Hello, and welcome back to the mailbag! I hope you’re all doing well in this time of Corona, and ready for some Penn State football to take us away from our troubles. That is, if the football itself won’t be troubling...let’s get to it.
With everything going on in 2020, can we still celebrate Puntweek?—Dbridi
Of course! There is always room for a #Puntweek celebration. And it coming the first game of the year is nothing less than a gift to the special teams gods, though I predict that many a Penn State fan will be apprehensive for much of the day. Such is what happens during #Puntweek
How many punts will it take to win and will we miss Gillikan or whatever his name was?—BMAN13
We absolutely will miss Blake Gillikin – but this is the first #puntweek that I have literally no idea what to expect during punting, as we haven’t seen Jordan Stout punt yet! He’s so great at kickoffs that he’s gotta be good at punting, too…right? RIGHT?!?
Until our boosters start embezzling money from THON to pay for recruits, then this program won’t ever get over the CFP hump. Agree or disagree?— IronCityLion
Disagree, for two reasons:
1) We have been super close a few years (last year, and in 2016/17) that I don’t think booster involvement would have made the difference (the lack of CFP appearance wasn’t, in my opinion, based on the quality of players but rather execution and play calling)
2) Are you really that sure we don’t have boosters involved already? I’m not. It’s so pervasive in college sports that I don’t rule anything out.
How long will it take for KeAndre Lambert to make us forget we were ever worried about wide receiver production?—PSU Mudder
Honestly, I’m not sure it will be early this season – Parker Washington’ll probably break out pretty soon this week or next. But I expect Lambert to pull in a big play or two when we least expect it, like in the fourth quarter against OSU when the Buckeyes leaving him on an island covering Free Moose with both a safety and a linebacker. Idiots ;)
Wide Receivers: With Much of the Offense returning (QB,TE,RB,OL), the big question I have is who will we see taking reps at WR. Is there any heavy favorites besides Dotson commanding reps? Someone has to break-out right?—Wokjab
See above. I think we’ll see Washington have a breakout year, since so much of opposing defenses’ focus will be on stopping Pat Friermuth.
Also, does anyone else find it super weird that Cam Sullivan-Brown (WR) switched his number to 6, which is what Cam Brown (LB) was wearing these past few years? It’s like he didn’t want us to have to memorize a new number for a Cam Brown, which if you think about it, is super considerate of him. Thanks on behalf of the fandom, CSB!
What is the impact on Clifford of Hamler’s departure?
Each one made the other look good. Without his favorite target, does Clifford’s confidence suffer, thereby resulting in less productivity? Or does this force him to read the defense better and choose multiple targets? Or will he regularly and predictably become locked on his tight end? (sorry, I can’t spell the guy’s name.)—48-14
I don’t think we’ll see any significant drop off. Part of the reason why KJ Hamler was Cliff’s security blanket is that last year was his first year starting, and he needed to build up trust with the team and his throwing target options – and he came in with some modicum of trust already built up with KJ by virtue of their previous relationship. Now that he’s had another year under his belt, I think Clifford will be able to spread the ball out more, with a lot more trust in his options. Also, don’t underestimate the amount of time they’ve been able to get together after summer but before this delayed season has started – relationships in October are much more solid than June.
Do you think Penn State will play like a “Have” or “Have Not”? The basis of my question comes from a theory I have about all the upsets this year.
The “Haves” are the elite teams that are in the national conversation every year. They have a set formula that they are use to following every year. They recruit well, have a set schedule starting from the spring that they follow through with until the end of the season. These “Haves” are struggling this year because Covid has pushed them way off their tried & true path/schedule/formula and are having a hard time adapting
The “Have Nots” are the teams that are trying to become a “Have” and struggle with lesser talent and other things. They are use to thinking outside the box and have to adapt every year. Some of the “Have Nots” are thriving this year and beating some of the “Haves” because it is just business as usual for them. They actually are in some sort of comfort zone.
So again, Do you think PSU will play like a “Have” or a “Have Not”?—EagleLionSly
Based on your definition of the word, I’d classify PSU as a “Have” under Franklin. But because of our coaching turnover this offseason, I’m not so sure we used the same formula as in years past, at least on the offensive side of the ball – it’s likely that since we have KC over there now, it’s the defense under Pry that may have some struggles adapting to the differences.
