Morelli OnLion: 10 Questions

It’s the spring weekend Penn State football fans look forward to every year.

It’s Blue-White Weekend. With the annual Blue-White Game just days away, we’ll take a look at the top 10 questions facing the Penn State football team as it enters the scrimmage, which signals the end of spring practice.

Off we go.

10 Questions

There are plenty of issues facing the Penn State football team as it prepares for the 2011 season. Here are 10 of the best questions:

Who’s The QB? – This is, perhaps, the most important question. Is the QB Rob Bolden or Matt McGloin? Or could it be dark horse candidate Paul Jones? The guess here is that McGloin is the starting QB and will remain the starter until he is unseated. We didn’t see enough from Bolden to anoint him the starter just yet. Jones was apparently impressive enough last season to merit a redshirt. Nonetheless, we like McGloin to start the 2011 season no matter what happens in Saturday’s Blue-White Game.

Running back Silas Redd will try to fill the shoes of PSU's all-time leading rusher Evan Royster.

Is Silas Redd the Real Deal? – With the departure of Evan Royster, big things are expected from running back Silas Redd. We’ve seen some excellent runs from Redd, who clearly has the skills to be one of the most explosive running backs in the Big Ten. The question is: Can Redd be a 20-carry per game running back? The guess here is yes, but the jury is still out.

Will the O-line survive without The Wiz? – With Stefen Wisniewski gone, all eyes will be on the offensive line. Will it be able to protect the QB? Will it be able to open holes for the backs? It’s certainly a question worth asking. Wisniewski was the glue that held the O-line together. Without him, it will certainly have a different look. Stay tuned.

Is Moye the Man? – Big things are expected from senior wideout Derek Moye. However, we won’t see him on Saturday as he is out of the Blue-White lineup with a concussion. Moye is a gamer, that’s for sure. He will be one of the most explosive players in the lineup when the 2011 season begins.

How do the linebackers stack up? – While there’s no Navorro Bowman, Sean Lee or Poz in this year’s group, word is that the linebackers have been pretty impressive during spring practice. Nate Stupar and Michael Mauti should be more than solid at LB. Gerald Hodges and Khairi Fortt have also stepped up this spring. According to Devon Still, the group has enjoyed a productive spring. “The linebacker corps we have now is the best I’ve seen in a while,” Still said.

Will the special teams be special? – Let’s face facts: Penn State’s special teams are never stellar, but they’re usually able to avoid disaster. The Lions lost placekicker Collin Wagner to graduation, so filling his shoes will be the biggest challenge. With no opportunity to block punts and kicks at the Blue-White Game, it’s hard to get an accurate reading of how good the special teams are. However, accuracy will be on display and that’s always interesting to watch, especially in challenging weather conditions.

Can the D-line be dominant? – Devon Still is expected to be a force along the defensive line and there’s no reason to believe he can’t be one of the best defensive linemen in the Big Ten. There’s plenty of talent along the D-line. Now, it’s up to defensive line coach Larry Johnson to make the most of it.

Will the Blue-White Game help recruiting? – When so many fans show up for a scrimmage, it has to impress recruits. The Blue-White Game has truly turned into a spectacle, so it has to help in the long run. There will be plenty of recruits invading Happy Valley this weekend. It’s the perfect stage to impress them.

Will 2011 be Joe Paterno’s last season? – The guess here is no. While Paterno will be in the radio booth on Saturday, he hasn’t indicated that the 2011 season will be his last. He appears to be energized, so although he hasn’t gotten a contract extension, we’re guessing that he will remain at Penn State for at least two more seasons.

Will it rain? – For the Blue-White Game? You bet.

Chris Morelli is an award-winning writer/editor who lives in Centre County and covers Penn State athletics for gantdaily.com. He’s also a regular on “Sports Central,” which airs on ESPN Radio in Altoona and State College. E-mail him at morellionlion@gmail.com. Also, be sure to check out Morelli OnLion on Facebook!

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