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BSD Mailbag 9.13.19

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It’s Friday the 13th, AND there’s a full moon? Uh, oh, you know what that means...

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Absolutely nothing. Let’s get onto the questions.

What is minimum recommended SPF to protect against all the hot taeks from last weekend. Asking for a friend.—Claypool3

I’ve said it multiple times and I’ll say it again - if you had told me pre-kickoff that we would win the game 45-13, I’d take that score almost any day of the week, both offensively and defensively. Am I satisfied that we were down at the half? No, but when your opponent stacks the box on both sides of the ball, playing to run out the clock, and you not only have more touchdowns (6) than punts (5), you’re not really seeing poor play calling.

That Buffalo team is extremely well coached, and came to play for the first time under the lights in big stadium. They left it out on the field and did everything they could to win the game. My hat’s off to them, and I hope they win the MAC again.

That’s my (not so) #hottaek.

Did TCF have the worst game in his career, or the best game in his career?—Sperbro

I truly don’t understand what game some folks were watching. TCF looked great - Buffalo looked to pick on him because they weren’t going to pick on John Reid, and our safeties had a poor game. TCF should not be the one covering the middle of the field by himself - he did so much in this game and stepped up when needed. His best game at PSU, and the game has clearly slowed down for him where he has a great feel for the field.

Side note: it’s not looking good for any of us BSD staff who picked someone other than Reid to lead the team in interceptions (all but Lando & Pat). Two games and two interceptions’ll likely be hard to overcome.

We need to accept this offensive line play as the new norm, don’t we?—bearwithscarf

I really don’t think they were as horrible this past week as a lot of folks are clamoring. When the defense is stacking the box and daring you to pass, and your defense plays bend but don’t suck, and you average almost 5.5 yards per play, that’s not that bad.

Have you seen the rushing stats going into the 5b game? 69 carries for 409 yards.


I did see that, and I could not be more pleased. At first I was upset that we kneeled to end the first half, but without that kneeldown, statistics like this couldn’t be possible. CJF is clearly a Paterno plant.

Pitt fucking sucks. Its not a question—PhillyLion

Other than 48-14 (because it’s the obvious choice), what is your favorite PSU-Pitt memory? My mom was in attendance at 48-14 and always says that no beatdown of Pitt can ever top that game.

As someone who never grew up with this game outside of my 4 years at Penn State, it has to be 51-6. The 2017 game was fun to see in person too, but 51-6 was glorious.—Malkin’s Milkshake

I honestly don’t have too many memories. I was a student at PSU the last time we played Pitt, and my best memory from those years is seeing all of the old school-style t-shirts in the student section with the cartoon panther sitting on a toilet.

Last year’s game was super fun, though. As was 2017 - I ended up sitting in the letterman’s section with a friend’s son who had just graduated from Allegheny, and played football for them. Watching a game with someone with more in-trench football experience than me was quite interesting.

Isn’t it sad that playing Pitt this weekend is no more exciting than Idaho nor Buffalo? It lacks the excitment of say a mid-level B1G foe.—psualum9931

It does feel that same way to me, though a lot of my friends feel differently. It does provide for copious more jokes than Idaho or Buffalo, though!

Ben Jones reported that Antonio Shelton compared Caeden Wallace to the pokemon Blastoise claiming “He’s all back”.

What other player to pokemon comparisons could you make?—skarocksoi

I know little to nothing about Pokemon, and definitely not enough to answer this question - so I went to your favorite Pokemon fan and mine, our very own Eli. Here’s what he had to say in response to Ska’s question:

Hmm that’s a great question. Let’s start with Anthony Zettel. This video showcases Zettel’s pristine kicking abilities, so he gets to be Hitmonlee. Hitmonlee is known as the Kicking Pokemon in its universe. Fits perfectly with Zettel, in my opinion.

You can’t have this section without mentioning Saquon Barkley, so let’s add him in here. I think Barkley best resembles Arcanine. Here’s a Pokedex entry on Arcanine:

A legendary Pokémon in the East. Many people are charmed by the grace and beauty of its running.

I was certainly charm by the grace and beauty of Barkley’s running.

Someone in our current roster, you said? Yetur Gross-Matos reminds me of Tyranitar:

Tyranitar is so overwhelmingly powerful, it can bring down a whole mountain to make its nest. This Pokémon wanders about in mountains seeking new opponents to fight.

