Blue-White Roundtable Is Finishing Strong

November 20, 2008

The last regular season edition of the B&W Roundtable is upon us and for the 50th time this season, Zombie Nation is providing the questions. ZN deserves nothing but the utmost of “thanks” for picking up the slack that the rest of our lazy asses didn’t bother doing this year.

And, as always, here are the rest of the potential respondents:

Black Shoe Diaries
The Nittany Line
Tangled Up In White and Blue

There is No Name On My Jersey
We Want the Lion
William F. Yurasko

1. So, are you freaking out this week? Did you honestly think Penn State would be in this position, going into the last week of the season? How about Michigan State?

I was rather nervous going into this week, but the more I thought about how much we have to play for and all the other intangibles favoring us, I’m more confident we’ll pull out the “W” this weekend.

Honestly, I expected us to be about 8-3 at this point having lost road games at Wisconsin, Ohio State, plus another team that we normally would beat if we were “playing to win.”  Unfortunately, the latter still held true but handing Wisconsin their worst home loss since the Pre-Barry Alvarez era and ending a 30-year curse at Ohio Stadium are still mighty impressive feats beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

I also anticipated revenge against MSU this year, and I’m still sticking with that notion despite our recent struggles.  I’d still be very happy with a Big Ten championship-clinching win and subsequent Rose Bowl bid with a potential shot at USC.

2. What would you like to see more of/less of this week?

I’d like to see more running the damn ball with Evan Royster.  Daryll Clark should also get several chances to call his own number.  I swear, if I see us coming out throwing on the first play of the game, blood will shoot out my nose.

I’d also like to see less hesitancy out of Clark when it comes to deciding whether to stay in the pocket and find an open receiver or just roll out.

3. What are your feelings towards Derrick Williams’ career as a Nittany Lion? Has he lived up to the hype? How? If not, who’s to blame?

Honestly, the kid had way too much hype for ANYBODY to live up to.  With that being said, he’s easily one of the best speedsters we’ve ever had here at PSU and was part of the nucleus of the youth invasion of 2005 that helped bring a program in despair back to its winning ways.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably one of those douchebags who finds the tiniest things to complain about on the boards.

4. The national media is back-pedaling on their summertime pro-SEC propaganda, now saying that conference in overrated. What gives? Haven’t we (basically, everyone outside the SEC) been saying that the whole time? How would Penn State stack up against the top few SEC teams, like Alabama, Florida and Georgia, on a neutral field?

Seriously?  I had no idea the media was backtracking.  It’s about time they saw the light on how overrated the SEC is.

Outside of Florida (who I can definitely say looks like a team possessed and would likely destroy us), I say “bring ’em on!”  Georgia I never felt was a #1 team, and it showed when they got rattled by Bama and Florida.  Bama’s offense has been pedestrian-looking at times and more credit should go to their amazing defense led by man-child Terrence Cody than their offense.

Bonus/Lightening/Whatever you want to call it, Round…

-Daryll Clark throws a pick?

I’m gonna say “no” but he will probably fumble the ball once.

-Royster scores? How many times?

Yes, I foresee 2 TD’s for the Rolls Royster.

-Did you go to any games this year? How many?

I’ve been to all the home games this year except for Indiana (for obvious reasons).


BTB Pick ‘Em/Blue White Roundtable Extravaganza

November 8, 2008

Time for an HHV first: Combining my picks for the Big Ten games (which thus far, are looking “meh”) with some quick answers for the Blue-White Roundtable.

First, let’s get the picks out of the way…

Ohio State vs Northwestern –
OSU has had two weeks to prepare and Northwestern is now down to its 3rd string tailback.  Bad news for the Wild Kitties.

Wisconsin v. Indiana – If the Badgers want to have any hope whatsoever of going bowling this year, they’d better take care of business at Indiana.

Purdue vs. Michigan StateWith a bye week looming before a showdown with PSU on Nov. 22, look for Sparty to take care of business with the Boilers.

Michigan vs. MinnesotaBoth teams are coming off devastating last-second losses.  Minnesota simply has more to play for though than a Michigan squad that is only playing for pride at this point.

Penn State vs. Iowa – Iowa’s susceptible secondary and tendency to shoot themselves in the foot at critical moments in games will doom them once again.

