Blue White Roundtable: Penn State at Minnesota

The tailgate hostess with the mostess,PSUGirl of 2thelion has this week’s questions:

Okay, when we last met Penn State had not been blown out by the fighting Zookers and there was a scintilla of hope that the team was “on track.” How ya doing? Okay? Are the anger management classes helping, or are you still on the edge? Let’s work through it together, as we look forward to the Lions’ field trip to Minneapolis…

1. So, Minnesota fired Brewster (sorry Punky) – many interesting names are being mentioned as the Big Ten sports writers circle the blood in the water. minne made a lot of mistakes (a lot) against Purdue, and “but for” that Tim might have been on the sideline this weekend – Will this be a distraction, to an already error prone team, or motivation for the gophers?

I anticipate the Golden Gophers will be motivated because a coach getting fired is a wake up call. Additionally, everybody is fighting for their jobs again with a new coach.

BONUS – to follow-up, one of the top stories this weekend on AOL’s front page was a plea to Coach Paterno to retire – what, if anything, can we Penn Staters learn from Minnesota’s current situation?

I do not believe Penn Staters can learn a single thing from the Minnesota coaching situation.

2. Despite minne’s sad record, on paper the gophers have outperformed PSU in nearly every category; minne’s top four (4) receivers are averaging over 13 yards a catch and they catch a lot of passes – how will PSU’s depleted secondary manage? Who needs to (can) step up?

It is a cliche, but everybody needs to step up. The defensive line and linebackers (allegedly healthy now!) need to create a pass rush to help the secondary. Perhaps Stephen Obeng-Agyapong could get some playing time and just glare at opposing wideouts by the snap.

3. Now, assuming that Penn State isn’t going to abandon their storied offensive playbook, what needs to happen on offense for the team to win some games? Is it time for Newsome or are you staying with Rob Bolden?

Penn State is going to have to pass to set up the run and the best way to do that is roll out Rob Bolden more than they have been. Throw in some draw plays with either Stephfon Green or Silas Redd as well. After that gets established, give the ball to Evan Royster and hope the offensive line can make some holes.

Bolden has had one bad game thus far looks to have the talent to be the next good Penn State quarterback. Playing Kevin Newsome would harm Bolden’s development.

4. I watched some of the michigan/iowa game on Saturday. Michigan was doing this crazy (weird) thing on defense – tackling. What are your theories on what is wrong with the PSU defense – what long or short term changes can (must) be done to fix this?

I have to wonder if Penn State is strong enough to tackle well, but a lot of it comes down to will. I can’t recacll the Nittany Lions being so poor at tackling, maybe in the early part of the dark years. I think leadership has to emerge on the defense — I’m wondering if Mike Mauti can provide it know that he is healthy.

5. Notwithstanding any or all of the foregoing, in my opinion, the biggest concern for Penn State this season has been the injuries (btw, impressively epic jinx, Galen). Coach Paterno, himself, has said that this is the most injury riddled season he can remember. Why do you think there have been so many and what can PSU do to patch up the gaps?

Penn State does not have much depth, so there is not much they can do about injuries other than play whoever is on the roster. The potential silver lining is that this will improve the depth in future seasons since so many different players are getting playing time. I don’t know that anything can be done about injuries though, sometimes they happen, sometimes they don’t.

Quick Fire:

Kickoff is at 12:01pm (EST – 11:01am local time) – will Penn State show up before the 2nd half?

Yes, but probably not until the second quarter.

Where will you watch/listen to the game?

I will probably watch it in my Alexandria living room, but possibility with family or friends somwhere else in the greater D.C. area that I call BeltwayLand.

Bigger concern: offensive line or defensive line?

Offensive line — a strong offensive line masks a lot more than a strong defensive line

Still bitter about 1999?

It was my (second) senior season, so YES. The problem is, Minnesota will never be in the position for Penn State to crush their dreams like they did to ours.

Minnesota’s best cultural contribution: Prince; Coen Brothers; Garrison Keiller; Andrews Sisters; Bob Dylan; Judy Garland; lutefisk; and/or other?

Bob Dylan

The Roundtable

Penn State Clips
Nittany White Out
Linebacker U
JoePa’s Doghouse

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