We're a quarter of the way into the season, and at this point we're starting to see how Penn State stacks up this year. What's the biggest positive and negative you've seen so far?
The biggest positive so far for me has been Robert Bolden. He has exceeded my expectations and quieted my panic that materialized after he was named as starting quarterback. I'm not going to pretend that he's been perfect or anything near it - but I really think that he has performed as well as any first year starter - regardless or age and/or experience. Seriously friends, can you imagine what would have happened to the 2005 team if they had faced that Alabama team?
The biggest negative for me has been the tackling - and the general disconnect on defense. The turnover ratio is a serious concern, serious.
The Big Ten has had mixed success this first month--Ohio State beat Miami, but Iowa lost to Arizona. Michigan and Michigan State have been better than advertised, but Penn State and Wisconsin have underperformed. As a conference, how do you think the Big Ten stacks up?
It's early. I'm not ready to say that beating notre dame is "better than advertised" but they certainly have been entertaining to watch. We at 2theLion wish Coach Dantonio a speedy and full recovery - he's going to have to take a "time out" but I'm sure he'll be back to work soon.
As far as the Big Ten goes as a conference, I'd say it's a typical start to the year - nothing too shocking (although the iowa loss did surprise me). It often seems like the Big Ten as a whole looks past the early games and that the season "really" starts with conference play - I think they'll be fine.
It was recently announced that Penn State had extended the Temple series for another three years. How do you feel about playing the Owls on a regular basis?
I'm old so I like playing Temple - it reminds me of my childhood. I'm also a Temple grad - so I like it that they get a chance to play a team like PSU and be on TV, and, every 4 years or so, raise their attendance numbers.
Temple's Al Golden seems to be a popular choice to replace Joe Paterno, whenever it is that JoePa decides to call it quits. How would you feel about Golden taking over as the head coach of Penn State?
I'm on the Golden bandwagon right now. I'll admit that this is a new vehicle for me, but, so far, I'm really enjoying the ride. I'm proud of what Golden has done at Temple - on the field, but, more importantly, in the locker room, classroom and community. He has Temple players, fans, and admin believing that they can win - it's a big change. As we know, when Golden took over the only thing worse than the football team's record were its grades. The team lost 9 scholarships due to academics the year Golden was hired - he came in and set the standard, one I like to think he learned at Penn State (and maybe uva, but I'm not gonna count that). He's dedicated himself to improving the team as a whole, and each player as a whole. I wish him well - but not that well - at least not until he's wearing a blue tie on Saturdays.
How many times will the BTN announcers mention that Al Golden played and coached at Penn State?
For those of you watching at home, please do not make this a drinking game - safety first!
Which of the embattled starters is most likely to have a breakthrough game on Saturday?
I'll be rooting for Evan Royster.
Who finishes with more rushing yardage: the entire Penn State backfield or Bernard Pierce?
Again, I'll be rooting for Evan Royster.
Temple has scored 9 points total in the last four meetings between these teams. Do they surpass that in this game alone?