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DoubleLion0408


MEMBER SINCE   August 01, 2016

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Comment 21 Aug 2019

Why would anyone be shocked? They had the best defense in the country last year and return all but one key player. They had the best QB in the Big Ten in 2017 and he is healthy unlike last year. They have the best game day coaching staff in the league. In a year when the Big Ten's best team is probably going to finish 10 and 2, it is hard to go against them.

Comment 21 Aug 2019

Talking to those outside the footprint is pretty helpful. Getting an outside perspective is always good practice. Personally, I would probably rank us between 23 and 25 if I had a vote behind Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa and Wisconsin (in that exact order) and just ahead of Nebraska and Northwestern in the Big Ten. Like most, I think we have the talent to crack the top ten this year but probably not the coaching given how strong the Big Ten looks during the pre-season.

Comment 16 Aug 2019

Oh we certainly do. Yes it is a limited sample but we have more than enough evidence to say Stevens has a better arm, and not by a little bit. He couldn't make throws a Big Ten QB is typically expected to make in college. There is a reason the Ravens turned him into the NFL's equivalent of an athlete as soon as they drafted him. They wanted him because he is a football player, not a quarterback.

Comment 16 Aug 2019

Sorry, not only were both throws not well placed, both were borderline uncatchable, especially Hamilton's, unless you are Calvin Johnson of course but there is only one Megatron. It was too far down field and to the opposite shoulder from where it should have been. That one is on Trace without question. We know Stevens is a better runner and we know he has a much better arm. Whether he can read defenses is another matter but given how much JoeMo simplified the offense to suite Trace, I don't think it even matters.

As for the defense, give it up. In 2016, the defense essentially played multiple extra games by snap count over the course of the season. The same goes for 2017 but to a lesser extent. That is on the offense and again, Trace's limitations as a starter are the biggest reasons. Deal with it.

Comment 16 Aug 2019

I don’t have a problem with Trace. He is awesome. With that said, the team would have probably been better if if he were the backup. A lot of the offenses (and by extension due to having to play way too many snaps) problems were the result of the passing game’s inability to challenge the entire field. Mostly the result of Trace’s arm limitations. Both of these are great examples of throws he was consistently off on throughout his career. 

Comment 16 Aug 2019

That is pathetic. I assume you are referring to the Hamilton drop against Pitt? The one thrown too far down the field and over the wrong shoulder which made it a very hard grab? I am assuming the Thompson’s throw you reference was the one against Michigan State that was throw high and behind him? 

Comment 15 Aug 2019

Last year he was able to simply maintain the groundwork JoeMo laid in 2016 and 2017. In short, he didn't have to do much. This year is a different story. Last year he had a glorified option QB in Trace and true dual threat in Stevens. They are gone. This year, he needs to evolve the offense to suite a mobile pro-style QB and his backup, who is another mobile pro-style QB. 2019 is a huge difference compared to 2018, especially given how badly he failed as a QB coach the last time he had a pro-style QB.

And sorry, McSorley's injury had almost no impact on the offense. The offense was not going to sustain its early season numbers one McSorley's limitations as a starter were fully unmasked, Injury or not. We lost to Ohio State, Michigan State and get destroyed by Michigan. Not a shock. They were better.

Comment 15 Aug 2019

It's what they did. They adjusted their corners, slid the strong safety back and it completely took away they deep ball with a minor adjustment which allowed them to focus on Barkley at the expense of giving Trace what should be easy throws for a good D1 QB only to see him blow the game with a bad pick right after nearly throwing a bad pick on a similar route.

Comment 15 Aug 2019

It's not the line, its the passing game. While 2016 is a bit of a odd batch of statistics, dividing the season into two blocks helpful. Pre-Gopher and post-Gopher. The post-Gopher era began once JoeMo said F it and threw out half the passing game because he QB couldn't execute and added more running from the position. This approach was great until the 4th quarter of the Rose Bowl when USC figured out they could take away the deep ball by simply by shifting their coverages without letting Barkley run wild. Since then, most teams have more or less mirrored that approach and the line has taken the blame when its play has been pretty good the entire time.
 

Comment 14 Aug 2019

"However, Dantonio retaining everyone on staff from the atrocity that was the 2018 Michigan State offense does not inspire much confidence."

This line is whey fan sites stink out load. The author gives lip service to the Spartan's injury situation early on but clearly doesn't understand how significant it was. The truth of the matter is, the Spartan staff, including the offense, were the Big Ten's best staff in 2018. Despite the injuries they were a better team than we were and were two fluke plays by Miles Sanders from shutting us out, at home.

Comment 13 Aug 2019

That is my take with Rahne. Either he gets it or doesn't. If he does, we set the stage for our first legit playoff run in 2020. We could get tantilizingly close like with did in 2016 or 2017 but were clearly not worthy of a top four ranking or Rahne doesn't and we fall way back. The schedule this year is nothing to laugh at. I don't see us getting through the big four without two losses and four wouldn't surprise me even if Rahne gets it. Then we have dangerous Minnesota, Pitt, Maryland and Indiana teams to contend with. We should beat the four even if Rahne doesn't get it but you never know if the offense slides and they panic and throw in a glorified option QB to get a run first QB on the field like we have had the last three years.

Comment 13 Aug 2019

I have a very good understanding of bowl selection. This is one of those years when a .500 record won't assure a bowl spot despite the massive number of games. If the season plays out as I expect it to, the Big Ten will fill its slots with winning teams. This means a .500 team will have to receive an at large bid and they can't jump an eligible team that is above .500. Most are expecting a bumper crop of winning teams from mid-majors.

