roosevelt HS 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 4.40 May 26, 2008 
Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 77
Kevin Newsome
QB
Portsmouth, VA Churchland HS 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 213 lb (97 kg) 4.50 Dec 16, 2008 
Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 80
Stephen Obeng-Agyapong
S
Cheektowaga, NY John F. Kennedy SHS 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 4.50 May 9, 2008 
Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 80
Eric Shrive
OT
Scranton, PA West Scranton HS 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 300 lb (140 kg) 5.10 May 15, 2008 
Scout:5/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 82
Devon Smith
WR
Waldorf, MD Westlake HS 5 ft 7.5 in (1.71 m) 145 lb (66 kg) 4.34 Oct 1, 2008 
Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 77
Sean Stanley
DT
Gaithersburg, MD Gaithersburg HS 6 ft 1.5 in (1.87 m) 247 lb (112 kg) 4.81 May 27, 2008 
Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 78
Derrick Thomas
CB
Greenbelt, MD Eleanor Roosevelt HS 6 ft 0.5 in (1.84 m) 173 lb (78 kg) 4.48 May 12, 2008 
Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 78
John Urschel
OG
Buffalo, NY Canisius HS 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 263 lb (119 kg) 5.18 Jan 17, 2009 
Scout:2/5 stars   Rivals:2/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 40
Michael Wallace
CB
Olney, MD Our Lady Good Counsel HS 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 177 lb (80 kg) 4.65 Feb 3, 2009 
Scout:1/5 stars   Rivals:2/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 73
Malcolm Willis
S
Indian Head, MD Lackey HS 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 4.65 Apr 29, 2008 
Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 74
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 10   Rivals: 25
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

Spring practice[edit]

The annual Blue-White scrimmage at Beaver Stadium was held April 25. The White squad defeated the Blue 21–16 in front of a record crowd of 76,500.

Senior quarterback Daryll Clark was 10 of 13 for 123 yards in limited duty for the Blue team against the first-team defense. True freshman Kevin Newsome led the White offense and finished 9 of 13 for 71 yards and one touchdown. In all, four quarterbacks on the two teams combined to complete 33 of 50 passes for 388 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.

Sophomore running back Brandon Beachum gained a game-high 38 yards on 10 carries. Junior Evan Royster led the Blue with 21 yards on just three carries in limited action.[12][13]

Pre-season awards[edit]

Second-team Phil Steele pre-season All-Big Ten[14]
Second-team Athlon Sports pre-season All-American[15]
First-team Athlon Sports pre-season All-Big Ten[15]
Third-team Phil Steele pre-season All-American[14]
First-team Phil Steele pre-season All-Big Ten[14]
Second-team Sporting News pre-season All-American[16]
First-team Sporting News pre-season All-Big Ten[16]
ESPN.com pre-season All-Big Ten[17]
ESPN.com pre-season All-American[18]
First-team Athlon Sports pre-season All-Big Ten[15]
Third-team Phil Steele pre-season All-Big Ten[14]
ESPN.com pre-season All-Big Ten[17]
Third-team Phil Steele pre-season All-Big Ten[14]
Fourth-team Phil Steele pre-season All-Big Ten[14]
Fourth-team Phil Steele pre-season All-Big Ten[14]
First-team Athlon Sports pre-season All-Big Ten[15]
First-team Phil Steele pre-season All-Big Ten[14]
Second-team Athlon Sports pre-season All-Big Ten[15]
Second-team Phil Steele pre-season All-American[14]
First-team Phil Steele pre-season All-Big Ten[14]
Third-team Athlon Sports pre-season All-American[15]
First-team Athlon Sports pre-season All-Big Ten[15]
Third-team Phil Steele pre-season All-American[14]
First-team Phil Steele pre-season All-Big Ten[14]
Third-team Sporting News pre-season All-American[16]
First-team Sporting News pre-season All-Big Ten[16]
ESPN.com pre-season All-Big Ten[17]
Second-team Athlon Sports pre-season All-American[15]
First-team Athlon Sports pre-season All-Big Ten[15]
Second-team Phil Steele pre-season All-American[14]
First-team Phil Steele pre-season All-Big Ten[14]
Second-team Sporting News pre-season All-American[16]
First-team Sporting News pre-season All-Big Ten[16]
ESPN.com pre-season All-Big Ten[17]
Fourth-team Phil Steele pre-season All-Big Ten[14]
Third-team Athlon Sports pre-season All-American[15]
First-team Athlon Sports pre-season All-Big Ten[15]
First-team Phil Steele pre-season All-Big Ten[14]
Second-team Sporting News pre-season All-American[16]
First-team Sporting News pre-season All-Big Ten[16]
ESPN.com pre-season All-Big Ten[17]