Illinois vs. Western Michigan (1 point) – I don’t care how good Western Michigan might be, they’re a MAC team and Illinois is a Big Ten team and Big Ten teams aren’t supposed to lose to MAC teams.

There, now that’s out of the way, it’s time to quickly answer some Blue-White Roundtable questions which for the 20th week in a row is being put together by Zombie Nation

1. Do you agree with Joe Paterno, that teams shouldn’t have toartificially inflate scores just to please the voters? We all know it’s just how college football works, but how comfortable are you with that?

I agree with JoePa on this one. The idea that you have to not only win but win big turns college football into a fucking beauty pageant and is one of the reasons why I’m a big fan of a 4 or 8-team playoff system.

With that being said though, given the current climate in college football today, I’m hoping to heck that I’m wrong about the Iowa game being close and that we blow them out by 30.

Of course, in the end, it is on the other team to stop you.

2. Iowa has been a very up-and-down team this season, and it’s defense can actually play. What are some of the unit-to-unit match ups you’re looking forward to seeing this week? Which team will win your chosen battle and why?

Excluding the obvious matchup (Shonn Greene v. PSU’s defense) I’m curious to see Ricky Stanzi versus the Penn State defense.  I feel that our D-line will be able to get enough pressure on Stanzi to have him running for his life several times and could help force a costly mistake out of him.  In my opinion, that will be the key to escaping Iowa City with a “W.”
3. Backtrack a week. There were riots downtown following the Ohio State win. The State College Borough Council had plenty of discussion about “why” it happened, and what could be done to “prevent it” in the future. Of course, they got nowhere. Are wild, dangerous events like this just a part of life at a big-time football school? Or should (or, can) something be done about it?

Look, anytime there’s a major victory like this, people are going to amass in the streets and chant and cheer and curse and whatnot.  It’s a part of being a big-time football school and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.  The only reason this incident even gets labeled as a “riot” is because a few street lamps got torn down, some cars were shaken, and a bunch of people got pepper-sprayed.  Having grown up in Happy Valley though, I can assure you that this was the tamest “riot” we’ve had since the apocalyptic 1998 Arts Fest riots.

Lightening Round

– Royster has a big game (100+ yds)?

Yes…But most of it won’t come until the second half.

– Devlin sees decent playing time?

Doubtful.  Only if Clark suffers another concussion or is extremely ineffective.

-Chances (%) PSU holds Iowa below 10 pts?

20&%.  Shonn Greene will rumble for at least one TD and I feel Iowa will move the ball consistently enough to rack up a field goal or two.

Don’t forget the other “Despondent Respondents” below…
Black Shoe Diaries
The Nittany Line
There is No Name on My Jersey
Tangled Up in White and Blue
White and Blue

William Yurakso
We Want the Lion

Blue-White Roundtable Is Ready To Bust a Nut

October 25, 2008

Well, my laziness got the best of me yesterday as I didn’t get around to writing down answers to this week’s Blue-White Roundtable, brought to you by We Want the Lion.  Thus, I’m going to do it right now, with College Gameday blaring in the background.

As always, the supporting cast is listed below: 
Black Shoe Diaries
The Nittany Line
Tangled Up In Blue And White
There is No Name On My Jersey
We Want the Lion
Zombie Nation
William F. Yurasko

Was Ohio State’s blowout of Michigan State last weekend an anomaly or are the Buckeyes “back”?

A lot of credit goes to the Buckeye defense for picking up 5 turnovers and giving themselves plenty of short-field situations from which to get easy scores.  However, look at the discrepancy in plays called: 52 runs to 11 passes. We’ll find out whether the Buckeyes are truly back tonight when they will be forced to have more balance in their playcalling in order to win.

What can Penn State do to avoid a slow start in this game?

Hang onto the damn ball!  I’ve lost count of how many straight games we’ve played now where Daryll Clark fumbles the football at least once in the first quarter.  If Clark keeps it up, OSU will probably take advantage of it by picking up critical points off turnovers.

Why is Ohio State ranked ahead of Penn State in the computer rankings? And why is every media member and his brother picking Ohio State this week?

To answer the computer rankings question: OSU’s schedule strength has just been better thus far.  It’s hard to complain about getting screwed by computers when you have Temple, Coastal Carolina, and Syracuse on your non-conference slate.  Not to mention the fact PSU aside from Illinois, has beaten the bottom-feeders of the Big Ten (Michigan, Wisconsin, Purdue) whereas OSU has played more Big Ten teams that will finish near the top (Michigan State and Minnesota).

