Penn State searching for answers

Originally Published: October 8, 2003
By Herb Gould | Special to
After bouncing back with a 9-4 mark last season, Penn State appears headed for a very un-Joe-Paterno-like third losing season in the last four years. The Nittany Lions, who paved the way for a 30-23 loss to Wisconsin with some major special-teams breakdowns, now go on the road against a couple of very capable teams, Purdue and Iowa, before coming home to face Ohio State.

If they can't find a way to surprise one of those formidable opponents, the Nittany Lions (2-4, 0-2 Big Ten), who were 5-7 in 2000 and 5-6 in 2001, would have a losing record even if they were to win out from there. And even those final three games, which include trips to Northwestern and Michigan State, figure to be tough battles for Paterno's struggling crew.

  • It's probably the least of his worries. But Paterno, who became the winningest coach in major-college football when he passed Bear Bryant in 2001, could be tied for that record this week by Bobby Bowden. If Penn State loses at Purdue and Florida State beats Miami, Paterno would be 338-104-3 and Bowden would be 338-96-4.