Schedule[edit]

Penn State does not play Big Ten teams Purdue and Wisconsin this year.

Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 5 12:00 PM[19] Akron[20]* #8 Beaver StadiumUniversity Park, PA BTN[19] W 31–7   104,968
September 12 12:00 PM[19] Syracuse* #5 Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA BTN[19] W 28–7   106,387
September 19 12:00 PM[19] Temple* #5 Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA BTN[19] W 31–6   105,514
September 26 8:00 PM[21] Iowa #4 Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA ABC[21] L 10–21   109,316
October 3 3:30 PM[22] at Illinois #13 Memorial StadiumChampaign, IL ABC/ESPN2[22] W 35–17   62,870
October 10 12:00 PM[23] Eastern Illinois* #12 Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA ESPNC[23] W 52–3   104,488
October 17 3:30 PM[24] Minnesotadagger #13 Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA (Governor's Victory Bell) ABC/ESPN[24] W 20–0   107,981
October 24 3:30 PM[25] at Michigan #11 Michigan StadiumAnn Arbor, MI ABC/ESPN[25] W 35–10   110,377
October 31 4:30 PM[21] at Northwestern #10 Ryan FieldEvanston, IL ESPN W 34–13   30,546
November 7 3:30 PM #12 Ohio State #10 Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA (Rivalry) ABC/ESPN2 L 7–24   110,033
November 14 12:00 PM Indiana #17 Beaver Stadium • University Park, PA BTN W 31–20   107,379
November 21 3:30 PM at Michigan State #12 Spartan StadiumEast Lansing, MI (Land Grant Trophy) ABC/ESPN W 42–14   73,771
January 1 1:00 PM vs. #15 LSU* #11 Citrus BowlOrlando, FL (2010 Capital One Bowl) ABC W 19–17   63,025
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Eastern Time.

Coaching staff[edit]

Regular season[edit]

September 5: Akron[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Akron 0 0 7 0 7
#8 Penn State 14 17 0 0 31

The Penn State defense did not give up a first down to the Zips in the first half as the Nittany Lions won 31–7. This game was not as close as the score. Backup linemen on both sides of the ball were slowly blended in during the second half while the key starters remained in until midway through the fourth quarter.

Tailback Evan Royster opened the scoring on a 5-yard run on Penn State's first drive of the game. Chaz Powell later extended Penn State's lead to 14–0 with an 8-yard reception, his first career touchdown reception. Derek Moye led all receivers with six receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown. Graham Zug also caught a touchdown, and the Nittany Lions rolled to a 31–0 halftime lead and still won comfortably despite not scoring in the second half for the first time since a 13–3 loss at Wisconsin in 2006. Akron finished the game with 8 first downs and one touchdown late in the third quarter against a mix of backups and starters. Backup quarterback Kevin Newsome played in the final series along with other reserves and led the Nittany Lions down to the Akron 4-yard line.

The Penn State offense lines up against the Akron defense

Akron got its only points on a 40-yard pass to Deryn Bowser in the third quarter. Defensively, Penn State allowed eight net yards in the first half and 186 yards for the game. The Nittany Lions recorded 13 tackles for loss including four sacks. Safety Andrew Dailey snagged his first career interception, and senior linebacker Sean Lee made seven tackles including two for negative yardage in his first action in 18 months. Junior linebacker Navorro Bowman left the game early with an injury, and his replacement, sophomore Nate Stupar made 12 tackles with a sack. Akron had just 28 rushing yards, which would be the fewest allowed by Penn State all year.

