With Memorial Day upon us, it’s time to catch up on the greatest games that you’ve missed.
If you’re looking for late-seventies and eighties tales of Penn State lore, click here for some options. If you’re missing the great games of the nineties, check out this link. Read on, if you want more recent memories.
The new millenium started out rough for the Nittany Lions, but freshman Zack Mills revitalized the Lions against rookie coach Jim Tressel’s Buckeyes in a historic win (#324 for Joe Paterno) and comeback in 2001. The next season started off with high hopes, as the Lions exploded over a highly-ranked Nebraska team in a 40-7 Beaver Stadium blowout. Four first-round picks couldn’t get the Nittany Lions higher than #15 in the final poll though, and another major lull hit the program from 2003-2004.
Four hotshot freshmen receivers sparked a revitalization in 2005, a remarkable season that culminated in a classic Orange Bowl victory over Paterno’s longtime foe Bobby Bowden and his Florida State Seminoles. A rebuilding year in 2006 was expected, but 2007 featured many losses in winnable games. The team put things together in 2008, steamrolling through the Big Ten and finally overcoming nemesis Michigan and their new coach Rich Rodriguez in a cathartic 46-17 annihilation.
Keep coming back to the Nittany Lions Den for the final three games of the 22-part series. And stay tuned for the book launch this summer–Ring The Bell: The Twenty-two Greatest Penn State Football Victories of Our Lives by Ryan J. Murphy (Father’s Press, Amazon Kindle).