Depth Chart Released; Preseason Predictions
The official Penn State football preseason depth chart was released to the public on Monday. Surprise! Matt McGloin and Rob Bolden were named co-starters. It looks like both will get a chance to play on Saturday against Indiana State. The game will provide a final chance for the quarterbacks to impress before the huge game against Alabama during week two.
There are not too many other surprises along the offense, although it looks as if Johnnie Troutman and John Urschel are still battling for the start at right guard. Silas Redd has his job at running back locked up, while the bulk of the attention on the receiving core will be directed toward Derek Moye.
Defensively, Michael Mauti has moved from inside to outside linebacker, which means sophomore Glenn Carson will take over the job on the inside. Jack Crawford has come back from injury to claim the top spot at right end, and the secondary will be stacked with upperclassmen. As it stands right now, Chaz Powell will return kick-offs, and Justin Brown will have the responsibility to signal fair catch on punts.
Luckily for Penn State, the Indiana State game should be a win regardless of who starts at quarterback. The hope for the team and for fans should be that either Bolden or McGloin distinguishes himself during the game. Otherwise, the Nittany Lions will face the same problems that plagued the team last year.
The marker of how well Penn State is doing this season will be if one quarterback has done well enough to solidify the starting job. If the job changes hands once or twice, it probably means that the Nittany Lions are losing games. A closer look at the schedule shows that, with consistent play at the quarterback position, Penn State has a chance to be 8-1 (obviously a loss to Iowa after Penn State upsets Alabama) heading into November.
The Nittany Lions could easily lose their final three games to Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin no matter who is playing quarterback. However, if one quarterback shines, Penn State could finish the season at 9-3. If the job changes hands once or twice during the season, it means the Nittany Lions will probably be finishing at 7-5. By law of averages then, my bold prediction is that Penn State will finish 8-4.