Here’s another:

It wanders through the mountains seeking opponents to fight. If it finds an opponent that’s not worthy, Tyranitar ignores it and wanders on.

Yeah I’m thinking Gross-Matos is Tyranitar.

Last, but not least, our single-season Sacks leader, Carl Nassib, reminds me of Gengar:

Should you feel yourself attacked by a sudden chill, it is evidence of an approaching Gengar. There is no escaping it. Give up.

I’m sure opposing quarterbacks felt this to their core in 2015.

This was great, thanks for having me. Maybe I’ll do a full series sometime.

So...I’m at DFW terminal E, waiting for the rental car bus when I turn around and standing next to me is John Smith. He asks if I know if we are in the right spot for the bus. I proceed to say yes and then wish him well on the upcoming season. He seems a little wielded out.

I then ask how he thinks it will go and he says he has a few guys dinged up and then looks even more wierded out. After a little more small talk, I wish him well and step away (after mentioning I’m a PSU fan).

On a level of 1 being “casual wrestling fan, it’s ok” to 10 being “this guys is a whack job”, Where do I stand on this encounter? Did I do anything wrong?—spigmana

You’re far from a “casual” fan if you recognize Smith outside of either a wrestling tournament or Stillwater, but his response to you adds onto my dislike of him - and I say dislike purposefully, as it’s not up to the vitriol I have for Tom Ryan or Rob Koll.

I would think he would welcome all talk of his sport from a fan - the best experience I have with this was a few days before the NCAA tournament started this past year, I was in Southern Tier with some friends (including Clay) and Brandon Eggum (the head coach of Minnesota’s wrestling program) was at the next table. Because I’m me, when Eggum was coming back from the bathroom, I pulled him over and wished him luck, talked about how Tommy Thorn was my dark horse to do well in the tournament, and - in seeming contrast to your interaction with Smith - Eggum couldn’t have been nicer. His face lit up when I originally said, “Coach?” and it seemed as though he could have spent hours chatting with us, because he genuined loves the sport and all its fans, even if they are PSUers.

You’re fine. The problem’s with John Smith.

Should I scalp Lot 34 parking passes at 50 bucks now or see if they come down in a few weeks? I swear scalpers make more on parking passes than tickets now.—PhillyLion

For which game? If you’re selling for Michigan (or Pitt, now) you can make well more than that I think.

And if last week’s any indicator, you’re right about scalpers making more on parking - I sold an extra pass last week for $10 and wasn’t able to sell any of my extra tickets.

Is it wrong to eat at the Primanti Bros. truck before the sPitt game? Or should I wait to get inside and eat a hot dog sandwich?—PascalsDog

I am very much not a fan of eating in stadiums when you can help it, where food is overpriced and (aside from some excelled options we’ve found in Nats Park) generic. I vote absolutely yes on Primanti Bros.

Since I haven’t asked a one in a while, I’ll be the one to bring it up. How long until 5B is on the schedule again? 10 years? 20? Never? It seems like there’s a lot of friction between the athletic departments currently and that’s not going to change any time soon.

Also, I think that these two programs are just going in different directions, so does it really make sense to play them again considering the way schools have to schedule in regards to the CFP and such?—PSUBeatle

I hope it’s no sooner than ten. I like our future schedules, with home and homes against Auburn and VT and West Virginia. The only way I’d like to see it sooner than over a decade from now is if we get a 2 for 1 deal, because that makes more fiscal sense to me. There’s little upside to playing Pitt regularly, unlike what many media still want to cling to.

Set tradition aside, what’s the best argument for playing 5b regularly? Even though I graduated in the late 70s, saw 48-14 at Pitt Stadium with my own eyes, reveled in those games, etc. my sense is that this game has lost any benefit it’s had for us.

I don’t see us losing recruits to 5b, the home and home agreement only affords some Pittsburgh alums a close-by game they can attend similar to the way a Temple game benefits Philly alums, and frankly why give Pitt anything that would allow them to represent themselves as peers to us athletically?

Many people throw out Iowa / ISU as a series that PSU and Pitt should emulate. I’d argue that the CyHawk game holds Iowa back in the long run because they’re restricted in scheduling other high profile games – you do need a minimum number of home games to make your athletic budget and traveling to Ames every other year limits your options.

