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BSD Mailbag 9.18.15

It's that time of week again...mailbag time.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Hey guys! I'm back, and answering questions!

Who wins a race between Thompkins and Polk?--vern05

America. And Penn State fans.

Who was calling the plays in the 2nd half? Sure looked like Franklin was more interested than usual in that laminated sheet…--millzners

No confirmation one way or the other, though Franklin did say he was more involved in the 2nd half. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that our offense looked better in the second half, and I certainly hope it continues this week.

Did anyone else look like this after Hack's first play action fake from under center?--vern05

I don’t remember which play it was, but I was pretty darn excited. And thus I knew that we were in for a different outcome on the day—or at least we were in for some semblance of change.

Here’s hoping for more of the same against Rutgers.

Are we in the bottom 3rd of the Big Ten this year?--87Townie

I really think it’s too early to tell—but we’ll have a better barometer on this in two days.

something my non-almnus wife and I spoke about recently: If there was a proposal to either ‘modernize’ the lion costume into something akin to TCUs horned frog, or to have frequent alternative jerseys (and not just a black / pink scheme), which of the these would you choose?--Ken Barnas Shattered Dreams

Oh, modernizing the lion costume, hands down. Not even a question.

Don’t mess with my jerseys, man. Black shoes, basic blues, no names, all game. All the way. There’s a reason why our jersey is iconic and on top five lists all the time—college football spectators turn in on the TV and know we’re playing immediately, away or home. Solely because of our uniform—and you lose that when you start using frequent alternative jerseys.

Is Temple the new UCF? And If so, does that make Matakevich the new Bortles? I really think this hinges on whether or not Matakevich has a smoking hot girlfriend.—ckmneon

This year, I wouldn’t be surprised. The only two differences are 1) I like and respect Matt Rhule—and he likely won’t stay at Temple much longer, as just like Al Golden, a bigger name program will probably snatch him up in the offseason, and 2) they don’t have the talent that UCF had (being in a hotbed of recruiting in Florida) so if they do have a UCF-like season, it would be even more remarkable and an even more evident mark of great coaching. It’s almost as if guys who played under Joe Paterno learned the fundamentals of good football—what a concept!

Also I have no comment on your last point. And #Bortles.

How much do you enjoy saying SA-quonnnnn, when he busts out a big run?—jtothep

I regret soooo much that that wasn’t what I shouted when he hurdled that guy. InsteadI was shouting "DID THAT JUST FUCKING HAPPEN?!?"

Will PSU lean toward the run, throw the ball, or try a balanced attack on Saturday? It was nice to see the running game click against UB. After watching the BTPR secondary against WASU, this could be an opportunity for the passing game to get healthy. The score and the statistics in the BTPR-WASU game didn’t tell the whole story; the BTPR defense were out of position on a lot of plays, and it should have been much worse.—otholion

I really, really hope they start out with a balanced attack ala what we saw against Buffalo. I want them to wear down the Rutgers front seven, and use Barkley near the end of the game when he can break through for 7-8 yards a pop—after Hack has thrown a few downfield bombs to break the game open.

But seriously, in order for us to take advantage of the Scarlet Knights’ weak secondary, the offensive line has to keep Hackenberg on his feet long enough to make some reads. They definitely gained confidence last week in not allowing a single sack (I’m aware that it’s only Buffalo, but it’s a start) and Palmer, who got most of my ire vs Temple, looked better, but I’m concerned if (when?) we don’t see Nelson out there how the line performs. It all comes down to them, and their (and Hack’s) mental capacity. The defense will keep us in it—I don’t think the Rutgers offense will know how to deal with 100k+ at night in Beaver—but can the offense do what needs done? That’s the biggest question.

We have all seen about FIUR DONOVAN, but why isn’t the same thing said about Hand. I know he is charming and great on the social media but still….--ansh25

I don’t know where you’ve been, but we’ve definitely talked about this, in comment sections, on twitter—even on our podcast.

I thought I read in coverage of CJF's presser that he said Laurent played a few downs. Did Wendy play, and how did he do?--PSU_Lions_84

Based on Dan’s snap count list, Wendy didn’t see any downs—and I don’t remember seeing him in there. So I don’t know what Franklin was speaking of—unless he was talking about special teams, which Dan didn’t chart and which honestly I didn’t pay close attention to (in terms of line play, at least).

Do you think others who didn't stand the rain & bailed are lesser than you?—jtothep

Absolutely. I’m an incredibly judgmental person, and I stayed from opening kickoff until the alma mater was sung. Get on my level, everyone.

Does winning mean all of our problems are fixed and nothing is broken?—InflammableDumpster

Of course, isn’t that the way that internet overreactions work?

What are your thoughts on the wrestling team this year?—spigmana

I. CANNOT. WAIT. And I am especially excited for two BJC duals, and the NCAA finals in NYC. Jtot gave his thoughts in the mailbag fanpost, but I really think this year, with Z-Pain and Nico back, a sixth national title will be ours to lose. I’m so, so excited that I wore my Cael shoes twice this last week. UGH I’m hype just thinking about it.

I’d change my background from Russ Rose to Cael Sanderson at work but I’d be afraid Russ would stand up from his sideline chair to talk to me about it.

Moxie taking over for Carr and throwing 2 TDs (in a loss)...Thoughts? Personally hope the best for Carr, but want to see McGloin make a little money for himself here.--bondom34

I literally couldn’t care less about Carr. All Moxie, all the time—even though the bullshit team we set up to fill up our fantasy league has him as the starting quarterback, and I did go up against them last week.

