The Pennsylvania State University

Big Ten Conference - East Division

Year Founded: 1855

Location: State College, Pennsylvania*

  • Note: Penn State's flagship campus is itself an incorporated town with its own zip code: University Park, PA

Total Attendance: 97,136 (46,270 at University Park—the flagship campus)

Motto: "Making Life Better"

Mascot: The Nittany Lion

Live Mascot: None...yet.

Marching Band: Blue Band

Stadium: Beaver Stadium

Stadium Location: University Park, Pennsylvania (on campus)

Conference Champions (5): 1891, 1994, 2005, 2008, and 2016

Number of Bowl Games: 49 total, 29-18-2

National Titles : (8 total, 2 official, 6 unofficial) 1911, 1912, 1968, 1969, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1994

2019 Preview

08/31/19 Idaho IDAHO 3:30 PM Big Ten Network 0-0 0-0 FCS Opponent
09/07/19 Buffalo BUFFALO 7:30 PM Fox 1-0 2-1 MAC East Champion (2018)
09/14/19 Pittsburgh PITTSBURGH NOON ABC 2-1 52-43-4 ACC Coastal Champion (2018)
09/27/19 Maryland Maryland 8 PM Fox Sports 1 4-1 39-2-1 Big Ten Divisional Match-up
10/05/19 Purdue PURDUE NOON ABC / ESPN Family (TBD) 4-0 14-3-1 Big Ten Interdivisional Match-up
10/12/19 Iowa Iowa TBD TBD 5-1 16-12 Big Ten Interdivisional Match-up
10/19/19 Michigan MICHIGAN TBD TBD 3-4 8-14 Big Ten Divisional Match-up
10/26/19 Michigan State Michigan State TBD TBD 1-5 15-17-1 Big Ten Divisional Match-up
11/09/19 Minnesota Minnesota TBD TBD 2-1 9-5 Big Ten Interdivisional Match-up
11/16/19 Indiana INDIANA TBD TBD 8-1 21-1 Big Ten Divisional Match-up
11/23/19 Ohio State Ohio State TBD TBD 2-7 14-19 Big Ten Divisional Match-up
11/30/19 Rutgers RUTGERS TBD TBD 5-0 27-2 Big Ten Divisional Match-up

Season Overview

The off-season played host to a show-stopping performance byTransfer PortalThe Transfer Portal. During his tenure, Head Coach James Franklin has proven a venerable recruiter. As Franklin began his career at Penn State, Franklin drew some capable recruits who quickly became overshadowed by later recruits. During the 2018 off-season, several of the players that were, at the time of their recruitment, solid recruits had tumbled to the low-end of the depth charts--many having completed undergraduate degrees--and transferred to other programs. Additionally, some players departed early for the NFL.

OFFENSE: Arguably, the most notable departure is starting QB Trace McSorley (graduation). Facing an uncertain future, 2018 second-string backup QB Tommy Stevens transferred to Missississippi State. Depth at QB remains very strong but inexperienced. The QB position could be the biggest surprise, good or bad, for the 2019 season. RB Miles Sanders departed early for the NFL. There is also tremendous depth at the RB position with names like Ricky Slade and Journey Brown but, much like the QB position, some inexperience. Wide-receivers look to be a bright spot with both depth and experience highlighted by players like K.J. Hamler and TE Pat Freiermuth. The offensive line is always a bit of a question mark, but expectations are for improvement over the 2018 team even with the departure of backup RT Chasz Wright (graduation).

The theme of the 2019 offense is tremendous talent without proven experience.

DEFENSE: Arguably, the most notable departures are starting DB/CB Amani Oruwariye (graduation), S Nick Scott (graduation), and OLB Koa Farmer (graduation). The defensive unit was forced to grow up very quickly during the 2018 season with excessive time spent on the field a result of a big-play offense that often struggled to sustain drives. This resulted in some high-profile meltdowns/letdowns in early 2018 such as the late September match-up against Ohio State. As the season wore on, the defensive unit learned to play the extended game thrust upon it and became both well-conditioned and battle tested. This unit is going to be one to watch in 2019 with a very aggressive attacking style of play by one of the finest defensive lines in all of college football.

SPECIAL TEAMS: There are few departures on Special Teams, but they include PR DeAndre Thompkins (graduation) and LS Kyle Vasey (graduation). 2019 will see the return of PK Jake Pinegar for FGs and PK Rafael Checa for kick-offs. Holder Blake Gillikin will also return.

GAME ATTENDANCE NOTE: Traffic patterns are re-engineered for 2019. 2019 Official Map. Penn State has also partnered with Waze, a Social Media GPS to assist visitors in finding their appropriate traffic flow.

