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BSD Mailbag 9.21.18

We’ve got one more tune up game before the showdown under the lights in front of a white-out crowd - what are the things on our community’s minds the most?

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

When was the last time Penn State played a regular season foosball game on a Friday? I’m guessing the media guide or gopsusports has this already figured out but I’m too lazy to go looking for it.—Smee

The last time Penn State played on a Friday was at home, the day after Thanksgiving, the final week of the 1982 season. In case you don’t remember, good things happened in that game, after a good season, and with better things left to come.

But that doesn’t mean I’m ok with playing on a Friday in the middle of the season.

Where does a Friday night game (still can’t believe I’m typing that) rank on the suck scale?

10 = The time I needed my tongue cut open to remove an unknown lump (it’s cool no cancer) and couldn’t talk or eat solid food for 3 days and had a raging headache most of the time.

1 = Just kidding this scale only has one rating Friday night games are hella stupid for a program of Penn State’s caliber.—bearwithscarf

-42. Because Michael Mauti would hate this game being on a Friday too.

How early do I arrive for a night game? We are going to the game Friday night. But I have never been to a night game before. I will probably work a half day that day and leave about noon. I live about 2 hours from Champaign. We were thinking of leaving the house around 2 and getting there and parked about 4-430. They only 30,000 people show up to the opener against Kent State. Memorial Stadium holds 60K but I’m guessing it wont be a sellout crowd lets say 50K or so to watch the future National Champs. How early should we get there to park, maybe grab a bite to eat, get settled in and ready for the game?—adamp1984

I know nothing about attending a night game in Champaign. If you were asking for next week, I’d say make sure you’re in the line to get into the lots by one or two at the latest—that way you won’t be rushed to get into the game (because it can take that dang long to park, I had to park in yellow last week and I got in line at 7:02 am and it still took me almost a half hour to park).

Because it’s a Friday, and it’s at Illinois, what you’re proposing sounds about right - is there any rush hour in Champaign? If so, that’s something to factor in as well - but as long as you’re parked by 6 I’d think you’d have plenty of time.

So they were showing some pregame footage of Kent State HC Sean Lewis and Head Bald Coach James Franklin chatting, and the two seemed to have quite the report. Do you think Sean is on James Franklin’s list? What other hot young coaches are on Franklin’s list?—skarocksoi

Someone hoped that Lewis was on Franklin’s short list back in 2015, when John Donovan was released. Of course, I’m super happy with how Joe Moorhead worked out, but I hope that Lewis was on Franklin’s radar - and I don’t see why he wouldn’t have been.

Based on what you’ve seen so far, which FR are you most excited to watch for years to come? KJ Hamler seems like the easy answer. Parsons is growing before our eyes, but that Clifford guy is showing such poise. What say you?—Penn State Navy

I know it’s the easy answer, but it’s GOTTA be the human joystick. I mean, that punt return last week (the one where Isaac Lutz was the best possible cover special teams guys) was jaw-dropping—literally, the friend I was sitting next to was agape when that happened.

Micah is going to be the biggest contributor by year’s end, though, along with Ellis Brooks.

Why does Trace hate his RBs so much? Seems whenever we’re close to the goal the RPO is a keeper for the easy TD for Trace. Watching some of K St, Trace actually gave the ball the Mark Allen (I think) on 3rd down from the 2ish, but then tripped him so that he could have a 4th down conversion/TD.

Just so selfish.—JayMPSU

Trace knows this offense really, really well - and he knows when to hand off and when to pull it to himself (or, as much as anyone can). As Bscaff explained in his film room this week, Trace is making the read much quicker - and that, coupled with a more veteran offensive line, means our offense has scored more points to date than under Joe Moorhead.

Is there any information floating around about:

  1. Is Tommy Stevens still hurt or is he actually 3rd string since Clifford is going off?
  2. Is Shorter going to get a chance to run with this offense? Thought that kid was supposed to be good.
  3. Still no Simmons. Is he going through another injury?
  4. What’s with John Reid?—PeteZockyU

I’m not guaranteeing my info is better than anyone else’s, but...

