Ron Musselman: Welcome to this chat from Happy Valley. Penn State had a surprising 13-3 win over Iowa this past weekend and is preparing to play Purdue Saturday on homecoming. Let's get going with the questions.
MoyeMan: I read your story today and saw that Derek Moye was injured falling down steps. That would be a big loss for the offense if he can't play Saturday. Do you think he will play?
Ron Musselman: The early prognosis I am hearing on Moye is not all that great. I am hearing he won't play Saturday and may miss some more games. As I reported, he fell down some steps Tuesday, according to a source. And he had his foot in a protective boot Wednesday and did not practice. If Moye is out, it will put a big dent in the offense. Not only is he the leading receiver, he is Matt McGloin's favorite target and they have connected for 10 TD passes the past 13 games.
HappyValley: Who will fill in for Moye if he can't play Saturday?
Ron Musselman: The top candidate to replace Moye, who by the way is a co-captain, is redshirt sophomore Shawney Kersey. He has just five catches for 108 yards. Also, junior Devon Smith could have more passes thrown is way. He has eight catches for 153 yards, including a touchdown that covered 71 yards. Other options in Mote's spot could include freshmen Allen Robinson or Bill Belton. Robinson has two catches for 20 yards, Belton 1 for 0.knit knee lyin: Hi, Ron, The Lions played well against Iowa last week. How do they keep from having a letdown?
Ron Musselman: I don't see how there is any way possible Penn State would have a letdown. I would agree the victory over Iowa was a surprise, but that was another game won by the defense. The Lions' offense just has to focus on punching the ball in the end zone in the red zone. That unit has managed just six red zone touchdowns in the past five games.
Danny_Scranton: Given the strength of Penn State's defense, and the overall lackluster performances by Big Ten teams, do you see the final three games for Penn State differently now than you did at the start of the season?
Ron Musselman: I actually think Penn State will have a tough final four games now, with nationally ranked Illinois 6-0 and off to its best start in 60 years. The Lions play the Illini at home Oct. 29 and the Illini pinned a 20-point loss on them on homecoming last year. After that, it is Nebraska in the home finale at Beaver Stadium. Penn State finishes at Ohio State Nov. 19 and at Wisconsin Nov. 26. Nebraska and Ohio State are both struggling, so a 2-2 record would be considered respectable for the Lions.
SeanLee45: Well now that PSU is 5-1 and things seems to be changing weekly in the Big Ten, do you still think they will win 8 games in the regular season or have you changed your prediction?
Ron Musselman: With six games left, I am considering the possibility that Penn State could possibly win three more games, giving it 9 wins in the regular season. But then I think of the offensive woes, so I am going to stick with the 8-win total I predicted in August.
knit knee lyin: Will Stephfon Green get more touches or do they go with Redd and Dukes?
Ron Musselman: If Moye is indeed out, I think you could see Green in a few passing situations to try and use his speed. He had that one catch last week, but it went for minus-4 yards. I hear Beachum finally is going to play Saturday after missing the past three games with a sprained foot, but even so, I would expect Dukes to be the backup to Silas Redd. Dukes, a bruiser at 235 pounds, has proven to be a decent runner and is averaging 7.0 yards per carry on his 27 carries. He also is the second-leading rusher with 190 yards.
LionsRoar: Penn State's quarterbacks are average at best this year. Who else on offense can make a big enough difference to get more points on the board or are we just stuck?
Ron Musselman: Moye is the second-leading scorer (18 points, 3 TDs) among position players behind tailback Silas Redd (24 points, 4 TDs), so if he is out, it will an even tougher challenge for the struggling offense. Redd, though, is coming into his own. He has back-to-back 100-yard games and has looked sharp. The offensive line also picked it up against Iowa and had its best game of the year. Justin Brown is one guy that could help at wide receiver. He is due for a breakout game.
PSU02: I know money talks, but I can't imagine that Urban Meyer would come to Penn State. Could all the chatter and hype about Meyer be a smokescreen to add more pressure to convince Joe Paterno it's time to step aside?