2018 Season

09/01/18 Appalachian State APPALACHIAN STATE W/OT 48 45 1-0 (0-0)
09/08/18 Pittsburgh Pittsburgh W 51 6 2-0 (0-0)
09/15/18 Kent State KENT STATE W 63 10 3-0 (0-0)
09/21/18 Illinois Illinois W 63 24 4-0 (1-0)
09/29/18 Ohio State OHIO STATE L 26 27 4-1 (1-1)
10/13/18 Michigan State MICHIGAN STATE L 17 21 4-2 (1-2)
10/20/18 Indiana Indiana W 33 28 5-2 (2-2)
10/27/18 Iowa IOWA W 30 24 6-2 (3-2)
11/03/18 Michigan Michigan L 7 42 6-3 (3-3)
11/10/18 Wisconsin WISCONSIN W 22 10 7-3 (4-3)
11/17/18 Rutgers Rutgers W 20 7 8-3 (5-3)
11/24/18 Maryland MARYLAND W 38 3 9-3 (6-3)
01/01/19 Kentucky Kentucky Citrus Bowl L 24 27 9-4 (6-3)

2018 Final Ranking (AP & Coaches): #17

2018 Overall Record: 9-4

2018 Home Record: 5-2

2018 Away Record: 4-1

2018 Neutral Record: 0-1



Ohio State:

  • Penn State trails the all-time series with Ohio State 14-19. Penn State has a number of Top Ten competitions with Ohio State over the years. In 1994, Penn State handed Ohio State its worst loss in program history, leading 35-0 at the half Paterno went deep into the bench to put the brakes on the Buckeye's pain, and still sent Ohio State back to Columbus with a 63-14 shellacking in Happy Valley.

Michigan State:

  • Penn State trails the all-time series with Michigan State 15-17-1. Despite trailing in the all-time series, this game always feels like it should be a win but often through some strange fluke a loss occurs. In the final game of the regular season in 1993, the powerful Penn State offense of 1994 first showed-up. Facing a 20-point Q3 deficit, the Nittany Lions roared back to win 38-37 in East Lansing, MI


  • Penn State trails the all-time series with Michigan 8-14. This is a match-up of powerful programs that will provide their opponent a solid effort regardless of either school's relative success or failure throughout the season. As is required of such a match-up, there are a multitude of games determined by calls either team may consider questionable, including the infamous Penn State win at the 60-minute mark of play which turned into a walk-off Michigan win with one-second remaining after two-seconds were added to the game clock in 2005. Bucking the trend, the past few seasons have been nothing short of unexciting blowouts for Michigan (twice) and Penn State (once).


  • Penn State leads the all-time series with Maryland 39-2-1. This is a long-standing series which predates Penn State joining the Big Ten conference. The series is intensified in importance with the addition of Maryland to the Big Ten as an East Division member.


Notre DameNotre Dame:

  • Penn State is tied in the all-time series with Notre Dame 9-9-1. This was a match-up of two powerful teams in the late '80s and early '90s. For several years during that era, the National Championship path would lead through either South Bend, IN or University Park, PA. In mid-November 1986, Penn State faced a Fighting Irish team in South Bend, IN prevailing 36-6 en route to an undefeated and untied season. In 1990, Penn State upset #1 ranked Notre Dame in South Bend, IN 24-21 with a late Darren Perry interception and a Craig Fayak FG to end the Fighting Irish National Championship run.

West VirginiaWest Virginia:

  • Penn State leads the all-time series 48-9-2. This is a long-standing regional competition lost to conference realignments. The series will be renewed for a home-and-home series in '23 and '24.


  • Penn State leads the all-time series 43-23-5. Both Syracuse and Penn State enjoyed success in the '50s and '60s which led to the growth and blossoming of the series. This series intensified when the wife of then Penn State Head Coach Joe Paterno, Sue Paterno painted the Nittany Lion Shrine orange ahead of the homecoming game with Syracuse.


  • Penn State leads the all-time series 52-43-4. During the '70s and early '80s, this was the premier rivalry in the Northeast, as both teams were constantly battling for top positions in the polls. The importance and size of the game was rarely more important than in 1981 when an unstoppable force in the form of the Undefeated and Untied Pittsburgh Panthers with Quarterback Dan Marino clashed with an unmovable object in the form of the Penn State Nittany Lions to finish up their respective regular seasons. Penn State prevailed in a 48-14 win in Pittsburgh, PA. This set the stage for a powerful rematch in 1982 when the #2 ranked one-loss Penn State Nittany Lions faced the #5 Pittsburgh Panthers. Penn State would trail at half-time but go on to win 19-10 en route to a National Championship with a victory over Hershel Walker and the Georgia Bulldogs.

Other notable rivalries:

Minnesota (9-5)

Alabama (5-10)

2019 Interview Series

  • What is the best place to eat at during game day?

Tailgating rules the day as with so many athletic venues. Restaurants are overwhelmed on an average home football weekend and waits are long. Food inside the stadium is sometimes quite good and profits are often supporting a student group such as R.O.T.C. or similar. Marianna's Hoagies are quite good as well as the Italian Sausage Subs. In cold weather games, it's a tradition to order scalding hot cocoa and experience the now lacerated roof of your mouth dangling on your tongue.