  1. He is not actually 3rd string. I think he was being kept out for a combination of reasons - one is that he was hurt at the beginning of the season, and likely couldn’t play versus App State - and he wasn’t needed versus Pitt or KSU. The other reason is the plays that Ricky Rahne has designed around Stevens likely won’t be used with other players, so there’s no need to show them before they’re necessary (ie, next week versus Ohio State) —though he did retweet this, which makes me think he’ll make an appearance this week.
  2. Shorter will likely have a shot by the end of the year...especially if Juwan Johnson continues to be a non-factor.
  3. Simmons has been injured since pre-season. And, similar to Tommy tweeting an obscure smily face this week, Simmons did the same thing. Coincidence?
  4. Against App St, Reid looked like a player who hadn’t played in over a year. He might have played too much too soon, and needed another breather - but I also expect him to be back this week—though Tariq Castro-Fields has looked awesome in his stead.

Is there a better TD celebration than the Trace/Bates ‘belly rub’?—Pasadena’95

I’m still a fan of the home run celly, but the belly rub is pretty stinking adorable. Mostly because Trace is not a large dude and Ryan is.

friend of ours is getting married on Friday evening (omg, seriously, who gets married on a Friday, let alone the ONLY ONE PSU HAS EVER PLAYED ON! SMDH) so, am I wrong to go full Smeagol at the reception dinner table and listen to it / watch it on my phone?—afields16

If I were you, I would just set the DVR and watch it afterwards. This isn’t a huge game on our schedule (my recommendation likely would be different if this was next week) and friends and family are super important - plus, if you subtly remind them in coming months/years that you eschewed your beloved pastime of cheering on the Nittany Lions as they’re playing for their wedding, you’ll score some major friend points.

What should I do with Saturday this week? I will get my college football fix on Friday night. I fear the honey-do. —Dinsdale Piranha

I am headed over to a friend’s new place to help her unpack and drink wine, then go somewhere to watch MSU-Indiana, Stanford-Oregon, or Mississippi State.

Another thread recently mentioned the infamous 6-4 game. It got me thinking, why is a safety 2 points? Why not 3? Wouldn’t it be more interesting if the defense could score 3 points.

Aside from the small inconvenience of the 2004 Iowa game continuing to this very day, what would any potential negatives be?—Blue & White Wookie

First off, though it’s rare, it’s possible to get a one-point safety.

But this got me think on your real question - why two points? Why not three (or six)? A forum I’d never heard of actually posed this question - but it seems like most of their readers (NFL fans) think that it’s fair - likely because in the NFL, teams that kick off after the safety aren’t allowed to use a tee, so the team that scored the safety generally has better field position. What say you all?


How many points should a safety be?

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    Two points is fine
    (191 votes)
  • 17%
    Three points - it should be the same as a field goal
    (47 votes)
  • 8%
    Six points - it’s the rarest form of score, so it should get the most points
    (24 votes)
  • 3%
    Other (explain in comments)
    (10 votes)
272 votes total Vote Now

What can Penn State learn from the TCU-anOSU game (besides, “Don’t throw a shovel pass into the arms of a waiting defender, foo’!”)?—PSU_Lions_84

I think the best thing we learned is that Ohio State is beatable. Their offense was relatively pedestrian against a smaller TCU defense, and if they’re affected by the white out, they could be even worse next week. Also, their defense seems susceptible to the deep ball - something we can absolutely take advantage of.

2 part question: Nick Bosa seems like a better player than his jerky older brother, is that true? Am I the only one that was a little relieved to see him go down with the hopes he wont play versus PSU in 2 weeks?—adamp1984

He is better, imo. And no, you aren’t the only one - I hate seeing players injured, especially when it’s not anything in particular they did to deserve the injury. But if he had to get injured, it was at a pretty advantageous time considering Rahne can scout his backups enough before next week’s game.

Where do you think Pitt would finish in the B1G West and B1G East, respectively? For my money, I think Pitt is better than: Buttgers (obvi), Illinois, jNW, Purdue, and Nebraska. So maybe like 5th in the East and 3rd (!) in the West?—jcross9

Purdue’s three losses have come by a combined 8 points - I actually think they’re better than their record. So I think Pitt would lose to them. They’re definitely better than Rutgera and Illinois, but I think Northwestern and Nebraska and even Maryland are likely tossups.

How in the world is Notre Dame ranked ahead of us and simultaneously only a 7 1/2 point favorite over Wake Forest?—phillyfanisc

C’mon, man. You know that the polls would rank Notre Dame top ten every year if somehow they could get away with it. Sports media loves nothing more than a past prestigious program re-entering the upper echelon, even if it’s not warranted.

It’s still bullshit though.

