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BSD Mailbag 11.12.13

You've got questions! We've got answers! And you might even like some of them!

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Record so far: W-W-L-W-L-W-L-W-L leads me to predict W-L-L. Agree or disagree, and why?--PSU_Lions_84

That seems pretty logical to me. Since it's at home, I could see the Lions squeaking out a win over the Huskers, but we likely won't be favored in that game. Since Wisconsin is a very good team and that game is in Camp Randall, I think we'll be lucky to keep it within three scores. W-L-L seems likely, with an outside chance at W-W-L (it is, after all, senior day).

About the tight ends: Do you think the lack of production from tight ends has to do with the difference between a fifth-year senior and freshman quarterback? Tight ends are often the third or fourth option on plays. McGloin probably checked down to those options or changed his read so they became the first option based on what the defense was showing.--psfann

I haven't really looked into it, so I could be way off, but are we not using our TEs because they’re helping to pass block? Also, are we facing more consistent pressure this year than last because teams are trying to rattle a true freshman QB? I feel like one of the reasons we haven’t seen much of Breneman this year is because he hasn’t blocked all that well so when he’s in the game, we lose some of the versatility of the TE position since teams know he’s only in to run routes.--Succss With Honor Always

I don't think it's either of these options. I really think that it has more to do with the fact that BOB's offense is a) more simplified this year for the true freshman QB (not sure if you guys know, but Christian Hackenberg is only 18), and b) is offense is not a surprise to anyone in the Big Ten anymore. Last year, opposing coaches didn't quite know what to make of O'Brien's tight end sets; this year, though, there's plenty of film for them to game plan, and more easily negate the tight end. And, since Matt Lehman's been out, there are fewer sets we've been able to run; Adam Breneman is also a freshman, for those unaware. Kyle Carter came in this season off an injury, and Jesse James, despite the hype, hasn't really shown what so many wanted to see out of him. Likely it's a mix of all of that, but I think (hope?) it's something that will get better next year with the return of Lehman, the added depth of an experienced Breneman and incoming Mike Gesicki, and the expanded playbook they'll likely be able to implement in the offseason, I'm optimistic in the continued growth of our offense next year, with or without Allen Robinson.

Am I crazy, or is this team a couple plays away from being really good? And are there any good cornerback recruits coming in?--AlmostAYardShy

I hate to break it to you, but I think you're a little crazy.

This team is a couple of plays away from being decent to good (right now, they are, quite frankly, okay to mediocre). But very good is last year's team; they're not at that level, bad bounces or refereeing or spiraling forces conspiring againsts us notwithstanding.

And, yes, we have some good cornerbacks coming in. Troy Vincent Jr is the #6 recruit from Maryland (his dad played for Wisconsin) and chose the Nittany Lions after camping at WVU, Pitt and OSU, and visits to UGA and Tennessee. Daquan Worley plays running back in Coatesville (he went down with a slight knee injury last week) but will likely play corner once he gets to State College. Nick Scott and Jason Cabinda are both classified as athletes, and could possibly play in the secondary (as well as help out our sorely-depleted special teams units). That list doesn't even include Marcus Allen, who's a four star and likely slotted to play Safety.

Next season: One the one hand the seniors and possibly some other players will leave, while on the other, those that remain will have more experience and there will be many more scholarship true freshmen. On what can I pin my hopes for better play next season?--confirmy

One word: scheduling.

Seriously, have you seen this schedule? Only three of the 2014 opponents are ranked. Only five are currently above .500. And one of those five is Rutgers. I see eight wins on paper, and that seems conservative to me--only Ohio State seems like it might be out of reach, with UCF, Michigan, and Michigan State the only potential very, very early likely losses. And some of that depends on who leaves and who returns amongst those teams.

So, yeah...we'll be better. And so will our schedule. 2014 should be a good year.

Is this team playing up to their full potential? And if they are not, is it reason for me to abandon watching the rest of the season?--PSUinOH

I definitely don't think they're playing to their full potential, but that's not abnormal. It's a very, very rare college team that does play to its full potential--even some national champions don't. I'd argue even our most recent great teams, 2008 and 2005, didn't play to their full potential (thanks, Iowa and Michigan, respectively). You watch because it's Penn State, it's football, and these guys deserve our support, no matter what happens on the field. Because we're Penn Staters, and we've been through much worse things than being 5-4. You watch because we are, and we always will be.

After this weekend's wrestling domination, how freakin awesome is this season going to be?--PSU12

So. Fricking. Awesome.

Seriously, I can't wait. Especially since six PSU wrestlers won this week (and that didn't even include 125er Nico Megaludis, who's good for a run in March).

If you haven't already, check out bscaff's wrap up of the Binghampton Open. He also did a wide-scale NCAA/Big Ten wrestling preview with Ross WB of our friends at the Pants; part one is there, and part two is here (because, of course, part two is the home of TAYLOR AND RUTH THE DOMINATORS).

If you are an opposing coach with a dual against Penn State, what weight do you try to get Cael to agree to start with?--Smee

I think you start at 133. I see the idea of starting with the heavies because we're not traditionally strong there, and you want to get a healthy lead on Penn State before you get to our massive lineup of Taylor/Brown/Ruth/Wright McIntosh, but if you start with the heavies, you get Mega to contend with second, right off the bat. So, you start with 133 and finish with Nico. That way, you could potentially (and I say potentially, because Zain Retherford at 141 could be very good if not this year then in coming years) be 4-0 headed into the stretch.

Is there any way you don’t put Zain in the lineup this season?--Succss With Honor Always

So, listen, I got all excited before one of the Iowa bros brought me down to earth because a) apparently his road to the Binghampton victory was a pretty easy one and b) we have such a strong roster now that we might want to save him for once David Taylor and Ed Ruth are gone.

But damn if I don't love the idea of another true frosh unexpectedly going far for us in a smaller weight.

Must we be rational in game threads on BSD?--GreenEggsAndSpam

Ehhh...rational? No. No pron or links to illegal threads. No general douchebaggery, of course. You don't have to be rational, but you also don't have to alienate someone who is being rational.

We all react to defeat in different ways. But, despite that, we all should try to treat each other with a modicum of respect and realize that we have different ways of coping and should deal (or avoid) accordingly.

Why am I the only one at the gym that wears a headband? Is that not cool? I didn’t get the memo if so…--erieisforlovers

I don't know, I wear a Penn State headband and I know I'm cool. Does that help at all?

If you could destroy all existing copies of one of the following four movie sequels, which would it be? Explain your answer.

a) Rocky V

b) Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace

c) Caddyshack 2

d) Blues Brothers 2000


I have only seen one of these movies, and I don't want to destroy it because the pod racer scene is one of the awesomest ever. So I do not feel qualified to answer this question; instead, I'll pose it to the commentariat. What say you all?

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