After a post-scandal hiatus, I’m back. Adam Collyer of Black Shoe Diaries sent the questions:
BSD: The Penn State offense has struggled week in and week out throughout the course of the season. The implementation of the wildcat formation by interim Head Coach Tom Bradley appeared to signal a shift in offensive philosophy from the rest of the year. What did you think?
WFY: I think you can only credit the implementation as Tom Bradley’s in the sense that he let the offensive coaches do it. I think it was pretty sharp, catching Ohio State off guard with it, but they can’t do that against Wisconsin now. I don’t know that making Wisconsin have to prepare for it, given they have almost certainly played wildcat teams already this season, makes much of a difference either. I am sure it can be effective, but if the Badgers suddenly see Matt McGloin out wide they know what’s coming and it probably isn’t a pass.
BSD: In his Tuesday press conference, Coach Bradley indicated that the team is working on some new offensive wrinkles for this weekend’s game against the Badgers. What do you expect those wrinkles to be? How effective will they be?
WFY: Throwing to the tight end/third wideout? The tight end/wideout catching it? Pitches to the outside?
I figure they will throw from the wildcat to keep the Badgers honest, but if I were them, I’d play it as a run everytime and dare Penn State to beat them with a WR throwing the ball.
Ultimately, I think the Nittany Lions offense will be as effective as Silas Redd makes it and since he’s still hurt, that is a major concern.
BSD: Did you notice any differences between the defensive game called by Bradley and the defensive game called by Larry Johnson and Ron Vanderlinden? Should expect anything different?
WFY: The biggest difference I saw was Sean Stanley in coverage. It worked! However, I think putting the defensive ends in coverage is so special that it should never be done again. Otherwise, I did not notice anything significantly different, other than Devon Still not getting his usual 1.5 tackles for a loss. He had the flu I think.
BSD: Wisconsin’s offense has been very impressive. How do you contain Montee Ball and Russell Wilson?
WFY: Fire. Lots of it.
Contain is the right word, because I do not believe they can be stopped. The offense putting together sustained drives would be the best solution, but I am skeptical they can do it with Redd still hurting.
I still won’t care as much about the game as I would have in October. I might start wearing Penn State clothes again. Matt Millen will say something intelligent about the situation and praise the team. The Nittany Lions will play really hard regardless of what Wisconsin does. Brett Bilema will still be a jerk. Camp Randall Stadium will still inexplicably have a rug instead of grass. There will be mentions of State Street being an okay place to spend some time. I’ll wish I had gone to the 2006 or 2008 games when I had a friend going to grad school there. There won’t be as much sportsmanship in Madison as Columbus this year, but that’s okay. UniWatch will snub this game as one of the “best looking” on Sunday morning because of the scandal. Guido D’Elia will shed a single tear when “Jump Around” comes on and wish he had thought of it. Wisconsin wins 31 – 20 and we get over it because the thought of seeing “2011″ on the skyboxes isn’t a real welcome one.