Blue White Illustrated

February 2022

Penn State Sports Magazine

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4 F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 2 Site Lines ON WHETHER OPTIMISM IS WARRANTED IN 2022 … I think the offensive line will be improved, and overall, the offense will be much more balanced. I think we will see improvement if we stay healthy, but that's pretty unlikely. We just lack depth at offensive line, linebacker, defensive line. This team is young with 34 guys still freshmen in terms of eligibility. Hopefully we see progress, but there is not enough depth and top-end talent to make this team a contender in the Big Ten. — Owenarndt I guess optimism depends on what your definition of success is. I'd be much happier with a 7-5 season in which we play a bunch of young guys (including a quarterback) than say 9-3 or 8-4 with an up-and-down Sean Clifford. — Acg116 I'm optimistic, but heck, I'm always optimistic. We were in every game this season except maybe the bowl game due to the defense being gutted with opt-outs. We did play seven teams that were ranked at differ- ent times, with an injured quarterback and questionable offensive line and no running game, and we were still in every game. There are big questions for next season, fewer for the '23 season. But '22 still could be interesting if we finally put the offensive line we always hope for together. Massive issues to address on the offensive and defensive lines and at linebacker, but with a little portal help we might be surprised next year. Did I say I'm an optimist? — Steelhead52 Certainly, the talent and potential are there The ever-present question of the offensive line, however, looms ominously over any progress. A second issue is whether or not our defense can prevail in the fourth quarter and close out games. If these elements do not improve significantly, we are still a 7-6 team. — DSCP I'm highly confident that while Jahan Dotson is a huge loss, our offense will be markedly better next year. (I realize the baseline is pretty low.) But I also believe our defense may take a step back, with particular con- cern at linebacker. Bottom line, somewhat similar to this year going in, neither 7-5 nor 10-2 would surprise me next year. (OK, maybe 10-2 would be bit of a surprise.) — PineIslandLion ON HOW TO FIX THE OFFENSIVE LINE'S STRUGGLES … The offensive linemen didn't fit the running scheme Penn State wanted to execute … which created an absolute mess that, quite frankly, derailed the season completely. … The most important thing this offseason as far as the run game is concerned is to get Phil Trautwein and Mike Yurcich on the same page with the block- ing scheme. If they can do this, you'll see a massive improvement on Saturdays. A good rushing attack really opens everything else up, and Mike [Yurcich] has even said that himself. That's the key. — NittanyLionHeart A good team recruits and develops athletes to fit the scheme they wish to run. Penn State did not have the athletes to run the scheme the offensive coordinator wanted to run. It was a set of square pegs jammed into round holes. This was not a group of starters, at least at the beginning of the season, that Trautwein recruited. Next year and the year after that will be illuminating, as the majority of the offensive line will have been selected and developed by Traut. — OldFrog26 ON THE RECEIVERS' OUTLOOK … Parker Washington is pretty much a possession wide receiver. I'm not sure if [newly arrived transfer Mitchell] Tinsley has that break- away speed we need or not. Now, Kaden Saunders has the break- away speed and hands we need. Omari Evans as well. — AK1967 I really thought Parker Washington showed great promise and was quite productive in 2021. And did it against Big Ten competition. Tinsley has those crazy numbers, but one should note that he played for West- ern Kentucky, which threw the ball for a gazillion yards in their offense. And even there, he was clearly the No. 2 receiver in their lineup and wasn't the primary concern for opposing defenses. — PSUFTG FEBRUARY 2022/VOL. 37, NO. 6 MANAGING EDITOR Matt Herb CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ryan Tice, Mark Panus WEBSITE EDITOR Nate Bauer STAFF WRITERS David Eckert, Greg Pickel RECRUITING REPORTER Ryan Snyder FOOTBALL ANALYST Thomas Frank Carr CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Phil Grosz, Lou Prato, Jim Carlson PHOTOGRAPHY Bill Anderson, Steve Manuel, Mark Selders COVER PHOTO Steve Manuel/Penn State Athletics DESIGN Jeanette Blankenship, Chris Miller F F F PUBLISHER Stu Coman BUSINESS MANAGER Linda Autry ADVERTISING SALES/MARKETING Michelle DeLee-Hamilton 877-630-8768 CIRCULATION MANAGER Sarah Boone CUSTOMER SERVICE Cathy Jones, Laura Thornton 800-421-7751 BLUE WHITE ILLUSTRATED (USPS 742-550) is published monthly, except June, by Coman Publishing Company, 905 W Main St, Ste 24F, Durham, NC 27701-2076. A one-year (11 issues) subscription is $59.00. First-class, digital and foreign rates available on request. Periodicals postage paid at Durham, NC 27701 and additional mailing offices. Printed by The Papers, Milford, Ind. POSTMASTER: Please send address corrections/changes to BLUE WHITE ILLUSTRATED, PO Box 2331, Durham NC 27702-2331. For advertising or subscription informa- tion call 1-919-688-0218 or write BLUE WHITE ILLUSTRATED, PO Box 2331, Dur- ham NC 27702. W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich has a number of areas to address on that side of the ball this offseason. PHOTO BY STEVE MANUEL C O M M E N T S F R O M T H E L I O N S D E N A T B L U E W H I T E I L L U S T R A T E D . C O M

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