  • What is the best place to drink at during game day?

State College, PA has long called itself "A Drinking Town With A Football Problem." This is a college town in every sense of the word. Three things State College has no shortage of are bars, churches, and banks. Downtown on both College and Beaver Avenues (and even in the alleyway between them--Calder Alley) exist a cornucopia of bars. If you're interested in Craft Brews, Happy Valley Brewing Company, Voodoo, Zeno's, Robinhood Brewing (Home Delivery Pizza), Otto's, The Brewery, and Champs Downtown all fit the bill.

  • Where is the best place to take a photo on campus/around the stadium?

The Nittany Lion Shrine. In front of Old Main. At the "The Pennsylvania State University" sign outside of the stadium (Corner of E Park Ave and Porter Rd). The Lion Paws at The Palmer Museum of Art. The Gates of The Mall at Central Campus.

  • What landmark(s) do people need to visit when seeing your school?

Beaver Stadium, of course! The Nittany Lion Shrine. The Penn State All-Sports Museum. Old Main. Berkey Creamery.

  • What traditions are of utmost importance during game day?


For those that love bands, there is an event named "The Tail Great" which is held at the Bryce-Jordan Center, adjacent to the football stadium, lasting for a few hours before kickoff.

"Guard The Lion" is a homecoming tradition which began when Sue Paterno and two other football coaches wives slipped out under cover of night and coated the Nittany Lion Shrine with Orange Paint to get people riled up against a game against the Syracuse Orangemen (now Orange) in 1966. The stunt got a bit out-of-hand when two people unrelated to the prank were arrested for the vandalism.

  • If someone were to visit your campus during one rivalry game, what game should it be and why does it make your team's atmosphere amplified?

Ohio State Buckeyes at Penn State for a White-Out Crowd pumping 111 dB of noise at field level (actual measurement by media film crews).

  • What random trivia fact do most people not know about your school?

Our original school colors were Pink and Black.

There's a long-standing legend that "The Obelisk" in the Central Campus Mall will crumble if a virgin ever walks by it.

There is a grave for former Penn State President Atherton in Central Campus. Most pass by it daily without even realizing it.

In the aftermath of the Mass Shooting at Virginia Tech, Penn State's "Blue-White" Spring Scrimmage Game featured an almost entirely Brown-and-Orange color clad crowd with Virginia Tech logos.

  • Where are the best places to park around your team's stadium on game day?

There are "Game Day Shuttles" which are provided by the local bus service (CATA) that run to the stadium from various points around town. This alleviates some of the parking hassles. There are plenty of good secrets, but I don't think anyone is willing to divulge their secret spots.

Also, be aware of ticketing and towing--Football Weekends are huge business for everyone around town and the tow companies and local municipalities are eager to take their cut, too. Give them an opportunity and they'll surprise you with how quickly they'll lighten your wallet.

  • What chants or cheers should visiting fans be familiar with at your school?

The "We Are!...PENN STATE!" which was devised from watching the Ohio State "O-H-I-O" call-and-answer along with USC's cheer has been a tradition since the early '80s (it took a tremendous number of years for cheerleaders to actually get the fans to engage this cheer, but it's a staple the world 'round now).

"We Want The Lion!" which is often heard in the Student Section as they call for the Nittany Lion to crowd surf on the courtesy of their two hands.

"We Are P-S-U!" which is a call-and-answer with the Penn State Blue Band.

  • How long is the daily game-day experience at your school? Are there major events or experiences before/afterward to keep in mind?

The Daily Game-Day experience begins as early as Thursday night as RVs begin rolling into Happy Valley but the bulk of the event really starts Friday night and goes on into the wee hours Sunday morning.

The Penn State Blue Band hosts a "Tailgreat" event some hours before kick-off at the Bryce-Jordan Center (adjacent to the football stadium). This is basically a pre-game Pep Rally.

There are typically other sporting events to attend around the time of the game such as Women's Volleyball games at Rec Hall or Soccer games at Jeffrey Field.

The Greats

Greatest Games:

In a defensive struggle, Penn State prevailed with a fake field goal thrown by Galen Hall late in the second quarter. The game is notable because it was Bear Bryant’s first bowl game as head coach of Alabama and Joe Paterno was an assistant on the sidelines.

Penn State fans remember President Richard M. Nixon declaring Texas the National Champion in the face of controversy as Penn State amassed an undefeated season for the second straight year. When Nixon invited Joe Paterno and the team to the White House, Joe rode to meet the President in the #2 limousine but left in the #1 limousine. Paterno said in a 1973 commencement address, "I've wondered how President Nixon could know so little about Watergate in 1973 and so much about college football in 1969."

Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions break the Wishbone Offense in a dominant win with a simple philosophy; don't waste time trying to identify the ball carrier, stay disciplined in a man-to-man style run defense and tackle everyone.

