Penn State Captures Lambert Trophy for 31st Time

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State has claimed an unprecedented 31st Lambert Trophy for the best team in the East. One of the nation’s oldest and prestigious trophies, the Lambert Trophy will be presented at the 82nd Annual Eastern College Football Awards Banquet, hosted by the ECAC, Thursday, Feb. 22 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

(Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)

Penn State also claimed the Lambert Trophy in 2016 under Head Coach James Franklin. Nineteen different institutions have captured the Lambert Trophy, but no five schools combined can match Penn State’s 31 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, 1964 and 1965. The first of Coach Joe Paterno’s 24 Lambert titles came in 1967 and his last came in 2009.

The Nittany Lions ended the season 11-2 with a 35-28 win over No. 11 Washington in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. Penn State finished No. 8 in both polls, marking the second-straight season with a top-10 finish for the first time since 2008 and 2009. The 11-win season is the 16th in Penn State history and seventh since joining the Big Ten.

Junior running back Saquon Barkley was honored as the Paul Hornung Award winner for the most versatile player in college football, became Penn State’s 100th first-team All-American and finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting in 2017. He was the only player in FBS this season with 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards. His 1,271 rushing yards in 2017 rank 11th in program history, while his 632 receiving yards are the most in school history for a running back.

Junior quarterback Trace McSorley completed 66.5 percent of his passes en route to 3,570 passing yards, which is second in school history behind his 3,614 yards from the 2016 season. McSorley, who was a second-team All-Big Ten selection, has thrown a touchdown pass in 27 consecutive games. He also made plays with his feet, racking up 491 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.

Defensively, senior safety Marcus Allen earned third-team All-America honors from Phil Steele and was a first-team All-Big Ten honoree by the coaches. He was second on the team with 72 tackles and had one interception and two forced fumbles. Fellow senior linebacker Jason Cabinda led the team with 88 tackles, including 2.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss on the way to being named second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches.

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