I've come to enjoy the changes to PSU football with Bill O'Brien at the helm, but I'd like to see:
1) Christian Hackenberg keep the defense honest by tucking the ball and running (then sliding) on more occasions than he has.
2) Much more up tempo and no-huddle offense.
3) The hiring of a special teams coach. Anyone, please!
4) The elimination of defensive confusion. I'm not sure what the cause is (or where the fault lies). Last week against Nebraska you could see Ryan Keiser desperately trying to get his teammates' attention immediately before the snap on Nebraska's first TD and Adrian Amos doing the same on a long pass play.
5) PSU administrators taking more aggressive steps to fill the stadium for all home games. Putting homecoming 2014 on the Northwestern weekend (not Ohio State) is a great start.
"Parents weekend" should be a football weekend. Giving tickets to elementary schools around the state will pay future dividends and ideas like "applicants weekend" need to be explored.
Offense should be better in '14
My PSU observations:
Christian Hackenberg is a freshman, and it's shown at times this year.
I think Bill O'Brien should have had some sort of "we need a change" in some of the games that Hackenberg was clearly showing his immaturity.
Hackenberg has all of the raw talents, but he has either not yet grasped the offense or doesn't read defenses as well as his pedigree would have indicated. His lack of offseason work allows me to think that next year will be a great offensive year, or we will be talking about the next great freshman QB that O'Brien recruits.
Defensively, I'm not impressed even if I try to give John Butler a pass on talent available. Give Larry Johnson the nod; he understands PSU defensive pride.
Robinson was a special player
I enjoyed Neil Rudel's column on Dave Robinson last week.
Count me as one of the fortunate ones to see Dave Robinson play in 1962. I remember him well, and don't forget how he saved the Packers' 1966 NFL championship victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys were going in for the winning score very late in the game when Robinson nearly sacked Dandy Don Meredith on fourth-and-goal from inside the 5-yard line. Draped over Meredith, Robinson forced an errant pass that was intercepted in the end zone by the Packers.
At the time, I hated the Packers and loved the Cowboys, but my consolation was that a Penn State great saved the game. The Packers went on to play the Kansas City Chiefs in the first Super Bowl.
I was sad to hear of all the personal tragedy he has gone through and had to overcome outside of the racism.
Enjoyed walk 'down memory lane'
Neil Rudel's article on Dave Robinson provided a wonderful walk down memory lane for me.
I was at the first Liberty Bowl game in 1959. I think it was at Soldiers and Soldiers Stadium right on the river in Philadelphia. It was clear sky and very cool air; we were sitting on the shady side of the stadium.
I spent the summer of 1960 at Penn State in a Petroleum Engineering lab/office in the Hostler-Steidle building, two blocks from Beaver Field.
They worked day and night dissembling and moving the stadium. Not a moment of quiet.