If they were absorbed into the B1G, that would be a whole ‘nother story. But that’s not the case right now. Have at it…—McCloskeywasinbounds

I am entirely with you on this. I don’t see anything but downside, as when we lose (like in 2016), the Pitt media crows about it and staff makes keychains and we still win the Big Ten regardless. I also agree with your assessment of the ISU-Iowa annual game, bu the difference there is that the hate between the programs is on both sides - Iowa fans of all ages simply can’t stand Iowa State fans in all sports, at all times of the year, and those feelings are reciprocated by the Cyclones.

For PSU and Pitt, though, that vitriol absent the weeks surrounding the game seems to be decidedly one-sided.

What non-conference foe do you most look forward to playing in the next few years? For me it is West Virginia, for obvious reasons.—wvlion

Gotta be Auburn - I’ve only been to the state once and we have a whole mess of folks planning on going. I also like the idea of winning at an SEC school :)

Is VT the dumbest of the dumbass programs in the country? They let Jordan Stout get away. He’s #1 in the country with 20 touchbacks (95% of his kicks), 0 out-of-bounds, and averaging 64.4 yards per kick. (He’s also leading the nation in the number of kicks at 21 which I guess means PSU is scoring a lot)—RWReese

Stout has been the best offseason addition to the Nittany Lions, bar none. What a concept, being able to get a touchback on every kick off! I no longer grimace before kickoffs, because I’m not worried about them. And with KJ Hamler back deep for returns, that goes for both sides of kickoffs.

All of the media spent the summer telling me that Michigan was going to be fantastic. Now all of the media is telling me that they might be garbage. Which is it, damnit?! I personally think they’re a lit match away from a complete dumpster fire but could the media have been that wrong all summer?—RWReese

Honestly, I think it depends on how Ryan Day does at OSU - if Michigan is able to win this year (big IF) then they could have an ok year. But Michigan is up there with Notre Dame and Texas to me on teams that are perennially heralded as preseason contenders who end up pretenders - only one of those teams has seen a title game in the last decade, and by the grace of Mante Te’o’s girlfriend, they didn’t even show up to play.

When do the wheels come off at OSU? It happens every time Urbs leaves a program.

2002 Bowling Green 9-3*

2003 BG 11-3

2004 BG 9-3

2005 BG 6-5

2004 Utah 12-0*

2005 Utah 7-5

2010 Florida 8-5 (but coming off back to back 13-1 seasons)*

2011 Florida 7-6

2018 OSU 10-1*

  • indicates Meyer’s last season

Bowling Green took a while. You could argue that he wasn’t at Utah long enough to do anything beyond corral the players already in place into a team *checks notes* strong enough to house Pitt 35-7 in the Fiesta Bowl. Obviously, we’d like to think that Florida is the best comparison given the relative standing of the program when compared to OSU, but Florida had started to come off the rails while Urbs was there. This was the first and only time where he didn’t see the writing on the wall and jump for another job in time.

I’m of the belief that OSU will lose 3 or more games this year, but that belief is starting to fade if only because they don’t play anyone of substance until 10/26 and after that only have Penn State and a bowl opponent. So, does one or more of Sparty, jNW or the inept Wolverines beat OSU or are we looking at a decline in 2020?—kijana’s acl

I’m not so sure the wheels will come off at OSU - at his other stops, he’s been dogged by off-field *player* issues prior to his departure, coupled with a decline in recruiting. That hasn’t happened so much at OSU - though I still don’t see why everyone is fawning over Day so soon. He could be great - but he could be not great! It’s far too early to anoint him as anything so far, until he is coaching his own recruited players.

I think they’ll lose maybe two games, but it won’t be any indicator of their greatness.

Is OSU’s (now failed) attempt to trademark “The” the single most pretentious thing in the history of college athletics?—Paebr332


I’m glad the Buffalo punter was fixed up and got back home, and proud of PSU fans for their support of him after such a horrifying injury, but....Is it just me or does he look like one of the Hanson Brothers from Slap Shot??—SuperJeff

Let’s see:

Let me know your thoughts below!

Has anyone ever seen Dak Prescott and Sinbad in the same room together?—EnisEnvy

You are far from the only person to think this, which is interesting to me.