As for Part 2 of this question:  If you didn’t follow PSU or the Big Ten so closely and you saw a statistic that mentioned PSU not only has failed to win in Columbus since joining the Big Ten but has failed to score even 10 points in all of those outings, who would you pick?  Exactly, my thoughts.  That’s why it’s hard for me to blame most people for being skeptical about PSU’s 2.5-point favoritism from Vegas.

Lightning Round

Who gets more TDs on the ground, Clark or Pryor?

Pryor.  He simply runs the ball more times than Clark does.

If the winner of this game wins out, will they get a shot in the BCS title game?

Penn State will have the better shot at the BCS title game if they win tonight, all they will need is for either Texas or Alabama to slip up.  Such a scenario is highly probable as I don’t see both teams making it through the rest of their seasons unscathed; particularly an Alabama squad that starts games white-hot but finishes ice-cold.  That surely has to bite the Tide in the ass at some point.

Should the Buckeyes (currently 9th in the BCS standings) win however, they’re still going to need a boatload of help from up above…I’m talking of course, about Texas and Bama BOTH losing followed by all but one of the teams between 4-8 in the BCS losing: Oklahoma, USC, Oklahoma State, Georgia, and Texas Tech.

Does dotting the “I” even compare to our drum major doing flips?

I’ll let the photographic evidence do the talking…


(picture taken from Georgia Sports Blog)

Blue-White Roundtable Says “Enough”

October 17, 2008

William F. Yurasko is our Verbal Kint for the week.

And playing the roles of Keaton, McManus, Hockney, Fenster, Kobayashi, and Redfoot:
Black Shoe Diaries
The Nittany Line
Tangled Up In Blue And White
There is No Name On My Jersey
We Want the Lion
Zombie Nation

Penn State is undefeated and ranked #3 in both major polls. Have they been tested yet?

Okay, who allowed Mark May to write the questions to this roundtable?  No, we still haven’t been tested..All we’ve done thus far is shut down a couple quality offenses in Oregon State and Illinois, shut down a vaunted passing attack at Purdue, and traveled into one of the most raucous environments in college football at Wisconsin and handed the home team its worst defeat in 19 years.  Oh, and did I mention that our offense is ranked 9th in the country?  I’m still gonna have to see a little more out of this PSU team before I can be sold on them…

What unit or player is most responsible for the Nittany Lions success this season?

The lines: Offensive and Defensive.  Offensively, Evan Royster and Stephfon Green have been given holes wider than Ann Arbor’s snatch to run through while Darryl Clark usually has had more than enough time to find an open receiver.  Defensively, the line has been so good that we can afford to simply rush our 4 linemen and get to the QB with relative consistency, allowing the linebackers to stay back in coverage or help with run support.

I would also add though that having Clark at QB has indeed made a world of a difference.  It’s nice to have a QB that doesn’t constantly force passes into double and triple coverage or make idiotic decisions when it comes to scrambling or throwing the ball away.  Sure, we haven’t trailed yet in the fourth quarter this year (and god forbid, this weekend marks the first time) but I already have a lot more faith in Clark leading a come-from-behind drive with the game on the line than I ever did in a certain other QB…

How can Michigan beat Penn State on Saturday?

Nothing short of 5-6 Turnovers by PSU and Sam McGuffie successfully landing about 10 hurdles.


Going up for Homecoming?

Already here…NEXT.

What do you think is going through Maurice Evans head these days?

Whether State College will ever open up a White Castle.

Where were you the last time Penn State beat Michigan?

I was 12 years old, in the 7th grade.  Hard to believe I’ve gone through puberty and all the other crazy shit that happens in betweent ages 12 to 24 without ever seeing another win against Michigan.

Will Joe Paterno be on the sidelines for any of the game?

If PSU finally smartens up and realizes that JoePa can make history one last time by becoming the first head coach to lead his team out onto the field via segway, then the answer is a resounding YES.

Blue White-Roundtable is Ready to “Boiler Up”

October 2, 2008

So, for the tenth week in a row: Zombie Nation has put together the roundtable questions.  I think it’s only right that we recognize the man’s dedication and sacrifice towards making sure we have something new to bullshit about each week, so here’s to a Real American Hero…

Where no roundtable is left behind.