Not that it matters a whole lot, the schadenfreude is very strong with this season so I think anything can happen.
How many rushing yards does PSU amass against Indiana?
Also, how many Penix jokes is too many?—LBU_409er
I’m betting it’s not as many as folks are expecting, because we’re gonna go pretty vanilla in this first game. The only way we’ll get over the mid 200s is if Indiana’s front seven is VERY poor (which I don’t expect) and running Cain up the gut on first and second downs is producing 4-5 ypc, which I also don’t expect.
Also, one can never have too many Penix jokes.
While I’m still hopeful for a win, will we miss Micah or the whiteout crowd/atmosphere more when we play OSU?—phillyfanisc
Definitely the crowd and atmosphere. So many opposing coaches and players have said that a Beaver Stadium nighttime whiteout is the toughest place to play in college football, and no player would be able to replicate that 12th man. Even without Micah, a 100k-fan-packed Beav under the lights in 2020 would have me favoring PSU in the matchup, but since there’s no fans, I think Ohio State will win with relative ease.
Does this week’s standard James Franklin focus retort remind you of a young Ron Howard?—Smee
I don’t have much experience with a young Ron Howard (or, really, a non-director Ron Howard) as most of his acting career was before my time, but sure, Smee!
Over/under on pancakes from CJ Thorpe is 4.5, what’s your bet?—vern05
At first I read this question and was like, I am sure that CJ can eat a lot more than 4.5 pancakes in one sitting, even if he had a full plate of scrapple and sunnyside up eggs to go with it.
Then I realized I was hungry, and we’re still talking football.
Do you mean in the season, or in the first game? Because season it’s gonna be WELL over that amount (as I’m sure you’d expect) but honestly I don’t think he’ll have that many this first game – unless some less-than-intelligent Indiana defensive lineman makes an inappropriate comment or unnecessarily talks shit, then he’ll be on his ass the remainder of the game.
CJ Thorpe is my favorite.
What is your drink of choice for PSU football Saturdays?—Malkin’s Milkshake
For tailgates, mimosas, just plain sparkling wine, or hard seltzer have been my go tos most recently (though nothing can beat hot apple cider with some caramel vodka when it’s cold outside). I have no idea what I’ll be drinking this year, which will be the first I haven’t seen any PSU games in person in like 20 years. I may just be drinking the tears of the Penn State haters.
how will you be spending your football related money this Fall? can’t spend it on gas to the stadium, hotel rooms at a King’s ransom, tailgate food and beer…..
-honking big tv
-donation to charity/PSU
-pay off that pesky credit card
-set it aside for that trip to Hawaii someday
-caviar and Dom for every game you watch on tv
I’m tending to be the logical sort, so it’s gonna go towards the credit card bills. I already have a big tv, and though it’s aging, I’ll ride with that sucker until it dies. And I’ve already been to Hawaii, so…J
If the 13 colonies decided to become 13 countries instead of 13 states, how would the US look today? Would the SEC still be good at football?—Sperbro
The US wouldn’t be the US, of course, and I don’t know that we’d have the same type of football leagues. If anything, the SEC might be more dominant because there wouldn’t necessarily be free movement between the countries, so the southern recruitment pipeline that schools like Ohio State and Notre Dame have developed would never have come to fruition.
Are you rooting for Pitt this weekend? Notre Dame is coming into town ranked #3.—48-14
Sure, why not. Having three losses in a shortened season coupled with a win over a top-five Notre Dame would be the most Narduzzi thing ever, and I’m very happy they seem very happy to continue to have him as their coach.
Who will Penn State hire as the new shootyhoops coach?—Houtzy
I have no idea! There’s still a chance Jim Ferry will be the permanent coach, but I’m sure that we’ll have more on the search in the coming weeks and months (so, as always, stick with BSD and we’ll have you covered).
What happened to the Nationals this year? That was quite the fall.—Gerry Dincher
Honestly, though, it really wasn’t – Strasberg being out with injury early coupled with the shortened, 60-game season was what did us in. Last year, when we won the Series, we started off 19-31 before turning the year around. This year, we were 19-31 before winning seven of our last ten games, including series wins over Philly and the Mets. Sounds pretty similar to me…
1) Were you aware that Baroness von Sketch Show is a thing? I came across it on IFC at midnight. It is very funny in a Kids in the Hall type way. Since most folks have some availability to indulge in something trivial from time to time, I recommend spending 30 minutes watching an episode.
