“View from the Philly Pressbox” – Penn State Blue-White 2012

In Penn State Football on April 22, 2012 at 10:21 pm

I have to say watching the 2012 Penn State football Blue-White game without Joe Paterno, Tom Bradley, Jay Paterno, Bill Kenney, Dick Anderson, and Galen Hall on the sidelines, or in the pressbox, was a very unusual site.

The Bill O’Brien era is under way. The crowd of 60,000 had a beautiful, sun drenched, day for football in Happy Valley.

Obviously, O’Brien and his staff have a great deal of work ahead of them. They’re installing new systems on both sides of the ball, as well is in the strength program. They need to learn the returning player’s strengths, weaknesses and personalities. All the while, O’Brien, in his first head coaching position, must learn all of the responsibilities of a head coach, off the field as well as on the field, while getting to know the new staff he has put together.

Once the game started I’m not actually sure what I saw, or think I saw, about the 2012 version of Nittany Lions. With the understanding that the new staff wasn’t planning to show much of their new schemes, we’re trying to filter out what we think we saw. The QB play seemed as erratic as it has been in the past. Matt McGloin, 22 plays, Paul Jones, 22 plays, Rob Bolden, 21 plays and Shane McGregor, 11 plays, saw the action. Combined the group completed 23 of 48 passes for 343 yards, 2 touchdowns and 5 interception, 3 by Bolden. The passing game was very simple and was somewhat successful with short passes. Where they had problems was throwing the ball down the field or in to tight spots. Overall, there seemed to very little difference in the top three guys so the competition will continue.

As far as the running game, Silas Read played only one series in the game. Read is a top notch running back and one of the best in the Big 10. With Read out of action it was tough to determine what you were watching. Overall, the offense rushed for 144 yards. Bill Belton, being converted from wide receiver/shotgun quarterback to running back rushed for a game high 52 yards. Fullback Zach Zwinak added 37 yards and a touchdown.

The receivers played well overall. Allen Robinson and Shawney Kersey led the team with 3 receptions each.

On the other side of the ball the defense collected 8 sacks to go with their 5 interceptions. The starting seven of Jordan Hill, DaQuan Jones, Sean Stanley, Pete Massaro, Mike Hull, Glenn Carson and Gerald Hodges appeared strong as a group. The defensive backs on the other hand were questionable. The DB’s and LB’s allowing 343 yards, mostly underneath, but did have the 5 interceptions and 8 sacks. There were times when it appeared the offense could run the ball at will.

That brings us to the offensive line, with only one returning starter. At times they looked good and at other times, looked adequate at best. They put up yards but they gave up sacks. They are surely a work in progress.

At the end of the day, the biggest concern still has to be the quarterback play. First of all, who will win the job? Secondly will they be better than they were last year? If the QB play isn’t better, the O-Line will need to improve quickly to allow Read and the running game to control the football. On defense, returning coaches Larry Johnson and Ron Vanderlindin will do a great job with their groups as they have for years. The DB’s need experience, depth and repetitions. All four starters graduated from the 2011 team. There’s experimenting going on there, with possible position changes to help in that area.

Summer workouts and Fall practice will be very extremely important in the growth of this team that returns 10 total starters. The season opener is September 1st against Ohio University at Beaver Stadium. They follow the opener with a game at Virginia, before returning home to play Navy and Temple before opening the Big 10 schedule.

It’s way too early to make any conclusions, however, our take-away from the Blue-White game is that there’s plenty of work to do.

Feel free to click the FOLLOW button on the bottom right of this page, input your email address and receive your Philly Pressbox posts directly in your email.

Philly Pressbox would like to thank our Sponsor, Feel free to click on the business card below and browse the store.


  1. Nice recap. How do you remember all of those stats? Do you record while there?

  2. I pretty much record everything since I can’t be at all of the events. All watch them all and try to figure it out from there. Thanks for the interest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: