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BSD Mailbag 9.17.14

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You've got questions, BSD has answers!

Adam Berry

UMass has had a run of close games the past few weeks. They gave Colorado a run and nearly toppled Vandy before missing a game tying field goal from close range. Coming off this win against Rutgers and with the rest of the B1G schedule looming, how scared should we be of taking UMass too lightly? Success With Honor Always
UMASS has made some impressive strides since joining FBS in 2012. Colorado and Vanderbilt aren't world-beaters by any means, but there's no way UMASS would have hung with them in the past couple years. Regardless of the opponent, I don't think Penn State should be overconfident in ANY game without a consistent running game. Pair that with the fact that a letdown is possible following a thrilling road victory in prime time, and this game could be much more competitive than people think.

When will the o-line actually start to gel and become a cohesive unit? the "fightin" lions
It's going to take some time, but at least we should see steady improvement throughout the season. It's obvious that the offensive line is the weakest part of the team, and we shouldn't be surprised at all. Both guards were playing defense until spring, and both Brendan Mahon and Andrew Nelson played their first snap of college football in week one. It's going to take some time for them to be a solid unit, but they should be a major force in 2015 and 2016.

So, how tired is Anthony Zettel? BMAN13
When we plucked Zettel out of nowhere when he seemed destined for Michigan or Michigan State, the one thing that stood out from his various recruiting reports was that he has a "non-stop motor." After watching him as a full-time starter, that may be an understatement. We've had some incredible defensive tackles during the past decade or so, and Zettel has a chance to be ranked among the very best.

What are the odds that Ralph Friedgen did in fact "slide into" RugersAl’s DMs to find out what he noticed while watching Penn State film? If he did get advice from him, what are the odds that RutgersAl’s advice led to Nova’s picks? psfann
In the history of the game, it's probably safe to say that no coach has ever crowdsourced a group of overzealous fans for strategic advice. If Friedgen did slide into RugersAl's DMs, I'm guessing Nova would have managed to throw another five interceptions.

Why is college football so much more fun than the NFL? Gerry Dincher
At some point when I have the free time I'll write a book on this topic, because there are just so many reasons. The two things that really stand out are watching players develop nearly in front of your eyes and the atmosphere of big-time college football. It's a blast to watch players who you never even heard of weeks ago completely capture your imagination for the rest of the season. As far as atmosphere, there is no comparison. Take Saturday's game- Rutgers had only its fourth sellout in program history, yet the fans of a time with almost zero history created a better atmosphere than an NFL playoff game in a non-rivalry contest between two unranked teams.

I consider Adrian Amos the best defensive back on our team, but it seems to me that he has not been as involved in the action as he has been in the past. Am I right? If so, is it simply because he moved to safety? uforabin

If you don't hear much about a defensive back, it almost always means he's doing his job. He's been very active against the run, so despite not hearing his name much I think he's had an outstanding season so far.

It makes me nervous to watch Hack get beat up behind a sieve-like O-line, so my question is... What are the odds that jFra gives Hack a breather for at least part of the game vs. UMass, and lets Trace McSorely or Michael O’Connor get some reps? Raoul69
There's a very strong chance McSorely will see the field if Penn State can build enough of a cushion. Franklin can't be too comfortable knowing the number two quarterback has never seen a single play of live action.

I did not make trip to NJ But a bunch from my office did. They all had a rough time and some where pushed and shoved on way I to game. Question: will this be typical for all BIG opponents or just us? By the sounds of it the NJ crowd did not know the difference between a college game and a NFL game. PSU_sincebirth
I wasn't at the game either, but from what I heard I don't think I'll have any desire to visit Rutgers any time soon. My guess is that it was mostly overcompensation on their part as they were a little too desperate to try to start a rivalry. I also heard many comments that most Rutgers fans were perfectly civil, but like always, a few whack-jobs give everyone a bad name.

What percent-chance do you predict of College Gameday being in Happy Valley for the Ohio State game? Pat McPSU
25%. I would go even lower but it is the 8 p.m. ABC game for that week, plus they may need to visit one Big Ten venue this season just to try to spread things out- otherwise, the Big Ten likely won't have a true "game of the week" that causes the nation to stand up and take notice. My guess is that they wind up at the LSU-Ole Miss game on October 25, but if Penn State and Ohio State win out, they may be tempted enough to come to Happy Valley for a primetime clash.

Should we get checked for transmittable diseases after playing Rutgers? skarocksoi 
For God's sake, YES!

What are your three favorite Jason Statham films? WorldBFat
I've seen one Jason Statham film, which probably means I've seen EVERY Jason Statham film.