Wild Bill: Hello again, Mark. Is there any reason to think that OSU's line play will be more than PSU can handle? And if not, I can't think of a reason why PSU should not be favored Saturday.
Mark Dent: There is not a reason. OSU has been good despite a line that is not excellent because Miller has been so good when plays break down
Silas Redd: Mark, give us a score prediction for the weekend's game against OSU...
Mark Dent: My score prediction: PSU 35, OSU 24
Mark Dent: I really think PSU will roll. Ohio State gave up 49 to IU, and I'm not convinced Miller will be 100 percent
Wild Bill: Could PSU place some of its academically gifted players on academic scholarships next year, saving some athletic scholarships for new recruits? Or would the NCAA call that cheating the sanctions?
Mark Dent: As I am aware, PSU couldn't put its current players on athletic scholarship to an academic, but it could give academic scholarships to gifted recruits. That said, I don't think they could give a full scholarship unless he is Urschel level genius. So maybe an in-state kid could take that deal
Silas Redd: No, I mean a real prediction...you can't possibly think PSU has a chance in this one.
Mark Dent: Why do you think OSU will win? Its D has been mediocre all season and it barely beat Purdue last week
Mark Dent: Penn State is as good as anyone in the weak Big Ten
Wild Bill: I read that Urban Meyer has been told that Beaver Stadium is the loudest place to play in the Big Ten, and was a little surprised to hear that. Really - louder than Michigan or Nebraska?
Mark Dent: I think Meyer was just trying to say the right thing. Iowa is louder than Beaver Stadium and I'd say Nebraska is too from what I've been told.
Mark Dent: So do you all think PSU or OSU will win?
Silas Redd: Well for one thing, I think we all know that playing a Big 10 team teaches us nothing about how good a football team is this year. This is the first big stage that many of these young PSU players have faced all year, and the media coverage will be all over this matchup. That could be challenging to keep the focus of the younger starters.
Mark Dent: I sort of agree Silas but PSU has had other media distractions all season. I personally think that, like the Lions' other opponents, OSU just isn't that great
Wild Bill: Where do you expect the Lions to attack the OSU defense?
Mark Dent: Mainly through the air. The OSU rush D isn't that bad, and I see BOB wanting to air it out early to excite fans and create an atmosphere
Keith: Do you think the recent play of the team will help lure recruits back to Penn State and maybe help keep Hackenburg?
Mark Dent: Keith, I do. The other day Hackenberg tweeted that he wanted to see Nittanyville. IMHO, it seems like PSU is having a lot of fun and the guys are really close. Add winning and that's a good environment even without postseason.
Wild Bill: I'd say the Lions by 14, regardless of final totals - might be lower scoring than we think.
Mark Dent: See I'm thinking high scoring for sure. Penn State has scored more than 35 in each Big Ten game
Mark Dent: I do think OSU will be very good next season. The Bucks have like 15 frosh playing and Miller back
Mark Dent: One more thing: Guy Cipriano of the CDT pointed out that O SU has blocked six kicks this season. Could be trouble for Ficken even on extra points
Keith: What do you think the final record for the team will be?
Mark Dent: Final record: I say 8-4. I envision a Nebraska loss and a letdown at Purdue or at home against a good Wisconsin team
Wild Bill: Do you get the feeling that a lot of media types wish that both teams could lose, or is the malice starting to fade a little?
Mark Dent: The malice is fading. Dan Wetzel of Yahoo wrote a really pro PSU column the other day. Myself and the PG included, I think some of us took the Freeh Report way too verbatim. It was like an academic study. It made good points but also needed to be carefully analyzed
Silas Redd: Mark, what are your thoughts on Manti Te'o of Notre Dame being up for the Heisman for the first time since Charles Woodson? It's about time the defense gets some love in college football right?!
Mark Dent: Couldn't agree more. College football has been way too spread-happy for years. I think defense has picked up (ex:last two years' title games) and Teo deserves the love
Mark Dent: I'll hang around about five more minutes if anyone has something else to add
Wild Bill: Is there a real chance that the Lions could have defections among the players remaining on the roster? For the life of me, I can't see how, with the exciting style of football BOB wants to play. And the same with recruits - who wouldn't want to play at PSU?
Mark Dent: Tough to answer. I see players who aren't getting PT leaving, like Curtis Dukes. It's hard to see young stars like the Supa Six leave this staff
Mark Dent: As for recruits, it will depend on their maturity. When I was 18 I was an idiot. Immature 18 year olds who think bowl games are the be all, end all won't have interest. Those who see the bigger picture will be more likely to come
Wild Bill: Will you be at the game in person on Saturday?
Mark Dent: Sure will. I'm at every game. I'll be in the press box but usually stop at some tailgates before to scout the scene and visit friends
bubs: "Myself and the PG included, I think some of us took the Freeh Report way too verbatim. It was like an academic study." ... couldn't this be said of, oh, I don't know, the entire media? This was a document that had no legal standing and no one testified under oath. I'm not saying that due dilligence wasn't done and terrible things didn't happen, but it also wasn't a court order edict either.
Mark Dent: Absolutely, I meant media as a whole and wanted to lump everyone in. In this 24-7 news environment, there's a rush to judgment that us unfortunate. But like you said, obviously something went terribly wrong and a handful of people messed up. To castigate an entire culture was going overboard
Mark Dent: Especially on the basis of one study, albeit a thorough study
bubs: Player that has most impressed you this season?
Mark Dent: Most impressive:McGloin. That guy is playing like a complete stranger from last year. He's thrived given the new responsibilities
Wild Bill: Coming back to the matter of transfers, I happen to think that all NCAA athletes should be allowed one transfer in their playing careers without penalty. Your thoughts?
Mark Dent: I think the NCAA should allow transfers without penalty if a coach leaves - not just a head coach but a key assistant for a given player. In general, the NCAA rules don't help the athletes enough and that needs to change
Mark Dent: Well folks, I gotta go. Thanks as always for chatting, and I'll see you next week