Comment 13 Aug 2019

I am totally bi-polar when it comes to this particular team.

Scenario One - Ricky Rahne Gets It

Penn State goes 10 - 2. Drops two of the big four (Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Ohio State) comes up just short of the Big Ten title game but makes the New Year's Six.

Sean Clifford is first team all Big Ten

Pat Freiermuth is first team all-American, leads Penn State in catches and TDs.

Robert Windsor is our best player

Scenario Two - Ricky Rahne Doesn't Get It

The offense reverts to pre-JoeMo form. Penn State loses to the big four and drops one or two more games to Indiana/Maryland/Pitt/Minnesota finishing 6 and 6 and misses out on a bowl game because all slots are filled with winning teams

Pat Freiermuth leads Penn State in catches and TDs but is not an all-American

Robert Windsor is our best player

A true freshmen finishes the year starting at QB

Comment 09 Aug 2019

Except for all those teams with consistently high blue chip ratios that can’t win 10 games to save their life and a pile of teams with lesser ratios consistently winning. The blue chip ratio is over-rated. The fact that when certain coaches maker offers to lesser prospects they are immediately bumped into blue chip status is all you need to know. 

Comment 05 Aug 2019

Trace is not the issue. He has never been the issue. Trace is a warrior. We are better for having him even if he put a lower ceiling on the team than Stevens might have. This is all Franklin and his frequently shoddy judgement, hypocrisy and personal brand of cronyism. Trace being installed without a legit competition and not being subject to competition for the starting job in 17 and 18 is  it one of growing pattern of symptoms. All showing that he isn’t the man to get us to the playoffs. 

Comment 05 Aug 2019

You know James Franklin didn't want to fire John Donovan despite his job being on the line and the only reason he is still the head coach is because Sandy made him do it. Why would he promote his guy to offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach when he was a complete failure at the later the first go around demonstrating a level of incompetence rarely seen at the D1 level? He has some pretty severe judgement issues.

Why would any coach pick the player with the lesser ceiling if the competition was as close as Franklin says it was? Here is a hint. It wasn't fair. It cost us two playoff births. It is nothing against Trace. He was a solid (not good, not above average, solid) player that made the most of playing with Barkley, Godwin, Gesicki and Hamilton. Once they were all gone, he quickly turned into a below average dual threat QB just like the non-Kool aid drinkers said he would. There was not a legit QB battle. There should have been, especially after Trace McTurnover lost the Pitt game and then the Rose Bowl in 2016.

Comment 04 Aug 2019

Stop this. I don't "believe" for a second that Trace ever beat out Stevens. I have been told (I am not telling who so don't ask but that won't stop me from making questions known) McSorley was handed the job in 2016. He didn’t win it and was protected from competition the subsequent two years. It is darn good thing it didn’t completely backfire on Franklin. It merely cost him two playoff appearances. The fact of the matter is, we are very likely to be a considerably better team without him. Too bad Stevens transferred. Of course, that means nothing as Franklin has shown that he is not above an unfair competition. Does anyone know who Franklin like better personally because whoever that is is the winner?

The bigger issue is, "has Ricky Rahne and Franklin learned from their mistakes with Hackenberg and can they evolve Moorhead's offense to suite a pair of pro-style QBs?" That is the only question that really matters at this point. If the answer is no, we'll see the freshmen by mid-season and hopefully a new head coach in 2020 if Rahne deep sixes the current team.

Comment 02 Aug 2019
Most receptions Pat-Freiermuth – Not a common choice but between a massive improvement in the passing game with Clifford at QB (so long as Rahne doesn’t blow it) and expected improvement at the receiver position as much as I expect, defenses will choose death by a 1,000 cuts and single cover Freiermuth more often than not than die by the big play. Most likely to become a fan favorite Devyn Ford/Noah Cain – For the first time in years, we will have a back that runs with power. Position group seen as the biggest strength Running Back – This one is a no brainer. Franklin pulls in starzzz, but other than flashes from a couple of players, we have not seen much development from a Franklin recruit at receiver which eliminates that position group until proven otherwise. Running back wise, while Barkley was an O’Brien target, Franklin sealed the deal on a prospect he would have normally bypassed, we got good production from Sanders and flashes from Slade so I think we are in good shape. Adding Ford and Cain to the mix balances the unit nicely. Most questionable position group Wide Receiver – The line is a popular pick but the reality is the below average passing game of the McSorley era was the problem, not the big uglies. Receiver wise, as noted above, our best players during the Franklin years (Hamilton, Godwin, Thompkins) were all O’Brien recruits. Hamler showed flashes, just as Blacknall and Polk did. Until I see someone step up, I am going to consider this position group a liability. Ceiling and floor for the offense Ceiling – Top unit in the Big Ten and strong enough to challenge for a national championship. Ricky Rahne is the key. He has been tasked to evolving Joe Moorhead’s basic offense to suite two legit pro-style arms, both of which are mobile and athletic, but not the glorified option QB Trace was. If he figures this out, the sky is the limit. Floor – If Rahne doesn’t figure it out, the floor is a return to the John Donovan years, mostly. The last time Ricky Rahne had a pro-style player as QB coach; it was a complete and utter disaster. Ricky ruined his footwork, his throwing motion while John Donovan ruined his shoulder killing his career before he started. While Rahne has the benefit of a coherent scheme left by Moorhead, he is tasked with evolving it to suit the talent on hand so it won’t be so bad, but the Big Ten is much better than it was then. The floor is probably losses to Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa and maybe one or two to any combination of Pitt, Maryland, Minnesota, Indiana or Purdue.