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Penn State Football: O'Brien Grateful for Seniors' Service to the Program

by on November 20, 2012 1:01 PM

One more.

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That's what Penn State's 2012 season comes down to. One more game left in a season unlike any other in the 126 years this university fielded a football team.

O'Brien announced Tuesday that the families of the senior class will be honored on the field pregame for the first time ever when the seniors run through the tunnel one final time before their clash with Wisconsin at 3:30 p.m. He made another plea to fans to be in their seats at 3.

Penn State's first-year coach has endeared himself to the seniors, who stuck with Penn State despite unprecedented NCAA sanctions handed down in July. But it did not start then. He mentioned the passing of former coach Joe Paterno and adjusting to a new coaching staff with new philosophies.

One more for O'Brien and the seniors, who he said will leave a lasting mark on him for the duration of his life.

"To think back when I was 19, 20, 21, 22 years old and to think of all the things they went through happen to me personally, I don't know how we would've dealt with those things," O'Brien said. "These guys, it's pretty neat to watch these guys handle things, pick themselves up and charge forward. We’re not a pretty bunch. We’re 7-4, but boy, we do play hard. And a lot of that has to do with the senior class and buying into a new way of doing things.

"We’ll remember them forever."

No Word on Mauti Injury and Sixth Year

O'Brien declined to provide more details about Mike Mauti's left knee injury. He also said it's way too early to talk about the possibility of Mauti returning for a sixth year.

Mauti has been ruled out for Saturday's game against Wisconsin.

Nate Mink covers Penn State football and news for He's on Twitter as @MinkNate.
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