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BSD Mailbag 10.08.13

You've got questions, BSD has answers.

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

What do you think will have a bigger impact on recruiting: scholarship increase, play on the field, or something else entirely? ajy127
Right now I would have to say the scholarship reductions have the biggest impact on recruiting. The bowl ban doesn't help, but it is nearly half over and it will have a very minimal impact on recruits moving forward. If I was a highly-recruited player trying to select a college, I would be very concerned about the chances of being on a competitive team that would be short-handed for the next several seasons.

If you could bring in one speaker to fire the team up for Michigan week, who would it be, and why? Aqua Velva Man

I thought long and hard trying to come up with the perfect answer until I realized I was overthinking it. Could anyone fire up this team more than a return visit from Michael Mauti?I think not.

Without knowing exactly where the problems lie, would you say its time for your readers to crack each others heads open and feast on the goo inside? Inflammable Dumpster

Take away Saturday and to put this in perspective what are the top 5 losses in program history? PSU_Sincebirth

Here's my list, based on both the opponent and the frustration of the loss:
1. 2004- Iowa-6 Penn State-4
2. 2012- Virginia-17 Penn State-16
3. 2000 Toledo-24 Penn State-6
4. 2004 Northwestern-14 Penn State-7
5. 1999 Minnesota-24 Penn State-23

That's off the top of my head, going back to when I started following the team closely in 1993. What's your top bottom five?

Yes. Anything else would be completely unreasonable.

I know we have 67 scolies but take away the ones he gave the walk ons how many true scholarship players are on our roster? PSU_sincebirth

According to BO'B's post-game press conference following the Indiana loss, the current number is 61.

What's the point of a 'hurry up' offense if the offense doesn't, y'know, hurry up? I was at the Indiana game, and the difference between the two offenses was startling: Indiana had a play ready to go once the whistle sounded, and they snapped the ball immediately. Our offense would get to the line, then pause to get a play in from the sideline, Hack would confer with everyone, etc. It looked ponderous rather than NASCAR. So what’s up with that?


The one positive about the NASCAR offense is that it prevents the defense from subbing, so when BO'B sees a lineup that he can attack, the offense can go into hurry-up to keep that unit on the field. Unfortunately, it's also about establishing a rhythm and getting the defense out of sync, which just isn't happening for the reasons you mention above.

Opposing offensive coordinators are figuring out how to effectively move the ball against Penn State, so things could get ugly as the season progresses. With that in mind, it would make sense to play ball-control offense to keep opposing offenses on the sidelines. But I'm not counting on seeing this happening any time soon.

Do you think BOB is just mailing in the season and the run game to get Hack as many snaps in as many situations as possible? aaron.lawrence.smith

No chance. BO'B is a fierce competitor, and I have no inkling he would just play for the future so early in the season (if ever). I fear that what we're seeing is that BO'B is very attached to his system, and would rather stick to his preferred offense instead of building the offense around what he has. I really hope I'm wrong.

Is it just me, or is there a disturbing amount of apathy being displayed by the defense? Week in and week out it looks like they are just going through the motions. psuphysicist

I don't think there's any apathy whatsoever. I just seems that this defense isn't nearly as good as the defenses from 2004-2009 and 2011-2012. We've been spoiled by having a dominant defense every single year. You never knew what you would get from the offense, but we all knew the defense would be one of the best units in the nation, even during years of heavy turnover.

Worse Loss: 2013 at Indiana, 2010 Illinois? millzners

I actually thought of the 2010 Illinois game on Saturday night because these games were so familiar. The 2010 team was the youngest of the Paterno era, and was decimated by injuries at that point in the season. The 2013 team is extremely inexperienced in many spots, and has 24 less players on scholarship. Both were frustrating losses, yet completely understandable when you really think about it.

Matt McGloin is the first Penn State quarterback to make an NFL roster out of camp, as a QB, since……? bscaff

Off the top of my head, I believe it was actually Kevin Thompson.

I did not get to watch the game. Should I avoid watching all the rest of the games so I don’t have to watch this happen again? Or, do I have to watch all the rest of the games so this doesn’t happen again? psfann

So that's why we lost! You definitely need to watch- for one, you need to be a true fan win or lose. If I watched every minute of every game during the Dark Years, you can hang on for the rest of the season. Secondly, you need to do everything opposite from what you did this past Saturday to help prevent another debacle. So unless you're dead or in jail you better not blink during these next seven games.

What's your favorite shady restaurant in the Youngstown/Warren area? WorldBFat

There are only a couple restaurants in that area I frequent these days, because I don't spend much time in those parts anymore unless I'm visiting my parents. The ones I'm still familiar with are far from shady, so I'll go with Ponderosa. Every town in Ohio has a shuttered Ponderosa, except for the gem of a restaurant in Warren, Ohio. There's just nowhere else you can get a ribeye and all-you-can-eat buffet for $7.99...not until Jim Traficant and Mickey Monus open there restaurant together, that is.

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