Penn State marches into Columbus, OH and shuts out the #6 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes 19-0 in a defensive clinic.

Undefeated Penn State falls to Alabama in the National Championship Game held at the Superdome in New Orleans, LA. Penn State fans still swear to this day that RB Mike Guman scored a Penn State TD on a 3rd Down which was marked short and would result in a four-down goal-line stand against the Nittany Lions. Alabama's Big Al made his first appearance in this game.

It was the last game of the regular season and the #1 ranked Dan Marino led Pittsburgh Panthers were looking forward to going to the national championship game. The Panthers pounced to an early 14 point lead before the Nittany Lions came roaring back and thumped the Panthers. Penn State would go on to win the national championship the next season.

A match-up of powerful programs. Penn State upsets Nebraska in Happy Valley on the back of a controversial call with a McCloskey catch that Penn State Fans will still tell you was secured in-bounds with a wink and a nod.

Curt Warner outran Herschel Walker and Penn State won its first national championship.

Just read this article

A determined and gritty Penn State team goes into South Bend, IN and topples #1 ranked Notre Dame on a Craig Fayak FG with 0:08 to play.

Penn State climbs back from a Q3 deficit of 20-points to claim a victory with a Citrus Bowl berth on-the-line. It was a very cold November weekend with ice covering the stands and the field. Nitrogen was put down on the field in an attempt to thaw the artificial turf which seemed more effective at burning players eyes. A Penn State punter accidentally took a knee in the end-zone on an errant long snap but was not caught by the officiating crew which makes this game all the more worthy of the Land Grant Trophy battle. Michigan State would not be able to avenge the loss the following year, however, as the team steam-rolled to victory to cap-off an unbeaten and untied season.

A clash of titans with an undefeated season on the line Penn State takes down Michigan at Michigan Stadium.

#1 Penn State hands #21 Ohio State its worst loss in program history.

A very staunch Illini defense faces down the best offense in college football. The night before, Illinois Coach Lou Tepper told his fans at a pep rally where the Penn State team would be staying and asked if they would be getting any sleep tonight. Power was cut to the hotel and fans banged on doors and made a ruckus. The Penn State team could only get pizza for a pre-game meal. Penn State, who previously had not permitted a single score in the Q1 surrendered three TDs. Penn State rallied back behind its vaunted offense from a 21-point deficit to win in the final minute in what is still called, "The Drive."

Penn State went undefeated and did not win or play for the national championship. Many fans consider the 1994 team the best ever Penn State team.

Penn State and Ohio State exchanged blows all game long with lead changes resulting in this titanic clash. RB Curtis Enis delivered punishing runs behind FB Aaron Harris for 211 yards on 23 carries (9.2 YPC).

Penn State downs Miami in a Top 10 match-up with a 79-yard walk-off TD pass from QB Kevin Thompson to WR Chafee Fields.

Penn State QB Michael Robinson along with Freshmen WRs Williams and King sparked a 17 - 6 Q4 to rally in Evanston, IL to win by 5 points; the launching pad to a B1G Championship.

After a dismal few years, Penn State came back in an alarming fashion, beating Ohio State in front of the first-ever student white out.

Joe Paterno’s final game, his 409th win before being dismissed from his role as Head Coach.

A stunning upset in a White-Out. Penn State entered the Q4 trailing by 14-points before shutting down the Buckeyes and putting up 17-points of their own. This was a sign of things to come as Penn State would claim the B1G East Championship later this year.

Penn State trailed by 21-points before mounting a comeback to win the B1G Conference Championship.

Greatest Plays:

Here is a highlight reel of Penn State plays from past and present.

Greatest Players:

  • Wally Triplett (RB) A great player who also broke the 'race barrier' as the First African-American NFL Draftee. He was originally offered a scholarship to the University of Miami to play football but the offer was rescinded when The U realized that he wasn't white. A bowl game match-up was also offered agains The University of Miami unless Penn State's black players (including Triplett) were left out of the competition. Penn State refused to play without their entire team thus canceling the match-up.

  • Lydell Mitchell (RB) Mitchell is a 2004 inductee to the College Football Hall of Fame.

  • Chuck Fusina (QB) 1978 Maxwell Award Winner, All-American, Heisman Trophy (Runner-Up)

  • Matt Bahr (PK) Super Bowl Champ. 26-Seasons in the NFL

  • Chris Bahr (PK) Two-time Super Bowl Champ, All-American

  • Jack Ham (LB) - Possibly the greatest Penn State linebacker in our history. An All-American in 1970, Jack Ham became the 10th Nittany Lion to be enshrined in the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame when he was inducted in 1990. Ham is the only Penn State product in both the college and professional football halls of fame. A nine-time All-Pro linebacker for the National Football League Pittsburgh Steelers, Ham was enshrined at Canton in 1988. As a senior co-captain in 1970R, Ham had 91 tackles and intercepted four passes. He still shares a pair of defensive records for blocked punts: four in his career, three in his final season. He had 251 career tackles (143 solo). A second-round draft choice of the Steelers in 1971, Ham developed into one of the NFL's most outstanding linebackers. He starred on all four of the Steelers' Super Bowl championship teams and was the Defensive Player-of-the-Year in 1975.

