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BSD Mailbag 10.30.15

Hey! It's mailbag time!

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

How would you grade our ability to make second half adjustments?—jiminore

Defense, B+ most games (Temple notwithstanding, having to make adjustments for Nyeem Wartman-White’s absence). Offense…C-. It seems we can’t make many adjustments, and stick with our game plan the entire game through, whether it’s been working or not.

Will the O-line ever improve or do we have to wait until the current starters graduate? Which makes for another painful year in 2016 regardless who Franklin hires as the OC (please?)—FeidtY

Franklin has proven time and again that he’s willing to play the best players, regardless of seniority. I’m not sure why so many seem unwilling to grasp this. Currently the only senior on the line is Mangiro, and Dowrey’s been shuffled off of the starting group—Laurent started last week for the first time—and next year we’ll likely see at least one or two redshirt freshmen starting. It will get better because everyone’s seen more time.

Hi Cari,

I would like to know who is responsible for the personnel substitutions on offense and defense. I don’t understand why the only time Kyle Carter gets in the game is after Gesicki drops a pass and puts us in 3rd & long. I’d also like to know who is responsible for keeping Nassib and Zettel on the sidelines after subbing in the 2nd string d-line even when Maryland moves the ball into the red zone and they’re both ready to go in.--Succss With Honor Always


I know you would, because you asked me this question when we were standing at the Baltimore game. And though I had been drinking then, I still don’t know the answer to it.  I’d assume that it would be the coordinators, but who the heck knows—because we seem to be subbing more on D-line this year than last, and last year’s line was even deeper so that’s even stranger to me.

Ultimately, Franklin is responsible as the head coach, because everything his responsibility. But whose immediate call it is I’m not sure—but logic says the play-caller.

Al Golden has been fired. Where do you think he'll end up? I think he’s a good coach who was in a poor fit. Now I can go back to hating Miami like one should.--Gerry Dincher

I too think he was a good coach who was a poor fit with Miami, but I’m not sure who would be a good fit for Miami. I liked Randy Shannon as well, and I respected him a whole heckuva lot for turning around Miami’s off-field issues—and I think that expectations for that program are pretty out of whack for a private school with a stadium well off campus and not great facilities compared to its peers with two really strong nearby in-state blue-blood programs in Florida and Florida State. They haven’t been performing up to their ‘80s-‘00s height since they got cleaned up, and I’m not sure who (if anyone) can bring them back.

BUT I DIGRESS. AL FREAKING GOLDEN IS A GOOD COACH. I think he’ll land on his feet, maybe not this year but definitely next; Illinois may be a good fit for him, I think he should be somewhere Midwestern without the prestige and lofty expectations of a Miami.

How much of Hack’s intentional underthrow game is intentional? I believe he and the receivers work on this a lot. Saturday’s receivers looked like the second coming of ARob.--McCloskeywasinbounds

I think a lot of it is intentional. As we’ve discussed on our podcasts, Christian Hackenberg’s done a lot better job of making throws where either his receiver will make a play on the ball, or no one will make a play on the ball. That’s why his TD to INT ratio is so high so far this year—he’s making better decisions. I don’t hate it.

From least likely to most likely... ….rank the likelihood each of the following is part of the Penn State Football program for the 2016 season:




Austin Johnson

Lavert Hill


This was really hard, because I actually foresee all of them not with Penn State next year, but:




Austin Johnson


Ok, still have yet to really be impressed by any of our victories but… they are victories so who am I to gripe? We haven’t lost to a team that has any losses; Temple looks more legit each week (IF they beat ND they have to be in the convo for Playoffs, No?).

So here we are 6-2. With vs Ill, @NW, vs Mich, @MSU. will probably be dogs in 3 of those games so if we go 1-3 that is probably expected by most outside Nittany Nation. 2-2 (Ws over Ill and NW) would be pretty good in my book. If we go 3-1 that would be reason riot. Is that fair?

What are your expectations with these last 4 games? Can we go 3-1? Is 2-2 fair expectations?--rpm5103

Nothing would surprise me with regards to the next four games.

Okay, that’s a lie…winning out would surprise me. I think 2-2 is a fair expectation. I’ll reserve the right to say whether 3-1 is a possibility after seeing how we play on Saturday.

What happened to Koa Farmer? and are we ever gonna take a kick to the house?—Sperbro

I don’t know  I wish I did, because I love the fact that he’s a smarty pants pre-med student. I just think they saw that Nick Scott deserved touches, he was surpassed by Saquon Barkley on the depth chart at running back, so they got him a place on special teams.

But I feel like we’re so close on so many returns—I still maintain that DeAndre Thompkins is going to break one sometime. But it’ll probably be against Michigan State or something, when we least expect it.

Which coaching rumor / pipe dream is more hilarious Franklin to Miami, or Chip Kelly to Maryland?--InflammableDumpster

Both are pretty ridiculous when you think about it. Neither are coming to fruition—and Miami fans don’t even want CJF. Dennis Dodd is silly.

