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Nitt Picks Hopes The Curve Is Generous

Our friend Sunday Morning Quarterback put out a call for requests for his Obligatory Assessment series a few weeks ago. Your humble blogger casted his lot and today we are rewarded with SMQ's Somewhat Obligatory Assessment of Penn State. And I must say he does a pretty good job, though I have a difference of opinion on a few things. (Emphasis mine)

For fans, anyway, the association with Robinson might be the biggest difference between Clark and Pat Devlin, who they haven’t seen much more of but whose highly-recruited pedigree and statuesque frame veer a little too close to Anthony Morelli for comfort. Devlin is ostensibly the "status quo" guy -- he’s not going to be taking off very much out of the shotgun, or not successfully, anyway -- an assurance of three more years of diminishing returns from the conservative, power-running philosophy

I must respectfully take objection with SMQ's assessment of Pat Devlin as being "statuesque" like Morelli. As SMQ openly admits, we have not seen much of Devlin, but he played a good portion of the Blue-White game, which I attended, and he showed plenty of mobility to me. He wasn't running any Michael Robinson inconspicuous quarterback sneaks or anything like that, but he was rolling out of the pocket and throwing very well on the run. He didn't look as awkward or forced as Morelli did on these plays.

While Morelli and Devlin both came out of high school with five stars and high expectations, the differences between the two quarterbacks could not be any more clear. Morelli played in a very basic run-oriented offense where he would only get maybe 15 pass attempts in a game. His lofty star ranking was based mostly on his physical stature and cannon arm that blew scouts away on the camp circuit.

Devlin, on the other hand, ran a spread offense that was very heavily pass oriented. With Morelli we only had his physical tools to go on, but with Devlin we have cold hard stats. And in fact, Devlin holds the state record for career passing yards in Pennsylvania. The coaches have seemed very pleased the past two years with his ability to grasp the playbook. This is a stark contrast from Morelli who constantly addressed rumors that the coaches were dumbing down the playbook for him. The only similarities Morelli and Devlin share are their home state, their star ranking, and the color of their skin. That's three things. And that fact they have the same pathetic quarterback coach, FOUR! That's FOUR things. But considering that last one maybe SMQ has a point.

Other than that I think SMQ sells Royster a little short, and his final forecast is a little more pessimistic than mine, but overall a good job and well worth the read. So check that out.

Does This Test Grade On A Curve?

Talk about humbling. If you have an hour or two to kill this weekend, go take the NCAA test for officials. You think you know football? You don't no nothin', punk. Here's a sample for you.

78. A's ball 4th & 16 on A's 44. Team B defensive end dives to block the kick and roughs the kicker without touching the kick. After the contact, the kick is blocked by the Team B nose guard. The kick does not cross the neutral zone. The Team B defensive tackle bats the ball forward from A's 32 where the defensive end picks up the ball on A's 26 and advances to A's 20 where he pitches the ball forward to a teammate who advances across Team A's goal line.

A.  A 1st & 10 @ B41
B.  A 4th & 1 @ B41
C.  B 1st & 10 @ A25
D.  Touchdown Team B

Good luck with that. For the record, your humble blogger scored a 46 out of 100 just like this guy did. Zombie Nation fared better in scoring a 51 out of 100, so bully for him. It's still not as bad as my all-time worse 32% on a Physical Chemistry test*. I'm hoping with the curve I end up with a C+. If anyone takes the test please share your results in the comments so I won't feel as bad.

* - For the record, the 32% in Physical Chemistry was good enough for a C with the curve.

Lift For Life

This weekend is the annual Lift for Life competition. With all the bad news coming out of our program the past few years I just wish great stories like this got more national attention. Fight On State put out the team rosters earlier this week.

Best Team Name: Can You Stretch Out McGloin featuring Matt McGloin, Mark Wedderburn, John Kelly, and James Terry
Runner Up: White Bread, Lightly Toasted featuring Chaz Powell, Josh Marks, Derek Moye, and Shelton McCullough

Most Boring Team Name: Backfield featuring Evan Royster, Brent Carter, Larry Federoff, and Ryan Gmerek. See, cuz they're all running backs.
Runner Up: Top Guns featuring Doug Klopacz, Tom McEowen, Jonathan Stewart, and Paul Cianciolo. Hopefully they put more effort into the event than they did in coming up with a team name.

My money is on Can I Get An Encore featuring Tyrell Sales, A.Q. Shipley, Anthony Scirrotto, and Josh Gaines. Never bet against Shipley in this event. Any of his teammates that slack off face certain death by bludgeoning with the arm Shipley rips out of their shoulder socket.