User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Golf
Auto
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Penn State's 2012 season for the ages

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - The white banner fluttered in a stiff breeze before being removed from the east facade of Beaver Stadium to reveal ``2012'' in bold, blue numerals next to the years marking unbeaten or championship campaigns.

Advertisement
The 2012 season will be remembered in Happy Valley for a long time to come for reasons beyond wins and losses.

``It's exciting to go down as one of the great teams in Penn State history,'' senior quarterback Matt McGloin said after the rousing 24-21 win Saturday over Wisconsin. ``To have that season stapled on the stadium forever is a great feeling.''

Coach Bill O'Brien said after Saturday's win that acting athletic director Dave Joyner had called him earlier in the week about adding 2012 to the facade.

``When they put your 2012 team up there with those teams ... that means a lot,'' O'Brien said. ``I'm not sure there are many bowl games out there that are going to be played like that one. There's a lot there and just a fantastic senior class.''

The seniors went out in style.

The tense, overtime thriller came down to a stellar defensive effort spearheaded by tackle Jordan Hill, a 37-yard field goal in the extra session by redeemed kicker Sam Ficken, and the 44-yard miss by Wisconsin's Kyle French that finally brought the season to an end on a chilly, late November night.

And so a campaign that began with the dark cloud of NCAA sanctions hanging over the program because of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal ended with smiles and relief. The Nittany Lions (8-4, 6-2 Big Ten) would have been a lock for a New Year's Day game had the penalties not included a four-year bowl ban.

Not that it mattered to star linebacker Michael Mauti.

``That's better than any bowl trip I've ever been a part of,'' said the senior, who wore his familiar No. 42 jersey over jeans after being sidelined with a left knee injury.

Fiery on the field, Mauti is known as much for a humble persona off it. He doesn't like the spotlight and deflected media attention off his injury and on to the rest of the team in the week leading up to the game.

All the while, his teammates wore ``42'' on the side of their white helmets in honor of Mauti, a suggestion made to O'Brien by Hill and fellow team captain Michael Zordich. Penn State's other outstanding outside linebacker, Gerald Hodges, switched from his No. 6 jersey to 42 in another grand gesture for Mauti in his last game in blue and white.

There's plenty of time left to wonder about Mauti's future. After the game, Mauti continued to brush aside questions about the severity of his injury, choosing to reflect on the remarkable end to an unparalleled season.

Back in July, two days after the NCAA levied the penalties, about two dozen teammates surrounded Mauti and Zordich as they made impassioned public statements that they were sticking with Penn State.

Other seniors like McGloin, Hill, Hodges, cornerback Stephon Morris and center Matt Stankiewitch also helped keep the team together through tough times, like the 0-2 start and the 35-23 loss last month to No. 4 Ohio State.

While Mauti was expected to be a star this year, McGloin's emergence as the best passer was a surprise - and a testament to the coaching job by O'Brien in his first season. The former Patriots offensive coordinator and position coach to star quarterback Tom Brady had McGloin running the Nittany Lions' new up-tempo offense to near-perfection by year's end.

McGloin averaged a league-best 272.6 yards passing and completed more than 60 percent of his 446 pass attempts with just five interceptions. He displayed his trademark confidence - which some people equate to a cocky swagger - but was held in check if he went too far by O'Brien and quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher.

A former walk-on, McGloin finished with 24 touchdown passes to tie Daryll Clark (2009) for the school's single-season record. Under O'Brien's tutelage, McGloin also set school records this year for single-season passing yardage (3,266) and career touchdown passes (46).

Mauti was asked how the senior class would be remembered.

``I don't know if I can even really put that in words right now,'' he said. ``Maybe in a couple of years from now I'll be able to look back and answer. I am just proud to be a part of it. It's been the most fun I've ever had playing with the people I've never been closer to.''

---

Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Edwards: 2016 Week 1 Odds posted
Oregon RB Tyner takes medical retirement
BC adds Pasqualoni as assistant
Penn State awaiting stadium improvements
Big 12 likely won't get title game in '16
Expanded replay for targeting examined
Syracuse dismisses 2 for rules violations
Harbaugh draws stars to Michigan
Florida hires VT's Gray as DB coach
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
Live Odds
2015 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 2379
Scott Pritchard + 1370
Marc Lawrence + 1207
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 700
Pat Hawkins + 497
Kyle Hunter + 395
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Pritchard 64 %
Paul Bovi 58 %
Marc Lawrence 58 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Greg Smith + 1775
Kevin Rogers + 1190
Brian Edwards + 856
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 1596
James Manos + 1448
Kyle Hunter + 1332
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2072
Bruce Marshall + 1842
Paul Bovi + 1307
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership