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Penn State Football: Mailbag Talks Guns and Roses, Bill Belton and Kick Returners

by on September 06, 2012 8:00 AM

Heading into the second week of the season Penn State is looking to bounce back from a 24-14 loss to Ohio.

Virginia will pose quite the challenge on the road but Penn State ought to look a lot better on both sides of the ball with the emotional start of the season out of the way.

Each week I'll answer a few questions asked by you the reader. Feel free to join the conversation on twitter at @Ben_Jones88 or the email located on my profile page.

@nittanydave83 asks: Are Belton and Morris practicing? 

As of Wednesday, Bill Belton had yet to see the practice field after suffering a ankle sprain in the second half of the Ohio game. Bill O'Brien said earlier in the week that Belton's latest return date would be Thursday in order to make the trip this weekend. A few team sources don't think Belton will be ready in time to go, but he's listed as "possible" on the official injury report. It might be until the plane lifts off from the University Park airport before we know Belton's fate.

Morris, who suffered a similar injury was in pads and participating in drills on Wednesday. Gerald Hodges also was fine and ready to go after suffering an unspecified leg injury this past weekend.

@SpitThatHotFire asks: Kick returning duties?

Bill O'Brien admitted that the Gerald Hodges experiment may have been a mistake. The plan continues to be having open competitions each week, but players like Adrian Amos and Alex Kenney ought to start to separate themselves in the long haul for those duties. O'Brien didn't specifically say Hodges would be out of the mix, but in all likelihood he'll play a less prominent role. 

@MikeKulick asks: Who is your breakout player prediction?

Allen Robinson was impressive with 9 catches for almost 100 yards receiving and he ought to be the go to for the rest of the season. It might not be a surprise that he is playing so well after a great spring and summer session, but he's a player that ought to have made a name for himself by the end of the season. Freshman tight end Kyle Carter is also a sleeper to make some noise on offense.

@cefetter16 asks: If (Adam) Breneman enrolls in January does that count against 2012 or 2013 class?

Good question. In a weird, loop hole way, in the case of the 2013 recruiting class, if a player graduates from high school early and enrolls at Penn State by January, that player counts towards the 2012 scholarship limit. Penn State’s total scholarship reduction doesn’t begin until the 2014-15 school year, when the Lions’ limit shrinks from 85 to 65 for four seasons. Penn State also can’t sign more than 15 players – down from 25 – for the next four seasons. It's a confusing to work out in your head, but for now Bill O'Brien can try and squeeze players in before things get hectic in 2014.

@wild_banshee asks: What is the mood like in practice? 

Michael Zordich said that the team had Sunday to come to terms with the loss and after that it was business as usual. Wednesday's practice featured quite the playlist blasting out of the six speakers surrounding the field.

  • Welcome to The Jungle- Guns and Roses
  • Tom Sawyer- Rush
  • Till I Collapse- Eminem
  • Back in Black- AC/DC
  • Smells like Teen Spirit- Nirvana


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