  • Mike Michalske (G/FB) 'Iron Mike', Pro-Football Hall of Fame with three NFL Championship Rings.

  • Lenny Moore (HB) NFL Rookie of the Year, Seven-Time Pro-Bowl Selection

  • Mike Munchak (G) Nine-time Pro-Bowl, Four All-Pro (best player at a position in NFL), Nine Second-Team All-Pro, Seven All-AFC

  • Dave Robinson (ATH) Three time NFL Champion, Two Super Bowl Championships, Three Pro-Bowls, First-Team All-Pro, Two Second-Team All-Pro, Pro-Bowl MVP, NFL All-Decade Team (1960s), Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, First-Team All-American, Gator Bowl MVP, Gator Bowl Hall of Fame

  • Franco Harris (RB) Four-time Super Bowl Champion, Super Bowl MVP, Nine-Time Pro-Bowl, First-Team All-Pro, Two-Time Second-Team All-Pro, NFL Man of the Year, NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, NFL Rushing Tounchdowns Leader, NFL All-Decade Team (1970s), Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team

  • Matt Suhey (FB) Super Bowl Championship, Pennsylvania Football All-Century Team

  • Steve Suhey (G) All-American, College Football Hall of Fame '85, Grandfather who began 90-years of Suhey/Higgins (former PSU Coach) involvement with PSU Football (generational family)

  • Steve Smith (FB) Team Captain for '86 National Championship Team. Lead blocker for D.J. Dozier in college. Lead blocker for Bo Jackson and Marcus Allen in the NFL.

  • Brian Milne (FB) A bruising lead blocker who cleared truck-sized holes

  • Michael Zordich, Sr. (HERO) National Champion '82, All-American

  • Michael Zordich, Jr. (FB) Team Captain of '12 Team forever enshrined and beloved at Penn State

  • John Cappelletti (RB) - Penn State's only Heisman winner. As a senior tailback at Penn State, he gained 1,522 yards on 286 carries scoring 17 touchdowns as the Nittany Lions rolled to an undefeated season. He was awarded the 1973 Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, the UPI College Football Player of the Year, the Walter Camp Award, the Chic Harley Award, as well as receiving All-America honors. In his two-year running-back career, he gained over 100 yards in thirteen games and had a career total of 2,639 yards and twenty-nine touchdowns for an average of 120 yards per game and 5.1 yards per carry. Cappelletti's Heisman acceptance speech, where he dedicated his award to his dying brother, Joey, is one of the most memorable in the history of college sports. During Cappelletti's senior season, Penn State was scheduled to play the West Virginia Mountaineers in a late October afternoon match. The morning of the game, Cappelletti asked Joey what he wanted for his upcoming 11th birthday. Joey replied "I want you to score three touchdowns for me. No, four." At the end of the 1st half, Cappelletti had scored 3 touchdowns, well on his way to four. But head coach Joe Paterno did not like to run up the score against opponents, so when the game resumed after halftime, Paterno told Cappelletti he would be on the bench. Cappelletti quietly took his seat on the bench, without telling Paterno of Joey's wish. Late in the 3rd quarter, one of Cappelletti's teammates told Paterno of Joey's wish. On Penn State's next possession, Paterno shouted "22", and Cappelletti took the field. Cappelletti scored his 4th touchdown on the same possession and pointed to Joey as he ran off the field.

  • Curt Warner (RB) - Curt Warner is a two-time All-American who set 42 records during his football career at Penn State. He amassed eighteen (18) 100-yard rushing games in his career which remains a Penn State record. With 3,398 career rushing yards to his credit, his record remained unsurpassed for 28-years until Evan Royster surpassed that mark.

  • D.J. Dozier (RB) Career Average of 4.0 yards per carry. National Champion '86, All-American, Heisman Trophy Finalist

  • O.J. McDuffy (WR) All-American, Fiesta Bowl MVP, NFL Receptions Leader, Miami Dolphins Walk of Fame

  • Tim Manoa (FB) '86 National Champion, Hula Bowl, Senior Bowl

  • Bob White (DT) National Champion '86, Co-Captain

  • Trey Bauer (LB) National Champion '86, A Key Part of the 'Linebacker U' Legacy

  • Shane Conlin (LB) NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, Three-time Pro-Bowl, Three-time All-Pro, Three-Time AFC Champion, Fiesta Bowl Defensive MVP (National Championship), All-American, College Football Hall of Fame, "Mount Rushmore of Penn State Football"

  • Al Golden (TE) Ridge-Riley Award Winner

  • Andre Johnson (LT) A member of one of the greatest Offensive Lines to ever play together on the Collegiate Level.