Senior quarterback Daryll Clark set career highs, going 29 of 40 for 353 yards. His 254 yards passing in the first half were a school record.[26][27] For his efforts, Clark was named the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week.[28]


September 12: Syracuse[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Syracuse 0 0 0 7 7
#5 Penn State 7 7 7 7 28

Penn State won their second game of the year in a 28–7 win over Syracuse. Penn State scored early in the first quarter to go up 7–0 with a Daryll Clark pass to Evan Royster. Penn State nearly scored again early in the second quarter when faced with a 4th and 1, but Clark fumbled the snap to give Syracuse the ball near the goal line. Penn State would score on their next drive to go up 14–0 from a 12-yard run from Evan Royster, which would hold at halftime as Syracuse missed a long field goal. Penn State scored again late in the third quarter. Syracuse attempted to convert a 4th down with a pass, but it was dropped, preserving Penn State's 21–0 lead early in the 4th. Penn State scored once again midway through the 4th with a play action pass to Mickey Shuler to take a 28–0 lead. After getting the ball back, backup Kevin Newsome was subbed in along with other second string players, but a Newsome fumble gave Syracuse the ball with good field position, and they scored their only points against the Penn State second string defense in their only series of the game. Penn State recovered the onside kick attempt and ran out the clock with the backups still in. Matt McGloin also took a few snaps in his first college game, handing off to Brent Carter and Brandon Beachum.

Daryll Clark passed for 240 yards in a heavily pass-oriented game as Penn State only had 78 yards on the ground, 41 of those from Royster.


September 19: Temple[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Temple 3 0 3 0 6
#5 Penn State 7 14 3 7 31

Despite several key players being sick with the flu, the Nittany Lions won convincingly over their in-state rivals, with the 25 point difference being their biggest of the season to this point. Temple became not only the first team to score twice on Penn State this season, but also the first team to not score a touchdown, continuing Penn State's streak of games versus Temple where the Owls scored no touchdowns dating back to 2003. Penn State managed a more balanced passing and running attack than in their previous two games.

Temple out-passed Penn State 205–173, but the Nittany Lions' defense didn't give up any big plays. The defense allowed only 46 yards rushing while Penn State had 186—their highest so far this season. Penn State had a 7–3 lead after one quarter, but Temple recovered an onside kick, changing the momentum of the game momentarily. Penn State's defense forced a three-and-out and the Nittany Lions coasted to a 21–3 halftime lead. Both teams scored a field goal in the third quarter, and Penn State scored a touchdown to bring the final score to 31–6.


September 26: Iowa[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Iowa 0 5 0 16 21
#4 Penn State 10 0 0 0 10

Penn State raced out to a quick 10–0 lead, but Iowa made some key adjustments that prevented Penn State from scoring for the rest of the game. The rain also played a factor in Penn State's inability to continue their pass-heavy gameplan from their first three games. Although Penn State controlled the first quarter, Iowa controlled the second (partly aided by Nittany Lion penalties). Iowa scored a safety with a sack of Darryl Clark in the end zone following a punt downed at the 6, and then scored a field goal, but missed a field goal right before halftime after a roughing the kicker penalty negated a three and out. Neither team would score in an equally controlled third quarter that had a slight edge in Penn State's favor, with Collin Wagner missing a 48 yard attempt for Penn State but the momentum soon changed.

Iowa's offense lines up against the Penn State defense

Penn State had to punt, and was clinging to a 10–5 lead early in the 4th, Iowa then blocked a punt and ran it back for a touchdown. Iowa's 2 point attempt failed, but they led by one point. With the momentum changed, Penn State's drive down the field ended in an interception. With the momentum on their side, the Hawkeyes drove down the field to increase the lead to 10–18. Penn State drove down the field following a huge kickoff return for a game tying touchdown, but in the red zone, Evan Royster fumbled. The Hawkeyes recovered, and with 12 seconds left, kicked a field goal to prevent Penn State from winning in the final seconds from a possible Hail Mary and 2-point conversion. The final play of the game was a handoff to Royster. After the game, both teams found themselves ranked in similar positions, with the Hawkeyes 13/17 and Penn State 15/13 in ranking. Iowa was ranked #21 initially but after a close game with FCS Northern Iowa, they were unranked until upsetting Penn State. After the game, many Penn State fans expressed frustration over what they felt was the second consecutive year of "dominating Iowa for three quarters before losing", even though despite the longstanding lead, they only dominated the first 17 minutes of the game and a portion of the third quarter.


