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BSD Mailbag 9.10.14

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You know football season's back when 75% of the questions you guys ask are actually sports-related.

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

If you were CJF, how would you approach this week's practice? Follow-up: What would be your offensive scheme against Rutgers? (HINT: Discuss how to reduce Hack’s self-induced mental pressure.)--PSU_Lions_84

I would run the two minute drill constantly. And make our O-Line go up against our D-Line as much as humanly possible; as much as BTPR fans would like to claim otherwise, though their defensive line is good, it isn't as good as ours. If they can survive a practice, they can get Hack a bit more breathing room.

Also, the Scarlet Knights' clear glaring weakness on defense is their secondary; their secondary is far inferior to that of Akron or, especially, UCF. Seeing as Hack had banner days against both, I wouldn't bet against another 400 yards through the air on Saturday.

Now that we can go to a bowl game. How badly will we hammer**** BTPR this weekend?--misdreavus79

I dunno...I still don't think it's that much of a blowout. I hope I'm wrong, but I think they keep it close longer than we (and Franklin) would like to see. But I still think we win in the end.

Will the BTPR fanbase have a meltdown worse than O$U's fanbase this week?--gestaltshift

I'm assuming if they lose, is what you mean.

I think it will depend on the manner in which Penn State wins, if we win. If it's close, and they could make an argument that we were the beneficiaries of questionable officiating or favoritism, I think that the meltdown would be close to epic. If we win big, then I think it would be silent.

Of course, if they win, we'd likely hear about it from New Jersey for quite some time. But I can take it, I'm a big girl. And, as I've said before, meh? We're in the depth of our sanctions (with relief in sight) and we have an amazing recruiting class coming in--and what does Rutgers have? Spray tans and raw sewage?

Next week will Hack "know what the F*** we're doing" ?--DefiantLion

#fingerscrossed

50% of playbook so far? Do you think that the team actually has some really good plays up their sleeves and the coaches are just keeping those for a rainy day when we need them? Is that why everyone seemed so confused against Akron… CJF was forcing them to play in uncomfortable situations? Of course this would keep our real ‘bag of tricks’ hidden from BTPR and they would be supremely under prepared for our massive passing attack, battering-ram ZZ and shifty BB. It just seems like everyone on the offense is doing things that aren’t their expertise (Belton passing, Hack catching, ZZ running around corners, etc)--jmaskey

First of all, Bill Belton has expertise at passing, so I'm not sure where you think that isn't in his wheelhouse. But, though I think the 50% number is low, I do think most coaches like to keep some plays hidden for conference play--and conference play is this week. Since we have a new staff, as well, they're likely to slowly expand the playbook as the team gets used to the terminology and what the plays are designed to do and how to do them--so I think that everything will be expanded as the season moves on.

And let's not act like this is new; last year, it was fairly well documented that Bill O'Brien expanded the offensive playbook as the season went on because Hackenberg could handle more and more each week, and he was given a little more latitude with each game. This staff will likely be no different. But I don't think Franklin was forcing them into "uncomfortable situations", more like trying out different things to see what would work and what wouldn't, and what the offense needed to work on and what would be okay.

Should Hackenberg really line up as a wide receiver in a wildcat formation?--jiminore

If it wasn't for PI, he likely would have had a first down catch last week on a trick play (granted, not the wildcat--this was a handoff, then reverse). I don't hate it; if memory serves, Matt McGloin had a touchdown catch out of the wildcat in late 2011. So it can work, as long as you are keeping the defense honest and actually throwing sometimes out of the wildcat, which Franklin has yet to do but I want to see.

Is our D legit? Or is it too early, too small a sample size, or two shitty of competition to tell?--vern05

Legit. We haven't held two consecutive opponents to this few yards in a number of years, despite great defenses in past years--and UCF and Akron aren't that shitty of competition (I'd actually put our two games up easily against anyone's in the league)--they're much better than some of the opponents we've played in the past who've gotten more run yards against us. Our run D is stout again this year, and that makes me happy.

Does anyone want to revise their season W-L prediction following the weekend's B1Gpocalypse?--McCloskeywasinbounds

I don't know about anyone, but I don't. I'm still comfortable with 8-4.

