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Lion's Den - 2013-2014

Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by bravejaf, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. bravejaf

    bravejaf Walk On

    Jul 13, 2009
    Season Preview: The biggest change for Penn State will be at the quarterback position. Three-year starter Kevin Newsome graduated this spring but the Nittany Lions have plenty of talent at that position. In spring practices it was a battle between redshirt juniors Robert Bolden and Paul Jones. In the end Bolden's arm strength was enough to earn him the starting job. If Bolden falters Jones and incoming JUCO junior Ashton Sykes are ready to take over that position. Sykes might be the best passer but may redshirt his first season to learn the offense. He also does not have the athleticism of Bolden or Jones. The running back position will be the same combination of Dukes, Goss and Redd. The team may lean more on the backs this season with a new QB under center. The Nittany Lions also have depth issues at WR with Brown and Drake graduating. Last season's leading receiver Shawney Kersey is back but he and Devin Smith will need to prove they can compete against the opponent's best cornerbacks. Incoming junior college transfer Johnathon Gray also will play a big role in the offense this season.

    On defense most of the big players are back in place, including last year's impact freshmen Broussard (DE) and Ostrander (MLB). They played great last season and the team is hopeful the duo will continue to progress. The secondary is the big question mark for the team this year, specifically the cornerback position. Penn State coaches were hoping to land an impact CB in the past recruiting class but none of the players are ready for a big role in the team. Safety Curtis Garrett (So.) will be playing the nickel role for the team due to lack of talent at corner. Ayapong and Wallace will be the starting corners and they should be solid. If one or both have long-term injuries it could cause big problems for the team. Mike Thomas is the other CB with some experience. He likely plays in dime packages and he may also play double duty at WR.

    Area of Strength: Quarterback, Halfback, Defensive Line

    Areas of Concern: Wide Receiver, Cornerback, Linebacker depth
  2. bravejaf

    bravejaf Walk On

    Jul 13, 2009

    With Kevin Newsome in the NFL the role of QB fell to R-JR Robert Bolden. The Nittany Lions did not change up the playbook with the new QB but the type of plays they ran did change. The offense focused more on the ground attack and Bolden only attempted 8 passes in the game. He completed 6 of those passes for 125 yards. The running game was where Penn State dominated the smaller Ohio Bobcats. Curtis Dukes and Kyle Goss split carries and each rushed for over 70 yards with a TD. Silas Redd also hit the 70-yard mark when he came in late and broke a 55-yard TD. On defense Penn State dominated Ohio. The big play by the defense came in the third quarter when Brian Nichols picked off a pass and returned it for a score. Things get much tougher for Penn State as they have upcoming games against LSU and Virginia Tech.

    Offensive Player of the Game: Curtis Dukes 12 carries 78 yards 1 TD; 2 receptions 50 yards

    Defensive Player of the Game: Khairi Fortt 9 tackles (8 solo, 1 atk) 1 tackle for a loss 1 sack

    First Quarter
    03:01 TD Penn State Curtis Dukes HB #26 8 yard rush
    Second Quarter
    06:29 TD Penn State Kyle Goss HB #31 7 yard rush
    01:05 TD Penn State Robert Bolden QB #16 3 yard rush
    Third Quarter
    05:50 FG Penn State Jeremy Harrell K #5 52 yard field goal
    03:31 TD Penn State Brian Nichols FS #38 62 yard interception
    Forth Quarter
    03:42 TD Penn State Silas Redd HB #25 55 yard rush
    00:21 FG Penn State Jeremy Harrell K #5 43 yard field goal
  3. bravejaf

    bravejaf Walk On

    Jul 13, 2009
    Midseason Report

    vs. Ohio W 41-0
    at Virginia Tech L 27-34
    vs LSU W 26-24
    at Northwestern W 43-3
    vs. Minnesota W 45-17
    vs. Ohio State W 24-14

    Offense: The question coming into the season was the transition at QB from Kevin Newsome to Robert Bolden. Half way through the season the transition has been fairly smooth. Bolden isn't putting up the eye popping numbers Newsome did last season but the offense has changed gears to accommodate Bolden. He only has 7 passing touchdowns but the 4 interceptions thrown this year is a vast improvement from Newsome. Like Newsome Bolden can also find the end zone with his legs and so far he has scored 5 touchdowns on the ground. Senior tailback Curtis Dukes is also having a productive season, with just over 500 yards and 6 touchdowns on the season. The decrease in passing attempts has impacted the numbers of team record holder Shawney Kersey. The wide receiver has just 2 touchdown receptions this season. As Bolden gets more familiar with running the offense, his numbers should spike. He has the ability to be an elite quarterback, just needs to make better reads.

    Defense: Aside from the Virginia Tech loss, the defense has been solid. Outside linebacker Khairi Forrt continues to rack up tackles and sacks for Penn State. He leads the team in sacks and tackles for loss. One area the defense needs to improve is takeaways. In 6 games Penn State has only intercepted a total of 5 passes. Of those interceptions, 2 came against Virginia Tech when the QB passed the ball nearly every play. The team also has 4 fumble recoveries on the season.

    Outlook: The remaining schedule has many difficult obstacles. Week 8 against Michigan should go a long way in determining the Big 10 championship. The Wisconsin and Michigan State games also could be tricky. The last game of the season could potentially be the first of two matches between Penn State and USC. The teams could meet in the Rose Bowl if they win their respective conferences but fail to get into the championship game.

    Remaining Schedule
    Wk. 8 at Michigan
    Wk. 9 at Illinois
    Wk. 10 vs. Purdue
    Wk. 11 vs. Wisconsin
    Wk. 13 at Michigan State
    Wk. 15 at USC

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