October 3: @ Illinois[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
#13 Penn State 0 7 7 21 35
Illinois 0 3 0 14 17

In a game not as close as the score, Stephon Green and Evan Royster combined for 225 yards rushing as Penn State's rushing offense pounded away at the Illinois defense, running for a total of 338 yards and scoring all five of its offensive touchdowns on the ground. Green and Royster each scored a touchdown. In a slow first half, Illinois outgained Penn State 222–165 in the first half, despite this, Penn State held a 7–3 lead at halftime. The second half was a different story, as Penn State held the ball for 12:04 in the third quarter and outgained Illinois 208–8 in the quarter alone, Penn State scored a touchdown midway through the quarter, and would score another on the second play of the fourth. Penn State scored once again in the fourth, increasing the lead to 28–3. By that time the Illini had only 16 yards and no first downs in the second half, but with the backups starting to be subbed in, Illinois was on the move, and scored a touchdown midway through the fourth. Penn State answered with a touchdown of their own following an interception, with the second string offense subbed in, scoring on a 12-yard rush by backup Brent Carter on a pitch from backup quarterback Kevin Newsome that went for a touchdown to give Penn State their most points scored all year and a 35–10 lead. Illinois scored a touchdown with a Juice Williams keeper with 42 seconds left against the second and third string defense. Penn State recovered the onside kick and Kevin Newsome ran for a first down to run out the clock.

Quarterback Daryll Clark was of 25 for 175 yards, and also ran for 83 yards and two touchdowns, both in the second half of the game.

Defensively for Penn State, Josh Hull made 11 tackles, including one for a loss. Eric Latimore, Jack Crawford, and Sean Stanley were credited with a sack each. Stanley also forced a fumble that Jared Odrick recovered. Stephon Morris also snagged his first career interception at the end of the first half to prevent an Illini score, that was nearly ran back for a touchdown. The first string defense also only allowed 16 second half Illini yards on three drives in the third and fourth quarter.

Third-string tailback Brent Carter scored his first career touchdown late in the fourth quarter to give Penn State its first touchdown from reserves this year.


October 10: Eastern Illinois[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Eastern Illinois 0 0 3 0 3
#12 Penn State 10 28 7 7 52

Starting quarterback Daryll Clark scored the first points of the game on a 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Colin Wagner added a chipshot field goal to extend the lead to 10–0. In the second quarter, Brett Brackett scored on a two yard strike from Clark. Chaz Powell and Derek Moye also caught touchdown passes.

Eastern Illinois got its only points of the game on a field goal partway into the third quarter, but squandering two chances in the second. Stephon Green then extended the Penn State lead to 45–3 with a 26-yard touchdown run. Backup quarterback Kevin Newsome (who was 4/5 for 34 yards) scored his first career touchdown early in the fourth on a 9-yard run to make the score official. It was 52–3 after the score, Newsome would lead Penn State into the red zone again, but this time the result was a failed 4th down conversion rather than the field goal attempt. Matt McGloin also played in his second game this year and attempted his first career passes.

Daryll Clark stretches for the first touchdown of the game.

Many backups saw action for both teams. Penn State punted only twice throughout the game, both times were in the second half with backups in. Regardless, Penn State still won by their most lopsided score of the year.

Defensively for Penn State, Josh Hull had 11 tackles. A.J. Wallace also snagged an interception. Ollie Ogbu forced the fumble returned by NaVorro Bowman for a touchdown before the half, the first defensive touchdown for Penn State this year to already give them their most points all year at 38.


