What would the Penn State season be without the Blue & White Roundtable? Bring out the old table, dust it off and let's get things going.
1. We all know Penn State is going to beat Akron. But what is it about this year's Penn State team that really scares the crap outta you? Basically, explain what will cause you to throw the tortilla chips across the room more than once this Saturday?
Honestly we all know the weak part of this team is the secondary so my expectations are pretty low. First off, as you will see in my Akron preview, the Zips present a decent offensive attack with a polished experienced quarterback and two decent experienced wide receivers. Translation: an already thin defensive secondary with its best returning cornerback suspended will probably look very suspect. Secondly, knowing the odds at hand and knowing that Akron has a tissue paper defense, our defense will probably go into the famous "bend and then break our hearts" formation that we've all come to love. The defensive gurus running the show will have our inexperienced secondary lining up somewhere in the numbered reserved parking lots at the snap of the ball. I won't throw the tortilla chips I'll throw the tortilla chips up if that happens.
2. Hopefully, the backups will see plenty of playing time this weekend. Which second-stringer(s) are you most interested in seeing take the field against a living, breathing opponent? What kind of role do you want to see them play this year? (Note: if you say Kevin Newsome, you have to talk about at least one other player, too)
Kevin Newsome. Obviously.
I really, really want to see true freshman Devon Smith get playing time. He's freakishly small at about 5'8' and 150 lbs. soaking wet but he's also freakishly fast. He's been clocked at a 40 time somewhere in the 4.3 range and that my friends, is serious speed. If he has anything resembling a pair of hands he needs playing time now.
3. So Penn State's non-conference schedule sucks in terms of straight up opponent quality. That aside, tell us why or why not this opening slate will help or hurt this team later in the season.
Like I've said before, the schedule talk has been run into the ground, and like I said before the lack of a quality opponent hurts Penn State in that they won't see a team nearly as good as Iowa for the first three games. When the Hawkeyes come to town after playing Akron, Syracuse, and Temple, I just hope the Nittany Lions are ready for Big Ten speed and size.
4. What will it mean for this team to have Joe Paterno back on the sidelines again, right up in their facemasks, for ALL the games?
Although seeing JoePa back on the sidelines will give us a sort of "complete" feeling once again, they did fine while he was in the press box. The assistant coaches have been around so long that they can handle pretty much anything that comes their way on gameday and the players are used to that. Now the officials, on the other hand, I pity them, it's been a while since Paterno's been able to get in the face of a zebra. He's got some pent up anger to take out on them.
1. Over/Under: Penn State's offense gains 500 total yards.
Under – the cheerleaders will be in if they get close
1a. Over/Under: Penn State's defense gives 350 total yards.
Over – I think Akron moves the ball on the secondary
2. True/False: The student section will NOT fill out, even by the end of the game.
TRUE! Noon start, and it's Akron, forgetaboutit.
3. Are you going to the game?
Not going to shell out good money for games like these.