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BSD Mailbag 10.28.16

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How bout that win last week, huh?

Ohio State v Penn State Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Before we get to the questions and answers, I have a story to tell you all. I’ve been sick most of the week since the OSU game—what I thought was simply post-awesome-game laryngitis turned into a nasty chest cold with a fever. Fun stuff.

Finally back at work today, and the first words out of one of my friend’s mouth? “Guess your body can’t handle a top five victory, huh?”

It’s just been too long, as we discussed after—nine years, iirc, since we’ve had a victory over a top five opponent. And much as I like being healthy, for my immune system to build up an immunity, I’m going to need more wins like this, Coach Franklin.


How great is everything? Like, totally completely great? Or only pretty spectacularly great?—Roll State

3 Quick questions on Purdue:

1. It seems like our best bet on offense this week will be lots of runs against the 121st ranked rush defense. Can Purdue do anything to slow down Barkley and McSorley on the ground?

2. We still seem to be giving up 1 or 2 huge plays a game on defense. Does Purdue have any weapons on offense to continue this trend?

3. Moorhead’s offensive scheme is pretty well established at this point. Do you expect to see any new wrinkles this week (like last week’s failed end-around)?—newenglandnittanylion

  1. No. I expect Penn State to get over 300 yards on the ground...and then Tommy Stevens and Miles Sanders will take over.
  2. They do - their quarterback (David Blough) is pretty good, and he can get the ball to his weapons. I don’t expect them to score a lot, but we may give up a big play or two. Not on the ground - but through the air. Our secondary should be tested, but should be up to the test.
  3. Nope. He’ll stick with what works this week and throw any new wrinkles out next week, versus Iowa.

What do we have to do to get sacks to stop counting against rushing yards? Aren’t there enough running QBs in the NCAA for everyone to know this is dumb?—Roll State

Probably. But, you know, tradition and all. I also think it’s dumb that kneel downs to end the game count against rushing yards, but since that’s, in effect, an offensive choice, that makes more sense.

In terms of sacks, I kind of liked it this past week, because it took down OSU’s running numbers.

Since Brandon Bell moves on next year, does Jason Cabinda wear #11?—joey.taylor.jt

No. Cabinda will be a senior, and IMHO that’s too late to change numbers like that. If someone switches to #11, watch it be Manny Bowen or Cam Brown—but we’ve gone a number of years without a number eleven on defense, so 2017 could be one of those years.

How quickly will people turn on the coaching staff if this team ends up 8-4 at the end of the year? In a vacuum, I’d take PSU in all five remaining individual contests. Bigger picture shows it’s not impossible for a young and inconsistent team to lose a game they shouldn’t (Rutgers at night maybe?) or against an opponent who has played you tough every time you play (Iowa). I think our guys finish 9-3 but I’d still gladly take 8-4 considering how this season has turned out. What say you?—Bro-Lo El Cunado

I’d absolutely take 8-4, because I’ve seen such progress and our team is still young - I predicted 9-3 preseason, and that’s still what I’m sticking to. But 8-4 with a win over Ohio State is still better than last year—and will be a good step up in terms of bowl opponents.

If you were an OC, why would you line up your team in formation before the TV time out is over? Gives the defense time to adjust. Why? I noticed this for the first time Saturday night. Both sides. It’s like there’s a deal with the networks to snap the ball within 10 seconds post-commercial.

The 25 second clock doesn’t start to run until Mr. Red Coat comes off the field, signaling the end of the break. So have the team stand by the sideline, wait for the whistle to blow and come out running the play NASCAR style.—McCloskeywasinbounds

I’ve thought the same thing for quite some time. The play clock doesn’t start before the TV timeout dude starts backing off, so I don’t understand why teams break the huddle so fast - and let the defense get an early look at the offensive set up.

Was just watching the replay of the game, I don’t remember thinking about it at the time, but how stupid was Urbz for running 3 straight passing plays with about 90 seconds before the half inside the red zone? Like really stupid? Really, really stupid? Some form of stupid not yet discovered? I mean, one running play in there and we never score before the half.—bearwithscarf

First of all, that isn’t necessarily on Urban Meyer. I’m not familiar enough with Ohio State to say one way or the other, but generally offensive coordinators (especially teams with two) are the ones who call run or pass plays—so really, it’s not on Meyer, it’s on Ed Warinner (and Tim Beck, the Co-Offensive Coordinator). I get mad when people criticize James Franklin for every little bad thing that happens to PSU, so it’s only fair that I don’t do that to Meyer

That being said, this decision wasn’t the only baffling one that the OSU coaching staff made during the game, as bscaff wrote about the other day. They had JT Barrett, a ridiculous running threat, drop back far too often—I understand that our defense played better than expected with Cabinda and Bell back, but after it stopped working in the first half, they should have reverted to the mean in the 2nd. Or feed Curtis Samuel, who’s a darn good athlete and had the best offensive play of the game for the Buckeyes.