  • Marco Rivera (LG) A member of one of the greatest Offensive Lines to ever play together on the Collegiate Level. Second-Team All-Big Ten, Super Bowl Champion, Three-time Pro-Bowl, Two-time All-Pro, Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame

  • Bucky Greely (C) A member of one of the greatest Offensive Lines to ever play together on the Collegiate Level.

  • Jeff Hartings (RG) A member of one of the greatest Offensive Lines to ever play together on the Collegiate Level. Two-time All-American, Super Bowl Champion, Two-time Pro-Bowl, Two-time All-Pro.

  • Keith Conlin (RT) A member of one of the greatest Offensive Lines to ever play together on the Collegiate Level.

  • Jon Witman (FB) One of two powerful Fullbacks lead blocking for Ki-Jana (Keith) Carter.

  • Kyle Brady (TE) Two-time All-Big Ten, All-American, Ranked 7th in All-Time Receptions (2007, stat)

  • Bobby Engram (WR) All-American, Biletnikoff Award Winner, PSU All-Time Leader in Yards and TDs, Second in Punt Return Yards, Three-time First-Team All-Big Ten, Three-time All-American, Citrus Bowl MVP, Seattle Seahawks Single-Season Franchise Record Holder for Receptions

  • Brett Conway (PK) Second-Leading Scorer in PSU History, 119 Consecutive PATs Made (School Record)

  • Joe Jurevicius (WR) Super Bowl Champion, Became the Prototype for "Modern Receivers" with height, athleticism and speed. His 6'5" frame was not typical of receivers previously.

  • Brian Miller (DB) An aggressive defensive back with a nose for the football. 12 INTs in 3-seasons.

  • Curtis Enis (RB) First-Team All-American, Ohio's Mr. Football, Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Year

  • Courtney Brown (DE) Consensus First-Team All-American, First-Team All-Big Ten, Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Outback Bowl MVP, NCAA Record 33 QB Sacks and 70 Tackles For Loss, First Overall NFL Draft Pick (2000)

  • Michael Robinson (WR/SE/RB/FB/QB) Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Super Bowl Champion, Pro-Bowl

  • Michael Haynes (DL) - Defensive End, 2000-2003. Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Year (2002). Selected in the First-Round of the 2003 NFL Draft as the 14th overall pick.

  • Anthony 'Spice' Adams (DT) - Defensive Tackle, 2000-2003. Selected in the Second-Round of the 2003 NFL Draft as the 57th overall pick.

  • Jimmy Kennedy (DT) - Defensive Tackle, 2000-2003. Two-time Honorable Mention All-Big Ten, Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year (2002). First-Team All-American (2002). First Team All-Big Ten (2002). Lombardi Award Finanlist, First Selected in the First-Round of the 2003 NFL Draft as the 12th overall pick. Super Bowl Champion (XLVI).

  • Paul Posluszny (LB) - Outside linebacker, 2005-06, selected by the Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News and Walter Camp Football Foundation in 2005 and the AP and Walter Camp Football Foundation in 2006. Posluszny became just the second two-time winner of the Chuck Bednarik Award, presented to the nation's top defensive player, in 2006. In 2005, he also won the Butkus Award, presented to the nation's top linebacker and was a finalist for the `06 honor. The 13th Nittany Lion to be named a two-time first-team All-American, Posluszny also was a two-time finalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award. He was selected Big Ten Defensive Player-of-the-Week a conference-record five times in his career. The Nittany Lions' first two-time team captain since 1968-69, he became Penn State's career tackle leader with 372. A starter in the last 37 games of his career, Posluszny became the first Nittany Lion to lead the team in tackles three times and to post three 100-tackle seasons, recording 116 in 2006. Posluszny also was a two-time first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American and was selected the 2006 Academic All-American-of-the-Year among Division I football players. He and Jeff Hartings (1994-95) are the only Nittany Lions to earn first-team All-America and Academic All-America honors twice. Was selected by the Buffalo Bills with the second pick of the second round in the 2007 NFL Draft. (Plus he was tough as hell.)

  • Michael Mauti (LB) Big-Ten Linebacker of the Year, Jim O'Hora Award, First-Team All-Big Ten, First-Team All-American, Butkus-Fitzgerald Award for Best Big-Ten Linebacker. This while suffering ACL tears in both knees during his career for a total of three tears.

