Quick Thoughts on Penn State's Blue White Game
Penn State will now move into the long abyss after the Blue White Game and before the summer practice sessions begin. But first, let me point out a few things about the game.
• Daryll Clark and Evan Royster could very well carry the team this year. While Royster only logged three carries, they amounted to 21 yards. He looked fluid, as usual, and shouldn't have a problem with the Rose Bowl injury. Clark was sharp, real sharp, going 10 for 13 on the day. This is the best quarterback situation, in terms of a returning starter, Penn State has had in more than a decade.
• I was pleasantly surprised by the backup running backs, particularly Brandon Beachum. He had good power, and speed, which wasn't one of his strong points coming out of high school. Beachum should be able to step right in, should the need arise.
• The wide receivers will be fine. All that gloom and doom about losing (as of today) two NFL Draft picks (Williams and Butler), and a free agent (Norwood), might have been premature. Derek Moye and Graham Zug complemented each other perfectly, and had no issues making some tough catches. Clark seemed very comfortable throwing to his wideouts.
• I'm not quite sure what to make of the secondary. In case we've already forgotten, Clark is the league's best quarterback, so of course he can make a defense look silly. However, that doesn't clear up the Kevin Newsome/Matt McGloin performances. They both looked fantastic (McGloin in particular). Or, does that mean the secondary is just really that bad?
• The defensive line was very interesting to watch. One thing I was shocked by, was that Larry Johnson, Sr. put all four of the best linemen on the field at the same time. It was Jack Crawford and Jared Odrick (!) at the ends, with Ollie Ogbu and Abe Koroma inside. That is easily the best single unit going into the season, and I couldn't be happier with that situation.
• I don't remember a Blue White Game being so hot. Actually, most of the years that I've attended, it's rained. What made things worse, though it was my own doing, was that I walked around the stadium about three times, to get all the best camera angles. Yeah, you're welcome.
• The crowd was great. Supposedly 76,500 fans showed up, but I'm not sure you can accurately estimate it to the hundreds. It's possible, though, which is why they should figure out a way to count the people as they enter. After all, Ohio State blew us away this year, by about 20,000 fans.
• I promised an update on the future non-conference opponent Penn State is talking with. I spoke with someone inside the athletic department on Saturday, and they told me that a series with Boston College is "all but signed." They weren't sure when anything would be finalized, but that things are moving towards renewing that old rivalry. Let's just hope that things go better than the last few meetings with the Eagles.
• Today, I'll have the photo album up and ready to go. It could be later in the day, so check back sometime in the afternoon.
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