What to Watch in Saturday's Blue-White Game

By Matthew Filipovits on April 19, 2018 at 7:59 am
Apr 22, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley (9) passes the ball during the second quarter of the Blue-White game at Beaver Stadium. The Blue team won 26-0. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

© Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports


The Blue-White Game always provides some fun insight into next season. With this year's scrimmage just a few days away, we took a look at some things to keep an eye on this Saturday.

The Offensive Line

Penn State returns five offensive linemen with starting experience, but it's still somewhat of a mystery as to how the starters will shake out. Right guard is a big question mark so keep your eye on guys like Michal Menet, CJ Thorpe, and Mike Miranda. 

The tackle situation should be interesting as well, with Ryan Bates, Will Fries, and Chasz Wright all having extensive playing time. Bates and Fries figure to be the starters, but Wright has plenty of experience as a fifth-year senior.

Backup Running backs

Miles Sanders is the starter. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't even play like Saquon did the past two spring games. 

This will be our first look at redshirt freshman Journey Brown. He has electric speed out of the backfield and figures to get plenty of action on Saturday.

Mark Allen and Johnathan Thomas have a ton of experience and both would surely love to contribute as much as possible during their senior years. Thomas got a shoutout from Franklin earlier this spring for the work he's put in. He's built a lot differently than the other backs on the roster so look to see how they use him in certain situations.

The Early Enrollees

The Nittany Lions currently have six early enrollees on campus. We all know about Micah Parsons and the team's grand experiment to try him at linebacker. He started the spring in the middle, but has settled in at an outside spot in recent weeks. Fellow freshman linebacker Jesse Luketa shouldn't be overlooked either. Brent Pry needs more depth, and these spring reps will give Luketa a leg up heading into the summer and fall. 

We had speculated during his recruitment about the possibility down the road, but Nick Tarburton made the move from linebacker to defensive end this spring. The Penn Ridge, PA native certainly has the size and strength to play with his hand in the dirt, but the line is a brand new spot for him.

Penn State needs some secondary depth so Trent Gordon and Isiaih Humphries have an outside shot at playing during their true freshman seasons. They should see some solid time in there with the younger players.

Keep an eye on tight end Zack Kuntz at as well. At 6-7, that should be relatively easy to do. Look out for how he's used in the redzone. He was very skinny for his size coming out of high school but but has quickly put on some muscle after spending the spring semester with Dwight Galt and Co.

New coaches

Penn State has a lot of new faces on their coaching staff this season.

Ja'Juan Seider is up from Florida to coach the running backs, David Corley left West Point to replace Josh Gattis as the receivers coach, Phil Galino takes the over on special teams, and Joe Moorhead pupil Tyler Bowen is now in charge of the tight ends.

A lot of new faces could mean some growing pains as the players get used to the way their new coaches handle in game situations. This will be a big learning experience for everyone involved, but getting this kind of experience will go a long way.

Rahne takes the reigns

We had a sneak peek at what the Rahne offense will look during the Fiesta Bowl.

Now it's time to see what he's able to do after a few months as the head play-caller. Obviously we won't get an extensive look at the new offense in the spring game, but hopefully, we'll be able to see how the offense will evolve under Rahne.

Spring games are a fun way to get some excitement around your program during what would otherwise be a pretty slow time of the year. We won't get too much information about the 2018 Nittany Lions, but let's hope Saturday ends with some of our more pressing questions answered.

Let us know what you'll have an eye on this Saturday in the comments.

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