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Mon, 14 Nov 2011 10:37 AM EST

Culminating the awful week at college history, No. Twelve Penn State couldn’t conquer a 17-point deficit and was stopped short on a fourth-and-1 late in a 17-14 loss Sat. to No. 19 Nebraska Cornhuskers. Baseball lines

The end result was secondary.

A noisy chapter that commenced with the arrest of previous defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky on stunning kid sexual abuse charges finished Sat. with PSU ( 8-2, 5-1 Big 10 ) losing in its 1stgame of the post-Joe Paterno time. The winningest major varsity football coach ever was let goWednesday.

Rex Burkhead ran for 121 yards and a touchdown for Nebraska ( 8-2, 4-2 ) before the Nittany Lions scored 14 points on two second-half touchdown runs by Stephfon Green.

But a key drive stopped when Silas Redd was stopped on the fourth down with 1:49 left at the PSU 38.

School president Rod Erickson met the Nittany Lions in the locker room after and praised, “how much bravery, how much heart, and how much character” the players had, he claimed. Baseball betting lines

Most Penn State fans heeded calls for a “blueout,” wearing the school’s familiar dark blue in support of victims of kid abuse. Fans formed the outline of a blue ribbon in the coed section.

“We are … PSU,” roared the gang through the afternoon, the signature State College cheer.

But this school’s identity has forever modified.

“I think today it just made the healing process begin to begin,” interim coach Tom Bradley said.

Sandusky, architect of the “Linebacker U.” defenses, was charged last weekend with sexually abusing 8 boys over Fifteen years. The athletic director and a school VP were charged with perjury and failing to report a 2002 claim to police, and Paterno was fired following mounting ire he didn’t do more on the charge — that Sandusky attacked a boy in the PSU football showers — than pass it along to his bosses. President Graham Spanier also was ousted for identical reasons.

“I felt this was a time to play, but also was time we could recognize and bring national focus to the difficulty of sexual abuse. Our players and everyone concerned, the way that they conducted themselves today, proved that this was the correct decision. This was the way to do it. ” — Penn State president Rod Erickson

The last time Penn State played a game at Beaver Stadium, on Oct. Twenty-nine, Paterno was honored by Spanier for his 409th career victory, the most in Division I history.

On Sat., he was nowhere to be found — save for one or two transitory images on the video boards overhead. That was enough to get spontaneous cheers of “Joe Paterno!” ringing thru the stands.

“It was a tough game. There were lots of feelings going on,” expounded linebacker Nate Stupar, who had a team-high 13 tackles. “I utilized the feelings to fuel the fire.”

Paterno started as a helper in 1950, then took over as boss coach in 1966. It was Penn State’s 1stgame without Paterno on staff since November. Nineteen, 1949, a 19-0 loss at Pittsburgh.

But in several respects, it was like any other fall Saturday at State College. Massive 6-foot-5 defensive tackle Devon Still hit ball carriers with typical brutality and the Nittany Lions played another close, low-scoring game — as they have all year.

Penn State’s first play from scrimmage was a fullback run up the middle — a Paterno fave. The offense struggled again.

And someone named “Paterno” wore a path on the sideline wearing jet black Nike sneakers. Just not that Paterno.

Paterno’s child, quarterback coach Jay Paterno, moved down from his common spot in the press box to relay plays from the sideline — a job once held by helper coach Mike McQueary.

“We’ve had better weeks in our lives, obviously,” Jay Paterno asserted. “I think roughly a week back, where we were sitting, the world’s sort of turned the wrong way up, but I suspect our children were resilient.”

McQueary was among the missing after being placed on unfixed paid leave Friday by the high school. His name surfaced as a grand jury witness to the 2002 abuse charge. Sandusky, who retired in 1999 but lives in the area and had access to college facilities, maintains his innocence.

McQueary, Joe Paterno asserts, told him that Sandusky had behaved inappropriately, but not to the extent of the detailed testimony. Paterno then passed the information on to Curley, but the report was not given to police.

Reports of the scandal evinced threats to McQueary, the highschool claimed, and brought heightened security.

But there weren’t any observable problems in the game.

“Personally I felt this was a time to play, but also was time we could recognize and bring state focus to the difficulty of sexual abuse,” Erickson declared. “Our players and everybody concerned, the way they conducted themselves today, proved that this was the correct choice. This was the way to do it.”

By the 2nd half, fans looked most nervous about whether the Penn State Nittany Lions could get back into the game.

The Corhuskers constructed a 17-0 lead, with Burkhead gashing Penn Nation’s staunch D on 25 carries. He motored Fourteen yards into the end sector with 8:51 left in quarter 3 for a 17-0 lead.

Then came the second-half push from Green on Senior Day — his last game at Beaver Stadium.

The senior scored from Five yards with 5:07 in quarter 3, then added a 6-yard run at 5:42 of the 4th to get PSU inside three. Green finished with 71 yards on Seventeen carries.

But the offense faltered on 2 late drives, including the fourth-and-1 stop of Redd. Out of timeouts with 49 seconds left, the Nittany Lions got the ball back but could get no further than their own 46 before time expired.

The fans cheered anyway, and greeted the Nittany Lions with another chorus of “We are … Penn State.”

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