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Blue-White Game Preview: In With the New

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Spring practice is over, and the scrimmage is here. What does that mean? A day of tailgating, broken up by a little bit of football, of course!

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

2016 Blue Team vs 2016 White Team


Beaver Stadium lots open at 8 am. Curtin Rd "Fun Festival" opens at 9 am. Team buses arrive at 10:30 am. Player autograph session starts at 11:15. Gates A & B open at 12:30 pm.

WEATHER: 66 degrees at game time, with a real feel of 76. Yep, beautiful weather, guys.

TELEVISION: Live on BTN2Go. Televised on a tape delay on Big Ten Network at 7 pm, and again Sunday at 1 am at 9:30 pm

BETTING LINE: The Blue Team by a lot, just because it appears to have all of the starters on it and both coordinators.


It's James Franklin's third year coaching in the spring game (14-12 overall), but the first time he'll be at Beaver Stadium sans John Donovan and Bob Shoop. How different will Joe Moorhead and Brent Pry be on the sideline? Probably very for the former, and little for the latter. We'll find out some, but not much, on Saturday.


On Thursday, Jared regaled you with his players to watch during the game, and I'm sure the star of the game will end up being a player none of us thought of, as is wont to happen in every spring scrimmage. Our position previews are linked at the end of this piece, but specific players aren't what I'll be paying attention to during the end to spring practice.

Blue-White weekend can be, for many, like homecoming. It's not a "real" football game, as it's the one on the schedule that we know we'll win. There's no stress on the field, and it's the one time in the spring that we can see our fall football family--which makes it extra special. The price of parking up close to the stadium, and the game itself (free!) also bring the big crowds, many of whom don't come to a lot of fall games--so it can be even more of a family reunion. And with a beautiful day like this week is supposed to be, there likely will be five figures of fans hanging out in the lots who never set foot in the stadium for the actual scrimmage itself.

As for me, after the first six hours of tailgating, I'll take a break by heading into the stadium for the game. And though I'm a defensive (and #punting) enthusiast, I'm not ashamed to admit that this spring, the thing that I'm looking forward to the most is undoubtedly the implementation of Moorhead's offense.

I'm not new to this spring game stuff. I know we aren't going to learn a ton of new stuff; the coaches haven't had a lot of time to introduce everything they want (or need) to implement, and they sure don't want to give away the ship by telegraphing everything to anyone who might be watching. But one thing CJF is sure as heck good at is branding and promotion (No Talent Required perhaps notwithstanding), and selling the program to the fans; after the end to last season, what the fan base could use is an injection of some high tempo offense--even if it's just a few plays here or there in the spring game, to whet their appetite for what's to come in the fall. I expect we'll see some of the basics implemented, with all three of the quarterbacks (Trace McSorley, Tommy Stevens and Jake Zembiec) taking near-equal snaps--and Saquon Barkley seeing maybe two series. Maybe.

And we'll get our hopes up about the offensive line, perhaps to our detriment. And we'll get worried about the defensive line because of that, and they'll be fine. Because Sean Spencer. And what he did with Nassib? We'll be okay, no matter what happens.

After the game, of course, comes more tailgating, and rumination on what we saw--and overthinking for four and a half more months, and building up (or down) what we saw, based on your glass-half-full or -empty outlook. As for me, I'll be in the green lot, back with my family reunion, drinking my blue kool-aid, likely talking myself into a double-digit prognostication somehow.

Blue and White Game Position Previews
LB Linebacker U Is Back with 3 Returning Starters
DE DEs Try to Keep the Momentum
DT DTs Try to Rebuild
S Safeties Enjoy Depth and Experience
CB Cornerback Is a Position of Strength
ST Special Teams Will Be More of the Same In Spring
OL The Search for Consistency on the Offensive Line
TE Tight End Youth Movement
WR Penn State's Wide Receivers Are So Good, Everyone
RB Run(ing Backs Are) the Jewels (of Penn State's Offense)
QB Who Will Quarterback Penn State Post-Christian Hackenberg?