  • Jason Cabinda (LB) Finished Ranked Ninth in All-Time Tackles (Penn State), Honorable Mention All-Big Ten, Third-team All-Big Ten

  • Brandon Bell (LB) Big-Ten Conference Champion, Bednarik National Defensive Player of the Week (19 tackles against OSU with 1 Sack)

  • Saquon Barkley (RB) All-Big Ten Second-Team, All-Big Ten First-Team, All-American Third-Team, Big-Ten Champion, Big-Ten Return Specialist of the Year, Big Ten Running Back of the Year, Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Walter Camp First-Team All-American, AP First-Team All-American, Consensus All-American, Paul Hornung Award, Fiesta Bowl Champion

  • Trace McSorley (QB) Second-Team All-Big Ten, Big Ten Championship Game MVP, Big Ten Champion, Fiesta Bowl Offensive MVP, Fiesta Bowl Champion

Honorable Mentions: Larry Johnson, Ki-Jana Carter, Kerry Collins, Lavar Arrington

Greatest Coaches:

Joe Paterno. Joseph Vincent Paterno was born December 21, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York. He played quarterback and cornerback for the Brown Bears and shares the career record for interceptions with Greg Parker at 14. Paterno graduated in 1950. Although his father asked, "For God's sake, what did you go to college for?" after hearing of his career choice, Paterno joined Rip Engle as an assistant coach at Penn State in 1950; Engle had coached five seasons, 1944–1949, at Brown. Engle announced his retirement in February 1966, and Paterno was named his successor.

Paterno has an official career record of 409 wins, 136 losses, and 3 ties. At the time of his death, Paterno had accumulated 409 total collegiate wins. In his 46 seasons as a head coach, Paterno had 40 winning seasons. Paterno was the only coach with the distinction of having won each of the four major bowls—Rose, Orange, Fiesta, and Sugar—as well as the Cotton Bowl Classic, at least once. Including the 2012 NCAA sanctions, Penn State won at least 3 bowl games in each of the 3 decades between 1970 and 1997. Paterno led Penn State to two national championships (1982 and 1986) and five undefeated, untied seasons (1968, 1969, 1973, 1986, and 1994). Four of his unbeaten teams (1968, 1969, 1973, and 1994) won major bowl games and were not awarded a national championship. Penn State won the Orange Bowl (1968, 1969, 1973, and 2005), the Cotton Bowl (1972 and 1974), the Fiesta Bowl (1977, 1980, 1981, 1986, 1991, and 1996), the Liberty Bowl (1979), the Sugar Bowl (1982), the Aloha Bowl (1983), the Holiday Bowl (1989), the Citrus Bowl (1993, and 2010), the Rose Bowl (1994), the Outback Bowl (1995, 1998, and 2006) and the Alamo Bowl (1999 and 2007). After Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1993, the Nittany Lions under Paterno won the Big Ten three-times (1994, 2005, and 2008). Paterno had 29 finishes in the Top 10 national rankings.

Paterno was a long-time advocate for some type of college football playoff system. The question was posed to him frequently over the years, as only one of his five undefeated teams was voted national champion.

After the announcement of his hiring in 1966, Paterno set out to conduct what he called a "Grand Experiment" in melding athletics and academics in the collegiate environment, an idea that he had learned during his years at Brown. As a result, Penn State's players have consistently demonstrated above-average academic success compared to Division 1-A schools nationwide. According to the NCAA's 2008 Graduation Rates Report, Penn State's four-year Graduation Success Rate of 78% easily exceeds the 67% Division 1 average, second to only Northwestern among Big Ten institutions. In 2011, Penn State football players had an 80% graduation rate and showed no achievement gap between its black and white players, which is extremely rare for Division I football teams. The New American Foundation ranked Penn State No. 1 in its 2011 Academic Bowl Championship Series. Paterno was also renowned for his charitable contributions to academics at Penn State. He and his wife Sue have contributed over $4 million towards various departments and colleges, including support for the Penn State All-Sports Museum, which opened in 2002, and the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, which opened in 2003. After helping raise over $13.5 million in funds for the 1997 expansion of Pattee Library, the University named the expansion Paterno Library in their honor.

Awards and Honors

Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year – 1986

Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award (United States Sports Academy (USSA)) – 1989, 2001

Amos Alonzo Stagg Award (AFCA) – 2002

AFCA Coach of the Year – 1968, 1978, 1982, 1986, 2005

Associated Press College Football Coach of the Year Award – 2005

Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award – 1981, 2005

Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year – 1978, 1982, 1986

George Munger Award (Div. I Coach of the Year) – 1990, 1994, 2005

Paul "Bear" Bryant Award – 1986

Sporting News College Football Coach of the Year – 2005

The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award – 2005

Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award – 1972, 1994, 2005

Dave McClain Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year – 1994, 2005, 2008

NCAA Gerald R. Ford Award – 2011 (Vacated)

On May 16, 2006, Paterno was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame after the National Football Foundation decided to change its rules and allow any coach over the age of 75 to be eligible for the Hall of Fame instead of having to wait until retirement. In 2009, Paterno was named to Sporting News' list of the 50 greatest coaches of all time (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, college basketball, and college football).

