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BSD Mailbag 9.11.15

You've got questions, BSD has answers!

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Can you name 10 positives from the Temple game? I got:
1. Koa farmer returning kicks
2. Nassib at DE  
3. Bell and Nyeem before they got hurt
4. Joe Julius kicking

Let me try to help complete this list:

5. Brandon Bell looked like a total stud before he got hurt, but will be at full strength soon
6. Chris Godwin looks like he's developed into a very dangerous option in the passing game
7. Matt Rhule, a Penn State alumnus, had a wonderful afternoon
8. Akeel Lynch's touchdown run was a nicely designed play (one's enough, right?)
9. was sunny?
10. The first six minutes were fun, I guess

Why is Josh Gattis escaping the circle of blame? I see plenty of people calling for Donovan and Hand to be replaced, but good grief with all that talent at receiver, shouldn’t these guys get open, catch the catchable balls, and most importantly, read a blitz and break off a route? PSU Mudder
There are a few reasons, but the primary one is that he isn't the head coach or a coordinator. While you can make the same claim for Hand, he's coming off a year with a historically bad offensive line, only to follow it up by having a much more experienced unit allow 10 sacks against Temple. Also, the line will continue to receive more blame until Hackenberg actually has time to find a receiver. Secondly, the receivers are still a relatively young group which probably holds his critics at bay. Finally, it's still just one game into the season. However, if the offense continues to perform at this level, I'm certain all of the offensive coaches while begin to feel rather uneasy about their employment status.

What can they do to make up for the loss of Nyeem Wartman-White? BSM PSU 93
The first thing is probably accepting the fact that of any position, the biggest drop-off from first to second-team was at inside linebacker. I don't see the defense being able to dominate the way they did last season without Wartman's services, but with some tinkering they can still put together an excellent defense.

Nothing against Gary Wooten, but I do not see him lasting as the starter at inside linebacker. He's much slower to the ball than Wartman-White and often seemed out of place against Temple. Troy Reeder looks like the most obvious candidate to increase his workload, although his inexperience could be apparent. Personally, I would love to see Von Walker at least get a chance for a regular role at linebacker. He may not be the answer, but he's done nothing but impress since joining the team as a walk-on in 2013.

It will be extremely difficult to move on without Wartman-White, but if anyone can make the adjustment, it's Bob Shoop.

How much do you miss the Spread HD now? MainLion
We sure laughed about it at the time, and it was far from perfect at times, but it certainly was effective with the right personnel. This offense has the talent, but has been doomed by an offensive gameplan reminiscent of my days in pee-wee football.

What do we expect from Hack now? Poor guy takes a hell of a beating with Temple and is still willing to stay the course after what he experienced last year? Must be a heck of a guy to do this. Solanco Guy
Think about this- Hack committed to Penn State when it was plagued with the aftermath of the Sandusky Scandal when he could have went to any powerhouse program of his choosing. Then, he re-confirmed his commitment after the sanctions ended when any other school would have welcomed him with open arms. After a successful freshman campaign, he is sacked more than any other quarterback in Big Ten history as a true sophomore. With his name at the top of the NFL draft boards, he easily could have just said, "You know what, I have a lot on the line. I should just play one more year at Delaware to showcase my ability and not risk my safety before waltzing into the the first round." But no, once again Hackenberg remained loyal to Dear Old State.

It's obvious Hackenberg loves Penn State, and is extremely loyal to the program. Regardless of his numbers or the amount of wins as a starter, every Penn State fan owes him an enormous debt of gratitude.

Should the staff go ahead and bench the vets in favor of playing the younger guys like Joe Paterno did back in his first season (specifically with the offensive line in mind)? Gerry Dincher
I would love to see more tinkering with lineups, especially on the offensive line and linebacker, but this team is already so young it wouldn't make much sense. Under normal circumstances, they would be benching upperclassman and preparing for the next season. With the current roster, Penn State would just be setting itself back a couple more years as it tries to return to the top.

What do you call a zone read with no threat of the qb running? Dbridi
A four yard loss. Or, the sound of a collective groan of 100,000 people.

The O-Line: poorly coached? not-so-smart players? or do they hate Hack that much? Mr. Rosewater
While the overall quality of the offensive line is still impacted by the sanctions, the lions' share of the blame has to be placed on coaching. Exhibit A- Temple managing sacks by only rushing two or three at a time. Even if the two rushers are Reggie White and Bruce Smith in their primes, there is no reason a Big Ten offensive line, with the help of a running back, would allow a sack unless there is some deep confusion about their assignments. This 100 percent comes down to coaching.

How drunk do I need to be for the Buffalo game? Success With Honor Always
I thought this was one of two deadlocked, guaranteed victories for Penn State this season, but after last week's debacle I'm no longer so sure. My best advice is to stock up on your drink(s) of choice by Saturday morning and don't plan to have to drive anywhere for the remainder of the day.

How well do you think the Isley Bros's "Contagious" would go over as a karaoke song? WBF
This would either be absolutely incredible or a complete disaster, but nowhere in the middle. If you have the right voice for this and an open-minded crowd, you would be the hero of the night, and likely go home with the prettiest girl in the room. However, if you sing off-key and the crowd is already restless, you will probably be forced off the stage before you get through the main chorus.

Regardless, please put on your finest Paul Pierce jersey and try this, and share the video with all of us.