Blog Entry

Morning Surf Report: PSU QB battle clearing up?

Posted on: September 5, 2011 2:13 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2011 2:33 pm

With a visit from Bama looming, Penn State's QB situation is still unresolved. According to Walt Moody, JoePa should go with Matt McGloin:  

While Saturday’s 41-7 romp against Indiana State is not a perfect example to draw from, it’s clear that the offense is more productive with McGloin at the helm.

It was plain last season. It was plain Saturday against the overmatched Sycamores. McGloin led three touchdown drives in four series (we know one was a 21-yarder shortly after a fumble recovery). Bolden, who started, led just one, despite getting two more chances.

Yes, Bolden had a couple of good deep throws dropped, though Derek Moye’s miss did come during a drive the Nittany Lions later scored. Blame it on playcalling, drops or whatever, but McGloin moved the team better.
I don't expect PSU to beat Bama. I think Nick Saban's team is too tough on D and too physical up front for the Nittany Lions. The big key for Penn State in 2011 is to have one QB emerge by the Oct. 8 game against Iowa. Obviously, coping with the nation's best defense will be quite a litmus test for both quarterbacks.

I expect the Nittany Lions to be 4-1 by the time the Hawkeyes come to Happy Valley. Having one guy settled on will be pivotal to help rally the locker room because this kind of back-and-forth isn't ideal for a team trying to return back into the top 25. They can beat Temple, EMU and Indiana shuffling two guys, but after that stretch,  if one guy hasn't clearly separated himself--or been separated--from the other, it's a bad thing. *Michigan limited a respectable Western Michigan offense to three points in the final 36 minutes of the game, which is one of the promising signs of the transition from Greg Robinson's D to Greg Mattison's D, writes Mark Snyder: 

Safety Jordan Kovacs, who had the most productive game of his career with 10 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and a pass breakup, was a great example. Coaches in the past never considered him an impact player. Mattison turned him into a blitzing machine. 

  "It's a completely different scheme," Kovacs said. "We've got more blitz packages that give me the opportunity to come down in the box and make a play."

Mattison was the biggest single reason why I think the Brady Hoke Era will be a successful one. He knows exactly what it takes to win in the Big Ten and is a very underrated recruiter. There also are some capable athletes on both sides of the ball with experience now for this team to win at least eight games this year. I'm very curious to see how the Wolverines deal with a Notre Dame team coming off such a messy opener.

*Enigmatic ASU LB Vontaze Burfict spoke to his hero, Ray Lewis, a few months back about the line between being aggressive and out of control, reports Doug Haller:

"I just spoke with him about discipline and how you need to make up your mind in life and on the field," Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis said. "Make sure that you are doing the right things to be a productive player and more importantly, a productive person."

As Baltimore's Lewis knows, it's not always easy.

"Absolutely, it was hard to learn," Lewis said, "but it is possible for a middle linebacker with passion to do that. I had a ton of help from great coaches. Coach Randy Shannon was instrumental in helping me channel what I needed to do to be successful. You need to make the decision yourself, then your coaches can help you be the best you can be."

   No one has ever questioned Burfict's physical tools, but it's his maturity and focus that are at issue, which also are question marks that ASU has to resolve this season if the Sun Devils are going to live up to their lofty hype entering this season.

ASU and its star defender must finally show that they can be disciplined rather than getting tripped up by all the knucklehead penalties and being their own worst enemy, as they have been the past few years. Many coaches and players I've spoken to point out that focus is a actually a talent, not all that much different than those physical "tools" like quickness or strength. It'll be interesting to see if Burfict, like his hero, has that.

*While former NC State QB Russell Wilson put up impressive numbers (10-of-13, 255 yards, with three TDs including a 46-yard touchdown run) in a 51-17 rout of UNLV on national television Thursday night for Wisconsin, new Pack starter Mike Glennon's final numbers were more modest, writes J.P. Giglio:

He finished 18-of-31 for 156 yards and a touchdown. He did not throw an interception, but he was sacked four times.
Glennon, the former blue-chip recruit, conceded he might've been trying to do too much. This will be a compelling subplot to the 2011 season if Wilson leads Wisconsin to a BCS bowl and Glennon doesn't thrive this fall in Raleigh and the Pack ends up not even making a bowl game.

The 62-year-old O'Brien enters his fifth season at State, 25-25 with a 14-18 record in ACC play and only one winning season in his previous four. Another mediocre season could be his last in Raleigh. He really, really needs Glennon to emerge this year.

*The ongoing conference expansion chatter at this point has focused on what Pac-12 head Larry Scott may do. Pete Thamel examines the landscape:

For Texas to come along this time, the Longhorns would have to fall in line with the blockbuster television deal that the Pac-12 agreed to this summer. That means that Texas would have to agree to equal revenue sharing and the so-called “Noah’s Ark” regional television networks. The new Pac-12 deal calls for six regional networks, pairing the league’s traveling partners (Arizona-Arizona State, Washington-Washington State and so on). That would mean that Texas would have to revamp its current network, the Longhorn Network, which is run by ESPN.

So if Texas were to go, Texas Tech — which is expected to follow the Longhorns like Oklahoma State is expected to follow Oklahoma — would have to be folded into the Longhorn Network. That puts some of the onus of Texas’ going to the Pac-12 on ESPN, which again finds itself in the uncomfortable situation, at least journalistically, of affecting and covering college sports. There is a strong feeling that the Longhorn Network is not an untenable impediment, as the Pac-12 and ESPN have brokered much more complicated deals. Dave Brown, the Longhorn Network’s vice president for programming, declined to comment Sunday.

*For the third time in the last six seasons, Duke saw Richmond stroll into Wallace Wade Stadium and leave with a win, this time by a 23-21 score. And, as Steve Wiseman writes, the Blue Devils are perplexed by how it happened:

“Maybe we spent too much emotion with the black uniforms,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. “We came back in and got excited. I don’t know.”

*Tweet of the Day: From LSU SID Michael Bonnette about sophomore CB Tyrann Mathieu

@LSUBonnette In 14 career games, T. Mathieu has 9 PBUs, 6 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries, 2 Ints, and he's scored 1 TD.

Category: NCAAF
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