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BSD Mailbag 7.26.13

You've got questions, BSD has answers.

Christof Koepsel

With the news of Bars' injury, do we expect any substantial changes to how the defense will be run? misdreavus79
First off, I was really sad to hear about this injury because I believed Bars would surprise people this year and be a big contributor. He has a great motor and is always near the ball. On top of that, he's one of the hardest working guys on the team and is a fantastic student. Let's hope he has a speedy recovery and comes back even better in 2014.

With that being said, I don't see this injury impacting the defensive scheme this fall. Fortunately, there is a lot of young talent at defensive end who should be able to fill the void. "Next man up" has become a mantra during the O'Brien era thanks to transfers and a few injuries. The play of the defensive ends should be stellar, but it is now much more important for everyone to stay healthy throughout the season.

Who is the surprise player of 2013? Who is poised to have a breakout year? scrlion
Since we're on the subject of defensive ends, I'll go with Anthony Zettel and Evan Schwan. I wouldn't be surprised to see Zettel become the full-time starter opposite of Deion Barnes. Teams had difficulty keeping him out of the backfield whenever he made it on the field last year. Schwan was under-recruited because of a serious back injury during his junior year of high school, but has since made a full recovery and appears destined to be another star in Larry Johnson Sr.'s system. He will get ample playing time as a redshirt freshman, so we'll learn early what to expect from Schwan in the future.

Which run-ons have the best chance of having a breakout year? scrlion
Let's check in with our recruiting guru, Nick Polak, and see what he has to say:
The run-on that I believe will make the largest impact this season, is the only run-on who ended up making the depth chart, OLB Charles Idemudia. Charles comes from Grosse Point North High School, in Michigan. He is currently listed as Nyeem Wartman's primary backup, so he's sure to get a few snaps here and there with the defense. He is also in prime position to make himself stand out on special teams, as Mike Hull and Wartman (Briefly) did last year. He id definitely one to watch for this season, and one whose name could be echoing throughout Beaver Stadium before too long.

Another name to stash away is Jack Seymour. Jack is a 2 star recruit out of Indianapolis, who turned down scholarship offers from Ball State, Southern Illinois, and Western Michigan, to run on for O'Brien. At various points during recruitment, he had also garnered interest from Wisconsin, Indiana, and Tennessee, so his stars are no joke. While he will end up reshirting this season, barring a training camp performance that blows everyone away, he is a legitimate candidate to be the Quarterback for this team somewhere down the line. He is all in on the competition mantra ($), and we all know how well being a walk-on who wants to compete worked out for that last guy...

What new facets should we expect of O'Brien's offense this year? With a personnel-based scheme, we should expect adjustments to the system. Also, with the sanctions hurting our depth of talent, we’ll need to rely on our game plan more than just pure athletic talent to win some games, which will require staying one step ahead of the competition. So assuming this to be true, what should we expect to see this year that we didn’t see last year? With increased mobility at QB, should we expect to see designed QB runs aimed at gaining 4-5 yards? Will we see more rushes and screens to help mitigate the inexperience of whoever starts at QB? And as an aside, will that inexperience at QB result in us going for it less on 4th down? Success With Honor Always
This may seem counterintuitive since O'Brien has now had a full offseason to implement his system, but I expect a heavy emphasis on a power running game for at least the first four or five games. O'Brien seems like the coach who will gameplan around his personnel as opposed to one who will stubbornly try to implement a system. Penn State has a full stable of quality backs and a veteran and tenacious line. This will take pressure off of an inexperienced quarterback until he settles into a whole new level of competition.

I really don't anticipate many designed quarterback runs because of the simple fact that they will already have a lot on their plate just to get adjusted, and also because it will be vital to keep the starter healthy. These plays will be limited to short-yardage situations rather than a key portion of the offensive attack. In regards to fourth downs- I do believe it is part of BO'B's coaching DNA and this trend will continue. Ultimately it will come down how much he trusts the new quarterback. Last year he had the luxury of a senior quarterback with two years of ample playing time and had the timing down pat with the receiving corps. This year he will need to be comfortable with the new starter before he can begin to gamble on a regular basis.

What's something you'd love to deep fry that you've never had? Success With Honor Always
Sadly, I rarely eat fried foods these days so I have a very long list. I'd love to eat it more than once every few months, but fried foods just make me want to take a nap. I always hear about new fried desserts that come out of the Texas State Fair each year that sound like it would be worth being comatose for the remainder of the day. I'll go with deep fried Oreos or a Snickers bar, but let me know if you've had anything more adventurous in the comments section.

If you could only use one tie knot for the rest of your life, what would it be? ckmneon
Windsor for two reasons- it's dependable, and it's the only way i know how to tie a tie. I'm probably the wrong person to ask this question- when I got my first job out of college, I brought all of my ties to a friend's house so he could tie them for me. I kept them all tied so I could slip them on and off for work every day for the next year or so until I finally decided to learn for myself. I'd like to think I've come a long ways since then...

Who do you see as the frontrunner for the BSD Homecoming drinkoff? Jersey Nick Polak
I'll go ahead and remove myself from the equation. There was once a time where I could drink myself into an oblivion and then go for a five-mile run first thing in the morning. Now if I have more than two beers I just want to lay on the couch the next day. Cari and I are close in age, so I'm guessing she's in the same situation. Bill and Nick have the advantage of being current college students, but probably drink Natty or Miller Lite or whatever the kids are into these days so their tolerance may not be as high as expected. Dan is a grad student so he spends his very limited free time drinking and crying, but does likely drink something more potent. If I were a betting man, I'd go with one of two darkhorses- Chad or Galen. Chad seems like the quiet type at first who would surprise everyone by taking a bottle of Jameson to the face and then leaving with the prettiest girl in the bar. Galen is built like a brick wall, so he could likely handle his booze or just bodyslam anyone who threatens to take the crown.

Wilfred: Great television show or greatest television show? James
I won't go as far as calling it the greatest- there are a few other shows I pick over Wilfred when I have a full DVR-but definitely a great show. It's too bad Louie isn't on this summer because they were a perfect match of sitcoms-that-are-too-smart-to-be-sitcoms-but-don't-fit-into-another-genre. I love that it's so abstract that I still have no idea what's "real" in Ryan's world and what isn't, even though it's now in its third season and I've been watching from the very beginning.

My theory is that Ryan died during his suicide attempt in the pilot, and now his psyche is sorting through everything until he is able to comprehend the reality of his situation. I've noticed that his real-life interactions have a dream-like quality to them, suggesting that none of his experiences are based in reality. Of course, the writers are probably much more clever than this and my theory is just some foolish pondering.

Best Baldwin? Smee
This is easily Alec based on 30 Rock, hosting duties on SNL and Glengarry Glen Ross alone. That movie was filled with powerhouse actors, yet all that everyone remembers about it is Baldwin's five-minutes of screen time with the "Always be closing speech."

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