• Lions hit bye week on a roll

    Although their head coach did not sound thrilled by the bye week, Derek Moye and his Penn State teammates are glad they’re not playing this Saturday.

    Moye, the Nittany Lions leading receiver, hasn’t completely recovered from the broken bone in his left foot that he suffered three weeks ago.

    “I think it’s really important,” Moye said Tuesday. “We’re all thankful and happy to have this bye week late in the season. We get a chance to rest, to get some guys healthy and to prepare for our next three games, which are going to be tough for us.”

    No. 16 Penn State (5-0 Big Ten, 8-1) will watch games this weekend before resuming its season against No. 10 Nebraska (3-1, 7-1) Nov. 12 at Beaver Stadium. The Nittany Lions, who are on a seven-game winning streak, will finish with road games at Ohio State and Wisconsin.

    They took Monday off before holding meetings Tuesday. They’ll practice today, Thursday and Friday and then take off the weekend.

    “I don’t particularly like bye weeks at any time because I think you get out of the routine,” Penn State coach Joe Paterno said. “I guess if you have to have it, this is as good a time as any to have it, even though I’m not crazy about it.”

    That’s somewhat surprising, considering Paterno’s record following a bye. Since he became head coach in 1966, Penn State is 32-16, including 13-7 since joining the Big Ten in 1993.

    Nevertheless, the bye week gives guys like defensive tackle Devon Still, running back Silas Redd and Moye a chance to rest after playing nine consecutive Saturdays.

    “I’m not banged up more than what you would expect for somebody who’s taken the amount of hits I’ve taken,” Still said. “I’m going to use this bye week to recuperate my body and get ready for Nebraska.”

    Redd enjoyed a monstrous October, moving to second in the Big Ten in rushing. He ran for 703 yards, which topped the Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) for the month, and averaged 140.6 per game.

    But he averaged more than 26 carries a game and suffered stingers against Northwestern and Illinois the last two weeks. A week off will do him and Moye good.

    Moye returned to action in the second half last Saturday against Illinois, wearing high-top cleats to protect his injured foot. He caught two passes on the game-winning drive, even though Paterno had said he wouldn’t be back until after this week.

    “I wasn’t even too sure I was going to dress for the game,” Moye said. “They told me I might play. Coach McQueary (assistant coach Mike McQueary) came up to me at halftime and said, ‘Be ready. We might need you.’ Sure enough I got in the game.”

    Moye said he was injured in his State College apartment.

    “I was just jogging down the steps and I went and twisted it,” he said. “I was actually really surprised. I really didn’t think anything of it. I went the next morning to see the trainer and the doctor.

    “They thought it was a mild sprain before the X-rays. They X-rayed it just to be safe and they saw there was actually a break in it.”

    Moye was scheduled to have another X-ray today to determine how the bone is healing, but he said he’s feeling fine.

    “I think I’m really close to being 100 percent,” he said. “It still hurts a little bit, but I feel like I can do a majority of the things I normally do.

    “I feel like I’ll be fine for the Nebraska game. I’ll definitely be ready to go. There’s a good chance I will be 100 percent.”

    •Fera a semifinalist: Penn State sophomore Anthony Fera has been named to the list of candidates for the Ray Guy Award, which goes to the nation’s top punter.

    Last week Fera was named one of the 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award, which goes to the nation’s top kicker. Nebraska’s Brett Maher and Oklahoma State’s Quinn Sharp are the only other players to be named to both lists.

    Fera is a redshirt sophomore who’s in his second season as the punter for Penn State, which is idle this weekend. He took over the placekicking duties six games ago.

    He ranks in the top five in the Big Ten in three categories, including fourth in punting with a 42.1 average. He’s landed 11 punts inside the 20-yard line.

    Fera leads the Big Ten in field goal percentage, making 12-of-14 tries (85.7 percent) with a career long of 40 yards. He’s made all 13 of his PAT attempts.

    He’s tied for second in the Big Ten in field goals made and leads Penn State in scoring with 49 points.

    The list of Ray Guy Award candidates will be narrowed to 10 semifinalists, who will be announced Nov. 11. Three finalists will be announced Nov. 21.

    The winners of both awards will be announced Dec. 8 during the College Football Awards Show on ESPN.

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