Now that we’ve all had our Vitamin C courtesy of the Orangemen*, it’s time to feast on a nice MAC cupcake.
*- Shut up. They’re the Orangemen.
Someone we’d never tell to shut up, Adam from Black Shoe Diaries has some more questions for us to feast on. Be sure to head on over to BSD later this week for a “greatest hits” of sorts. In the meantime, check out what these peeps are saying:
Follow the jump to read us doggs’ thoughts…
Question #1 MetLfe Stadium played host to last Saturday's game against the Syracuse Orange. Were you surprised at how pro-Penn State the crowd was? Do you think it played any factor in the outcome?
The Underdogs: No. No.
Rowlff Dogg: I wasn’t surprised by the mass turnout of Penn State fans. Every time a potential out-of-conference match-up comes up on a message board, it’s only a matter of time before the “we should play them at (fill in the NFL stadium)” crowd. I just don’t get the infatuation with neutral site games in college football. I guess too many Penn Staters are Eagles fans and don’t get to see their team win in an NFL stadium very often.
I don’t think the rooting interest of the crowd factored in to the outcome. I do however think that playing away from home probably helped calm Christian Hackenberg a tad. I’ve got to imagine players get overly pumped up the first time they run through the tunnel in Beaver Stadium. That kind of adrenaline can’t be helpful for a quarterback.
J Schnauzer: Not in the slightest. New York City has always been known as highly-partitioned college football fanbase, but the plurality supports Penn State. Northern New Jersey has a solid base of Nittany Lions fans and it's not too far from NEPA either. Add it up and I could see a sizable advantage for Penn State.
Question #2 Obviously, the biggest headline has been the play of Christian Hackenberg, but Penn State's offense provided plenty of other interesting topics - Allen Robinson's first half suspension, Matt Lehman's unfortunate injury, the running game's general struggles. What are your thoughts on the offense's performance against the Orange, and what do you expect Bill O'Brien to alter this week against Eastern Michigan?
The Underdogs: EMU is bad. Like really bad. Like Rowlff's taste in movies or Schnauzer's taste in music. It'll be the a good chance to crank up the death metal and run the ball like it's the 80s. Hopefully, that can open up a more expansive passing game beyond, "hey this Robinson guy is pretty awesome. Lemme get the ball in his general direction."
Rowlff Dogg: The offense looked really good for a first game. I was really impressed with Hackenberg’s composure and command of the huddle, Zwinak’s toughness, and how easy Robinson makes the game look.
The line did a good job of blocking considering how many guys Syracuse stuffed in the box, daring Hackenberg to throw. I’m not concerned with the lack of tight end involvement. That will come around.
The gameplan might not open up much against such an inferior opponent as Eastern Michigan, so I’ll just be happy if we can go all game without a false start penalty.
J Schnauzer: Well the third down conversion rate sure stands out. These are the new, razzle-dazzle passing days of Penn State football, but this is the Big Ten and the Nittany Lions will need to put together a decent run package as the season progresses. The big story was Allen Robinson--clearly he was (allegedly) devastated by the news that Tim Tebow had been cut by the Patriots, so it was wise for BOB to let him Manziel the first half. It's comforting that Hackenberg has developed a rapport with his receivers this early. I would like to see more reps for Ferguson in the EMU game if things get comfortable.
Question #3 What did you think of John Butler's first game as defensive coordinator? Do you expect more of the same against Eastern Michigan?
The Underdogs: meh. Between the DLine doing some dominatin' in the interior and the injuries (so many injuries), I couldnt tell much from a schematic standpoint, aside from a few breakdowns in the secondary. However, I should add that I really like those two young corners, Lucas and Williams.
Rowlff Dogg: Major kudos to the play of Trevor Williams and Jordan Lucas. If they can keep up their stellar performance, John Butler can do so much more with the front 7. SOA and DaQuan Jones also deserve a lot of credit for the defense’s success against Syracuse. As a whole, the defense was as good as it gets for an opening week.
I’m always going to like John Butler’s defense because it’s not Tom Bradley’s defense. I just wish Butler would wear his specs “cliffhanger style” like Ted Roof. D up, glasses down!
J Schnauzer: Phenomenal. We must, must look at this in the perspective of 65 schollies. What he's able to accomplish with limited depth is a treat to see. I have no problem with Butler, nor do I expect a fall-off against EMU. The tragic thing is that his accomplishments may be washed out in the scoreboard and stat sheet with a few debilitating injuries.
Question #4 Predictions?
The Underdogs: Precious throws for three TDs, but it's the running game that cranks it up with 250+ between ZZ, Belton, and Lynch. 45-3
Rowlff Dogg: My absence from Beaver Stadium will NOT make me cry. My absence from Pellagate will NOT make me sober. Eastern Michigan will NOT stand a chance. Penn State 50, Eastern Michigan 13
J Schnauzer: RowlffDogg misses his first PSU home game in decades and comforts himself with a keg of Bell's Octoberfest and a Costco box of Milkbones, Penn State converts on 50% of its third downs, and another surprising defender comes up big to squash the early efforts of the Eastern Michigan Eastern Emus. 45-7 good guys.