Zombie Nation: Where no roundtable is left behind.

As always, here’s the rest of the free-loading respondents:

Black Shoe Diaries
The Nittany Line
Tangled Up In Blue And White

There is No Name On My Jersey
We Want the Lion
William F. Yurasko

Name one unit-to-unit match up Penn State must win Saturday. How does PSU win that battle?

The defensive line/linebackers vs. Purdue’s backfield of Kory Sheets and Kory Sheets.  Look, Matt Painter will get his lion’s share of passing yards against us and probably a TD or two to go with it, but it won’t be enough for the upset unless the Boilermakers can establish a solid running game with Sheets…and also pray to Sarah Palin that PSU shoots itself in the foot with 10 turnovers.

This trip to Purdue is setting up to be a classic trap game. Do you agree? Why or why not?

I don’t think PSU will get caught looking ahead to Wisconsin next week, being that this Saturday’s game will be their first true road game (Syracuse and it’s “I don’t give a shit” fan base and empty, hollow, dome doesn’t count).

My greater concern is simply the fact that we’re notorious for getting off to slow starts in 12 PM road contests.  It wouldn’t surprise me if Purdue were to draw first blood and make it a game for a half before PSU finally wakes up and puts them away.

Purdue will be doing a “Black Out” this week. Putting aside that it’s going to raise money for charity (each shirt sold sends money to United Way), what are your feelings on other schools organizing “[insert color here] Outs?”

Let’s put it this way:  PSU is the Cadbury Bunny of “(Insert Color Here) Outs.”

Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Here’s a visualization for you:

*Lightning Round*
-Royster over 100 yards?

Better question would be: Royster over 200 yards? It’ll be damn close…

-Curtis Painter throws first TD ever vs. PSU?

How Painter failed to throw for a TD pass against our shitty secondary last season still baffles my mind…I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt though and say that he throws not one but TWO TD passes this weekend.

-Pat Devlin gets meaningful playing time?

Highly unlikely, especially after seeing Darryl Clark come back in the middle of the game-clinching drive against Illinois last weekend when he supposedly fucked up his knee made of steel.  People like to talk about how tough MSU’s Javon Ringer is with his 100+ carries per game but I’d rank Clark’s toughness right up there: The kid will do absolutely ANYTHING for the team so long as it doesn’t involve standing on the sidelines.

Blue-White Roundtable is Procrastinating Heavily

September 26, 2008

Initially, I was going to take a week off from the Blue-White Roundtable but ultimately caved in.  Thanks to Galen at The Nittany Line for this week’s questions.

And as always, the Rat Pack of PSU Bloggers have their take on things:
Black Shoe Diaries
Tangled Up In Blue And White
There is No Name On My Jersey
We Want the Lion
William F. Yurasko
Zombie Nation

*warning – painfully obvious question alert* Penn State gets its first ‘real’ test this weekend facing a ranked opponent when the Fighting [None-Offensive-Mascot]s come to town. Gaze into your crystal ball and give us a short description on how Saturday night’s events will unfold. Or if you’re lazy just fire up NCAA 2009 and tell us what the Xbox thinks.

I think PSU draws first blood with a touchdown on its opening drive, if Illinois gets the ball first, I think our defense forces a three-and-out to start the game off on the right foot.  However, the Illini will settle and make adjustments and make sure that the defecit doesn’t get too far out of hand.  In the end though, I just see too much Evan Royster/Stephfon Green/Daryll Clark/The receiving corps/O-line for Illinois’ defense to handle and their own potent offensive attack won’t quite be enough to keep pace with us.

Saturday’s game is on the big stage at 8:00 with most of the football world watching. It’s a white out and Penn State is favored by two scores (as of Monday). Is this a lose-lose situation (the only way they could look good is by winning big) for Penn State or golden opportunity to show the world what the Spread HD is all about?

I see it as an opportunity to show off the Spread HD to a national viewing audience in primetime and to pull out a victory over a Top 25 team and shut up the dissenters who claim that PSU hasn’t “played anybody.”  Which leads me to this momentary digression:  Congrats Oregon State on helping out our strength of schedule and putting an end to ESPN’s USC lovefest in the month of September.

Now that all the fluff questions are out of the way do Maurice Evans and Abe Koroma get significant playing time?

