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Penn State Football: Blue White Game Rigged? That And More In The Mailbag

by on April 19, 2016 2:00 PM

With spring ball done and the Blue White game a thing of the past it's time for one final mailbag to answer some of your burning questions as Penn State heads into the offseason. While more storylines will pop up as the temperatures rise, now is as good of time as any to answer five of your questions before closing this chapter and looking ahead towards training camp.

Does Franklin favor Tommy Stevens over McSorley?

You could come to the conclusion that Franklin's unwillingness to name McSorley the starter despite a long list of reasons why that would make sense to be a sign that he's hoping for Stevens to make a run at the job. Ultimately though there isn't any real motivation name a starting quarterback right now. McSorley isn't a finished product and an open competition in the very least pushes both players to get better each practice. Having a starter somewhat invites complacency and that's not something the offense can afford right now. So while it might sound like Franklin is rooting for Stevens, mostly he's rooting for both players to push each other towards becoming better quarterbacks.  

Was Blue/White game slightly rigged?

There is a certain amount of truth to the fact that playing a first team offense against a second team defense sets everything up for an awkward failure or an anticipated result. So in a sense, yes the game is slanted towards making both first team units look good on paper and on the field. At the same time the Blue White game hasn't always been the most watchable and even against second team units it hasn't always ended on a positive note. So sure, maybe things are slightly rigged, but at the same time you still have to execute and Penn State did that on Saturday. 

Could offense be better than defense for once?

It's always possible, especially since it appears that the offense is clicking pretty well as the spring comes to a close. Even so, this defensive unit isn't lacking talent or potential. Brent Pry might be a new coordinator on staff, but really in title only, his work with the defense the past two seasons hardly makes him a new face. A new quarterback and a new offensive coordinator coupled with an always interesting offensive line leaves a few question marks left unanswered. The offense might end up being better than it has in years past, but it seems unlikely that Penn State will go from being a defense-first program to an offensive explosion overnight. If anything this team might simply be more balanced, which is its own change of pace.

Is Blacknall for real?

If anyone has been waiting for a breakout season it's receiver Saeed Blacknall. He only has 18 career receptions, but nearly all of them seem to come at memorable moments. Chris Godwin pegged Blacknall as a potential breakout player in the bowl game, which goes to show how much his teammates think of his potential. Blacknall is in the right place at the right time, and sooner or later that's going to equate to a good season. This year seems like a promising bet to see that potential hit the field on a regular basis.

What about Miles Sanders?

With a strong outing from Andre Robinson and Mark Allen in the books, it's reasonable to wonder how Penn State is going to get both players, plus Saquon Barkley, plus the nation's top running back prospect in Miles Sanders all on the field. For the standpoint of eligibility it makes sense to redshirt Sanders, but then again if he's destined to leave after three seasons, it may make more sense to let him play instead of wasting a season of his services on the sideline. There are worse issues than having too many talented players, but finding a balance in the backfield will be a challenge this season. Barkley could do it all on his own, but it's hard to ignore what everyone else brings to the table.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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