Is Cam Wake the most underrated Nittany Lion in the pros? Just got his 100th sack. And yet, it doesn’t seem like he gets the level of respect that – say – Tamba Hali gets from fans.—CaptBombs

I think a large chunk of this is the fact that he went by Derek when he went to Penn State - so many PSUers don’t initially realize that he is the same Wake who played for us. He’ll go down as being an HOFer, though, imho.

Setting aside any and all conspiracy theories involving Penn State, in honor of Larry Johnson, what is your favorite conspiracy theory?—WorldBFat

That the world actually ended in 2012 and we are all currently existing in a black hole, which is one I literally just learned about this morning.

But conspiracy theories are for weirdos.

With all due respect to RWReese, should the University of Miami SBNation page change its name to “Tacos and Prostitutes”?—Tmbgiants_3

For those who don’t peruse literally every comment section on this here blog, TMBG here is referencing this comment from RWReese on the immediate post game piece.

Why do people think good barbeque should be sauced?—Lionbacker3

I hate to break it to you, but generally people are awful and shouldn’t be trusted.

Why the %^#* are they getting rid of the double decker taco? Friday is the last day they are selling them at The Taco Bell. Why isn’t this a bigger story in the media? #doubledeckergate—Dbridi

I have no idea what the deal is with double decker tacos as I haven’t gone to Taco Bell in probably 15 years. Is this actually a huge thing now?

What do you think of the new Tool album? Kinda cool to see it supplant Taylor Swift for a minute too.—GSAPS

I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, but I’m now excited. I love Taylor, but some of the youngins who were flipping out on Tool (and their extra long songs) is hilarious.

What’s the deal with left-footed and right-footed socks? Is this something that truly have been missing for a while or is this another example of the dumbing down of the American population?—Scoop Dawg

Are they really that different? I understand having a pair of socks that are slightly different (for example, I have a pair of socks where one says “F***” and the other says “Off”), but specifically right and left? I’m too disorganized for that, and my washer/dryer would probably eat one of them consistently.

I’m confused by all the hype Adam Driver gets. It seems like he’s a featured actor in Hollywood, but I don’t think that he’s that good of an actor. What the hell am I missing?—Succss With Honor Always

He will forever be the weird dude in Girls to me - no matter what he’s in. That’s all I could think of when I originally watched the Force Awakens, and let me tell you, that’s not such a bad place to be in.

I also don’t think he’s that phenomenal, though I did like him in BlacKKKlansman.

If you could kill someone with a bag of nickels, and get away with it, who would it be and why? Feel free to go back in time if you so choose. Mine is Kris Jenner. Cuz you know, of her spawn.—swift_retribution

Hitler, natch. Any other answer is wrong. :)

Going to be a lot of unrolling this weekend because you know Shitt on Pitt. So what is the correct way for toilet paper on the roll? Over or under? To me it is ALWAYS OVER. No question about it. I don’t care what reason you have to go under with it you are wrong.—bva-psu

It’s over. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tempted to redo the toilet paper when I’m at someone’s house to start the roll over - but then I realize I actually was raised with manners, and they may have it set up that way for a reason. Though if I ever do replace the roll anywhere, you best know I’m putting it on over.

Why do SBN comments take so long to load?—PSU Mudder

This is entirely depended on your connection and the browser you’re using. When I’m on mobile (except around Beaver Stadium on gameday) it loads pretty fast, but when I’m connected through my regular desktop (or especially through a VPN), the comments take far longer to load.

Lastly, back by popular demand (read: because I inexplicably included the question and not the answer last week):

Next year is 2020. Will we finally start saying twenty as the first part of the year instead of two thousand? Twenty-twenty flows off the tongue much better than two thousand twenty and all the other years that began with two thousand. So, is next year twenty-twenty or is it two thousand twenty. Aslo, thank you to the Nationals for trading Felipe Vazquez (nee Rivero) to the Pirates.—Gerry Dincher

I’ve been saying the twenty part for a bit now - but I couldn’t agree more about the mouth feel of saying 20, 20 instead of “two thousand”. I’m 100% on board with this, and you’re welcome about the trade, I guess? He wasn’t great for us (our bullpen has been a mess for years) and I don’t know the Pirates well enough to know whether you’re being sarcastic or not but you’re welcome either way.