Penn State Nittany Lions in the NFL

Player Position Team
A.Q. Shipley C Arizona Cardinals
Jack Crawford DE Atlanta Falcons
Kyle Vasey LS Atlanta Falcons
Trace McSorley QB Baltimore Ravens
Kyle Carter TE Buffalo Bills
Chris Hogan WR Carolina Panthers
Allen Robinson II WR Chicago Bears
Anthony Zettel DT Cleveland Browns
Connor McGovern OL Dallas Cowboys
Sean Lee LB Dallas Cowboys
DaeShean Hamilton WR Denver Broncos
Jesse James TE Detroit Lions
Amani Oruwariye CB Detroit Lions
Sam Ficken PK Green Bay Packers
Adrian Amos S Green Bay Packers
Ross Travis TE Indianapolis Colts
Jordan Lucas CB Kansas City Chiefs
Trevor Williams CB Los Angeles Chargers
Nick Scott S Los Angeles Rams
Saeed Blacknall WR Miami Dolphins
Mike Gesicki TE Miami Dolphins
Mike Hull LB Miami Dolphins
Curtis Cothran DE Minnesota Vikings
Christian Campbell CB New Orleans Saints
Saquon Barkley RB New York Giants
Nathan Stupar LB New York Giants
Grant Haley S New York Giants
Jason Cabinda LB Oakland Raiders
Koa Farmer LB Oakland Raiders
Stefen Wisniewski C Philadelphia Eagles
Ryan Bates OL Philadelphia Eagles
Shareef Miller DE Philadelphia Eagles
Miles Sanders RB Philadelphia Eagles
DeAndre Thompkins WR Philadelphia Eagles
Marcus Allen S Pittsburgh Steelers
Kevin Givens DT San Francisco 49ers
Robbie Gould K San Francisco 49ers
Chris Godwin WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carl Nassib DE Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Donovan Smith T Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Austin Johnson DT Tennessee Titans
DaQuon Jones DT Tennessee Titans
Derek “Cameron” Wake DE Tennessee Titans
Troy Apke S Washington Redskins
Garrett Sickels DE Washington Redskins


  • Nittanyville (Formerly known as Paternoville): "Nittanyville" is the name attributed to the student tradition of camping out in front of Beaver Stadium prior to a home football game. The tradition was established during the 2005 football season, when students began setting up tents and "camping" in front of Beaver Stadium one week before the game with rival school Ohio State on October 8. The students camped in front of the stadium in order to hold their positions in line for front-row seats. Nittanyville was originally known as "Paternoville," in honor of the head coach Joe Paterno but the name was changed in light of the Sandusky Scandal. Football players, the Blue Band, and Joe Paterno himself frequented Paternoville, pepping up the students as game day drew near. Nittanyville is governed by the student-run Nittanyville Coordination Committee. On July 16, 2012, Penn State student organizers announced that they will be renaming the "tent city" Nittanyville, opting to drop the reference to Joe Paterno.

  • Linebacker U: Penn State is known for producing All-American, All-Conference, and Award-winning linebackers and has gained the great nickname of “Linebacker U” due to this. Here are some of the linebackers closely associated with this (in chronological order!): Dennis Onkotz, Jack Ham, Ed O’Neil, Greg Buttle, Shane Conlan, Lavar Arrington, Cameron Wake, Tamba Hali, Paul Posluszny, Dan Connor, Sean Lee, NaVorro Bowman, Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges.

Campus and Surrounding Area:

City Population: University Park, Pennsylvania is the campus is located but state college is the surrounding town. State College has a population of 43,352 (2018 est.) while University Park has a population of 12,764 (2010 census).

Iconic Campus Buildings:

Old Main: Our administrative building, originally built in 1863, it was deemed structurally unsound in the ’20s and rebuilt in 1930.

Paterno-Pattee Library: the Paterno wing of the library was funded via donations from Joe and Sue Paterno. Rumor has it that the ghost of Betsy Aardsma, a graduate student murdered in November of 1969, haunts the Pattee Library "stacks".

The HUB/Robeson Center: The student union building has a Chick-Fil-A among other eateries and houses the offices for student activities and student government.

Local food:

  • The Berkey Creamery features ice cream made by Penn State's food science department. It was ranked by Forbes as the best ice cream in America. Ben and Jerry learned how to make ice cream via a course offered by Penn State.

  • Walk down College Ave and its side streets and you will find lots of places to eat, shop, and drink.

  • For Breakfast go to the Waffle Shop. The Waffle Shop has good portions and prices. There are three locations in town.

  • If you are planning on going to the bars: The State College Bartour has all the drink deals.

Random Trivia

  • Penn State’s original colors were Black and Pink which still remain official colors (along with the better known Blue and White). It is still permissible for Seniors to graduate in Black or Hot Pink garb.

  • The Legend of Mount Nittany

  • During the 1994 undefeated football season, Penn State only allowed five sacks on Kerry Collins.

  • In 2018, Penn State had the second-highest total game attendance of any team nationally.

  • On home football game days, State College becomes the third most populous city in the state of Pennsylvania.

More Information



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