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BSD Mailbag 10.7.16

Why, that’s my weekly mailbag music!

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Penn State Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Why did the RPO work in OT? Was it our execution or was Minnie thinking there is no way they will run it again? Was it a different variation of the earlier failures?—mcbike

It was execution (according to Ryan Bates, they’d seen it enough they knew what was coming and how to counter it), but it was also because Trace McSorley had gashed Minnesota on QB scrambles to end regulation - so they had to respect his footwork, which they hadn’t done earlier in the game when they sold out to stop Saquon Barkley. They couldn’t afford to solely do that anymore, after the remarkable first down McSorley got to put Penn State into field goal range on third down, and that opened up Barkley for the OT winner.

What a concept if the quarterback running is actually a threat!

How many RedShirts have we burnt and will we burn any more this year?—jetskijoe

From what I can tell, we’ve burned the shirts of: Miles Sanders, Connor McGovern, Cam Brown and the great Blake Gillikin. If there’s others on special teams, I can’t find it.

Michal Menet and Will Fries are the only other two that appear on the depth chart (3rd string) but I really doubt, barring catastrophe, they see time.

Are you guys getting any LBs back from injury this week? I feel like that could be a huge difference maker in whether we can steal this one or not—MarylandPrideinMA

Brandon Smith has been reported to be back. I’ve heard rumors of another linebacker that has me quite excited that’s looking to return sooner rather than later, but I won’t print that here.

James Franklin is typically tight-lipped on injuries unless they’re season-ending so we won’t know definitively until they announce the starting lineup on Saturday morning.

1. It feels like every team we play has a "dangerous running game". Is that true or does it just feel that way since we’re picking guys out of the stands to play Linebacker?

2. We’re about to play 4 undefeated teams in a row (Mich, Minn, Md, OSU)… Bad luck with young team or is that just how it goes early in the year?—ShamefullyObsessed

For 1, it just feels that way. Temple is #87, and Kent State is actually #100 in the nation in rushing offense! The other three we’ve played (and our next two opponents) are top 36.

And #2 is predicated on the Buckeyes beating Indiana this week (but that’s a pretty safe bet)

anyone else almost borderline paranoid this week? Maryland has a decent to above average line and some good backs along with a mobile QB and a blueprint for running down our throats. Not gonna lie, this one has me really nervous.—jaytay13

I mean, if you’ve been paying attention you should be nervous every week because you never know what might happen. But the last two seasons, Penn State has only lost one game at home (Michigan in 2015) and Maryland isn’t so much better than Pitt or Minnesota to make this one swing in their favor to me. Take care of the ball, and home field advantage should take care of itself.

Ok, this may be having blue colored glasses on, mainlining Blue Kool-Aid, and still giddy over an come from behind overtime win last week, BUT... After the results of last week, I can see this PSU team possibly going 6-1 the rest of the way. (Only loss to O$U)

Have I completely lost my mind and need a serious reality check or do you see this team actually having the ability to pull it off and get to 9-3?—PSUBeatle

While that’s certainly a possibility (both Iowa and MSU look eminently more winnable after week five than they did preseason) I wouldn’t count your chickens before they hatch. Indiana is going to be tough (and that game is on the road), and we’ll know a lot more about this team after this week’s game. The only true gimmes I see on the rest of the schedule are Rutgers and Purdue.

Seeing as Both Teams are 1-0 in overtime this season, how confident are you guys if the game goes into overtime?—AZDesertTurtle

I’m supremely confident, since it’s at home. Franklin hasn’t lost an OT game since the double OT against NCAA winner Ohio State in 2014, and that was a questionable win that involved a “leaping” call against Mike Hull. Home team advantage gets this one done.

Why do Terp fans hate PSU so much? Several of my theories, based on living in the DMV for over a decade:

1) There are a lot of PSU alumni in the DMV, so they are more exposed to PSU in their home metro area than other schools. A similarly situation might be Michigan alumni in Chicago (hated by NU and UI).

2) We take whatever DMV recruits we want (LOL @ "The Movement")

3) Our beautiful classic uniforms make their UnderArmour abortions look even worse than they usually do

and of course, 4) 36-2-1

Cari, I know you live in the area too. Any thoughts?—PSU2UNC

I think it is almost assuredly a combination of 1 and 4—which is remarkably funny to me, because before Maryland joined the Big Ten, I never got vitriol. But as soon as it was announced that they were joining our conference, the angry Terrapin fans seemingly came out of the woodwork and talked about how they hated Penn State and had for years, and how mean we always were and always would be.

I’ve lived in the DC area almost my whole life. My parents were proud Penn Staters when I was growing up, so I’ve always sported blue and white gear; it isn’t until fairly recently (ten years or so) that I’ve seen Maryland logos and colors in the DMV. I still see a ton of Penn State stuff, though it’s not outweighed as it used to be, but the school spirit even so far away coupled with a comparative lack of disinterest and domination on the field has to be hard to stomach.

I know (and am friends with) a ton of people who went to Maryland, and they don’t hate Penn State. One of them actually is a fan of our wrestling program, and has dressed her son in PSU gear for me and my family—so the hate isn’t widespread. Just like the Nittany Lions, Maryland has a vocal minority that gets a lot of the coverage.

Also, 2 and 3 are just silly :)

Why is Maryland?—Lionbacker3

Maryland was founded for the religious toleration of Catholics. I actually quite like living here.

I wasn't going to do this until some turd (or, Terp) had to bring up "IT" [in the questions post]. With the current PSU – UMD series record standing at 36-2-1, in which century will Maryland tie the series? Apologies to Beano Cook.—otholion

I think it would be generous to Maryland to think that, prospectively, it could be a 50-50 split in wins in this series. So even with that, they wouldn’t be able to tie it. Even if we err on the side of Maryland, and PSU (with their higher athletic budget and more virulent alumni that won’t accept 7 or 8 win seasons for longer than 4-5 years), there’s no way that Maryland wins the 40 in a row that would be necessary to tie this any time soon.

So let’s say, if the Terrapins are lucky, the 22nd. But I think it’s likely never.

Will there be a scuffle at midfield for the opening handshake again this year?—cjapsu

I highly doubt it, considering the flack that Maryland got for it and the fact that that coaching staff is gone. Hopefully, you know, after playing at Penn State 22 times before, maybe this year people associated with that program will realize that our players come out the same way every game, every year, and going to the far endzone to pray not something that’s unique to playing them.

Why no podcasts? I really enjoy them every week. And even the post game podcasts were fun. I know some people have moved on to other things around here but didn’t know what was plans were for them moving forward.—adamp1984

The last few years, we struggled through a few operating platforms, and we never found one that was a good fit (for a few reasons, for different reasons for each platform). Couple that with the leaving of one of our podcast members, and #reallife taking over for both Adam and I (podcasting is a big time commitment), it’s fallen by the wayside. Sorry, buddy!

Why can't you have your [crab] cake and eat it too?—Eli Moreta-Feliz

I’m like the only Marylander who doesn’t like crab cakes. It’s practically the only cake I won’t eat. Welp. Regular crabs, and crab legs, I love. Crab cakes, not so much.