This week the Blue White Round Table adds a new contributing member, with PennLive.com 50-Yard Lion getting in the act. As usual, Black Shoe Diaries will have a full recap tomorrow. With the dawning of Big Ten play this weekend, it looks like we have some pretty familiar questions to work through.
Is it worth starting Matt McGloin this week at QB? Will we settle the QB competition this week, or are we destined to see this last throughout the Big Ten schedule?
Against Indiana I do not see the harm in starting McGloin. Indiana's defense is nothing to be afraid of regardless of who is playing quarterback for Penn State. I think the offense will focus more on the run against the Hoosiers anyway, but the play of the quarterbacks will certainly be under a microscope this weekend, again.
As for the QB competition being settled, let's just hope so. I know I'm tired covering it, the players are tired talking about it, and the fans are tired pulling their hair out about it. I am flat out stunned it has taken this long to make that tough call. I do think that this will be the final week that we some shuffling and that next week against Iowa we will see one full-time quarterback, but I also thought that it would be settled after the Temple game, and after the Eastern Michigan game so what do I know?
Penn State is deep at linebacker, but Mike Mauti was one of the best players on the field. How much will his absence impact this defense? Can Nate Stupar keep up the frenetic pace he set last week in Mauti's absence?
I think Stupar will fall back a little on the enthusiasm level, but considering the situation it looks like Penn State is in as good a situation as possible. Having a fifth year senior like Stupar is a nice luxury to have and although he will not match Mauti's overall impact on the defense, Penn State could have worse options.
Losing Mauti will take its toll in some games, but this week the impact should be somewhat minimal.
Let's turn to Indiana. Highly regarded assistant coach takes over a struggling, low-tradition program. Is Kevin Wilson the guy to turn it around? Shouldn't they be at least a little better than they've looked this year?
It's pretty hard to turn around a program without any players that can do anything. With Indiana, they really have to work their way up form the bottom and with Kevin Wilson's sytem it will take time to start seeing any kind of change. Obviously losing to North Texas was a little embarrassing, but look at Wilson has been doing. He has already landed a top quarterback recruit and that got people talking about Indiana football at times when nobody would ever think of discussing the Hoosiers. Baby steps, slowly but surely, piece by piece.
Kevin Wilson may not be the guy that makes Indiana a Big Ten contender, but if given time he could be the guy to get them in the right direction.
Pick one - Dukes or Beachum.
Well, Beachum is not playing this week, so I'll go with Dukes. Honestly I think I need to see more of Dukes before making a real decision between the two, and I hope BEachum comes back soon because I think having him in the mix can be an underrated asset for the offense.
My question is this though. Will we ever see Stephfon Green again?
Penn State has never lost to Indiana, and I expect that perfect streak to continue for at least one more year. Penn State in a blowout that won't look like it because, well, that's what Indiana does. Let's throw in a couple touchdown passes by Matt McGloin too for good measure and to add some more fuel to the fire.