2) What shows have you found since March that have been around, but previously unknown, that have been enjoyable.
1. No! Thanks, I will definitely add this to my list :)
2. I just finished watching the first season of Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime, and loved it. I’ve been watching mostly either romantic comedies or foreign Slavic-noir type shows, so some of what I’ve finished include Marcella, Criminal, Hart of Dixie, Coupling, Secret City…you get the idea. I’ve also been rewatching Gilmore Girls as pure escapism.
What is the most white trash of breakfast cereals?—Dbridi
I don’t know why, but apple jacks. They’re the boring version of froot loops.
Why can’t we find scrubbing bubbles and shower cleaner spray in the stores?
Why did suave quit making my wife’s shampoo? now she has to buy Panteen Volumizing
Why can’t I find any Del Grosso NY style pizza sauce for the last month?
Why did Old Bay (McCormick owned) quit making their packets of Crab Cake mix? They were perfect, now I have to mix panko, paprika, old bay, garlic and mustard myself
If you are working from home, how much money on not taking showers for days at a time do you save? (asking for a friend)—BMAN13
I miss you, Bman, and Iope you and the wife (and your kids and grandkids) are doing ok despite what seems to be a lack of some basic necessities.
Least favorite housework?
I think cleaning up leaves is my least favorite, as the leaves fall over a several week period with which you’re forced to accept you’ll have to do it. But painting a room, particularly the prepping prior to painting, is also up there. Especially because there’s always something I’m left unhappy with.—Succss With Honor Always
Dishes and scrubbing the bathtub. Those are the two things I put off. I actually like doing laundry and dusting, but the rest? Meh (and I don’t have a yard so no leaves to clean up)
Is shiplap still a thing? will it be reviled like popcorn ceiling in a few years?—kingkub
Apparently it is still a thing, though I have no idea why. In my book, it’s reviled even more than popcorn ceilings! I want to live in a house, not a rustic cabin, but that’s just me.
What is your best suggestion for a classic entertainment center? With cabinets designed for old-style tube TV’s they are not wide enough to hold a decent size widescreen. You can’t give them away and the furniture-accepting charities won’t take them either. Is chopping them down to kindling the best way to give them a purpose and keep them out of the dump, or is there a creative solution out there? What say you?—Smee
How many Star Wars facemasks do you own now? Which is your fav? Wife just got me a Darth Maul gaiter that I love.—swift_retribution
Uh, don’t die from shock but I don’t have a SINGLE Star Wars mask!
I do have six Penn State masks, though.
What was Val Kilmer’s best role?
· Jim Morrison
· Doc Holiday
· Batman(shouldn’t even be included)
To me it’s not even close, Doc Holiday.—Ironlung05
Much to my sister’s likely chagrin, I truly don’t have an opinion on Val Kilmer one way or the other. So we’ll go with Iceman, just because Top Gun’s the movie of his I’ve seen the most.
Whose claim was more legitimate? Augustus or Tiberius? Or Caligula (LOL!)—garder54
It depends on what you define as legitimate. Since Tiberius’ mother did marry Augustus (thus his adoption more obvious and 2020-legitimate than Augustus’ adoption by Caesar), I’m leaning toward him. But that is only, of course, predicated on Augustus’ own reign being legitimate – because the adopted son of an illegitimate ruler could not, by definition, be legitimate itself.
So, I guess, going to the root of it all, has to be Augustus, right?
Why isn’t there more national outrage over there being no Charlie Brown specials on TV this year?—Dbridi
Have you met 2020 America? We don’t have the attention span to focus on something that’s not going to impact us until weeks from now, if not months. We’re focused on the virus, the impending election, and football. Not necessarily in that order.
I bet, though, when Halloween comes and there’s no Great Pumpkin, and most especially when mid-December’s here and there’s no Charlie Brown Christmas being aired, the backlash will be significant.
Wife and I found out we’re having a Baby Girl. Not a question, but I’m just super excited to be a #GirlDad, and know that she’s going to have me wrapped around her finger. Can’t wait until she’s old enough to start taking to games and campus.—IronCityLion
Not an answer, but I’m so excited for you! Congratulations from the BSD family <3