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Intrigue Surrounds Blue-White Game

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Football is back.

NCAA Football: Illinois at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

We are just one day away from the return of football to Beaver Stadium. Let’s tackle some of the more intriguing items to watch for this Saturday.


THE FRESHMEN

If we’re being honest, I try not to take a ton away from the Blue-White Game. It’s just one practice of 15, and the breakout candidates tend to be hit-and-miss when it comes to the rest of their careers. Remember Mac Hippenhammer’s two-touchdown performance in the 2018 Blue-White Game? You know who had zero touchdowns that day? KJ Hamler.

That’s even more expounded when it comes to the early enrollee freshman. I remember seeing Connor McGovern struggling hard, to end up winning a starting offensive line spot just a few months later. I remember Micah Parsons playing extremely tentatively, to end up being one of the best freshman linebackers in the nation by November of the same year. So the performance itself really isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things — but that doesn’t mean I’m not excited to see a couple star-studded freshman. I need a couple Drew Allar and Nick Singleton led drives so I can bring up the screenshots when they both win the Heisman together and lead Penn State to the national championship.

SEAN CLIFFORD

I know I said above that I don’t greatly care about performance but that doesn’t include sixth-year seniors. For the love of Pete, Sean, have a crisp two drives so I can talk myself into Kenny Pickett 2.0.

THE OFFENSIVE LINE

Here’s the thing: the offensive line is going to stink on Saturday. Let’s get out in front of that right now. Everyone is going to watch the game and will come to the conclusion that no strides have been made on the offensive line. It doesn’t matter how many returning starters you have or don’t have, the offensive line is always in shambles during the spring. That is especially the case with Penn State’s unit which has struggled with bumps and bruises across the offensive line the last couple weeks, to the point that James Franklin has pointed out that they might have to get creative with the group for the scrimmage.

ZAKEE WHEATLEY

If there is a Zakee Wheatley bandwagon, I am happily driving it. The 6-foot-2 newly-transitioned-safety has been getting high praise from both James Franklin and Terry Smith, and it seems like a matter of not if he’ll get legitimate playing time but just how much time he’ll see on the field.

Different positions, but this Wheatley’s career arc reminds me of Joey Porter Jr. Low four-star recruit with some intrigue, and all of a sudden things just clicked when he got to campus. Like Porter, I just love the size, length, and athleticism in the defensive backfield.

TAILGATING

Honesty hour again: this is the most important part of the Blue-White Game. The scrimmage is whatever — it’s all about the scene outside the stadium.

While it looks like there might be a morning shower, hopefully everything clears out by 10 a.m. for a full day of camaraderie. I, for one, can’t wait to be back outside of Beaver Stadium...

Oh wait, I have a #SpringWedding which is certainly better than a #FallWedding but coooooome ooooonnnnnnnnnnnn.

Folks, have a soda in my honor.