Ron Musselman: I definitely think there is some smoke to the Meyer rumor, even though he denied it to me prior to calling Saturday's game with Iowa on TV for ABC/ESPN. I know Meyer was here recently to watch his daughter play volleyball. And he was here earlier this summer to film a segment with linebacker Michael Mauti, which is when he supposedly met wit university president Graham Spanier and athletic director Tim Curley. Meyer would be a great hire, but I don't see Joe going anywhere any time soon. I also think Meyer will end up at Ohio State, where he once coached.
ReddZone: What has been the issues in the red zone? Why can't our offense score?
Ron Musselman: Playing two quarterbacks doesn't help develop continuity. Fumbles, interceptions and penalties have really bogged down this unit in the red zone. As I wrote earlier this week, the Nittany Lions rank 95th among 120 Division I-A teams with a 73.9 percent conversion rate inside the opponent's 20-yard line. The offense has produced only 11 touchdowns in 23 trips inside the opponent's 20-yard line this season and also has been forced to settle for six field goals.
Mr_McBolden: Why does the Penn State coaching staff continue to send Rob Bolden out on the field? Matt MCGloin clearly is better.
Ron Musselman: McGloin is better and he proved it against Iowa. Bolden started his sixth consecutive game, but played only two series, including one three-and-out, but McGloin played the rest of the way and a lot of players I have talked to think he should get the call against Purdue. McGloin is the better option at this point, but he still makes mistakes. He threw a game-clinching 2-yard TD pass to Kevin Haplea midway through the fourth quarter Saturday, but he also forced two passes – one to Kersey (when McGloin should have run the ball in for a touchdown), and the other to Moye (a badly thrown interception).
DanaDarling: How come Purdue, which plays Penn State this weekend, can send QBs to the NFL and we can't? Is JayPa to blame?
Ron Musselman: Kerry Collins is the only true pro-style quarterback to come out of Penn State in years and that was quite some time ago, prior to JayPa's arrival. Robinson was an outstanding athlete who is now an NFL fullback and Clark hasn't even been able to secure an NFL tryout. Bolden and Matt McGloin have both struggled this season. It's no secret that Jay hasn't done a very good job of developing quarterbacks during his tenure (2000, 04-present). On the other hand, Purdue has three former quarterbacks who have started in the NFL this year alone: Drew Brees, Kyle Orton and Curtis Painter.
JoePaMustGoPa: Well, every time Joe looks to be back into a corner, like last week with the Urban Meyer stuff, he rallies and pulls out a win you don't expect, like Iowa last week. Did you u see that coming?
Ron Musselman: As I said earlier, I was surprised Penn State won, given that it had lost eight of the nine previous meetings with the Hawkeyes. The nationally-ranked defense played a big role in that win with three fourth-quarter turnovers and a season-high five sacks. No one will argue that the defense has been carrying the offense all year.
knit knee lyin: Did JoPa scare Spanier and Curley when he said he thinks he could coach 10 more years?
Ron Musselman: I doubt it. Most people probably just laughed. The guy is going to be 85 years old in two months. I don't think anyone in their right mind can see JoePa coaching 10 more years. But he did say he wants to continue coaching after this year, when the three-year contract extension he signed in 2008 expires.
Silassoaring: Silas Redd seems to be on a roll. Your thoughts?
Ron Musselman: Redd has rushed for 271 yards on 57 carries in wins over Indiana and Iowa the past two weeks. He has 574 yards on 119 carries, a 4.8 average, and four touchdowns. He has done a nice job in replacing Evan Royster, a three-year starter and the school's all-time leading rusher.
LionRoar: What can you tell me about Purdue?
Ron Musselman: The Boilermakers also play two quarterbacks – Caleb TerBush and Robert Marve. And they have scrapped their pass-happy offense under Danny Hope and turned to a more conventional running game. Purdue is 20th nationally in rushing, averaging 215 yards per game. An OK team, but not great.Ron Musselman: Thanks all for all of your questions today. I will see you back here next Thursday at 11 a.m. for another Penn State football chat.
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