October 17: Minnesota[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0
#13 Penn State 3 10 7 0 20

Penn State improved their overall record over Minnesota to 7–4 and held onto the Governor's Victory Bell once again. This was Tim Brewster's first game against the Nittany Lions, who did not play Minnesota in 2007 and 2008. Penn State scored two field goals early on and scored a touchdown on a pass that was initially called an incompletion but reviewed as a touchdown. Scoring one more touchdown in the third quarter, Penn State cruised to their first shutout since 2007 at Temple, where they won 31–0. Penn State's offense and defense dominated much more than what was reflected on the scoreboard, however. Minnesota had only 7 first downs and 138 total yards, most of which came from a long drive that went for no points due to a failed 4th down conversion on a 4th quarter goal line stand. At the end of the game, backup QB Kevin Newsome handed off a few times to kill the clock.

Penn State held the ball for 42 minutes of the game, their best since 1991. Penn State also had nearly 500 yards of offense in this game. In contrast, Minnesota had just 7 first downs, 138 yards of offense, 101 yards passing, and 37 yards rushing, their lowest in years. Collin Wagner made two field goals, but missed two more. Despite this, Adam Weber was only sacked once, escaping two more, and Clark was not sacked the entire game. This was also the first time Penn State shut out Minnesota, the previous best was 3 points in 1994, when Penn State won 56–3 on their quest to their first Big Ten championship, finishing 12–0 (8–0) and ranked #2.


October 24: @ Michigan[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
#11 Penn State 10 9 13 3 35
Michigan 7 3 0 0 10

Penn State defeated Michigan in Ann Arbor for the first time since 1996, currently holding a two-game winning streak over the Wolverines. Daryll Clark threw for 230 yards and four touchdowns, three to wide receiver Graham Zug and a 61-yard pass to tight end Andrew Quarless. Clark became the Nittany Lions' all-time leader in touchdowns. The defense forced four turnovers, two interceptions, one by Navorro Bowman and one by Drew Astorino and two fumble recoveries. Evan Royster also had over 100 yards rushing.

To start the game, Michigan drove down the field 70 yards and took a 7–0 lead, but Penn State responded and tied it up, then kicked a field goal late in the quarter. After a Penn State punt, a bad snap in the end zone led to a safety, and Penn State scored another touchdown to go up 19–7. Michigan managed a field goal right before halftime. Penn State scored two touchdowns (missing a two-point conversion the first time) in five minutes in the third quarter, then seemed to take their foot off the gas. At one point, Michigan blocked a Jeremy Boone punt, but they were unable to cash in, as Penn State's defense forced a fumble and got the ball back. A long drive, aided by a roughing the punter penalty, ended with Penn State's final points, a field goal. Michigan's final drive went deep into Penn State territory but was intercepted and returned to midfield.


October 31: @ Northwestern[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
#10 Penn State 3 7 3 21 34
Northwestern 3 10 0 0 13

Penn State mounted a second half comeback after trailing the Wildcats 10–13 at halftime and being tied 13–13 going into the 4th. Three touchdowns in less than four minutes in the 4th quarter enabled the Nittany Lions to pull away with two of the touchdowns happening on the first play from scrimmage in each drive.


November 7: Ohio State[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
#12 Ohio State 7 3 7 7 24
#10 Penn State 0 7 0 0 7

Ohio State became the first team to score at least once in every quarter on Penn State this year, scoring a touchdown in three quarters, and a field goal in one. In what was a defensive battle for most of the game, called "Rope-A-Dope" football by the announcers, Ohio State pulled away late to win thanks to special teams. Despite the apparent laugher on the scoreboard, Ohio State only had 15 first downs and went 6–16 on third down, with their four scoring drives totalling only 178 yards. Penn State's defense also forced a sack on Pryor (recorded officially as a tackle for loss, although this "tackle for loss" happened during a pass play), but did not force any key fumbles, although Ohio State forced an interception after Penn State got good field position to attempt a comeback from 24–7 midway through the 4th quarter.


November 14: Indiana[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Indiana 10 0 0 10 20
#17 Penn State 0 10 7 14 31

After a slow start and quick 10–0 lead from Indiana, Penn State scored 10 points right before halftime to tie it up, then a pick six as Indiana was driving downfield put the Nittany Lions on top. They would score early in the 4th and then score once more late in the game following a Hoosiers field goal. Indiana would then score very late to make the final score respectable.


