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BSD Mailbag 11.24.17

The last game of the year is here! :(

NCAA Football: Maryland at Penn State
More of this this week, please.
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

As a whole, how many games has PSU played poorly this year.--psualum9931

Only one entire game has Penn State played poorly - the loss at Michigan State. In both the Ohio State and Nebraska games, the team played poorly in the fourth quarter (the latter due to the backups to the backups being in the game instead of the starters). There have been other parts of games that the team has played poorly, but you can say that about every team out there.

Can PSU be a legitimate title contender next year?--PhillyLion

Of course. The talent is there, and the schedule is more difficult in terms of teams - but all of the tough games save one (Michigan) is at home (that's four out of five tough ones). With the talent that James Franklin has been hauling in and the coaching acumen of the staff, they *should* (on paper) be a contender for the playoffs (ie, top ten, finishing the season with 1-2 losses) the next few years. Does that mean they can't implode and lose 3 or more games? Of course not. But the possibilities are there for another good to great year, if not more.

Should Saquon Barkley play in the bowl game? Asking for a friend.--glaucon50

I answered this question in last week's mailbag, but for differing opinions on the topic, take a look at Clay's and Eli's pieces from earlier in the week.

If JoMo moves on will we hire a new OC with his own twist on the RPO? his own system entirely? an outside OC to run JoMo RPO or promote within to call JoMo offense?

Bonus question: It seems we may have beaten some of the asshole out of Rutgers fans? DO you expect the same out of Maryland? If we bury both teams over the next 10 years will their vitriol subside?--PhillyLion

I actually think we promote from within, with Ricky Rahne taking the reigns as OC. Either that or we hire Andrew Breiner, the current head coach of Fordham, and we'll run the same offense we run now, sans Moorehead. Basically, I think the formula is working, so Franklin won't want to tweak it too much.

I don't really agree on your bonus, though it's muted because they haven't been good. I think the same thing will happen with Maryland, but once either/both teams come into the Penn State game thinking they deserve to win or that they have a legitimate shot to take us down when we're highly ranked, I think it'll come out (last year's Maryland beatdown doesn't count; we were favored and they were undefeated, but it was early and no one knew how good we'd be at that time).

They're gonna stick us in the Cotton Bowl against UCF? Aren’t they?--Mounties97

If they do, I may be in the minority, but I wouldn't hate it.

Do you think we see more of Tommy involved in the games that matter next year? Really think he brings something special to the table when he is on the field with McSorley. It stresses the defense into having to worry about a few options they normally don’t have to be concerned about. I really wish we would have used him for 5-6 plays against O$U and MSU. It could have been the difference in two very close games.--bva-psu

I hope so, I love the trick plays! I noticed that until that first catch against Nebraska, he had been in on four plays the last few games when Trace was on the field and he didn't touch the ball in any of them - but even if he isn't involved directly in the play, much like Saquon, his appearance shifts the defense's focus.

Is Barkley still returning kickoffs? I didn’t notice him last game.--psualum9931

Brandon Polk returned kicks against Nebraska, though the Huskers didn't adjust their strategy in kicking much if at all for that change. I think that should stay the same against Maryland.

Any thoughts on buying tickets outside the stadium? I’m waffling about going and may not decide until Saturday AM. Or I may just eat waffles. Mmmmm….waffles.--PSU2UNC

It doesn't hurt to try, and if you don't get tickets you can always Metro down to DC to watch it at Exiles!

Most and least desirable bowl games and potential match ups?--rpm5103

Most desirable: sneaking into the playoffs (duh)

Least desirable: anything not NY6

With Under Armour's recent financial troubles, do you think our neighbors to the south backed the wrong horse? Follow up…if/when UA goes the way of every Apparel company not named Nike or Adidas, who is going to pick up the scraps?--swift_retribution

It's more that UA backed Maryland, since the creator/CEO is a Maryland alum. I think that the scraps would go back to Adidas - every team in the Big Ten who's currently outfitted by UA was once an Adidas company.

I know you are a Redskins Fan so I'll ask you this. Why did they run an off tackle play against New Orleans when they needed a foot for a first down to run out the clock. Shouldn’t the 6 foot plus, 24 million dollar quarterback be able to pick up that foot? Fire Jay Gruden or not? I have been a fan since 1975 by the way.--wvlion

I have to admit that before Thanksgiving day, I hadn't watched an entire NFL game all season, and my Sundays (and Mondays) have been much better for it this year. I'm just waiting for Gruden to leave (so your last question would be a yes) and Bruce Allen with him

is HughGR banned, or can we expect him to stop by for repartee this week?

Also, since Penn State already holds the attendance record at Byrd Stadium, after this weekend will Penn State hold the #1 and #2 largest crowds?

Lastly, what is it you find appealing about alcohol made from a) a spiky green plant, and b) potatoes?--Smee

I don't really comment on members of the community who aren't around anymore, unless what’s being discussed is just factually incorrect.

It's actually no longer called Byrd Stadium - the name was changed after the 2015 season (Byrd was a segregationist, and the University finally voted to remove his name that year).

The attendance record is currently about 7k more than the stadium seats, and I don't think this game will be anywhere near full - though I could be wrong, since the weather looks gorgeous. But I don't think it'll break 50k (it holds 51).

I love the taste of tequila, which I know many people don’t - not the cheap stuff, but I don’t need the super expensive stuff either (maybe it just is the spikey green plant?). I won’t drink vodka straight, unlike tequila, but a do love a good dirty martini - mostly because I love olives, and vodka, in my opinion, tends to take on the flavors it’s paired with (which is a good thing in many drinks).

It is said that Maryland is known for Crabcakes and Football. I was wondering, since they suck at football, are their crab cakes equally as sucky and marylanders just full of lies and deceit?--LurkinLion

I've not really heard this before; maybe it's high school or pro football?

But as to your true point, though I love seafood (and picking crabs in the summer almost can't be beat), I've never been a crab cake fan. I prefer my seafood more just straight seafood, without all the extra stuff. But members of my family do love them, and they are just better in MD.

Is this the mostly Maryland thing ever? Miss Maryland--Dbridi

No, not really. I have to say, I haven't been really impressed with Maryland's drinking culture or lack thereof; PSU is really so much better, with something like six times the bars within walking distance, and tailgating that's not even close to on the same level. If you mean Maryland as a state, well, then, it's very Southern Maryland, but the thing I love so much about this state (and I do love it, having lived here for all of my life sans my time at PSU, and despite the state school and overabundance of love of many Marylanders for the stupid-ass state flag) is the diversity. Diversity of thought throughout the state (gerrymandering has diminished this diversity in the national spotlight), diversity of people, diversity of land and weather, and diversity of cultures.

Old Bay: Thumbs up or thumbs down?--PSU Mudder

And not just on crabs or seafood, either; fries, chips, deviled eggs, a lot of things are better with Old Bay.

Which upcoming Christmas season movie has you most interested? It doesn’t have to be a Christmas themed movie, it could be, but which movie should I go see over Christmas? One that’s not Star Wars. I am pretty sure one of those is coming out.--Gerry Dincher

Obviously Star Wars is my pic, but I'm going to see Murder on the Orient Express this weekend, and Justice League next weekend. Other than those three (and Thor, which I saw its first weekend and was AWESOME), I'm probably going to sit home this holiday season and binge watch Hallmark Christmas movies and the Punisher on Netflix.

Is there a Saquon withdrawal recovery program? oes BSD offer some sort of Blue Kool Aid Methadone to ease the coming pain?--Dbridi

I suggest watching this on loop: