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On Saturday, Marrone wouldn't mind creating the headlines on the Beaver Stadium turf. A win over Penn State would require a David and Goliath-type upset effort.
"He's from Brooklyn. I'm from the Bronx," Marrone said. "I hope I can have the same type of success, or a little of the success, that coach Paterno has had."
Penn State once recruited Marrone, who eventually decided to play college ball at Syracuse, though Paterno couldn't recall the particulars of his recruitment.
One characteristic did stand out, though, to JoePa.
"Oh boy, he is Italian, isn't he," joked Paterno, who is of Italian descent himself.
The reporter didn't know, but someone told Paterno that Marrone hailed from the Bronx, which like Brooklyn, is a borough of New York City.
"What do you mean you couldn't tell me? That's the second most important thing to me," Paterno quipped. Being "from the Bronx doesn't hold much water with me."
Saturday's game is the second of a home-and-home series between the two schools, and there are no immediate plans for the rivalry to continue. Penn State routed Syracuse, 55-13 at the Carrier Dome in 2008.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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