Alamo Bowl Notes

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -

Dan Connor

has had quite a career and quite a month.

The last week here in preparation for tonight's Alamo Bowl hasn't been too bad, either.

Still, the Penn State senior linebacker knows it will end about midnight, when the fourth-quarter clock reads zeros and either his team or Texas A&M has won.

"It's been a fun week," said Connor, from Wallingford, Delaware County. "The city is real pretty; there's a ton to do. And yet, at the same time in the back of my head, I know that it's kind of winding down, my whole career. It's not going to hit me until after the game."

Connor, who graduated a week ago, will depart with a multitude of records and awards. He became the Nittany Lions' all-time leader in tackles in his last home game, against Purdue. He received the Bednarik Award, given to the nation's top defensive player, this month. He was named a first-team all-American for the second consecutive season.

All that's left is the opportunity to go out with a win.

"It works out perfectly for me to be able to go out and win the game and give up zero or seven points and put up a score like that," said Connor, who soon will hire an agent in preparation for the NFL draft. "That's what I've been working for."

Paterno mum

Penn State coach

Joe Paterno

would not say why three players were left at home.

Starting defensive tackle

Chris Baker

, backup linebacker

Navorro Bowman

, and special-teams player

Knowledge Timmons

did not travel to Texas, though Paterno said Dec. 13 that they would go.

"They're not here, and you know why they're not here," Paterno said. "Forget about it."

Baker, Bowman and Timmons were implicated in an on-campus fight in October. Baker, who also is awaiting trial for a separate fight, and Bowman are charged with misdemeanor assaults after they allegedly beat a man. The man suffered a broken nose.

Felony assault counts that were dismissed at a preliminary hearing have been refiled by the Centre County District Attorney's Office. Timmons was issued a misdemeanor disorderly conduct citation for his actions after the fight.

Backup defensive tackle

Tom McEowen

and backup cornerback

Willie Harriott

also did not travel for undisclosed reasons.

- Jeff McLane