November 21: @ Michigan State[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
#12 Penn State 0 7 28 7 42
Michigan State 0 7 0 7 14

Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark passed for 310 yards and four touchdowns against Michigan State. He set a school record with 23 touchdown passes on the season and set the Penn State career record with 42.[29] Running back Evan Royster gained 114 yards on 13 carries. Graham Zug and Andrew Quarless caught two TD passes each.

The teams were tied 7–7 at halftime before Penn State jumped to a 14–7 lead just over a minute into the second half with the help of a trick play: Wide receiver Curtis Drake threw a halfback option to Quarless for a 14-yard touchdown. Later in the third quarter, Clark connected with running back Joe Suhey on a 30-yard touchdown pass. Penn State safety Nick Sukay intercepted a Kirk Cousins pass on the next series, setting up the Nittany Lions at the Michigan State 32. Clark hit Zug in the endzone on the very next play, giving Penn State a 28–7 lead with 5:22 left in the third quarter.

The Nittany Lions would score two more touchdowns. The final one was Kevin Newsome's second career touchdown as both Newsome and Matthew McGloin had some playing time. and give up one on their way to a 42–14 victory, thus securing the Land Grant Trophy for another year and back-to-back 10-win seasons.[29] Clark and linebacker Navorro Bowman were named Big Ten Co-offensive and Co-Defensive Players of the Week, respectively.[30] This was Penn State's biggest win ever in East Lansing.


January 1 vs. LSU[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
#11 Penn State 7 6 3 3 19
#15 LSU 0 3 7 7 17

Penn State coach Joe Paterno got his record 24th bowl win and handed Les Miles his first loss in five bowls as LSU coach. A driving rainstorm turned the field into a mud bowl. Bad footing and dropped passes were normal in the first half, and PSU fumbled the snap exchange twice though both were recovered by the offense. Quarterback Daryll Clark finished the game with 216 yards passing and one touchdown pass. LSU signal caller Jordan Jefferson threw for 202 yards and a TD pass, however the Tigers were held to just 41 total yards rushing. Collin Wagner's 21-yard field goal with 57 seconds left sealed the victory for the Nittany Lions.

Joe Paterno picked up his 24th career bowl victory, extending his own NCAA record. The Nittany Lions have won four of their last five bowl games. The field took another pounding after poor conditions hampered the Champs Sports Bowl earlier in the week on the same turf. Eight state high school championship games were also played at the stadium in recent weeks, but the turf was replaced immediately after the high school championships, about three weeks before the Champs Sports Bowl. The grounds crew worked frantically all week in an attempt to get the field in shape for the game.


Rankings[edit]


Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
NR = Not ranked. RV = Received votes. ( ) = First place votes.
Week
Poll Pre 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Final 
AP 9 7 5 5 15 14 14 13 12 11 19 13 12 10 11 9 
Coaches' 8 5 5 4 13 12 13 11 10 10 17 12 11 9 9 8 
Harris Not released 12 13 13 11 10 10 17 12 11 9 9 Not released 
BCS Not released 13 12 11 18 14 13 11 13 Not released


Awards[edit]

Watchlists[edit]

Players[edit]

