October 28, 2008

The Donna Reed Show - First Season Available on DVD

This set was long overdue, and it's fabulous! My compliments to Arts Alliance America for a whole season release at a very reasonable price. While mostly a family sitcom, with Donna Reed having so much influence on the show, many subjects not dared touched by others were sensitively portrayed. She was an Academy award winner who did a wonderful cross over to television.

October 25, 2008

Penn St. scores last 10 to win, 13-6

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Penn State, unbeaten and unbowed, proved it belongs in the middle of any national championship talk.

Pat Devlin came off the bench for injured starting quarterback Daryll Clark in the fourth quarter and leading two fourth-quarter scoring drives, sneaking in for the go-ahead touchdown to give No. 3 Penn State a 13-6 victory over No. 10 Ohio State on Saturday night.

“When Pat came in we weren’t missing a beat at all. We believed in him and he did a good job,” Penn State receiver Derrick Williams said in an interview with ESPN.

The win put the Nittany Lions (9-0, 5-0) in command in the Big Ten and severely crimped the chances of the Buckeyes (7-2, 4-1) grabbing an unprecedented third consecutive outright league title and a piece of their fourth conference championship in a row.

Penn State, with coach Joe Paterno coaching from the press box for the fourth straight game, solidified its position as a national championship contender and also erased the ugly memories of an 0-7 mark in Columbus since joining the Big Ten in 1993. Penn State’s previous victory in Columbus came in 1978.

Defenses controlled most of the game before an Ohio Stadium-record crowd of 105,711.

Ohio State had the ball and a three-point lead when Terrelle Pryor fumbled, defensive back Mark Rubin using his left hand to knock the ball away as the freshman quarterback carried on a third-and-1 early in the fourth quarter. Penn State linebacker Navorro Bowman fell on the loose ball at the Buckeyes 38.

“From where I stood, he saw a couple gaps or penetration and tried to slide outside and someone hit the ball,” Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. “It was unfortunate.”

Immediately, the Nittany Lions were at a disadvantage as Clark remained on the sideline. He was meeting with team doctors. Paterno later said that Clark had a minor head injury, although the coach said he had not spoken with his medical personnel.

In stepped Devlin, who had seen action in seven games but had only been on the field for 45 plays.

He led a seven-play, 38-yard drive that took 4:13 and ended with his touchdown giving Penn State a 10-6 lead.

The big play in the march came on third-and-2 at the Ohio State 6 when Royster skirted right end, tiptoeing along the sideline for a 4-yard gain and the first down.

Three plays later, Devlin scored on his second straight keeper and Kevin Kelly converted the point-after for a 10-6 lead with 6:25 left.

Penn State’s defense then forced an Ohio State punt, and with Royster carrying most of the load, the Nittany Lions almost ran out the clock. Royster went for 3, 10 and 9 yards on his first three carries before Devlin sneaked for a first down at the Ohio State 24.

While the Buckeyes were using all their timeouts, the Nittany Lions continued to stick to the ground. Finally, they let the clock run down until Kelly converted a 35-yard field goal with 1:07 left to push the lead to 13-6.

Ohio State had one last chance to tie it. Taking over at their own 20, Pryor hit Ray Small for gains of 23 and 14 yards to the Penn State 43 with just over 30 seconds left. But Pryor’s long pass to the goal line was intercepted by cornerback Lydell Sargeant with 27 seconds left.

Asked if the Nittany Lions belonged in the national-title discussion with No. 1 Texas and No. 2 Alabama, Williams flashed a wide grin and said, “We belong with them.”

Paterno couldn’t celebrate with his players. At least not right away.

Penn State’s coach for the past 43 years, the 81-year-old Paterno came up from the team locker room about 15 minutes before the opening kickoff, using a cane and with a Penn State athletic administrator following him in case he needed assistance.

“Penn State played hard and didn’t make a bunch of mistakes,” Tressel said.

Pryor, the nation’s most heralded quarterback recruit last spring, completed 16-of-25 for 226 yards with the one interception. He ran for 6 yards on nine attempts. Chris “Beanie” Wells managed just 55 yards on 22 carries against Penn State’s stout defense.

Clark completed 12-of-20 passes for 121 yards before leaving. Royster had 77 yards on 19 carries.

Kelly, who became the Big Ten’s all-time kick scorer a week ago, came into the game 12-of-14 on field goals. He converted one of 31 yards in the first half.

But with the Nittany Lions trailing 6-3, he hooked one wide right on the second play of the fourth period that would have tied it. At the time, it looked like a costly miss.

But that was until Devlin stepped in and came up big.

October 18, 2008

No. 3 Penn State breaks Michigan hex, 46-17

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Thousands of white pompoms fluttered and 100,000 Penn State fans broke into a sing-along as night fell on Beaver Stadium.

Joe Paterno’s greatest nemesis was about to be vanquished by the third-ranked Nittany Lions and the 81-year-old coach had a bird’s-eye view of party time in Happy Valley.

Yep, JoePa’s getting a really good look at his latest national championship contender.