I have been going to games for over 40 years. Other than Notre Dame (06 I think) and Indiana St (2011), I cannot think of a more miserable hot weather game than Akron. I would rate Akron a tad behind the ND game and a tad worse than ISU. Notre Dame was 88 with 90%+ humidity and no wind at all. This past week there was an occasional breeze that blew everyone’s BO around but still, 90 with 90% humidity and no rain really sucks. Can anyone come up with any worse games than these? I will take a cold game over these three anytime.--BMAN13

Ohio in 2012 was also really bad; I remember going to Whiskers after the game and seeing Collyer and meeting HBeach and being sweaty and gross but that also was partly because I had gone to Rec Hall for volleyball, and that place was a sauna.

Did anyone else go into the stadium with a poncho and no sunglasses, only to soon discover they completely screwed up their choice of accoutrements--Smee

Nope--I had both. I also had my booze jacket on.

If the trend of the B1G being so g*d damn shitty should PSU leave the conference?--trizani83

Haha.

No.

Listen, I get that it's still trendy to be down on the Big Ten for football--but it's not just about football. And though I'm not just talking about sports here, for a second I am--what would all of the other, non-revenue sports do if we weren't in the Big Ten? Tell Russ Rose or Cael Sanderson that they had to leave the Big Ten conference (home of the best women's volleyball and wrestling in the nation), and your ass would be cradled.

No. Just, no.

If we can only beat one team the rest of the year (I realize this is hopefully not likely), who would your preference be?--PSU12

Michigan State. They're still legit, despite last week, and I like ending the season on an upswing--plus, that would lead really well into 2015 (a la the end of 2004/2005 season).

Was that an #elite victory by Va Tech last night or does Ohio State suck?--GOPSUCHEF

Yes? In seriousness, I think that Tech is probably better than advertised and should have been ranked, and the Buckeyes were not as good as advertised with Braxton out, and their ranking was inflated.

Also preseason rankings are bullshit.

How many more games like this past weekend does O$U play before Urbz needs to spend more time with his family?--jman07

I really don't think Meyer lasts more than 4-5 years if he doesn't win a Big Ten championship. And with MSU this year and PSU trending up...that may be easier said than done.

I know this is a PSU blog, but I'd like an opinion from an outsider and not an OSU homer What is your assessment of Urban Meyer? Great coach? Or just a good coach that stepped into some very fortunate situations? Interested to hear your perspective.--TheHumbleBuckeye

I think the latter. I think he was great at smaller schools, and he's a great recruiter. He's good at outscheming guys when he has a clear talent advantage, but when the talent is near the same or he's at a deficit it seems he struggles. He also doesn't seem to surround himself with necessarily the best position coaches when he does the actual hiring (he inherited some really good ones at Florida); that can help mask some schematic deficiencies, and that's something it seems he's starting to correct that a little now with LJ, but again that may be luck rather than true greatness.

Why was tO$U rated so high in the preseason?

  1. Urbz is not that great of a gameday coach.
  2. OSU has as many problems on their O-line as we do.
  3. Not sure their defense is as good as touted.

--otholion

4. Braxton Miller

5. Preseason polls suck

Considering this week's B1G egg laying fest and almost egg laying fest – ahem- Iowa, Nebby-- and assuming PSU improvement as the season progresses what would you say our chances are of actually winning the east division? And, in light of the latest news: the chances of us winning the conference?--TonyLion

Because I'm possibly the most wishy-washy staff member of this here blog, I think it's too early to tell. We had one good game, and one lethargic one with jetlag from being overseas. We'll know more about what to expect come this Sunday.

If we ever play a game in Ireland again, do you think there will be a bye the next week?--psfann

I sure as shit hope so.

Is Forrest Forrest Gump one of the top 5 greatest movie athletes of all time? The kickoff return ability and pure SEC unadulterated speed and general elusiveness to even outrun Napalm, the hand eye coordination to travel to China and battle the World’s best ping pong playas, and the physical endurance to run daily across the county for a few years.--Dbridi

Five movie athletes better than Forrest Gump:

  • King Kong
  • Rocky
  • Johnny Lawrence
  • Michael Jordan
  • John Cappelletti

A guy is picking you up for a date. What music in the car would be considered an absolute non-starter?--blackjackfishtaco

What MainLion said. Baby It's Cold Outside is soooo date rapey.

But unfortunately a lot of people don't realize it, so maybe you go with a more obvious date rapey song. Like, you know:

Terry Bowden's hair--what would inspire a man of his age and public stature to dye his hair whatever color that was?--Gerry Dincher

A misguided sense of what it takes to impress the ladies? I dunno, I was there in person, so I couldn't tell--was it blonde? Ginger? All of the above?