Sorting through the Penn State mailbag while suggesting the Lions will need to defend the Illinois option better than they have the last two years:
A couple of questions:
How did you think Penn State will do in the Big Ten?
Do you think this is Joe's last year? It is sad to see him not be able to run around like he once did.
Do you think Koroma and Evans will be back this year?
1) Before the season started, I saw at least three losses in the Big Ten. Now I'm wavering, particularly on the trip to Purdue, which I previously saw as a loss. There's no team on the schedule the Lions can't beat, but there's still three or four that can beat them.
2) Because he's been the head coach since I used to watch TV Quarterbacks with my dad (who turns 77 today, BTW), it's hard to envision anybody else on the sidelines. At the same time, if he continues to struggle physically, I can not envision him coaching next year.
3) This year or this Saturday?
I'm really not thrilled with this quarterback carousel thing. And the Big Ten Network announcers weren't, either.
Is there any rhyme or reason to when Devlin plays? He shouldn't be in there unless the dogs have been called off late in the second half. Is Joe just trying to appease him so he doesn't transfer?
Speaking of dogs, you're barking up the wrong tree!
I think it's very smart to play Devlin for a few reasons - he's worthy of playing time, he'll need experience in case Clark gets hurt and, yes, he would consider transfer if he receives less of an opportunity than he is getting now.
Because neither has proven he can win a tight game on the road simply because neither has been in one - although Clark deserves credit for his role and contribution to the Alamo Bowl victory - both need all the preparation available.
Regardless of what the Big Ten Network announcers say. What channel are they on, anyway?
What will it take for the Lions to start winning again on the road? Is it really as simple as opening up the offense?
St. Paul, Minn.
People don't want to hear this, but usually the formula starts with an offensive line and a running game balanced by the pass. Not vice versa.
And it would help to cover kickoffs.
I am having trouble running out at 57 after a summer running injury. God only knows at 81.
Let's hope your fingers stay strong!
New York City
I thought it was cool that they brought out Babe Ruth's daughter for the closing of Yankee Stadium.
In what is looking more and more like Joe's final season, do you think he will be more aggressive than ever and may do something unPaterno like?
Things like playing more true freshman, playing players whose grades may not be where they were in the past and, one thing I hate to say, playing kids who may have had an issue or two off the field if they can clearly help them on the field?
Even though he's had less input into disciplinary action, and plenty of players have gotten second chances, Joe has acted quickly on recent off-the-field matters.
But I do sense the closer we get to the end of the Paterno Era, the more anxious everyone is for one more perfect/possible sendoff season.
To that end, if a loss does come, I hope he can handle it.
Rudel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will respond to brief comments in Gameday. Names and towns must be included. Longer letters will be considered for the Mirror's Voice of the Fan page.