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Old Today, 08:35 PM
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Day -18: Penn State Nittany Lions



Location: State College, Pennsylvania

Nittany Lions: Nittany is the name of a nearby mountain (Mount Nittany), on which lions had once roamed. The term Nittany Lions was first associated with Penn State in 1904 after a senior on a trip to Princeton University was embarrassed by their lack of mascot, so he made up the Nittany Lion.

Introduction: Played their first season in 1887. By 1889 they were a Division I Independent. In 1993 they became the 11th member of the Big Ten, where they remain to this day.

Biggest achievement: Penn State claims two National Titles

1982, an 11-1 season under HoF coach Joe Paterno, they won the Sugar Bowl vs Georgia and finished #1 in the AP Poll. Their only defeat came to Alabama.

1986, 12-0, one of their 6 undefeated seasons (4 coming under Paterno) they won the Fiesta Bowl vs Miami (FL) and finished #1 in the AP Poll.



Biggest failure: Not reporting Jerry Sandusky.

Rivals: Pitt, located around 140 miles apart, the two meet every year from 1935-1992, they didn't meet again until a 4 game series in 1997-2000, and a further 4 game series starting in 2016 which will take them up to 100 meetings. Penn State leads 50–43–4.

Penn State also holds a number of rivalries with Big Ten schools, but being relatively new to the conference they have yet to face any Big Ten opponent more than 50 times. Interestingly their most faced Big Ten opponent is Maryland, who only joined the conference in 2014.

They also hold defunct rivalries with West Virginia and Syracuse who they have faced over 50 times (59 and 71), they last faced WVU in 1992, but do have a 2023 game scheduled.

Mascot: Nittany Lion, a person in a lion costume and a Penn State scarf.

Colours: Blue and White.

Traditions: Nittanyville, the tradition of camping out in front of the stadium in the week leading up to home games in order to get the best seats.

"Success with Honor" .

Uniform, Penn State is known for their very simple uniform design, plane white shorts with either a plane blue (home) or white (road) jersey, along with a white helmet with blue stripe without logo. Until 2012 players did not have their names on the back of their jerseys, but first year HC Bill O'Brien permitted it as a thank you to the players who remained post NCAA sanctions.

"S-Zone", an area in the student section at one end zone where students are given either white or blue shirts to form the letter "S"

"Whiteouts" every person in the stadium (apart from the "S-Zone" wears a white t-shirt).

"We are Penn State", a copy of the "We are Marshall" chant, or in the words of The Rock, "You are...an asshole"

Head coach: James Franklin, former East Stroudsburg (Division II) QB. He started coaching at Kutztown (Division II) as a WR coach. He got his first coordinator job as OC for the Roskilde Kings of the Danish American Football Federation. In 2006 he became OC of Kansas State and in 2008 took the same role at Maryland. In 2011 he got his first HC job at Vanderbilt, in 2014 he left to take the same role at Penn State.

He has an all time record of 49-30, 25–15 at Penn State.

Penn State has 38 All Americans:

Bob Higgins, E, 1919, college football HoF.

Glenn Killinger, B, 1921, college football HoF.

Harry Wilson, B, 1923, college football HoF

Richie Lucas, B, 1959, college football HoF

Glenn Ressler, L, 1964, college football HoF

Ted Kwalick, E, 1968,one time first team All Pro, college football HoF

Dennis Onkotz, LB, 1968 and 1969, college football HoF

Jack Ham, LB, 1970, 6 time first team All Pro, 1975 NFL defensive player of the year, NFL 1970s All Decade, pro and college football HoF

Dave Joyner, OL, 1971, went on to become an orthopedic surgeon and served as the Athletic Director for Penn State.

John Cappelletti, RB, 1973, 1973 Heisman Trophy Winner, number retired by Penn State, college football HoF.

Keith Dorney, OL, 1978, college football HoF

Bruce Clark, DL, 1978 and 1979.

Shane Conlan, LB, 1986, college football HoF

Ki-Jana Carter, RB, 1994, #1 overall selection of the 1995 NFL Draft.

Jeff Hartings, OL, 1995, one time first team All Pro.

Courtney Brown, DL, 1999, #1 overall selection of the 2000 NFL Draft.

Larry Johnson, RB, 2002 one time first team All Pro.

Paul Posluszny, LB, 2005 and 2006.

Other players of note:

Lenny Moore, HB-FL, 5 time first team All Pro, 1950s NFL All Decade, number retired by the Indianapolis Colts, pro football HoF.

Mike Michalske, G-T-LB-BB, 5 time first team All Pro, 1920s NFL All Decade, pro football HoF.

NaVorro Bowman, LB, 4 time first team All Pro.

Steve Wisniewski, G, 2 time first team All Pro, 1990s NFL All Decade.

Mike Munchak, G, 2 time first team All Pro, 1980s NFL All Decade, number retired by Tennessee Titans, pro football HoF.

Stew Barber, 2 time first team All Pro.

Stadium: Beaver Stadium, opened 1959, 106,500 capacity (3rd largest in the world). The stadium was the first to have it's interior on Google Street View.



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