Which of the undefeateds left is going to be th first to leave the ranks of the undefeated?--Former_DC_Buck

It pains me but I think it’ll be Temple. I want them to win out, I want them to beat Notre Dame, but I just don’t think it’ll happen.

Rank the expected outcomes for college football teams in this year's post-season coaching carousel (worst-to-best):







Rutgers (eventually)


USCw (on paper will have the best hire, but it will flame out spectacularly—much like the last two hires)

Miami (see above)







South Texas

(yes, I added two more on there)

Franklin isn't going to da U But what college job – if it came available in 2 years or 10 – could you see him leaving Penn State for? Looking at an upgrade in terms of history, facilities, financial and fan support as well as some semblance of geographic ties.--kijana's acl

Honestly, I’m not sure I could see him leaving for a better job—I could see him leaving for a lateral (a la Gary Andersen) but only if he’s not really meeting the expectations, and that might be a good thing for all of us involved. There are really only a handful of programs that I’d consider an upgrade overall over Penn State—and with the upgrades that Franklin and Barbour are looking to implement in terms of facilities, etc, I’m not sure that they will be for much longer—provided the results get back up there.

You’re welcome for the non-answer answer.

Do stadiums like M&T Bank stadium count as an away teams stadium? Or do I have to wait for PSU to play @Byrd stadium to get an official away game stadium?—JayMPSU

Nope. Still gotta go to Byrd. I recommend for a non-PSU game.

Let's say Donovan does get fired. Who would be your pick(s) to replace him?--PSUHist14

This is totally wish list, right? Mike Norvell (Arizona State), Ralph Friedgen (why the F not), BOB STITT (BECAUSE OF COURSE). And for a flying leap—Bowling Green’s offensive coordinator because they are currently #4 in the nation in total offense. They have co-coordinators right now (when does THAT not work?) so either Sean Lewis or Mike Lynch.

Who is more depressing, the Buffalo Bills or John Donovan?--Farrell141

I don’t follow the Bills at all ever since they got rid of Poszluzny, so I have no idea if they are horribad or just bad. So I’ll go with JohnDon.

Which comment section is worse, PennLive's or OTE's?—McCloskeywasinbounds

Well, PennLive is purported Penn State fans, so that’s a whole subsection in and of itself—self-loathing fans are pretty much a group that is like no other. OTE’s commenters are a mix of people that have gradually shifted to much more self-congratulatory in tone ever since Ted Glover left, and logic (and deviating from the party line) seems to be attacked. Which is ironic, because that’s what many accuse BSD of doing—but I see much more dissention in BSD’s comment section without being shot down (for example, in Matt’s recent piece) than I do in the pieces I used to read on OTE…but, to be fair, I haven’t been on all season because it just got too painful to wade in.

When your girlfriend/wife/SO says she's sick but it’s ok to go out with your friends, is it ok to go out?—Sperbro

I’m probably not the best person to ask, because I’m not super sensitive and often not girly when it comes to stuff like this. I’d say that it entirely depends on where you’re going out—was it plans that you made with your gf/wife/SO and something she/he really wanted to do before they got sick? If so, then I’d say it’s not okay. But if you made the plans after, and/or it was something you guys do all the time or she/he is ambivalent about or doesn’t care for, then it would be fine.

For example, if my boyfriend made plans to go see the new Star Wars movie when I was sick without me, no matter what I said, it is NOT okay. But just going out with his friends to a bar? Yeah, it’s totally okay to go out. Know your audience.

How do you make the perfect homemade lemonade?--psualum9931

Something like this.

Saturday is Halloween. What are you going as?

My 12 year old bought a hot dog costume. My 4 year old wants to be a Star Wars white person, bka stormtrooper. Though I think I am failing as a parent. He pointed to one costume and said, "I want to be a crossing guard." Sighing at my failure, I replied, "No, Daniel, that is an X-Wing Fighter Pilot costume."--Former_DC_Buck

I will be going as "Penn State football fan fighting a chest cold".

Are there going to be any students awake and dressed up for Halloween and tailgating so that my wife can hand out candy Saturday morning after we eat french toast, bacon and eggs.--BMAN13

Probably, but not enough for you to head over to Nittanyville that early! I’d stick to post-game.

What was your favorite Trick or Treat Candy? What did you try to trade with friends/siblings or just eventually toss out because you hated it?--Former_DC_Buck

Reese’s peanut butter cups. Or anything with chocolate and peanut butter.

And no, I didn’t swap—from what I remember. My sister and I are very close and age and did most of the trick-or-treating together, and we have very similar tastes in candy so what I don’t like she also doesn’t like—and same with what I like.

Rank the following

Beer buzz

Wine buzz

Liquor buzz

Hippy lettuce buzz

Penn state just won a huge game buzz


Boy, you guys are just all in on the ranking this week.

Penn State just won a huge game buzz

Beer buzz

Liquor buzz

Wine buzz

Hippy lettuce buzz

Should I bring bacon or applewood smoked ham sausage to eat with my French toast and eggs on Saturday?

I am leaning towards both……The ham sausage is made by a local butcher and is really good but my local butcher shop doesn’t have it all the time and it is on sale this week so I know I am getting some.--BMAN13