Or, you know, take a time out before the eventually blocked field goal instead of rushing your team on to get the kick off.

But luckily for Penn State, they weren’t the ones making questionable coaching decisions (despite what many say, every coach makes mistakes - even Urban Meyer - and Franklin has been making fewer and fewer as his years in Happy Valley go by), and it paid off for the blue and white. And I’m still in happy disbelief that the team came together to overcome their mistakes and miscues, and take advantage of Ohio State’s. That’s the coaching staff, and Franklin, making sure they were put in a position to win.

Does John Reid resume punt return duties against Purdue after muffing the return against OSU and getting pulled for Gregg Garrity?—Blumski13

Yes. Franklin did a very Paterno-esque thing in putting Garrity back there, as he’s the safer punt returner—but Reid is more electrifying, with more upside. There’s no reason to be as conservative against Purdue, at least at the outset, so I expect to see #29 out there.

Purdue's QB Blough likes to air it out...He has over 2000 yards, and 14 TD passes, but he has thrown 11 INTs. The secondary will be tested with passes all game.

How many TDs does Blough throw? More importantly, how many INTs does he throw?—PeteZockyU

I say two and two.

If we end up losing another game, which one do you think it will be and why?—PSUfan93

I think it’ll be Indiana. Because it’s on the road (which has been tougher for us) and the Hoosiers are a better team than their record indicates. The past two years, we’ve taken care of business at home—and Indiana has a legit defense this year. In all likelihood, it comes down to how the Nittany Lions fare against Iowa—if it’s a backbreaking, close win, I expect a loss in Bloomington. If it’s fairly one-sided? I think they’re more likely to have it in hand.

How nervous are you about a letdown at Purdon't next week? Please say "not at all" and talk me down from the ledge I’ll be on by the time it’s Saturday again. KNOWING THAT I CAN’T WATCH THE GAME IS ALREADY KILLING ME—PSUHist14

Dude, not at all. Some are predicting we’ll be losing at the end of the first quarter - and that’s ok. We’re a second half team, and we’ll come out on fire then no matter what happens in the first.

Any chance we lose to Rutgers? First Indiana, then Maryland, then Temple. Seems like Rutgers may be the biggest trap game remaining on the schedule—Aqua Velva Man

What bowl game do we get if we win out? 10-2 is a great record, are we looking Rose Bowl or maybe cotton? I don’t know the bowl affiliations anymore.—wvlion

I think Michigan wins out and goes to the Playoff, and Ohio State goes to the Rose (think about it...when was the last time they went to the Rose Bowl?). Which leaves the Orange for us, at 10-2! I know, I know, I just said I expected we’d go 9-3. I’m a woman. I can be contradictory.

If the Orange takes the West’s winner (likely Wisconsin, imo) instead of us, despite similar overall records (though we’d have fewer losses in this scenario), I’d pencil us into the Outback Bowl. Though, selfishly, I’d prefer Music City, as I’ve never been to Nashville, if we win out I doubt we’ll fall that far (that’s the Big Ten’s sixth bowl tie-in, provided we get a team into the playoffs).

Does anyone know if you can get into Beaver Stadium with tickets downloaded on your phone? Or do you need a physical ticket?—swift_retribution

Not yet—you still need a physical ticket (though you can get reprints day-of). We’ll see if that happens with the stadium upgrade.

How long before the next field rush?—bearwithscarf

399 days from the day that this is posted...IE, the day of the 2017 Big Ten Championship.

Why isn't Iowa the stripe out game? And what will the attendance be looking like for that game?—lionrambler

It’s likely more difficult to coordinate something like stripes the later it gets in the season, when it’s cold and fewer people are willing to purchase or wear clothing simply because of its color—not because of its weather-appropriateness.

Which is why next season the stripe out will probably be Pitt, and the white out will be Michigan - as much as I would like it to be Nebraska (which probably won’t be a night game).

Logan, is it possible that a franchise will end in a meaningful way? The trailer looks very promising, but the idea of a studio leaving money on the table seems absurd.

Paris Palmer looked good, because he didn’t look blazingly awful. What are the differences Limegrover has implemented compared to Hand where the O-line gets praise from pundits and putz?

Have you gotten on the Dr. Who bandwagon yet? Also to be aware of, there’s a new series that just started on BBC America, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. Give it a go.