Behind the running of Evan Royster and a few momentum-shifting plays by the defense and special teams, the Nittany Lions withstood the Wolverines’ early flurry and snapped a nine-game losing streak to their Big Ten rivals, 46-17 Saturday.

Paterno wasn’t on the field to enjoy his record 380th victory, relegated to working from the press box for a third consecutive week because of a sore hip and leg.

“My being upstairs—it’s funny, I’m not sure that’s not the best place for a head coach,” he said. “I mean you really get a view of things, I get a better view of football games from up there than I ever do on the sideline.”

What he’s seeing is a team that should be no worse than third in the BCS standings when it heads to Ohio State next week.

“Am I starting to like it up there? I’ll never like it, it doesn’t mean that the team might be better off with me up there,” Paterno said.

No team had ever won as many in a row against Penn State during Paterno’s 43 seasons than Michigan. But if ever there was an opportunity for the Nittany Lions (8-0, 4-0) to break the streak it was now. The Wolverines (2-5, 1-2) have struggled mightily in their first season under coach Rich Rodriguez.

“It’s a fact, you take it year by year, game by game, we lost to them last year, and coach has made a great point this week, that this Penn State team has not lost to this Michigan team,” center A.Q. Shipley said.

Michigan came in a 23 1/2 -point underdog. Never before had the Wolverines been so lightly regarded by odds makers.

The Wolverines looked like a good bet early, their spread offense clicking as they sped to a 17-7 lead early in the second quarter.

But Penn State (8-0, 4-0) deciphered the spread, got its own high-powered version of Rodriguez’s offense rolling and delivered the knockout punch with a safety, a partially blocked punt and a forced fumble on consecutive second-half Michigan possessions.

“Oh, we executed for a while and then we didn’t,” said Rodriguez, whose team needs to win four more games to avoid Michigan’s first losing season since 1967. “That’s what happened. We executed, we moved the ball a little, and when we didn’t, we didn’t.”

Jared Odrick gave Penn State its first lead at 19-17 when he dragged down backup quarterback Nick Sheridan in the end zone with 4:39 left in third quarter.

The free kick set the Nittany Lions up at midfield, Royster’s 21-yard run put them at the 1 and Daryll Clark sneaked in at 3:04 to make it 26-17.

Royster ran for 174 yards on 18 carries, with a 44-yard TD run in the first quarter.

A minute later, Nathan Stupar got a hand on Zoltan Mesko’s punt deep in Michigan territory and Penn State turned the short kick into Kevin Kelly’s 32-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth.

A little more than 60 seconds after that, Aaron Maybin sacked Steven Threet, who fumbled, and Penn State took over at the Michigan 19. A sore elbow forced Threet to miss some series.

Clark’s second 1-yard sneak turned the final 12 minutes into a Beaver Stadium bash, with Penn State fans singing along to “Sweet Caroline” and enjoying their team’s first victory against Michigan since 1996.

The Wolverines tormented the Nittany Lions over the last 12 seasons, handing them a few lopsided losses and several heartbreaking defeats. In 2005, the last time Penn State was in the hunt for a national title, Michigan scored a touchdown on the final play to hand Paterno’s team its only loss of the season.

The Nittany Lions finally answered with their highest scoring game ever against Michigan.

This one couldn’t have started better for Michigan. After a three-and-out for Penn State, Michigan put together its longest drive of the season. The 14-play, 86-yard march featured all the best of Rodriguez’s spread offense. The option cleared running lanes for Threet and Brandon Minor, who surpassed his season high on the drive with 42 yards rushing.

Minor finished it off with a 5-yard TD run.

“But we’ve been seeing little glimpses of that all season,” Minor said.

A Penn State fumble led to a 27-yard field goal by K.C. Lopata and the Nittany Lions faced their largest deficit of the season.

After Royster’s 44-yard TD romp, Michigan was on the move again.

Another near-flawless drive by the Wolverines, this one 78 yards, was capped by Minor’s 1-yard plunge and it was 17-7 early in the second quarter. Minor had 117 yards on 23 carries

Even Penn State fans must have been wondering if the mere sight of those winged helmets had their team mystified.

Michigan had 185 yards in the first quarter, but only 106 the rest of the way.

“We really stayed calm, we knew Michigan was going to come in and try to play us hard, they do it every year,” Royster said. “We just needed to adjust to it.”

When Clark found Jordan Norwood for a 3-yard touchdown pass with 23 seconds left in the half to make it 17-14, it seemed as if Penn State had come through the worst of it and grabbed control of the game.

October 12, 2008

Penn State ascends to No. 3

As expected, Penn State has vaulted to No. 3 in the AP Top 25 poll released today.

The Nittany Lions, 7-0 for the 11th time under coach Joe Paterno, trail No. 1 Texas, which upset previous number one Oklahoma Saturday. Alabama is No. 2.

Penn State, which beat Wisconsin, 48-7, Saturday, received three first-place votes.

It is Penn State's highest ranking since the team closed the 2005 season at 11-1 and ranked No. 3.

It also was announced today that Penn State's 4:30 p.m. game with Michigan Saturday will be telecast on ESPN.