Friday, August 29, 2008

Tony Hunt Update

Lookin' Good in Midnight Green

A little over a week ago, PSU football alumnus/Tennessee nightmare Tony Hunt was asked to play FB on the Iggles. Not a bad move. Andy Reid finally realizes that kind of talent just can't be bottled up on the sideline. The only problem I have with this move is the timing; why wasn't this done at the end of last season? Now, Tony has to move to a position he is only slightly familiar with in an exponentially more intricate offense.

So how has Tony performed? Depends. As far as FBs go, he is marginal-he just lacks size. If he had the opportunity in the offseason to gain some weight, it might change things. That being said, I am currently going over the last two dvr'd games, and I have to admit: I am kind of excited about this.

Tony, at FB, has thusfar excelled in blitz pickup, as well as picking up a LB last night in a run blitz. He made an outstanding play on special teams, and has caught the ball with great poise out of the backfield. The first half was going great for him against the Jets' scrubs-he did all main functions of a FB (lead blocking, pass blocking, and short yardage). However, the last play wherein he was the lead blocker for Booker, he reverted to a RB, hit the hole hard, and didn't wait for Booker to follow him. The result was a Jets LB shooting the gap and making an easy play. His only mistake, really.

In short, I am happy with this move-Tony gets some serious PT, and a chance to show what he can do. He is still marginal in lead blocking, but he showed good signs of improvement last night, albeit against the backups.

/takes off Iggles glasses.

Now that the bias is removed, I would hate this move if I were a non-Iggles PSU fan. Why? Tony is a RB. He is a punishing, between the tackles bruiser who gets better with every carry during the game. Moving him to FB might get him some more experience, but not at the position he was designed for. The Eagles should release him, and let another team put him in his natural position. Which looks like this:

/puts glasses back on

In looking at the RB situation, it would appear that this move is most likely temporary. In this case, Buckhalter is in the last year of his contract, and Booker isn't going anywhere. After Buck is gone, Tony slides back to RB, and in 3 years is a compliment to Booker (should be other way around-ed) as Westbrook winds down.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

PSU vs. CC

Right now, every PSU blog is producing some kind of in-depth preview of Coastal Carolina. And that's fine-they all do wonderful jobs in their own right.

You will receive none of that here, for the reasons set forth in the last post. It's ridiculous. Why would I spend my time researching a team I cannot take seriously? Yes, I'm bitter, and TINNOMJ has done a great job already breaking down what our third stringers will be facing.

What do I hope for?
  • No injuries.
  • Clarke and Devlin show competent execution through the air.
  • Good weather.

So welcome to Happy Valley, Chanticleers. Your money is on the dresser. We're done here, whore.

PSU 45 CC -10

EDIT: admittedly, Mike over at BSD gives me some perspective on why I should go to this game. Well played, Mike. You almost sold me. Almost.

Moving on...

Admiral Akbar Award for Week 1

This season's inaugural AAA goes to.....

Nah. Just kidding. Too easy/obvious to be a "trap" game for Michigan. Last year's bedshitting to Appalachian State is still fresh in their minds and noses, and I highly doubt Michigan will be playing conservative football. I fully expect Michigan to come out swinging, DickRod style, minus the token 10 bubble screen gameplan. You don't remember what happened last year? OK, one last time:

Verily, schadenfreude at its best. Still, I am sure this weekend the Michigan faithful will be a little uneasy until the final gun. And for those faithful, I offer comfort in case of defeat: you still get to play Penn State. There is always hope.

No, I hereby award the following matchup into the Order of Akbar:

Why you say? A number of factors. For one, USC has a date with TOSU next week, a #2 vs. #3. I'm pretty sure USC will opt for conservatism in lieu of preparation for upcoming schedule.

Further, as of late, USC usually has one or two head-scratching losses per year. These guys are so loaded with (paid) talent every year, it's near-inconceivable that they drop a game to say, Stanford (2007), Oregon State and UCLA (2006). Why not get their inevitable loss to an unranked team out of the way now, and then run the table to get a shot at the national championship? Why not indeed.

That, and I truly dislike USC. Not as much as Notre Dame, but maybe a distant second.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Almost There....

Four more days until football life begins anew for every PSU fan out there. Four more days until we can shake off the tailgating cobwebs, and truly enjoy a mild Saturday in the cow pastures. These are days full of grilling, cornhole, drinks with friends at 8 AM, and screaming "WE ARE" until your lungs turn inside-out. That is, until one looks at our first matchup. Peep this:

This will be the first PSU football opener I have missed in some time. Why? I refuse to spend my hard-earned money on tickets, hotels, and provisions just to watch this crap. "The Chanticleers"? Really? I cannot believe that with around 54 non-BCS schools in D-1, that the best we could get to kick off the year was a second tier DII(yes, I know they changed the designation. I don't care.) team. These guys have been around for a whole 6 years.

And why would I bother attending? I can give you a pretty accurate forecast of what will occur:

  • PSU goes uber-conservative in playcalling, not wanting to give any future opponent any usable gametape.
  • Score easily, pad the statistics, make sure all starters get some playing time, and then throw in the backups. Then the seniors. Then that guy who plays the cowbell. Then the starting lineup of the State College H.S. cheerleading squad.

Don't get me wrong; I will be watching via the BTN. It's been about 8 months since the Lions last took the field, and I am jonesing for some football. I will cheer when they show Joe leading the boys onto the field. I will hold my breath for the text message informing me the results of the drum major's flip attempt. I will overflow with nostalgia when I see the lion. And I know others at home will be just as afflicted with the pain of not being there.

It's just a shame that I will have to switch over to another channel during commercials to watch a quality game. Ultimately, the most depressing aspect of this matchup is that people will fill the stadium, regardless of opponent, giving those with power statistical leverage to maintain their scheduling joke.

Did I say 4 days? I meant there is a scrimmage this weekend, and in 11 days, we get to see what PSU can do against a decent OOC opponent. That's when the real football begins.

And of course, I blame Jim Delaney. He would do well running Disney.