Across The Web: Penn State

Written November 17th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Today, our long time friend Mike Pettigano from Black Shoe Diaries swings by the clubhouse to give us insight on the Penn State season as well as some of his thoughts about what might be next for the Nittany Lions. We also talk about fair media coverage… and agree that it’s not happening. Mike was the one that brought PSU’s efforts with RAINN to our attention… worth your time to get involved.

Penn State spent a good portion of the early part of the season struggling to find an offensive identity.  Has the coaching staff worked out some of the kinks, or is the PSU offense still a work in progress?


The offense suffered a pretty big hit this past week losing Mike McQueary’s services on the sideline. He was the guy running the show, calling in the plays, substitutions, personnel packages. Granted, the reasons for his absence dwarf the problems on the field last week. But it’s the football-related answer to your question. Silas Redd has become the offense since late September, but he suffered a minor shoulder injury this week that kept him out of practice so far. He should be ready to go for the game this weekend, as he’s the most physically well-conditioned player I’ve seen in a long time. The guy was averaging 28 carries over three weeks in October, yet still churned out 100-yard games like it was nothing. However, Redd hasn’t been able to win games on his own. The quarterbacks have to be at least functional. And whatever the view on Matt McGloin may be, he’s the starting quarterback now. As long as McGloin avoids stupid mistakes, he can be a decent game-manager. That’s all Penn State needs in a quarterback, but hasn’t gotten much of it against decent opponents this season.


Whispers are that Silas Redd may not be healthy enough to play on Saturday, and it was announced that McGloin will be the starter (rather than sharing time with Bolden) – How does that impact the Lion Offense against Ohio State?

Redd’s arm would have to be amputated for him to miss the game. He will play. Redd was suffering from a stinger during the Northwestern game. It was widely reported coaches would only give him 15 or so carries against Illinois. Redd got the ball 30 times for 137 yards and a touchdown against the Illini. The gameplan shouldn’t change against Ohio State. Not that Redd will get 30 carries. But some of the emotion from last week will have settled down a bit this week, which should in-turn settle down the offense. Plus, getting away from State College might end up being a good thing for this team, despite the almost guaranteed heckling Ohio State fans will heap upon them from the moment they get off the bus. Ed- hopefully not.

This season, Penn State has anchored itself on the play of a solid defensive unit. Other than our own offensive coordinator, who does the OSU offense have to worry about while they’re on the field?

Thank God Braxton's Mobile

I’m not sure Penn State has ever had two defensive tackles so dominant as Devon Still and Jordan Hill. On more than a few occasions, the two have saved Penn State’s ass, including batted passes on third and fourth down, tackles for loss at key junctures of the games, and general mayhem wrought upon opposing offensive lines. If Ohio State doesn’t triple-team Still, or call plays specifically designed to neutralize him (Purdue did this somewhat effectively, but still couldn’t completely shut down the DTs), I’d be surprised if the Buckeyes topped 120 total rushing yards.


We were sorry to see Joe Pa end his storied career on such a sour note.  Is Tom Bradley the long term successor for Joe, or do you see someone else taking the job in the near future? It would be crazy if Jay Paterno were to take over the program at the end of the season. Is this even a possibility?

Penn State has to clean house after this season. There might be a few holdovers, but even Bradley won’t escape the sweep. My money is on Al Golden. He retains just enough connection to Penn State to satisfy the commitment to the program’s history, but has been removed from Happy Valley for so long (1991) that it would be very close to a completely “outside” hire. My guess, provided that situation comes to fruition, is that Ron Vanderlinden would be asked to stay to coach the linebackers; Larry Johnson, Sr. has said forever that he’s out once Joe retired; but I’m not sure who else wouldn’t be too toxic to keep on the staff.

We’re asking everyone- If the B1G chooses to expand, who would you like to add? Why?

Rutgers and Notre Dame. This is my personal preference. Most friends/fans I talk to hate this idea. But what do I care? The Big Ten could have taken three or five teams last time around, but ended up with only Nebraska. No major programs now remain to scoop up. Why not go with a decent eastern program, together with the most popular football team in the history of the sport? Put personal prejudices against either team (especially ND) aside for a moment. They’re really the only two viable options left on the table, particularly since Pitt and Syracuse are gone.

Ohio State fans, of all people, understand that the truth regarding a situation may not be what the media is presenting. What’s one aspect of the current matter that is being misrepresented or under reported?

Coverage? Sales?

Allow me to offer this disclaimer: Paterno should have done more and deserved to be forced out. As for the media, the tone and focus has shifted somewhat over the past few days. But the damage had been done during the first 120 hours. Joe Paterno was the story because he was the household name. Think about it. “Sandusky” or “Spanier” won’t sell papers, get ratings, or rake in the hits the way “Paterno” would in a headline. By focusing the story on Paterno from the beginning, it swung the spotlight away from those equally or even more responsible for allowing the problem to continue all these years–the likes of Graham Spanier, Gary Shultz and Tim Curley. Also, the board of trustees did a fabulous job last week wringing its collective hands of any blood. So many more people needed to be fired last week–but weren’t.


There are so many more angles to this story, I’m getting tired just writing this. My favorite quote of the past 11 days has to be Joe Posnanski’s, “everyone’s trying to out-anger each other.” The nation is tripping over itself to prove who can be the MOST anti-child abuse, as if any sane human being alive is FOR child abuse. In its collective desire to make themselves look good, I’ve seen a nation and its media embarrass themselves. Didn’t think it was possible, but never underestimate the hundreds of nationally-syndicated columnists who always seem to know how to fix everything.

In the end, I strongly suggest reading BSD’s coverage of this, which has been remarkably fair and grounded in reality. Click the section front “#PSUCharges” and you’ll get all the stories we’ve posted on the Sandusky situation. That includes my salvo against the media coverage last week.

1 Comment

  1. ShannonNo Gravatar
    November 17th, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks for the commentary and level headed analysis.
    I’ve never seen such a fevered public lynching in all my years. I’m not a Joe Paterno synchophant but I’ve always admired his hard work and love for the players and students in general. With out all the facts and due process, reputations have been ruined, jobs lost and a University villified….within days.
    I, for one, am trying to with hold judgement and wait for the judicial process and all stories to come out. I hope justice prevails. That being said, the self righteous indignation and moral prostylitizing IS embarrassing, from both the media and the general public.
    Hope Ohio State fans follow the classy behavior of the Nebraska fans and treat the players with resect. All of this, whatever the real story, isn’t their fault.


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