Wild Bill: Hello Mark, I recently heard Dino Costa on Mad Dog Radio talk about how PSU and its football team are "back to normal". I think he said it with regret. I don't think things are nearly normal at all, and yet, are better than I expected for this stage of things. Your thoughts?
Mark Dent: Good question. I agree with you. I'd say there's no question things aren't normal. For one the cloud of the scandal won't go away for good for a long time. And if he meant negatively about fans and how much they care about football I'd say that's wrong. People still support penn state, and what's wrong with that? The actions of a few don't define an entire population
Wild Bill: With their leading rusher out, what does Iowa still do best that PSU will have to be ready to handle?
Mark Dent: Iowa has a great defense. It allows just 17-plus points a game. If it stops PSU and the crowd is wild, Iowa will have enough to compete. That said the RB Weisman is one of the best in the nation
Wild Bill: In our Big Ten games, is there a built in advantage because the others have to adjust to our new offense more than we have to learn about them?
Mark Dent: Interesting point. I'd say yes but only a small one. It's difficult to prepare for any team year to year given you only have a week to do it. So the new offense probably makes PSU a little tougher to plan for
409: Anything new with the kicker? Do you think O'Brien will stick with him for the season? I don't know if there are other options, but this year, I think it is more about sticking together (though I was happy PSU did "stick it" to Illinois.
Mark Dent: Definitely Ficken all the way. The best backup is DiSanto, a walkon. But don't expect B.O.B to go for a kick in a close game longer than 20 yards
Wild Bill: Were there any players who quietly needed the week off more than has been recognized?
Mark Dent: Bill Belton. I have a feeling his ankle has been lingering worse than any would admit.
Mark Dent: And McGloin just because he's an older guy who takes a beating each week
Wild Bill: I saw that none of the PSU linebackers made Sports Illustrated's mid season all star team. I'll still be interested to see where they stack up when the season's over. Oh - and a great PG article this week on John Urschel. What a scholar/athlete!
Mark Dent: Thanks Bill! Yeah that's a snub by SI. Mauti should be considered. Psu has a top 15 scoring defense
409: What does your gut tell you that PSU's record will end up being? What are the chances they can beat OSU, Nebraska, and Wisconsin? Is one of those a more likely win?
Mark Dent: I'll say this. This Iowa game will dictate the rest of the year. Win this and I see the momentum and the Psu offense rising above the weak Osu defense. I then see Psu able to beat Wisconsin w a probable loss at Neb. But with that loss, a division title is still likely
Wild Bill: I keep hoping that the Curley and Schultz trials will help to bring out some unknown truths and bring some understanding and closure to recent events, but I have my doubts. Do you think that might happen?
Mark Dent: Probably not. If Schultz/Curley go to trial they will continue to say what their lawyers have said. The stuff we already know. McQueary will say what he said at Sandusky trial. The wild card is Wendell Courtney, but I bet he dodges testifying on attorney-client privilege
Mark Dent: And if Curley/Schultz plead guilty we won't learn anything for sure, and a guilty plea is a definite possibility
Mark Dent: All right guys, thanks for chatting today
First Published October 18, 2012 1:00 AM