Rank the following in order of comedic value:

  • Nebraska going through coaches like crazy in an effort to finally land someone who can win the B1G West, and beginning a full-scale rebuild in the one year that the division is actually wide open.
  • Wisconsin fans shitting on every other team for playing soft non-conference schedules, and promptly getting their asses handed to them by a G5 defense at home.
  • Arkansas losing by four scores to North Texas and giving up a punt return TD on a fake fair catch.
  • UCLA being a hot pile of cow shit
  • Florida State being a hot pile of cow shit
  • Northwestern fans being some of the most vocal PSU haters, going all-in on the “PSU only plays Akron meme”, and then being the team that actually loses to Akron.

Follow-up Question: with Wisconsin looking much shakier than expected, Iowa’s offense reaching their usual Ferentzian heights, and Minnesota having one of the easiest schedules in the power conferences, how many mind-altering substances and/or boat-rowing related hype would one need to actually think the Gophers have a chance to take the West this year?—rallyparakeet

We of all fanbases shouldn’t engage in massive amounts of schadenfreude, and that North Texas touchdown was baller and I loved it. That being said, Pat Fitzgerald is a dick and I can never root for Northwestern, so its clearly the last option way at the top with all the others way below.

And I really think Minnesota’s got a shot - but never discount Ferentz.

who’s got the best beard game on our schedule? Sean Lewis? Lovie Smith? Matt Canada?—afields16

Definitely not Canada - the pictures I’ve seen are simply unimpressive, and he’s only the interim coach, after all. I’m gonna go with Lovie, because he’s taking the beard pretty seriously once he came back down to NCAA level. It’s a Santa beard, and I love it.

Will the Penn State Wrasslin’ Team’s margin of victory over Kent State be greater, less, or equal to the foosball team’s?—Smee

Less. The only way to beat it would be to score pins in all ten bouts - if we pinned nine guys, we’d have 54 points, and Kent State would have 3. That’s a 51 point MOV - less than last week. And the odds of ten pins are so tiny - especially when Kyle Conel is in their lineup. He’ll likely lose to Bo Nickal, but I highly doubt he’ll get pinned. He’s no Myles Martin.

*Ed note: in rereading this, I just realized my math was wrong. We could have anywhere from 57 to 60 points to zero, so the MOV could be higher. But the odds are still astronomical, and therefore I doubt it’ll happen.

Can we get a quick pick for the Ryder Cup this year? And as an added bonus—which player will accumulate the most points?—LarzLion

I know next to nothing about golf. But I do know Tiger Woods is back, so the US?

How is one supposed to pronounce Illinois? Ill – e – noise or Ill – e – noy?—Gerry Dincher

Ill. uh. noy.

I did something tonight I rarely do. I went to McD’s. (Don’t ask). Anyway… got these new buttermilk crispy tenders. Oh. My. Gawd!!! Are they horrible!! I thought they used to do a decent job years ago on the chicken selects, but these things are putrid. Vile. Cardboardy. Absolutely disgusting. So the question is: have you tried them, and am I right or wrong?—Smee

I only go to McDonalds for breakfast, and I haven’t been in months, so I can’t speak about their tenders, But why would you even try those when chicken mcnuggets exist?

What is the best fastfood coffee?

  • Tim Horton’s
  • Dunkin
  • McCafe
  • Sheetz
  • Wawa
  • Starbucks


  1. Tim Horton’s (at the NCAA wrestling tourney in 2016, I went to the Tim Horton’s in Penn Station every day before going into the press room. I also have the k-cups from them. This is a no-brainer)
  2. Dunkin Donuts (I like their regular coffee, and also sometimes get their k-cups)
  3. Sheetz (because everything they do is better)
  4. McCafe (excellent for the price)
  5. Wawa (underwhelming for how it’s been talked up)
  6. Starbucks (if you’re going for regular coffee, this has so little flavor. I lied, it’s flavor is just BURNT)

This is just for regular coffee. If we’re going cold brew, Starbucks’ is excellent - and their nitro cascara is my current favorite (the cocoa one is meh).

Why do I think of great mailbag questions during the weekend and then I can never remember them once the week starts?—Dbridi

If you could pick one tv fantasy world to live in, which one would it be and why?—swift_retribution

This is an amazing question. There are so many good options to pick through! Originally, I wasn’t sure I could just narrow it down to one, but the more I thought about it, there was only one answer for me...Post-War of the Ring Middle Earth, specifically in Gondor. Because you know Aragorn is a great king and loves his subjects.