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BSD Mailbag 10.30.20

Last week sucked. Let’s make this one better.

Penn State v Indiana Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

1. Which loss to Indiana was worse, this one or BOB’s?

2. I have seen this in some comments, but was 6-4 a more miserable experience than this last game? In fairness, for me, our close loss to Clemson last year was worse than the blowout a few years back. However the Purdue blowout a couple years back was worse than some of the closer weird Purdue losses we have had.

3. Is it fair to call this game a Without?

Sorry for you guys, ecstatic for us that we don’t have a Whiteout crowd on a Full Moon Halloween to deal with. I think we will have enough challenges without the crowd. In my mind, even if we manage to win it all this year, and not sure we have the pieces to do that, it gets an asterisk.

4. If Penn State wins the toss, should they take the kick or defer to the second half?

FWIW, Mrs. Former said Penix was short/oob and that the evidence on video was sufficient to overturn it. I think the ref maybe had a slightly better view, but I thought if he was just short as well, but there wasn’t enough, from the angles provided, to clearly overturn it.—Former_DC_Buck

Welcome back, Buck!

1. Definitely BOB’s. In that game (where I was in attendance with some fellow BSDers, might I add), it got very much out of control late, with Indiana seemingly scoring at will and Penn State being kept out of the endzone. While this one was ugly, ultimately it was never out of our control. There were referee bad calls, as you mentioned, as well as untimely mistakes like turnovers that directly led to the loss - unlike in 2013, where the entire second half it felt like nothing we could do would result in a win, and Indiana was flatly the better team.

2. Absolutely, it was a more miserable experience. Any time the opposing coach allows you to score a safety because he is more afraid of your defense scoring a touchdown than your offense, which hasn’t sniffed the red zone all day, is a worse time. Nothing will top that game in my mind, because our defense was just SO good and our offense was just SO bad. That game makes me incredibly sad to this day.

3. I like it, and I’ll take it.

4. Definitely defer, but I’m always a defense first girl.

Is Ryan Day a good coach? Or is he just continuing the momentum that was left to him?—Dbridi

He’s definitely a GOOD coach (any coach who takes his team to a four-team playoff, even if inheriting such amazing structure, has got to be at least good), but Meyer was a GREAT once, and the jury’s still out on Day making that level. I think once all of Meyer’s players graduate, we’ll be able to see this much better.

is there any real reason not to hammer OSU -11.5 (-12.5 now)?—mjs5205

The reason is that Franklin’s never lost to Ohio State by more than one score at home. Yeah, this home game’s a bit different because of the lack of crowd - but it’s not so different as to render all previous evidence moot. Do I think OSU wins? Yes. Will it be by more than 12.5 points? I have a lot of doubts.

Any chance Journey Brown is available for this game?—jiminore

That would be great, but I highly doubt it.

Who is your least favorite OSU coach of all time?—Succss With Honor Always

Probably Jim Tressel. I didn’t pay much attention to who was on the opposing sidelines until he got to OSU, and this may be a big hypocritical, but I feel like he tried to come across as totally sanctimonious and better than the coaches he was opposing, and then he left under a scandal. Say what you will about Urban Meyer, and I will say a lot, but at least he was very up front about his assholishness (this is a big reason why I can’t stand Pat Fitzgerald either).


Well because both Franklin runs the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and also the game’s completely passed him by, of course.

conspiracy theory question----does O$U get that call overturned? I’m of the belief that we win this Saturday and run the table—kingkub

I think they likely do, but not just that call - the ridiculous OPI and multiple hold calls on Penn State (which were valid, yes, but not egregiously worse holding than goes uncalled on practically every play, by practically every team) were much worse than the final poor call, and had Ohio State been on the potential bad end of those, they would not have been made and they would have won in regulation.

How difficult is it for a freshman running back to read the pass rush and make the right blocking decision? And if you were the OSU Defensive Coordinator, would you capitalize on that all day, or just on key 3rd down plays?—48-14

It is pretty difficult for most freshman running backs to do that. Luckily for us, our starting RB (even with Journey and Noah Cain out, saw time in 12 games last year so he’s not a freshman. But this is one of the reasons why you rarely see young running backs carrying the entire load - because in passing downs, they’re just not as effective.

Do you think Devyn Ford will see a diminished roll in carrying the ball, even with Cain being out for the season?

I know blame has been hashed out 100 times & who’s ultimately responsible. That’s not what I’m asking. From the coaches standpoint, what do you think they will do. We had the weed/LSD thing and now the not taking a knee. Lee & Holmes looked pretty good. The only thing Ford had over them was experience & coaches being familiar with him. Do you think Lee, Holmes or both get an increased number of carries and Ford just starts riding off into the sunset, with less and less carries?—EagleLionSly

He will not see a diminished role. He’ll still be the starter, with both Lee & Holmes taking reps, but he’s got more experience and since there are so few gimmes on this shortened schedule, that means a lot. With Keyvone Lee and Caziah Holmes both being freshman, and able to take this year as a defacto redshirt because of the NCAA’s revised COVID eligibility rules, they’ll be prepped to be used in future, more normal seasons.

