Penn State football chat with Mark Dent: 11.21.13

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Mark Dent: Hey guys, fire away with whatever you got

Richy: This team is difficult to project week to week. What are you expecting Saturday?

Mark Dent: Yeah unbelievably inconsistent. Predictions are tough but I say a loss. The offense has been poor except for the Purdue game. I say Neb will stop PSU

Dan: Kyle Carter seems to have fallen off the face of the earth this year. What gives with that?

Mark Dent: First was the injury. I think the rest goes to less focus offensively on tight ends and more on A-Rob. None of the tight ends have had great years. It's a combo of OB's offense this year and Hack leaning on A-Rob

Richy: If the defense sells out to stop the run, are the DB's strong enough to keep the Nebraska QB from beating them?

Mark Dent: I'd say so. Nebraska's passing offense is down this year. Problem is, I don't think PSU can stop the run. Abdullah is excellent.

Dan: Any insight other than the "party line" as to why Baublitz and Gilliam chose to call it quits?

Mark Dent: Can't speak too much to those guys. I genuinely think they wanted to leave. Both would've been starters or key reserves next year. As for Kenney... It's easy to read between the lines just based on what OB said. He hasn't progressed like they wanted.

Richy: Looking ahead to next year-will the team take a step up, down or be about the same; a .500 or slightly better team?

Mark Dent: If A-Rob is gone then about the same. If he's back then a little better. Bottom line is the defense will still be suspect and the offense will have good talent. They just need to put it together - they haven't this year.

Dan: If A-Rob does go, who do we really have left that can take his place? Any incoming freshmen with great expectations?

Mark Dent: Exactly. PSU won't have anybody. They'll have to rely on tight ends and Geno Lewis. Troy Apke is a good WR recruit coming but you never know w freshmen

Richy: Not certain if you get a chance to speak with beat writers covering other teams, however I am curious about any talk regarding how Butler has done this year.

Mark Dent: I don't talk to many other writers with other teams. The other PSU writers, though, have been overly critical IMHO. The defense is young, not very talented and short on depth. Not all Butler's fault

Richy: Next up for LBU? The next great LB will be........

Mark Dent: The kid who's played a bit this year: Brandon Bell. I like his potential more than Wartman

Dan: It seems like we traditionally do a poor job of luring real good DBs to PSU. In your opinion, what is keeping them away?

Mark Dent: Can't speak for the long haul since I've only been here a couple years, but I think it's been getting better. O'Brien hired Anthony Midget who is young and popular and this young group on the team should only get better - Lucas, Amos.

Richy: Always open to any recruiting insight, hearing anything positive/good?

Mark Dent: Richy, sorry but I haven't heard anything as of late. Kind of the dead time until season ends.

Dan: What about the QB who verballed from Florida - O'Connor?

Richy: Is the recruiting kept closer to the vest now then when it was under Paterno? Seems like BOB likes to keep things out of the media as much as possible.

Mark Dent: For O'Connor, he's still supposed to be coming. As Hackenberg has shown though, he's still No. 1. And I don't think OB is any closer to the vest. No coach likes to talk recruiting.

Dan: With Zwinak and Belton both coming back next year, how do you keep Akeel Lynch happy? IMHO he is better than both of them, but doesn't get any "real time" opportunities.

Mark Dent: I feel the same way about Lynch. I don't why he never gets reps. Worth remembering that he nearly transferred to Iowa last year, so we'll see about his future. But he generally seems very pleasant with PSU.

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