Take on QB sitauation based on todays performances?
AE: Today although Devlin played well, Clark came out with a good solid performance. Both didn't turn the ball over, and both were very accurate, but Clark seems to be a more able leader at this time in the huddle due to his seniority. Although I would like to see Devlin compliment him, I'm more than happy with Clark as the starter.
BigD: Both quarterbacks were great today, playing the same statistically. While Clark clearly seems to be the right choice against a team of this caliber, you can't help but think that Devlin should be the choice against the tougher defenses. Some teams will be better against the run, and you need the best passer in there to move the ball around. Devlin was able to move the ball around well enough, and his accuracy looked slightly better. If I was Joe Paterno, I would split time as even as possible until I felt Devlin was able to take over the starting job.
Based on today's performance, and overall opinion Evan Royster or Stephfon Green at RB?
AE: I like Royster as the thunder to Green's lightning. I think they both can be used 50/50, and do not see any problem in seeing them split time. Green and Royster can both catch and run the screen well, so I'm confident that they both can step up and play key roles this season. They sure both did a great job today!
BigD: Both running backs were great today, but Stephfon Green just looks like he has the makings to be the best running back ever to come out of Penn State. He only really had one big run, but he was consistent throughout, scoring two beautiful touchdowns. Royster showed today and last season that he will be an excellent back, too. He is the power back, so there is no reason why he can't play as much as or more than Green right now. Hell, JoePa would do well to have Coach Hall play both of them in the backfield on option plays with Clark. There would be two very good options to go with a quality quarterback, making it a very hard offense to stop. Both have done plenty to earn the starting spot, but Green should be the number one back by the end of the year. Either way, I see this duo becoming another Ronnie Brown-Cadillac Williams type of one-two punch.
PSU Defense played well today..but at times (the early TD pass they gave up) they looked a bit lost...can they be the defense that they need to be for the big games?
AE: I think that they needed this game to gel. Realize that with Sean Lee down, leadership at the LB position, usually a given at PSU, is not as strong as year's past. That TD pass they gave up, the WR was wide open. But they rebounded quickly by taking matters into their rush defense, which was great. They look like a PSU defense should look. Bendable, but in no way breakable. They will be fine this year, and I look forward to seeing who will step up and fill the shoes at the LB position.
BigD: There is no doubt in my mind that they can be. Let's be honest, the loss of Sean Lee in the offseason was huge. After all, he was arguably the best linebacker in the nation. The problem with the defense not looking as good today as it should look is simply inexperience. Lee and Dan Connor were the leaders last season of that defense, and neither is there this year. The linebackers are extremely talented, and you can definately expect them to play better in the following weeks. Gbadyu and Hull look ready to step up this season, as well as the rest of Penn State's massive arsenal at the spot. he line is arguably the best in the nation, led by the best pair of defensive ends around. And the pass protection should continue to get better. Anthony Scirrotto is the leader of this defense, and he is one of the hardest hitters this team has seen in a long time. He will make sure that his defense is whipped into shape for the battle next week against Oregon State.
Special Teams and WR's looked stellar. Can Derrick Williams finally have that breakout ability he had that freshman year on returns, and can these WR's duplicate their effectiveness that they had in the Morelli dropback system into this new "Spread Hd?"
AE: Well Williams 89 yd KO return was amazing. He will continue to be explosive as he always was. And those WR's? Amazing as well, and they responded beautifully to both QB's in the huddle and on the field. Also Norwood had a nice catch for a TD. Obviously a lot of the Nittany Lions touchdowns came from the RB position...but hell they couldn't pass or the score would have been worse. Butler, Norwood, and Williams, combined with those great TE spots, should be a threat no matter who's under center.
BigD: I have been saying since spring practice that Williams is finally ready to have his breakout year, and its about time. He is clearly the most talented receiver this team has had in a long time, although Butler outplayed him over the last three seasons. There is no reason to think that he won't become the man that we always thought he would be. This is the most talented and the deepest receiving corp in the Big Ten, and they could do even better this season. The offense can finally feel confident that they can control the ball. Clark may not have the passing skills that Morelli had, but he won't make the same mistakes that Morelli always made, either. The top three receivers in Williams, Butler, and Norwood are all speedsters, so they very well could see more touches this season.
Overall view of this game, and how will it help PSU prepare for next week's huge PAC-10 meeting with Oregon St.?
AE: Well like BigD said, this game let the defense gel, show the world what Green has to offer, and what PSU's new "Spread HD" is capable of doing with explosive RBs, QBs, and WRs, and one of the best O-Lines in the country. This game was a prep game, and they gelled very well. At home again next week, they are ready for the Beavers, and this game is a huge reason why.
BigD: The defense wasn't as good as we would have liked them to be, but they were still very good. As we said earlier, either quarterback should be able to run this offense very well. The running game was better than amazing. The receivers and special teams looked great, too. It may have been against a 1-AA(FCS) team, but Penn State looked like they would have put the same score up on a lesser BCS team with ease, too. Oregon State didn't look great against Stanford on Thursday, and they shouldn't get much better in a week. Penn State will be ready for them. And with superior players at essentially every position, it is hard to see how Oregon State could come out of Happy Valley with a win.
We hope you enjoyed this blog, and if anyone wants to do one of these with me fanmail me!