Nittany Lions earn record 29th Lambert Trophy as top Eastern team

January 08, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State has earned an unprecedented 29th Lambert Trophy, symbolic of Eastern football supremacy.

The Nittany Lions will be honored March 27 at the Eastern College Football Awards Banquet, hosted by the ECAC, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Penn State’s most recent Lambert Trophy selection had been in 2009, which was the 24th Lambert Trophy title earned under coach Joe Paterno.

Eighteen different institutions have captured the Lambert Meadowlands Trophy, but no four schools combined can match Penn State’s 29 titles.

Established in 1936 by brothers Victor and Henry Lambert in memory of their father, August, the Lambert Trophy was first captured by Penn State in 1947 under coach Bob Higgins. Coach Rip Engle guided Lambert Trophy winners in 1961, ’64 and ’65. The first of Paterno’s Lambert titles came in 1967.

Penn State finished the 2013 season with a 31-24 victory over No. 14 Wisconsin, earning its first on-field Top 15 win since beating No. 13 LSU in the 2010 Capital One Bowl. Among the Nittany Lions’ other notable victories were a 43-40 four-overtime decision over Michigan and a win over Syracuse in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Penn State has earned marks of 8-4 and 7-5 the past two years, under unprecedented circumstances, coached by Bill O’Brien, who last week was named head coach of the NFL’s Houston Texans. Director of Athletics Dave Joyner said Tuesday that he anticipates having Penn State’s 16th head football coach “in place in a matter of days.”

During the 2013 season, Penn State had three first-team All-Big Ten honorees (defensive tackle DaQuan Jones, wide receiver Allen Robinson and guard John Urschel) and the record-setting Robinson was selected the Big Ten Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year for the second consecutive year. Robinson was selected a first-team All-American and Urschel was a third-team All-American, giving Penn State at least one first-team All-American every season since 2005 and 98 all-time.

Nittany Lion quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who broke 11 school freshman records last season, was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, as well as a first-team True Freshman All-American, giving Penn State the conference’s last two freshman honorees.

Joining Penn State as Lambert Meadowlands winners for 2013 are Towson (Football Championship Subdivision), West Chester (Division II) and St. John Fisher (Division III).

To be eligible for the Lambert Meadowlands Award, a school must be located in the East or play at least half of its schedule against eligible Lambert teams. The territory includes New York, New Jersey, New England and Pennsylvania, while teams in the bordering states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia and the District of Columbia qualify if at least half of their schedule features eligible teams. Teams in Eastern-based football conferences, regardless of location, qualify if at least half their schedule is against Lambert eligible teams.

Penn State returns 15 starters for the 2014 season (seven offense, seven defense, one specialist), which begins Aug. 30 vs. 2014 Fiesta Bowl champion UCF in the Croke Park Classic in Dublin. The Nittany Lions will play three Top 10 teams during the 2014 campaign: Rose Bowl Champion Michigan State, Ohio State and UCF. Penn State will host Michigan State, Ohio State, Northwestern and Maryland during its 2014 Big Ten home schedule.

For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing 2014 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, visit or call 800-NITTANY from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.

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Last Updated January 08, 2014