Cari, do you have any eligibility remaining? and can you tote the rock?— vern05

When I was in high school, I played powderpuff football as a junior and senior (my high school only allowed juniors and seniors to do it). I remember the first practice my junior year, the football players who were our coaches wanted to see what we could do. I ran a pretty easy curl route immediately, and caught every ball they threw at me, surprising them all - while everyone knew I was a Penn State fan, no one expected the chubby, nerdy SGA officer to really *know* football. It was quite vindicating.

That was when I was 17. Now I have a bad back and while I’ve been able to avoid the COVID 15, no one wants me to be the one toting the ball down the field - myself included.

Can you believe that the Masters is in a few weeks? Who do you think will win it?

HINT: This is a golf tournament held in Augusta, GA normally in the spring, but due to COVID, it will be played in November this year and Tiger Woods won in 2019.

Fun fact: Penn State turf grass management assists heavily in the grass management at Augusta National Golf Club (where the Masters golf tournament is held). Link here Old article on how PSU assists many championship golf courses.—LarzLion

I honestly don’t know much about golf, and frankly don’t really care to learn (and yes, I know what the Masters is, the only time I remember watching is when Tiger won his first one). But yay turfgrass management folks!

If last week’s game were to be named based on the title of a children’s book, what would it be? Everyone Poops is my leader in the clubhouse.—Dbridi

What was your favorite Penn State Dining Hall Food? Mine was the roast beef au jus for Sunday brunch, great for a hangover. Without a hangover it was the chicken cosmos. Shit I’m old.—wvlion

I remember loving the chocolate chip cookies in West Halls. But for actual food food, there was a sandwich shop in East that was only open limited hours (at the top of one of the staircases to the actual dining hall) and when I was a freshman they sometimes served a “Pittsburgher” sandwich - roast beef, thousand island, swiss cheese, and french fries on pumpernickel. Having never really been to Pittsburgh before that, french fries on a sandwich was a revelation and I still think about that sandwich to this day.

So Trevor Lawerence got covid. He’s going to miss this weekend’s game against BC. Are you surprised? Will he miss additional games? Notre Dame is the following week.—-MrNoPants

I am not surprised (for those reading for the first time, Wisconsin’s brand new quarterback Graham Mertz also tested positive, and so did a lot of the coaching staff amidst a huge outbreak there, which is why they’re not playing this week - aka, a vast conspiracy to keep nebraska off the field). Frankly, I expected this sooner as many teams and leagues are being lax in their COVID precautions - but the ACC’s rules are weaker than the Big Ten’s, and Clemson likely needs Lawrence to beat the Irish, so yeah he’ll be back.

Which revolutionary change that took place in Europe after the signing of the Magna Carta is most important and why?

Your choices are:

The Renaissance

The Reformation

The Scientific Revolution

The Enlightenment—Gerry Dincher

I think it’s easy to say the Renaissance, but I’d argue vehemently that it’s the Enlightenment. I concede that the broad concept of “reason”, liberty, and overarching humanity likely would have become widespread sooner rather than later, but there’s a straight line from the Enlightenment to democratic institutions today, so without it, we’d likely be sitting in a province overseen by the British royal family still now.

if you were a student today, would you be following the COVID-19 guidelines or partying like all is normal? lots of parties this past weekend with large gatherings, no masks, etc. SC Police investigate

I am glad that I’m not a student now because I am not sure if I would be responsible enough to follow the guidelines—kingkub

I like to think that I’ve always been pretty logical and empathetic, but let’s be real - most teenagers and college students are self-centered and have difficulty with doing things for the good of society or others. I’ve long fought back against the notion that young people are invincible - I don’t believe most of those who are flaunting COVID rules are actively thinking that they will never die. I just don’t think that they have a concept of repercussions for their actions, no active thought of their or their family’s mortality and how that’s driven by what we as a society do, and so it doesn’t enter their brains. So I probably would be hanging out with friends, if I had gone back up to PSU.

Is ULINE the largest waster of trees just in this country, or on the entire planet?—Smee

I don’t think I have ever in my life ordered something from ULINE but the companies I’ve worked at still get their catalogs. So probably!

Do all universities automatically place their most obtuse employees in their Financial Aid departments?—Smee

I don’t know about their most obtuse employees, but it certainly seems that they placed their least empathetic employees there (and likely for good reason). I’ve met some smart folks who work in Financial Aid, but a lot of them just see things without shades of grey.

What is the state of Pennsylvania’s official stance on Miracle Whip?—Dbridi

While I can’t speak for the all of the commonwealth, my stance is pretty clear.