  • Jesse Alfreno
Academic All-Big Ten[43]
Academic All-Big Ten[43]
  • Brandon Beachum
Academic All-Big Ten[43]
Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week (Oct. 3)[45]
ESPN The Magazine CoSIDA Academic All-District[46]
Second-team All-Big Ten[47]
Academic All-Big Ten[43]
Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week (Nov. 14)[48]
Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week (Nov. 21)[30]
First-team All-Big Ten[47]
ESPN.com All-Big Ten[49]
CBSSports.com second-team All-American[50]
Sporting News second-team All-American[51]
Rivals.com second-team All-American[52]
Sports Illustrated second-team All-American[53]
Phil Steele's College Football second-team All-American[53]
Associated Press third-team All-American[54]
College Football News third-team All-American[55]
Pro Football Weekly honorable mention All-American[55]
Academic All-Big Ten[43]
Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week (Sept. 5)[28]
Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week (Sept. 24)[56]
Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week (Nov. 21)[30]
First-team All-Big Ten[47]
ESPN.com All-Big Ten[49]
Chicago Tribune Silver Football (Big Ten MVP), co-winner[57]
Pro Football Weekly honorable mention All-American[55]
ECAC Player of the Year[58]
  • Chris Colasanti
Academic All-Big Ten[43]
ESPN The Magazine CoSIDA Academic All-District[46]
Second-team All-Big Ten (media)[47]
First-team ESPN The Magazine CoSIDA Academic All-America[59]
Academic All-Big Ten[43]
First-team All-Big Ten (coaches)[47]
Associated Press third-team All-American[54]
  • Kevion Latham
Academic All-Big Ten[43]
Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week (Sept. 19)[60]
Second-team All-Big Ten[47]
Big Ten Sportsmanship Award[47]
Academic All-Big Ten[43]
Pro Football Weekly honorable mention All-American[55]
  • Shelton McCullough[61]
Academic All-Big Ten[43]
First-team All-Big Ten (coaches)[47]
Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year (coaches)[47]
Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year (coaches)[47]
ESPN.com All-Big Ten[49]
AFCA All-American[62]
CBSSports.com All-American[50]
Associated Press second-team All-American[54]
Rivals.com second-team All-American[52]
Phil Steele's College Football second-team All-American[53]
Sporting News third-team All-American[51]
Pro Football Weekly honorable mention All-American[55]
  • Andrew Pitz
ESPN The Magazine CoSIDA Academic All-District[46]
First-team ESPN The Magazine CoSIDA Academic All-America[59]
Academic All-Big Ten[43]
First-team All-Big Ten[47]
ESPN.com All-Big Ten[49]
Academic All-Big Ten[43]
  • Matthew Stankiewitch
Academic All-Big Ten[43]
Academic All-Big Ten[43]
ESPN The Magazine CoSIDA Academic All-District[46]
First-team All-Big Ten[47]
First-team ESPN The Magazine CoSIDA Academic All-America[59]
Academic All-Big Ten[43]
ESPN.com All-Big Ten[49]
College Football News third-team All-American[55]
Pro Football Weekly honorable mention All-American[55]

Other awards[edit]

2009 Lambert Trophy winner[58]

Post season[edit]

Penn State finished the season ranked number 9 in the final AP poll and number 8 in the final Coaches poll, earning Penn State its 23rd Top 10 finish under Joe Paterno. It's the 35th final top 25 ranking under Paterno.[64]

Following the Capital One Bowl, linebacker Navorro Bowman announced he would skip his final season of eligibility and declared for the 2010 NFL Draft.[65]

Four players were initially invited to the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine, held February 24 to March 2 in Indianapolis, Indiana: Jared Odrick, Sean Lee, Daryll Clark, and Andrew Quarless.[66] Navorro Bowman and Josh Hull were added to the list of combine invitations on January 29.[67]

All-star games[edit]

Game Date Site Players
85th East-West Shrine Game January 23, 2010 Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium,
Orlando, Florida
Jeremy Boone[68]
Andrew Quarless[68]
Daryll Clark[69]
61st Senior Bowl January 30, 2010 Ladd Peebles Stadium
Mobile, Alabama
Sean Lee*
Jared Odrick[70]
4th Annual Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Challenge February 6, 2010 Sun Bowl Stadium
El Paso, Texas
Josh Hull[71]
Dennis Landolt[71]
A.J. Wallace[71]
* Sean Lee was invited to play in the Senior Bowl but declined.[72][73]

NFL Draft[edit]

Round Pick Overall Name Position Team
1st 28 28 Jared Odrick Defensive tackle Miami Dolphins[74]
2nd 22 55 Sean Lee Linebacker Dallas Cowboys[75]
3rd 27 91 Navorro Bowman Linebacker San Francisco 49ers[75]
5th 22 154 Andrew Quarless Tight End Green Bay Packers[76]
7th 7 214 Mickey Shuler Tight End Minnesota Vikings[77]
7th 46 254 Josh Hull Linebacker St. Louis Rams[78]

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