September 9, 2010

Blue & White Roundtable: the Alabama edition

This week's Blue & White Roundtable is brought to you by Kevin over at Penn State Clips. It's Alabama week so it's time to get serious after all these are the defending national champs.

1) Penn State's historical tendency is to "turtle up" on offense for big road games, playing not to lose instead of playing to win. What approach will we take Saturday?
If by 'turtle up' you mean go all Leonardo on their asses and dice up their defense like a hot Katana through butter then hell yes PSU is going to turtle up! Ok, not really they probably will do exactly what they do every year, go conservative because of the young quarterback and hope the loss of Mark Ingram slows down the Alabama attack. Penn State will probably play to keep it close and pray someone makes a big play late. Of course it won't work (it never does) but that's probably what we'll see. Hey, I'm prepared for it I've seen it far too often to get upset about it anymore.

2) Alabama has lost their last two games to Big Ten teams (to Michigan in the 2000 Orange Bowl and Minnesota in the 2004 Music City Bowl). What will it take for Penn State to make it three in a row? How much will Bama miss the Offensive and Defensive MVPs from the 2010 BCS Championship Game, Mark Ingram and Marcell Dareus?
Hey, wait a minute, there's no way the pride of the SEC has lost the last two games to the slow Big Ten. That can't be right can it!?!? Well don't look for it to happen three in a row even with the loss of their Defensive and Offensive MVP's from last year. Running backs Eddie Lacy and Trent Richardson combined to rush for 177 yards and 4 touchdowns last week and the Tide rolled out 591 yards of offense while scoring TD's on their first two drives to take a 31-3 lead at halftime. They also held San Jose St. to 3 points so I don't think Alabama is going to miss a beat. It will be a tough test for a young Penn State team.

3) If I see__________early in the game it will make me happy. If I see__________early in the game it will make me sad. (Be as expansive as you want.)
I'll yet again be watching the offensive line early on. If they are opening up running lanes and giving Bolden time I will be very, very happy and Penn State might just have a chance. If it seems like the line is getting pushed around it is going to be a loooonnnnngggg night.

4) Three 40+ Field Goals; four touchbacks in eight kickoffs; a touchdown on a kickoff return; a new punt protection scheme...Have the Penn State Special Teams turned the corner or is the jury still out?
Oh, the jury is still out but I was GREATLY impressed. After watching a couple seasons of terrible special teams play it appears they have found the right guys for the job. Anthony Fera's leg is for real and where did Collin Wagner come from? One thing is for sure, the special teams are no longer the liability they once were and they may actually become an asset.

Quick Hits
* Pick a side: PSU +11.5 or Bama -11.5? PSU +11.5
* This game has one of the lowest Totals (44) on the board: Over or Under? Over
* Penn State rushing yards, Over or Under 130? Under
* Where will you watch the game? Friend's basement (no he's not a blogger and no it's not his mom's house).

*Does Penn State's Women's Volleyball win streak end this weekend? No. WAY!


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