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Preview: Penn State at Penn State

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2011 Penn State Nebraska-56

Penn State vs. Penn State: The BOBening.

Kickoff?: Will there be an actual kickoff? Either way, the proceedings start at 2:00 p.m.
TV: YOU ARE LOOKING LI-- Oh. Tape delay? 8 p.m. on BTN.
Radio: Steve Jones and Jack Ham on the Penn State Sports Network, including ESPN Radio 1450 and WBUS (93.7) in State College, and 30 other affiliates.
Line: On a radically scored spring game, loser?
Weather: National Weather Service has 63 and showers; AccuWeather predicts 57 and thunderstorms lurking about.

So, This Should Be Fun. Weather notwithstanding, per usual. BOB has brought a frenzied pace to the spring practice sessions, and vows to snap the ball with the play clock in the high-teens once the season comes around. He also promised to play the Blue-White game as close to real game conditions as possible, so let's hope to see some of the "NASCAR Offense" on Saturday. The more reps, the better, especially for a coaching staff still trying to decide on a quarterback and generally see what they have at any number of other positions.

The Obvious. Yes, quarterbacks. The current state of affairs seems to indicate that Matt McGloin is holding off Paul Jones and Rob Bolden for now. If the BOBfense is truly going to rely on smarts and quick decisionmaking in the passing game, it's understandable that McGloin is in the lead at the moment. Don't let that stop you from overreacting and meticulously parsing spring game statistics, though. It's a long summer. We'll all fall into that trap at some point. As for Jones, he seems to be doing well enough as he continues to get his academic house in order.

Bolden? Basically, he's this. Who the hell knows. I maintain that the previous coaching staff gambled on the prospect of boosting Bolden's confidence by continuing to posture as if he was #1A in the middle of last season. The gamble lost, as Bolden never carried his end of the deal, leading to repeated benchings and shattered confidence. Now he's more of a long-term reclamation project than a viable horse in the quarterback derby. And with that said, watch him go 11-13 for 3TD tomorrow.

My Kingdom For. Healthy wide receivers and defensive backs, perhaps? The lack of depth is well-documented at defensive back. Despite a relative glut of wide receivers, Penn State won't be operating at full capacity at that position Saturday, either. Alex Kenney (knee) and Devon Smith (foot) are out for the game, leaving six scholarship receivers (Brown, Kersey, Robinson, Kuntz, Zannelato, Moseby-Felder) and a gaggle of walk-ons to carry the water. Also missing for the long-term will be LB James Van Fleet, who tore an ACL a few days ago. He's an important cog on special teams and a second-team linebacker, so it's not an insignificant injury even though Van Fleet isn't a household name for most fans.

It's The Little Things. The Little, Annual Things. Will the quarterbacks be crisp against a depleted defensive back seven? Can the offensive line get a reliable push against a good defensive line? OH GOD, WON'T IT JUST STOP RAINING?

M.I.A. Our best guess as to players you won't see Saturday: RB Derek Day (ankle), CB Mike Wallace (chest), DE Pete Massaro (knee), WR Alex Kenney (ankle/knee), OL Anthony Alosi (ankle), DL Evan Hailes (blood clots), WR Devon Smith (foot), LB Mike Mauti (knee), DE Jordan Kerner (knee), LB Khairi Fortt (dislocated kneecap), LB James Van Fleet (knee). Most of this stuff is precautionary or short-term. It's also likely an incomplete list. The Hailes saga is particularly disturbing. That's a guy who was so proud to be a part of Penn State when he committed, and he hasn't been able to get clearance to play.

Prediction In GIF Form?

Come to Penn State! That goes for everyone -- fans, alumni, recruits, wayward drunks. Have fun and be safe. Oh, and this, just because:

And, you've just wasted 15 minutes at work. You're welcome.

Prediction: Offense - Threeve, Defense $Texas.

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