The preseason USA Today Coaches Poll is out, and I'm surprised to see Penn State ranked #14. That's quite a bit higher than I expected, and higher than I have seen the Nittany Lions ranked in any other preseason poll.
Replacing Jared Odrick on the defensive line is a huge must this year, and luckily Devon Still is a huge guy ready to do that. The Post-Gazette has a feature on Still today. I'm offering 100 BSD Bucks to any student who can get me a picture of this.
Devon Still is hard to miss as he cruises across Penn State's campus on his 49cc scooter.
Still, 6 feet 5 and 304 pounds, said the bike reaches speeds of 50 mph, yet he doesn't wear a helmet.
"Me being so big, I know it's a sight to behold seeing me on the scooter," Still said, laughing. "I like to ride it to practice. And I have left a few of my teammates ride it. It's a good conversation piece."
Looking ahead to a future PSU opponent, Doug Marrone is clearing house and has Syracuse headed in the right direction as Dr. Saturday points out.
If some of the roots of progress took hold last year – in the midst of another 1-6, last-place finish in the Big East – a bowl game isn't as farfetched as that record may suggest. The Orange beat a couple bowl-bound outfits, coming from behind to beat Northwestern on a last-second field goal and stunning Rutgers, a nine-point favorite, 31-13 in late November, outgaining the Scarlet Knights by almost 300 total yards in the most encouraging 'Cuse win since the 2001 Insight Bowl. They were an overtime against Minnesota (a 23-20 loss in the opener) and a botched extra point at Louisville (10-9) from improbably staggering into a .500 regular season. Ten returning starters on defense, including top pass rushers Doug Hogue and Derrell Smith (both second-team All-Big East picks as juniors), make up on of the most veteran lineups in the conference.
That 2013 game in the Meadowlands just might turn out to be a good one if Marrone can keep the Orange improving.