ith coach Nick Saviano in Florida, has a 39-24 re

in Shakes & Fidget 28.05.2019 03:41
von lebaobei123 | 90 Beiträge

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Happy Valley was a cacophony of bells and songs and cheers that echoed all the way to Mount Nittany. It sure beat the alternative for Bill Belton. On fourth-and-1 and with an upset on the line, Belton dove ahead for 3 yards. Three plays later, he was in the end zone, and Penn States party was on. "If I dont get the yard," Belton said, "Im going to hear it the rest of the time Im here." Instead, he settled for that familiar refrain of 100,000 fans swapping "We are!" "Penn State!" chants, a needed release after the longest game in team history. Belton ran for a 2-yard touchdown in the fourth overtime to lift Penn State past No. 18 Michigan 43-40 in maybe the biggest win in coach Bill OBriens two seasons with the Nittany Lions. Penn States Christian Hackenberg was sensational in regulation on the tying drive, completing passes of 29 yards to Brandon Felder and 33 yards to Allen Robinson to bring the ball to the 1 with 29 seconds left. The freshman quarterback sneaked in for the first rushing TD against Michigan this season, tying the game at 34-all. Brendan Gibbons kicked two field goals and missed two -- one was blocked -- in OT for the Wolverines (5-1, 1-1). Sam Ficken kicked two, but passed on even trying another on the last possession. Instead, Penn State went on fourth-and-1 from the 16. Belton converted and made the gamble a good one. "Coach had confidence in me and I had confidence that I would be able to get the 1 yard we needed to keep the game going," The Nittany Lions (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) stormed the field in wild celebration, sending more than 100,000 fans into a frenzy. "I just ran somewhere and hit somebody," Hackenberg said. "I saw him bounce it and I saw he had the edge and after that I just ran over to the sideline to celebrate with my teammates. Still recovering from scandal, the Nittany Lions gave 107,884 fans at Beaver Stadium at long last a milestone celebration in Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions mobbed OBrien, and he led the charge toward the students in the stands to sing the fight song. Penn States victory bell rang long after the players had stunned the unbeaten Wolverines. "Nothing should amaze you," OBrien said. "Theres going to be twists and turns. These are tough kids. They love Penn State. They love playing for each other. The locker room is such a great scene right now because these kids really believe in each other." Hackenberg, who threw for 305 yards, made it possible with plenty of help from his receivers on the final drive of the fourth. Robinson expanded his 6-foot-3 frame about another 4 inches on a fantastic, outstretched leap in the corner that sent him crashing down a yard from the goal line. "It was just me and (the defender) over there and it was a 50-50 ball," he said. "He threw it up and gave me an opportunity to make the catch and I was able to make the play. Hackenberg plowed through for one sweet yard on the next play. The 18-year-old freshman threw three touchdown passes in the first half to stake Penn State to a 21-10 lead. After throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble in the first half, Devin Gardner put the Wolverines ahead with touchdown passes in the third and fourth quarters. "I think you always work hard at any time, but to lose in overtime, if you let it take a toll, it will," coach Brady Hoke said. Gardner connected with Jeremy Gallon for a 16-yard TD pass for a 27-24 lead with 28 seconds left in the third. Gardner was 15 of 28 for three touchdowns and he rushed for 121 yards. He then hit Devin Funchess in the back of the end zone for a 37-yard TD and a 34-24 lead. Funchess had 112 yards receiving and two scores. Ficken hit a 43-yarder with 6:35 left to make it 34-27, keeping Hackenberg and the Nittany Lions alive for one thrilling finish. Gibbons missed a 52-yarder with 2 seconds left in regulation. Michigan defensive end Frank Clark returned a fumble for a score in the third quarter to cut it to 21-17, and spark Michigans comeback. Michigan did get a boost with the return of star linebacker Jake Ryan, who had yet to play this season after he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the spring. "Its not about mistakes. Its about us executing," Ryan said. "On some plays we didnt do that and thats what we need to get done. Thats what we need to get fixed." Michigan offensive lineman Taylor Lewan, an All-American who decided to pass on the NFL and return for his senior season, sat out the second half with an undisclosed injury. This was a scene in Happy Valley straight out of the Joe Paterno era -- not like the late Hall of Fame coach has ever been forgotten. His picture is still on billboards that line the road to the stadium and T-shirts with his image or name were still a popular choice for fans. But make no mistake. This program firmly belongs to OBrien. 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Spencer Abbott and Trevor Smith scored third-period goals erasing a 2-1 deficit giving Toronto a late 3-2 lead.Eugenie Bouchards days of playing lower-tier events and working through qualifying draws appear to be over. The Canadian tennis players first full season on the WTA Tour was a strong one. She has risen to No. 32 in the world rankings and will likely be seeded at the first Grand Slam event of the 2014 season. Bouchard scored some big victories this year and proved she can hang on court with the sports elite. Her next mission is to build on that momentum as she looks ahead to next year. "Ive always believed in my skill," Bouchard said Friday on a conference call. "I think it was just a matter of time for me to get to this level. But then again, I dont want to stay here. "I want to work hard in the off-season and get ready for 2014 and try to improve as fast as I can and even more for next year." At just 19 years of age, Bouchard posted impressive victories this past season over big names like Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic and Sloane Stephens. The young Canadian pushed Venus Williams to three sets last month in Tokyo and reached her first Tour final this month at the Japan Open. Not bad for a player who was ranked No. 144 in the world at the end of the 2012 season. Bouchard was also given heavy promotional treatment at last summers Rogers Cup in Toronto. Her matches were given showcourt attention and she performed admirably in the brighter spotlight. "I do like it, its part of the job," she said. "I thinnk the harder I work and the better I do, that will happen more often.dddddddddddd" Bouchard doesnt have a specific ranking goal for next season. She simply wants to improve all facets of her game and get stronger by continuing to play the top players on tour. One area where she noticed an improvement of late was her on-court transition from defence to offence. She also feels her mental game is better. "Ive played big matches and gained so much experience," she said. "Ive played on centre court at the French Open, centre court at Wimbledon and at Louis Armstrong (stadium court) at the U.S. Open. Those are big matches and big moments that really have given me a lot of confidence and strength and experience." Bouchard, who is from Westmount, Que., but trains primarily with coach Nick Saviano in Florida, has a 39-24 record this year and earned over US$415,000 in prize money. Her top highlight was beating Ivanovic on Centre Court at the All-England Club, the same venue where Bouchard won the Wimbledon junior title a year earlier. "It was an amazing feeling," she said. "In tennis you cant get a bigger stage than that." Bouchards 2014 campaign will kick off during the holiday season at the Hopman Cup mixed tennis team tournament in Perth, Australia. She will team up with Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., for the Dec. 28-Jan. 4 event before continuing preparations for the Australian Open. 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