Penn State Notebook: Brown has 'tremendous potential'


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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State sophomore wide receiver Justin Brown is pushing himself to become more consistent.

"I feel like I have a lot of things to work on before I become a pretty good player," he said.

Brown caught a career-high five passes for 64 yards Saturday in the 38-14 loss at Ohio State, including his first career touchdown reception, a 23-yard pass from quarterback Matt McGloin.

"He's a great football player," McGloin said. "He's a young guy who obviously has a lot of potential. Justin just happened to be open a lot on Saturday.

"I don't really look at one particular guy on a play. Obviously, we look at the match-ups, and that decides a lot. Whoever is open, I am going to throw the ball to. ... [Justin's] going to be good in the future."

Brown, 6 feet 3 and 216 pounds, has seven starts entering the game Saturday between Penn State (6-4, 3-3) and Indiana (4-6, 0-6) at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

He is the fourth-leading receiver with 21 catches for 283 yards and a touchdown. He is averaging 13.5 yards per reception but just 28.3 yards per game.

Brown also has returned 12 punts for 63 yards, a 5.2 average.

"Justin Brown has always been somebody we have felt had tremendous potential and, you know, [Brett] Brackett and others have been the wideouts we've gone with," coach Joe Paterno said. "I think Brown has to be a more prominent player.

"We haven't been able to get him much running room when he's caught kicks. But I think he's got a lot of ability, and, one of these days, when they start doubling up the other kids, Brown will have a big day."

Brown agreed with Paterno that he needs to become a more prominent player.

"Definitely," Brown said. "I feel like that shows that he trusts me and believes in me. ... Joe always talks about how everybody has potential, it's about the ones who are willing to work for it."

No reason to watch

Wisconsin scored on all 13 possessions last weekend in an 83-20 rout of Indiana.

It was the most points by a Big Ten team in a conference game in six decades. It also tied for third-most in Big Ten history, matching the 83-point effort by Ohio State against Iowa in 1950.

The Hoosiers surrendered 598 yards of offense and 11 touchdowns. The most points they previously allowed was in a 69-17 loss to Nebraska in 1978.

Paterno said the coaching staff looked at tape, but didn't watch much more than a half.

"There wasn't anything to be learned after that," he said

Indiana has lost 11 consecutive conference games.

Red-zone success

Penn State was 14 of 20 in the red zone in the first six games, with six touchdowns and eight field goals.

In the past four games, the Lions are 13 of 15 inside the 20, with 12 touchdowns and one field goal.

Family ties

Indiana redshirt freshman defensive end Javon Cornley is the younger brother of former Penn State basketball standout Jamelle Cornley.

Jamelle was named tournament MVP during the Lions' run to the NIT championship in 2009. A two-time All-Big Ten pick, he finished his career as the school's No. 4 scorer (1,579 points) and No. 4 rebounder (755).

Javon has played in every game and has one tackle.

WPIAL connection

Offensive tackle Colin Rodkey, a 6-foot-4, 275-pound redshirt freshman from Gateway High School, is the lone WPIAL player on Indiana's roster. He has played in four games.

Paterno lauded

The U.S. House passed a resolution Wednesday honoring Paterno for his 400th career win, which came Nov. 6 when the Nittany Lions defeated Northwestern.


Ron Musselman: rmusselman@post-gazette.com .


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