I don’t see Evans and Koroma starting, but you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think they’re not going to see some significant and important game action.  We were desperate for depth on the D-line during their suspensions and we sure as hell aren’t going to deliberately play shorthanded in such an important contest.

*Lightning Round*

Back in 2007, Illinois Basketball fans made my skull crack open in rage slightly angered me when they befouled the statue of Joe Paterno. Do you hate the Illini like me or not so much?

I unfortunately, happened to attend that game.  It seemed the moment I turned away from talking to my friend and focused my attention on the court, I suddenly saw a sea of orange behind one of the baskets.

While it was embarassing beyond epic proprotions (this game was being televised on ESPN, mind you), I have to give props to Illini fans for fooling the retards in the athletic department into thinking they were a group of branch campus kids who avidly followed PSU basketball (as if those types of people exist in such large numbers).

It’s a night game please quantify the amount of alcohol you will consume before gametime (if you don’t drink please quantify the amount of fatty foods you will eat).

Depends, I already know of one tailgate that’s starting at 9 AM and going ’til the evening so I’ll be stopping by there at some point.  I’m sure more tailgating plans will pop up within the next 12 hours or so.

I’m gonna play it safe and say 6-7 brewskies…
Put it on the line – final score:

Penn State 34 – Illinois 24.  I think 15 points is being way too kind to us, but I still think we win by more than a touchdown.

Blue and White Roundtable Is Gonna Sing A Song For You…

September 19, 2008

And Zombie Nation’s gonna show you a thing or two…Along with the other fine PSU Bloggers of course:

There is No Name on My Jersey
Tangled Up in White and Blue
YF Yurasko
Black Shoe Diaries
The Nittany Line
We Want the Lion
Zombie Nation
Nittany Whiteout

For those of you who drew a blank as to why I’m referencing Fat Albert: It’s because I’m paying homage to Temple’s most famous alum, Bill Cosby.  BSD paid a nice tribute to the man and his alma mater earlier this week, in a preview that would’ve trumped any “Better Know An Opponent” segment I would’ve come up with.

But anyway, I know why you’re really reading this post so let’s get to the questions, shall we?

1. Penn State has the best scoring offense (55.3 ppg) in the Big Ten, and top-five nationally. Of course, this has been against two bad teams and a mediocre Oregon State squad. This week’s Temple game should be another 40-plus game for the PSU offense. That being said, do you think this has been a fluke so far? Or is the Spread HD for real?

Well, for starters: There’s nothing “flukey” about putting up the types of offensive stats mentioned above, I don’t give a damn how piss-poor the teams are.  However, it’s still premature to say the Spread HD is “for real.”  I want to see how it holds up against Big Ten opponents, particularly in road games against ranked opponents.

My biggest concern with Spread HD is whether we unleash it to its fullest in the road games at Wisconsin and Ohio State.  JoePa has been notrious in the past for getting way too conservative with the play-calling in such contests and it’s cost him dearly.

2. If Maurice Evans and Abe Koroma are convicted, what are the chances Joe Paterno will play either by the Illinois game? What message does it send to the team, and the nation, if both players are given light punishments? Conversely, what if the punishments are seemingly too severe, like dismissal?

I’m still sticking to my guns:  Evans and Koroma WILL suit up for Illinois and they WILL play but only in limited action.  ESPN and the rest of the liberal media can blow me…We’re talking about two kids who’ve been charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana and are first-time offenders.

3. Leadership has been a huge part of this year’s team’s ability to move past distractions. Who has to really step up this week and keep this team focused? How does the coaching staff figure into this, or should they just let the players handle it by themselves?

It’s all up the players to keep the team focused.  The coaches can yell ’til they’re blue in the face but it won’t mean a damn thing unless the team captains invoke some leadership on and off the field.  So far, we’ve seen a dramatic improvement in such leadership, despite the adversity we’ve faced off the field and Anthony Scriotto only helped by ripping into his teammates last week.

Rest assured, there will be no repeat of the leadership-less 2007 season.  Not by a longshot…

Lightning Round

Penn State throws its first interception this week? Only if Al Golden ran the “Rocky steps” enough times this week to bring his team some luck.

Evan Royster’s YPC vs. Temple? Eleventy-Billion.  I know, it’s not an actual number..yet.

Coke or Pepsi? I don’t know, but feel free to put on the “lawyer pants” and walk down that path if you don’t mind brain hemmorages.