Particularly Godwin and Hamilton, partially Blacknall- these guys have been proven good commodities. Between the OC and defenses, why do they seem to be ineffective these past several weeks? Props to Gesicki, but why does the passing attack seem a little worse.

I was too nervous to crack open a beer during the game, special aged brew, wanted pure thoughts for the swill. Undoubtedly, upon the PSU-OSU game completion, the beer was even better than real life. Beer in question- Weyerbacher Hersey. Aged it for about 3.75 years, it was soooo good, and so different than when fresh. It makes me want to go buy a case just to forget about it for several years later. How reasonable, or what’s the length of time, it’s acceptable to spend hundred(s) of dollars for beer enjoyment much further down the road?

DC traffic, why does it suck so much? Left Bristow, VA at 2:08 pm on a Wednesday, took until 6:38 pm to get to CC Philadelphia, just 179 miles. Also, why do drivers suck so much ass and clog the passing lane?

What’s a Purdue? What’s the possibility the team is drained and falls into a reverse-post trap-game?—MrNoPants

Holy questions, Batman!

  • I highly doubt the franchise itself ends - just the franchise as we know it. I doubt Hugh Jackman will be in another Wolverine movie, and they may reboot it with another actor (though whether he’d do the character justice like Jackman has is highly unlikely).
  • I can’t speak from differences, but Limegrover has got these guys working together, and working with Joe Moorhead’s offense. What a freaking concept, I know!
  • Not yet...because here’s the thing. I can get a bit obsessive. And there are over thirty seasons of the dang show. I just don’t have that much time right now. I’ll wait til retirement. Or til I find a sufficient nerd to netflix and chill the whole thing with me during a staycation of a few weeks. Or snowmageddon 2: revenge of Ilsa. And I have not heard of the other show—I’ll have to check it out when I have some time (ie, December).
  • They just can’t get open, for whatever reason. I’m hoping for a big week this week (our run game will open up our pass game)—we’ve hyped up our wideouts, and they’ve been shut down the past couple of games by secondaries with pulses, aside from a big play here or there. And the drops! My god, the drops!
  • I’m all for this—but only if you know you’ll like it. There’s nothing worse than dropping significant coin on a beer because it was recommended to you, and it’s style you normally like, but it’s decidedly meh.
  • I deal with drivers clogging the passing lane every. darn. morning on the DC beltway—going 45 or 50 in the left lane, with no one in front of them. And the traffic is literally bonkers—why is there bumper to bumper traffic from Tysons to Bethesda on the inner loop on a Sunday afternoon? This makes no sense. Your timing, though, likely has a little to do with metro’s safe track—the orange line was disrupted, and that’s the area you were probably around.
  • No. Purdue is a team, but they aren’t a very good one (despite rallying around their interim coach against Nebraska last week). Penn State may come out flat, but they’ll get the job done.

Texas Eagle said that he would change his sig line to "literally anything" for one year if PSU beat tO$U. I called dibs, and he accepted. I’m looking for suggestions from you and some of the other creative geniuses out there. Funny, ironic, stupid- let me hear what you have to say!—mrb23

Dude. Just make him have it say “literally anything”.

The director for deadpool 2 quit. This a good thing or bad thing?—Sperbro

To me, it sounds like a good thing—it sounds like Tim Miller wanted to take the franchise in a very different direction from the original. A direction away from Ryan Reynolds’, the writers’, and the producers’, vision of a lower budget, funny but violent movie—more visual, and more like the other superhero movies we see all the time. I loved Deadpool because it wasn’t that. And I trust Reynolds implicitly with this character and this franchise, so if he’s on board with a new director, so am I.

Several times during the game, the Beaver Stadium announcer and scoreboard exclaimed the FIRST EVER CONCERT IN BEAVER STADIUM (emphasis theirs) would take place in July 2017. The band(s)/act(s)/artist(s) will be revealed during the first half of the next home game — vs. Iowa on November 5th.

Who will the band(s)/act(s)/artist(s) be?—Smee

While I would looove it to be Taylor Swift (I love me some Tay Tay), I’m calling it for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s Soul2Soul Tour 2017. They have open dates that month, they’re the style of artist that people would flock to in Central PA - and combined they could sell out. Or at least sell enough tickets to make it incredibly worthwhile.

I’m probably wrong, but it makes sense to me. Now watch it be freaking Coldplay.


If you’re not doing anything this week for the game, join me at Exiles in DC! They finally have their full site up and running, and it has their menu (though their beers do rotate). The second floor should all be Penn Staters, so be at a beautiful bar with great food and service amongst like-minded people. You won’t regret it.