B10 One-a-days: Penn St Nittany Lions

Submitted by Michigan Arrogance on August 4th, 2013 at 9:54 PM

Previously: Minn, NW

Following Minnesota, Michigan's 1st real challenge re: the B10 title will come with a trip to State College, PA. In spite of a ton of personnel losses and an 0-2 start last year, BOB turned his "bunch of fuckers" into an 8-4 team. Aside from a couple LBers and the QB, it looks like PSU has most of it's team back having pushed past the distractions of a year ago. The B10 receiver of the year, freshman of the year on defense and quality experience on the OL return to Happy Valley.

Offensively, there aren't a ton of All B10 level players, but lots of quality experience returns nonetheless. Maybe 2 OLs, OLSM's own Allen Robinson (B10 WR of the year) and a deep TE core may contend for All B10. BOB loves the TE in much the same way gorgeous Al does, and will probably run a lot of 2TE sets. The QB will be the big ? as they either have a JC transfer or true FR Chris "HeAintNoChadHenne" Hackenburg will be under center.

Defensively they lose 2 quality LBers, but has PSU ever NOT had a LBer in waiting? I think they'll be above average in the front 7, barring injuries to guys like Hull and Barnes (B10 FR of the year). It's the secondary that looks to be a tire fire in the making as there is little quality in the starters and no depth.

The schedule seems the same as last year as M and Minn rotate on the schedule- they now miss MSU, Iowa and NW. Syracuse is the opener in State College and I'm going with the Orange in spite of my total lack of repect for that school. Depth will hurt PSU as injuries accumulate late in the season, but it's the QB situation that makes me think Cuse comes away with what will be their biggest win in perhaps a decade.

Should PSU prove me wrong, they (just as Minnesota) look to be 5-0 when M appears across the sideline, followed by a trip to the 'Shoe. I think they lose those 2, the trip to Minn and the last 2 vs Neb and @Wisc to finish 6-6 (3-5). Aside from the QB position, it looks as if PSU should be improved this year since the transition and general circus of the last 2 years is essentially behind them and they return a lot of quality (even young quality players that you wouldn't expect due to the extreme attrition). I could see 8-4 (4-4), but 3 things are working against them: the (moderately important) QB position, the depth of the team due to s'ship limits and what I think will be an improved B10 overall. They put up valiant efforts against the Big 2, but falter down the stretch as overall team depth starts counting against them. IMO, an apparent step back for PSU awaits in spite of BOB's continued inspiring efforts.

SLIGHT MOD EDIT: Changed "F---ers" to Lions. Let's not go there today, folks. LSA


1) I was referring to BOB's 'bunch of fuckers' line after their win last year vs Wisc. Didn't mean to offend your virgin ears.

2) god forbid we have any actual football discussion at all, what with the game of thrones/shark week/seat cushin debates taking up so much room in the intratube of webs.



August 4th, 2013 at 10:09 PM ^

As a mod, I have toned down the title a bit. 

On defense, things should be intriguing for Penn State. They do return six starter to a defense that was 4th in the conference in total defense (averaging 353 yards per game), and 29th in Division I as a whole. It is certainly not a bad position to be in, but they will definitely need some guys to step up this year. Interestingly, they finished 8th in the conference in passing defense, and their pass rush may not be quite what it was last year - they might rely on the backfield a lot to mitigate some problems. 

Sextus Empiricus

August 5th, 2013 at 1:27 AM ^

...god forbid we have any actual football discussion...

This is Penn State. You can't use the F bomb talking about this team. Using their own standards and practices ( I don't recall this self characterization - but assuming it was said ) isn't going to hold water ever with this school. Bill O'Brien doesn't get a pass on that.

There is movement to lessen the penalties from different sources here. No. What is done can not be undone. Neither should the penalties.

Bad post.


August 5th, 2013 at 8:32 AM ^

Would be nice if you linked to their two-deep or cited some sources. Maybe even use the players name when referring to them. 


August 5th, 2013 at 10:46 AM ^

Thanks for posting these.  What I'm most interested in is what the loss of that solid class of seniors they had last year means.  I was impressed how they rallied the team, circled the wagons with everyone who didn't transfer, and then held the team together.  As the HTTV preview pointed out (from a PSU writer I believe), last year's PSU team 'ran on pure adrenaline'.  I wonder how long that can last, and if that's sustainable.  I see some parallels to the UM '11 team that was held together by some strong seniors and a 'us against the world additude', and over performed.  Like the UM '12 team, I can also see that leading to a drop in performance this year after losing those anchors and facing depth issues.

Michigan Arrogance

August 5th, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

that's a good point I haven't considered. But I come back to the retuning talent on OL, WR, and their front 7. They have more good young players coming back than I anticipated, but I don't think they can keep at this level (8-9 wins) for the whole season.

It looks like a real up & down season for them but I do think their faith in BOB is justified.