UNIVERSITY PARK - The Penn State football team resumes preparations for its 127th season on Monday when it hits the practice field for the start of training camp.
Led by head coach Bill O'Brien, 16 starters and 37 letterwinners return for the Nittany Lions, who open the campaign Aug. 31 vs. Syracuse at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Syracuse is the first of eight Penn State opponents this season who played in a bowl game last year, with five of the contests in Beaver Stadium. Three teams that finished in the 2012 BCS Top 25 will visit Happy Valley: Michigan (Oct. 12), Nebraska (Nov. 23) and Kent State (Sept. 21).
"I am excited to get started on Monday," O'Brien said. "We have a fantastic group of players and it's a team that has good chemistry. ... I feel really good about the unity of the team. We have a tough, resilient group of players who have had a great summer and everyone can't wait to get training camp started."
Twenty-five players with starting experience return for the Nittany Lions. O'Brien and the coaching staff will schedule the opening week of the 29 allotted practices around the last five days of classes and final exams for Penn State's second summer academic session. Final exams are Aug. 9 and the initial two-a-day practices begin Aug. 10, which is the first day the team can practice in full pads.
A maximum of 105 players at NCAA colleges and universities are permitted to participate in football training camp. Additional players can begin practice with the team on the first day of classes for the fall semester on Aug. 26.
The Nittany Lions return 19 letterwinners on offense, including eight starters, and have six additional players with starting experience. Penn State led the Big Ten in total offense in conference games and was second in scoring offense and second in pass offense against Big Ten foes during the 2012 season. The Nittany Lions eclipsed 500 yards in total offense in three Big Ten games.
The Penn State defense returns 16 letterwinners and six starters.
Fans will get an inside look at the Nittany Lions' preparations through a series of All-Access specials across ESPN platforms later this month. ESPN All-Access: Penn State Training Days will showcase behind-the-scenes access to on- and off-field activities, team meetings and campus facilities and culminate in a one-hour ESPN special on Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 7 p.m. A five-part series consisting of 30-minute specials on ESPNU will begin Aug. 21, at 6 p.m.
Penn State football season and single tickets are available. Ticket purchases and information is available at www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets. Fans also can call 1-800-NITTANY (648-8269) weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or stop by the Bryce Jordan Ticket Center.
Pre-paid single game parking passes for the general parking lots are also available at www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets. General parking purchased in advance is $10, while paying to park on game day when arriving to the general lots will cost $40.