Penn State Season Preview 2013 Penn State Nittany Lions Season Preview This new season looks to be a rebuilding season of sorts for the bunch in Happy Valley. Coach Ceps looks to take over the squad that finished in the top 10 last season and starts at #7 this season. While Coach Ceps has inherited a good amount of talent this group doesn't fit into the Coach's mold. Coach Ceps will install his fleXbox One offense as he has done at every place he has coached, but this group will have to learn it on the fly. The most important position in the fleXbox One offense is the quarterback. The quarterback has to be able to run and throw equally well along with being very intelligent. The man that will look to take over the reins at QB is Junior(RS) Brandon Williams. None of the quarterbacks on the roster have seen the field yet for Penn State so nobody had an edge on experience, but where Brandon stood above the rest was in his running ability. He isn't the fastest guy, but he is shifty and won't go down easily. The biggest question mark with Brandon is how will he take care of the ball. So far in the spring and fall practices he has had a tendency to put the ball on the turf which could cause major issues. Coach Ceps is excited about what Brandon brings to the table, and is ready to see how he will perform under the spotlight. Traditionally fleXbox One offenses use a stable of backs to carry the ball, and this year's Penn State team will be no different. It all starts with the fullback, as he is the first and most often used option in the triple option attack. The fullback spots looked bare for this season but there are two guys who look to win the job. First there is Senior Mike Rust, who is the leading candidate at this point, and then there is converted Sophomore TE Jon Hicks. If Rust wins the job then the plan will be to redshirt Jon Hicks this season and hope he develops into a more comfortable fullback for next year. The lack of talent at fullback is what could really hold back the offense this year. After the fullback comes the slotbacks where there is plenty of talent. All-American candidate Curtis Dukes returns after his 1079 yards season in 2012. Ordinarily SBs don't get a lot of carries in the fleXbox One, but when you have a guy like Dukes you have to get him the ball. The other slotback position will be a three man rotation between the two Freshman(RS) Doug Bernett and Carl Douglass, along with Senior Kyle Jackson. All three guys will get to see the field unless on can really seperate himself from the others. In the fleXbox One offense the guys that get the least credit, but are still valuable are the WRs and TEs. This year's corp will be young but talented. At receiver you will have Will Anderson and Michael Wade both are Sophomore(RS) looking to take advantage of their first starting roles. Anderson got spot playing time last year and when he did he showed the speed that has everyone talking this year. At TE Sophomore(RS) Dwayne Meadows will be the starter. Dwayne won't make a lot of catches, but will be instrumental when used as a blocker. As is the case with every offense, the fleXbox One offense starts and ends in the trenches. If the Nittany Lions can win the battle up front week in and week out they will have a chance to compete for the Big 10 title. The line is lead by their lone Senior Mark Arcidiacono. Mark is one of the best linemen in the country and should help this relatively young line progress and mature throughout the season. The Guard spots are anchored by two gifted linemen, Junior(RS) Patrick Mathis and Sophomore(RS) Aaron McCarty. Then at the Tackles you will have Sophomore(RS) Nick Weber and Junior(RS) Jake Duncan. The line may not have much experience but they will have a lot of talent and a lot will be expected of this group in 2013. The defense is where the true talent of the Nittany Lions lies. This defense will look to be one of the best in the country and much of this team's success will rest on their shoulders. Coach Ceps will look to install at 4-2-5 scheme and has some athletes that can execute it. The secondary will be a tough group to pass successfully on. On the outside the two corners will be Senior(RS) Curtis Crake and Junior(RS) Alan McMillan. The most important postition in the 4-2-5 is the free safety position. The FS of this year's team will be Senior(RS) Gerald Hodges. Hodges didn't see the field a lot last year, but looks to have a breakout year. The Strong and Weak safety will be played by Senior(RS) Malcolm Willis and Sophomore(RS) Mike Clarke. These two physical and fast safeties will look to be strong in the passing game and running game. The group in the middle will look to be intimidating and imposing. LB James Warren is back for his Senior year after tallying 86 tackles a year ago. The other linebacker will be Junior(RS) Keith Williams who made 69 tackles last year and looks to become a defensive leader this year. Penn State is very deep at linebacker, as they have Jeff James and Adam Bush looking to get some key minutes from time to time. The defensive line will look to be key in slowing down some of the top rushing offenses in the nation. The best of the bunch will be LE Senior(RS) Sean Stanley. Stanley looks to build on his 60 tackle, 6 sack season a year ago. The other DE will be played by two guys, Sophomore Victor Simmons and Freshman Roger Rodgers. For teams looking to run up the middle, they may need to look somewhere else, because the two DTs for the Nittany Lions look to be mean and nasty. Both guys, Stephen Stevens and Cody Smart, are Sophomore(RS) and look to cause havoc in the Big 10 for a few more years. The most overlooked aspect of a team are the special teams units. The Penn State kicking game looks to be much improved over a year ago as they return both Sophomore K Jeff Jones and Sophomore(RS) P Rob Hart. The Nittany Lions return game will look to create some instant scores if the offense begins to struggle at any time during the season. The fastest two guys on the team Kyle Jackson and Will Anderson will look to take a few kicks back to the house this season. That is how the Penn State roster breaks down for this season, and while they may be a talented bunch it may not produce the results that some are hoping for. Coach Ceps has said that he doesn't think this is the best group that he will have in Happy Valley. He believes that with a full year of recruiting this year the team will improve a lot. The good thing for Nittany Lion fans is the fact that this team only has 65 players total, 9 of which are seniors. So that will leave Coach Ceps with 16 scholarships to work with in filling in the holes that this year's team may have. Until this season gets underway no one will know how the Nittanny Lions will stack up against the rest of the nation, but on paper they look to be BCS Bowl material.