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BSD Mailbag 11.9.18

Wisconsin is coming to town, and PSU wrestling is back this week! What are the questions you have for us in November?

NCAA Football: Iowa at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

mcsorley or stevens - who starts saturday? I’m thinking it should be Stevens without hesitation. Coaches should be looking towards next season. Trace is likely nursing some sort of injury. However, I could be persuaded…

Ultimately, I don’t care who is playing QB if we win the last four games this year.—rju103

This sort of idea is so foreign to me. Trace McSorley will likely go down as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play at Penn State - yet there’s calls for him to be benched to “look towards next season”? Are you kidding me??

Coaches don’t play players looking forward - nor should they ever. Coaches, and players, are some of the most competitive people alive and they are looking to win RIGHT NOW if at all humanly possible. Trace McSorley has earned the right to determine whether he should start or not.

I liked the idea of giving Tommy Stevens a series mid-game last week to find out whether he could be the spark that ignited the Penn State offense against a very, very good Michigan squad - but when it didn’t turn out so great, they went back to Trace. Because he is the best option for Penn State to win right now. If on Saturday, Trace struggles a bit? I’m ok with trying out a Tommy series, only if Trace isn’t 100%. Because a healthy Trace is the biggest weapon on the field on any day.

What play from the past would you like to see this offense run?

A-bubble screen

B-hand off to man in motion

C-deep pass to a receiver who can catch


We’ve tried all of these (or variants at least) at different points this year, and I don’t care which of them we use as long as KJ Hamler is the one that we get the ball to in all scenarios. That kid’s electric and could always provide the spark that the offense needs - in whichever situation we’re in.

Do you think CJF makes too many emotional calls/decisions on gamedays?

I’m not a Franklin hater. I love him. I’ve stated that I really don’t care if we were to be 8-4 or 7-5 as long as he keeps graduating players and producing mature young men. But I just think he let’s the moment get to him and has for awhile. To the point that’s it’s becoming a trend and hurting us on the field. Case in point, why not take the ball at the 35 against Michigan when they kicked it out of bounds? I understand that KJ is electric. But a free 35 with no one getting potentially hurt is a win for me. I guess this is his cross to bear, idiots like me always second guessing him.—swift_retribution


I was tempted to leave it at that, but seriously - he made that same call against Appalachian State (ie, instead of taking the extra yards, he had them re-kick) and KJ took the return out to midfield - and that call is the reason why Penn State won, having a short field to go down to tie, and then win in overtime.

Did it work against Michigan? No. But that call was one I am 100% on board with - and shows how much faith Franklin has in his players, not just now but for the future. You never know when KJ will take it up field, and giving him that opportunity was awesome.

Overall, I don’t think Franklin makes “emotional” decisions on the field. And the one you described absolutely wasn’t emotional - it was an analytical one. I’d like to see what other decisions you consider “emotional” calls because I’d likely dispute nearly every one as logically sound.

What are your memories of the final Penn State home game you attended as a student?

Mine was November 12, 1977. We beat Temple 44-7, an otherwise unremarkable thrashing on our way to a Thanksgiving Saturday victory at Pitt and a subsequent Fiesta Bowl win against AZ State.

I recall little about the game itself. What lingers is that it was a spectacular fall day, sunny and unseasonably warm.

At game’s end the Blue Band marched on to the field and started playing the ‘Nittany Lion Special’ as it had after every other home game I had the privilege of attending. I leaned back, closed my eyes, let the late afternoon sun shine down on me and listened to that sweet music. I sat in my Senior section seat until the ushers asked me to leave.

In that moment Beaver Stadium became my Elysian Field. It remains so to this day.—McCloskeywasinbounds

I’m going to tell you guys something that may cause you to lose faith in me: I don’t remember the final home game I sat in the student section my senior year.

I remember my freshman year; 1999 was exciting and exhilarating to start, but ended with a sour taste - and then the next two years were some of the worst in program history, and yet I still sat in the student section, week in and week out.

My senior year, newly back in the country after a semester abroad, I was dejected. The prevoius three seasons had left me sad; the students back then sang “We don’t know the goddamn words” during the alma mater, and that made me sadder. I bought my season tickets, to be sure, but I also got myself a job at the Waffle Shop, and a day of making $200 in tips rather than getting over to Beaver Stadium by noon for a kickoff with a team I’d lost faith in was more appealing to me.

Of course, 2002 ended up being a pretty good year; I distinctly remember that nighttime Nebraska game, and waiting on a table of Husker fans who were arrogant in their confidence they’d destroy us. I’d think of them a lot during that subsequent beatdown.

The final home game of that season was Michigan State, the game in which Larry Johnson had 200 yards before the end of the first quarter. I’d like to say I definitely went to that game; but I don’t have any memories of it, so I can’t say with 100% certainty I was there. Do I have regrets about not being at every game my final season? Sure, of course, with how my energy and fandom and love of this football program was reenergized a few years later. But I can’t regret overall the decisions I made back then, because they made me the person (and the fan) that I am today.

Is it going to snow on Saturday? Traveling from an area that is used to 80 degree days and want to know how many layers to bring.—LarzLion

It’s probably not going to snow too much on Saturday:

But without the snow, it’s going to be dang cold! So bring ALL the layers.

Is it too much to ask for decent weather for a November game? Why can’t it at least be cold enough to just SNOW?!—bearwithscarf

I love snow, but I’d prefer none while we’re out tailgating and at the game, thanks. Monday would be the perfect day for some snow.

And it’s cold enough, to be sure - but luckily doesn’t have the precipitation coming in.

Which is more of a travesty?

A. That my go-to radio station started the day after halloween playing all Christmas music all the time (love Christmas but this is waay too early)


B. As of this moment 5b is leading the coastal division in the ACC and would play in the ACC championship if the regular season ended today.—phillyfanisc

Only one of those things is a travesty - I’ve been playing Christmas music in my office since November 1, and I’ve been watching Hallmark Christmas movies since before then. Come at me, bro.

Of the following four pins on Sunday, which arrives with the greatest speed? Jason’s, Cenzo’s, Hall’s or Bo’s?

Does Schnupp get the W?

And how great is it that the first words out of Coach’s mouth at the very first presser of the season were sarcasm/trolling?

SID: “Blah, blah, blah, media passes, Will Call, stuff…”

SID: “Coach Sanderson, Cael, do you want to do a quick opening statement?”

COACH: “I would love to do that!”


I think I answered most of those questions in today’s wrestling preview, but I did, of course, love Cael’s presser—especially the part where he details Micah Parsons calling him up and asking to compete for a Penn State wrestling spot.

Are there any services out there that help fulfill orders from places internationally that wouldn’t otherwise ship to the US? Trying to order something from Spain but they don’t ship outside of the peninsula. They also apparently don’t reply to emails.—Succss With Honor Always

I don’t have much experience with this, though right after I studied in England and got hooked on some UK goods I started using instead of, just so I could get stuff that wasn’t available in this country.

But I found this site: maybe it can help?

Is creamy tomato soup just a hot tomato milkshake?—BlueandWhiteTangerines

The idea of a hot milkshake makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit, and I loooove creamy tomato soup. So I’m going to go with a very vocal no.