Another week, another series of questions from Adam Collyer of Black Shoe Diaries…
1. The game was out of reach, but Rob Bolden played through the final whistle. Was that drive his “coming of age moment?” Do you expect that to pay some dividends this week?
Rob Bolden impressed me on the final scoring drive and at the time I thought, okay, maybe had made a statement. If it pays dividends this week, I think we can point back to that drive and say, yes, it was a coming of age moment. Upon further thought though, I remember thinking the 2007 Outback Bowl was Anthony Morelli’s coming of age moment. How did that turn out? I remember Bolden’s game-winning drive against Temple last year and thinking that was his coming of age moment. Also, will Bolden be given the opportunity to make it pay dividends? If he and Matt McGloing are still alternating quarters, I doubt it.
Ask me after Thanksgiving whether the Alabama drive was a “coming of age” moment for Bolden.
2. How effective will the defense be against Bernard Pierce this week?
I anticipate that Pierce will a tougher time than last year against Penn State. Devon Still and Jordan Hill have improved and PSU has 5 or 6 starting linebackers for 3 positions. Pierce may break 100 yards, but he’ll need over 25 carries to do so.
3. Grade the offensive line three weeks into the season. Are they better than you expected them to be?
I think the offensive line is improved over last year. The pass blocking seems to headed in the right direction after 3 sacks against Indiana State. Pass blocking was a strength last year and I think they are getting the hang of it again. Run blocking seems improved as well and having a more powerful and elusive back in Silas Green will help make them look better.
4. Bottom line – are we looking at a ‘Bama hangover against Temple, or do the Lions pull an Illinois ‘05-type performance and come out swinging against an overmatched Temple squad?
I don’t think the Nittany Lions will come out hung over, but perhaps a little lethargic. Temple will be fired up, so I expect PSU to realize they have a game to play early on. After a disappointing non-con loss like last week, going on the road is probably good, particularly when it will be a pretty friendly environrment for the visitors.
I see some parrallels between Penn State vs. Alabama — the Nittany Lions needed to play a perfect game to beat the Crimson Tide and I think Temple needs to play a perfect game to beat the Nittany Lions.
People will make too big a deal about being able to buy $6 beers in the stadium. McGloin will get way more snaps than he should. The trim-less white jerseys will not look as good as the ones with trim. I’ll be given a hard time for wearing a #11 jersey (it is my favorite number). Redd will top 100 yards. The backup to the Sports Complex will begin on the Girard Point Bridge. The 2theLion tailgate will be excellent. I’ll get a cheesesteak on the way out of town. Penn State will beat Temple 27-17.