Plus, it gives us an excuse to insert this gif: 

What evil plans are Bill Belichick and Tom Brady working on now? So far they have:

Recorded their oppositions signals Let air out of their balls Fooled with the radio equipment of the visiting team Are there plans to install trap doors in the field of Gillette Stadium? Releasing hungry tigers from the tunnel when the opposition is approaching the end zone? --Gerry Dincher

I don’t know but I’m pretty excited to find out! It’s like a reality TV show but even more dramatic and less scripted! It makes me want to actually tune into a Patriots game, or almost watch ESPN (but not quite) to see what off-field antics they’ll be up to next.

Have you heard of any issues with the Maryland sports information office being hard to work with? Or hard to schedule interviews with their coaches. They were talking about the Maryland loss on the Buckeye Roundtable, which is made up of the announcer, color guy, sideline guy for OSU games plus some other commentators/former players like Bobby Carpenter.

Anyhow while discussing it, they were sarcastically mentioning, sort of amongst themselves, how helpful the SI office was and how easy interviews were. Paul Kiels threw out a Yeah, right that spoke volumes. Just curious if anyone else heard of this? I figure with your close relationship with Terps…--Former_DC_Buck

I haven’t heard of anything specific with regards to this and Maryland, but frankly it doesn’t surprise me. From other SBN College managers, I’ve heard similar stories with regards to sports information offices at mid majors or not-"big time" power five conference schools—where it’s difficult for not-traditional media to get credentialed, or to get access to players or coaches or practices. We’ve been lucky, and Penn State has been incredibly accommodating for whatever or wherever we need—the only issues we’ve had is when we’ve had to go through opposing teams for credentials, or the neutral site credentialing processes (like last year’s Pinstripe Bowl, which was credentialed by the Yankees—that was a cluster, and Penn State had to step in on our behalf when Devon was denied credentials initially but Onward State was granted five sets of credentials).

I like to say that PSU gives us whatever we want because we’re one of the few outlets that has covered Penn State basketball extensively (and pretty positively) for years, so they love us and let us have whatever we want—even hockey access, which is pretty limited right now.

Any Dwayne Haskins tweets following Muhrlind's gem against Bowling Green? I’m setting the line on his recommitment (to an SEC school) at November 1st.--kijana's acl

The tweet that’s still pinned to the top of his timeline is still about his commitment to the Terps, and he changed his avi to one with a Maryland-themed background on Sunday. All his tweets seem to be how he wants to get over there and make a difference on the field for them—like this one:

Plus a bunch of RTs of other people asking him when he’s getting to College Park, so…you never know.

Rutgers "On the Banks" describing their situation as their "Darkest Hour" and are pleading with folks to wait for all the facts to emerge before making judgments about Carroo, Flood, the program, etc. Do you think this will make them a tiny bit more sympathetic towards us and our reactions to IT?--PSU_Lions_84

Probably a tiny bit, especially since most Penn Staters have been pretty sympathetic with their situation. The Rutgers fans aren’t to blame for what is transpiring, any more than Penn Staters were to blame for IT—and we shouldn’t berate them for still being fans of their school or their program.

Kyle Flood, on the other hand, still seems like a prime target to me. How can you not make fun of someone who thinks using a private email exempts him from open records requests? Methinks ska got it basically right on.

What tailgating food did you consume that you felt worked best with the rain?—jtothep

Pre-game, we had a benedict bar and mimosas to go with our bacon, because we are awesome. Postgame there were pinwheels with prosciutto and cheese. And lots of booze—including amazing cider I brought from this winery (if you’re in the area, definitely check it out, they’re awesome and super friendly).

Hello Cari Greene:

Do you think the "Stripe Out" might backfire by making Rutgers feel more at home at Beaver Stadium, because the stripes will look like prison bars?

Sincerely, Ben Karma


I have no response to this, I just liked the question and wanted to include it.

Did the rain inspire you to sing along with Sweet Caroline this time?—jtothep

Um, no. I refuse. Every time it is played, my sister tries to get me to sing along—and let me tell you, having your sister serenade you with "Reaching out—touching me, touching you" is not an experience I would wish on anyone.

What's your favorite saying?—TonyLion

I say "true story" a lot, plus I quote Mitch Hedberg, ‘90s teen movies and Star Wars all the damn time.

How do these college kids afford their tats?--hbeach08

They actually pay for their own frosties.

Who would you rather go out drinking with, baseball or hockey players? Hockey players are absolute savages. I think if your goal is to get bombed, naked at the bar, and take home a crazy hot minx, you have to go hockey.

However, if you’re just looking to drink 100 beers in a dive bar, and maybe head home with a slumpbuster at last call, it’s baseball.—IronCityLion

Hockey players just seem like the epitome of big brothers that you’d want to hang out with and drink with and would hold your hair back when you’re puking, and would punch out the guy who keeps hitting on you no matter how many times you’ve told him you’re not interested. There’s definitely something to be said about that.

But then again…I just want to head home with a baseball player. Specifically, Jayson Werth. So baseball.

Drunkest you've ever been at work? Scale of 1-10, 1 being no beers 10 being 3 monkey boys--garder54

Like a two—and it’s solely residual drunkenness from the night before. But don’t tell my bosses.

Is there an entrance exam for the BSD cool kids club?—pkloa

If you didn’t get the copy of the exam, well…I’ve probably already said too much. You’ll have to contact jtothep, Paige or hbeach for more info.