It had been a long five months without football, and now that the Blue-White Game has come and gone, it'll be a long four-and-a-half months more. For as much of a facsimile of a real game that Saturday provided, it was also a reminder that it'll be a real long time until we're back in Beaver Stadium. And while the offseason is long (and full of terrors), the glimpse of seeing the 2013 Lions (or, at least, most of them) helped us get a sense on what this team is going to look like in the fall. Sure, we have had our Aric Heffelfingers in the past, and plenty of studs to-be did so without first blowing up before our eyes on the last weekend in April. But Saturday's game answered some of our questions, at least for now. Specifically, it answered this question:
Who most impressed you with their performance in the Blue-White Game?
Devon: Okay, I know the "sacks" in the Blue-White Game don't really count, since all the defender has to do is touch the quarterback, but nine sacks are nine sacks, and most of them were pretty impressive from guys who are going to provide some crucial depth on the defensive line. Brad Bars showed a terrific burst off the edge that signals that he could be a situational pass rusher even if he's undersized as a traditional defensive end, Evan Schwan showed the motor that compelled Bill O'Brien to offer him a scholarship. Austin Johnson backed up the hype that has seemed to catapult him into the starting lineup. Even if most of the work came against backup linemen, it was still impressive.
Adam: For someone who only switched positions a few weeks ago, I thought Trevor Williams was impressive at corner. He seemed comfortable on the defensive side of the ball, which was a pleasant surprise. If that can carry through to the season, we'll be in far better shape in the defensive backfield. I also thought that Deron Thompson had a nice game, particularly for a fourth string run-on tailback. He's someone that can provide depth at a position that will need it.
Bill: Tyler Ferguson. We keep hearing about how tough and complex PSU's offense is to pick up, but it appeared to me that he has done a great job picking it up. The big thing I was looking for was the QB battle, and all things considered, I thought Ferguson had the better game (barely been on campus, Bench has had an extra year to learn the playbook). As for concerns that have been allayed, I was petrified about Trevor Williams. Like, I expected it to be a train wreck. And he proved me completely wrong. I thought he looked great. Of course, this is a spring game so I'm not getting too wrapped up in his performance, but any positive signs out of him are fantastic.
Jared: The defensive ends. I was very optimistic about the potential of some of the inexperienced defensive ends, and they somehow managed to exceed my wildest expectations. LJ Sr. should have a very deep crop of edge rushers to rotate this season. Deion Barnes obviously has a starting spot locked down, but I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Anthony Zettell, Evan Schwan or even the always underestimated Brad Bars take the other spot ahead of C.J. Olaniyan. Regardless, expect a fresh set of dominant DEs at all times this season that will only improve over time.
Dan: Akeel Lynch. Yeah, it's an easy choice to make, but he showed that he was the real deal that we all thought he was. He and Zwinak will provide a formidable duo in the backfield this fall. I still had some fears about the secondary, but Trevor Williams looked like a true cornerback on Saturday which allays another fear of Amos moving to safety.
bscaff: The DBs have really come along. DaQuan Davis, for only weighing somewhere around 78 lbs, plays fearlessly, and supports the run like he's 250 lbs. He reminds me of my Jack Russell Terrier. And it was either #6 or #9 - Golden or Lucas - who played both corner and safety in the game, looked okay at safety, but much more comfortable at corner. Whoever you were, good job on the edge. You give me confidence that Penn State will have more than 2 cornerbacks this year.
Cari: Deron Thompson. I mean, who was that kid? Twelve rushes for a hundred yards? I know Zach Zwinak got banged up pretty early and Bill Belton sat out, but I had been a bit concerned about depth beyond the three-headed-monster of those two plus the as-expected awesomeness that was Akeel Lynch, but Thompson took me off guard. In a good way. They weren't really a concern of mine before, but they're even less so now.