Sports Columns

Offense needs to pass first big test against Michigan ‘D’

Michigan’s offense is not all that good, which makes this question easy to answer. Penn State has a terrific defense that leads the country in fewest points allowed (just 9.0 per game) and should play well Saturday night. But even if it doesn’t, the Wolverines don’t have the kind of ...

Bryant needs to go at end of season

Commentary PITTSBURGH — It doesn’t matter whether Martavis Bryant asked the Steelers to trade him. This should be his last year with the team. Bryant is an exceptional talent. Unfortunately, his ability has been undermined by the lack of professionalism that has plagued his ...

Martz shines on both soccer, football fields

Dedicated. Hard-working. Trailblazer. These are just a few of the words used to describe Bedford Area High School senior Emily Martz. Last year, she was part of the Bisons’ first-ever district champion girls’ soccer team. This year, she set her sights on kicking footballs. “It was ...

MLB replay gets one wrong

PITTSBURGH — Replay in baseball became a good idea around the time that Jerry Meals blew an easy home plate call and cost the Pirates a game. If everyone could see it was the wrong call, why not correct it? Even Meals admitted his mistake the next day, long after it was too late to do ...

Pens were perfect for DC trip

PITTSBURGH — The Penguins stopped by the White House on Tuesday, and they were the perfect guests. They graciously accepted congratulations for their second consecutive Stanley Cup, they dropped off a gift for the President, and they behaved themselves. There were no controversial ...

Lesson learned from Newton ordeal

NFL quarterback Cam Newton got a wake-up call this past week after comments he made toward a female reporter during a news conference. Newton chuckled at the reporter’s question about his receivers’ routes, saying: “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes.” I’m sure many ...

Steelers lacking production from their star quarterback

PITTSBURGH — Quarterbacks always get too much blame when a team loses. Not this time. This one is on Ben Roethlisberger. He threw five interceptions, two returned for touchdowns, in Sunday’s 30-9 Steelers’ loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars that shocked the crowd at Heinz Field Sunday ...

PSU showcasing new breed of ‘D’

EVANSTON, Ill. — Penn State’s offense took the Big Ten and the nation by storm a year ago and returned almost all of their key parts going into 2017. Through the offseason, the questions almost all were on the defensive side of the ball. Wouldn’t you know it: As the season hit its ...

Brown contributes to news cycle

PITTSBURGH — The tough thing about covering the NFL is that once a week schedule, which means large shovels are often needed to fill all the 24-hour news cycles between games. From one Sunday to the next, there’s a lot more talk than action. That’s why you get stuff like “keys to ...

Play on field favors McSorley

I won’t say a bad word about Christian Hackenberg the man. He’s a good, intelligent, respectable person who was a terrific representative of Penn State, and I wish him nothing but the best in life. But Hackenberg is not a very good quarterback. He did some things well at Penn State but ...

Hack’s contributions immeasurable

In less than two years as a starter — just 19 games to be exact — Trace McSorley has established himself as one of the most prolific quarterbacks in Penn State history. There’s no doubt he fits James Franklin’s offense better than Christian Hackenberg, and there’s little doubt that ...

Altoona boys soccer set to celebrate 50 years

The Altoona Area High School boys soccer team will mark its 50th anniversary on Saturday on Altoona homecoming weekend. The celebration will be highlighted when approximately 30-40 alumni take the field to play in the first alumni game. Play at the high school level, initiating 50 years ago, ...

With Brown, take the good with the bad

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Antonio Brown signed a contract with the Steelers worth $73 million just eight months ago. That money did not buy happiness. Brown was in a foul mood during Sunday’s victory at Baltimore when he got wide open and Ben Roethlisberger failed to spot him. Brown went ...

Celebrating the simple fact there’s no place like home

Commentary This is the time of year when high schools and colleges celebrate homecoming: the chance to return to your alma mater and remember days gone by. It’s a time for football games and floats, pep rallies and party dresses, teammates and traditions. At many high schools, ceremonies ...

Standing at 5-0, Lions still have room for improvement

UNIVERSITY PARK — Coming off its incredible, nationally-televised last-play win at Iowa, Penn State returned to Beaver Stadium on Saturday looking to build on its momentum. And, for 14 minutes, the Nittany Lions did just that, scoring in every way imaginable, taking full advantage of ...

Bucs don’t need total makeover

Commentary PITTSBURGH — The Pirates drop the curtain on a second straight disappointing season today, one that keeps them south of .500 again. Culprits abound, but the biggest reason the Pirates were a non-factor was their offense. Some of the young starting pitchers sputtered on fumes ...

O-line needs to play to potential

Gone are the days when the offensive line was Penn State’s biggest weakness, but we are not yet to the point where we can call the line a major strength, either. That was expected to be the case this season, and it hasn’t played out that way yet. The yet part is a key word because the ...

Secondary has sprung leaks

When a team is 4-0 and ranked No. 4 in the country, there aren’t an abundance of big concerns. Certainly, the field goal operation — snapper, holder, placekicker — is one as Tyler Davis is no longer automatic. Four times from within 41 yards he’s either missed or had his field goal ...

Sports becoming political

Some general observations while growing sadder by the day at the interjection of politics and protests into our favorite pastimes: While much of the nation was focused on the NFL on Sunday, and with it, the swirling of politically-charged tweets, high-profile-albeit-peaceful protests, and ...

Two ways to view Lions’ win

Commentary How on earth did Penn State only win 21-19 Saturday at Iowa after dominating statistically? And did we see some things to be concerned about for the long haul in the game? Let’s play the glass is half full/half empty game. Half full: A win is a win is a win, especially on the ...