Land of 10/file photo
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley will be the focus of Washington's defense in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday.

New Penn State OC Ricky Rahne making name for himself; what will Nittany Lions do at linebacker?

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Making a name for himself

A lot of the focus in Penn State’s clash with Washington on Saturday in the Fiesta Bowl will center on new Nittany Lions offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne.

How much different will the offense look from the one Joe Moorhead perfected over two seasons? Will the communication from the press box to the field be different?

All things considered, Rahne is looking to leave his mark on the game and make a name for himself, writes Mark Wogenrich of the Allentown Morning Call.

From Wogenrich:

Rahne, whom James Franklin has called a “rising star” in coaching, is about to brand Penn State’s offense with his own blueprint, beginning Saturday at the Fiesta Bowl. After 14 years in coaching, including nine as a companion of Franklin’s, Rahne will have full control of the playbook for just the second game in his career.

The first game Rahne had control? Penn State’s TaxSlayer Bowl loss to Georgia two seasons ago. The game before Moorhead took over. Rahne served as interim offensive coordinator.

Moving on

Penn State announced on Tuesday that linebacker Manny Bowen and wide receiver Irvin Charles no longer would be a part of the Penn State roster.

So what will the Nittany Lions now do at linebacker sans Bowen? A critical position in coordinator Brent Pry’s defense. Oh, and Pry has to also figure out how to replace middle linebacker Jason Cabinda once the Fiesta Bowl is over.

John McGonigal of the Centre Daily Times writes that everything and anything is possible at linebacker.

An asset in waiting

One player Pry might be able to turn to right away is incoming freshman Micah Parsons.

Last week after the early signing period, Franklin said Parsons would begin his career at middle linebacker, after playing defensive end in high school.

Pry thinks Parsons will be an asset immediately, writes Fight On State’s Mark Brennan.

Parsons is finishing his high school career this week, playing basketball for the Harrisburg Cougars, and will enroll at Penn State in January.

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Huskies want respect

Penn State’s opponent on Saturday, the Washington Huskies, are going back to a place where coach Chris Petersen coached arguably his best game when as head of Boise State he authored the memorable upset of Oklahoma in 2007 at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

Washington wants to put the clamps on Saquon Barkley and the Penn State offense, writes Frank Bodani of the York Daily Record. If they do that, they could earn the respect they want.

Pry and the defensive coaches remember some of the tricks Petersen pulled in that win over Oklahoma and are expecting more of the same, writes’s Ben Jones.

Friendly advice

Former Penn State offensive lineman, turned NFL veteran A.Q. Shipley stopped by Penn State practice to offer some advice to those Nittany Lions who are looking to take their crack at the NFL next spring, writes Andrew Callahan of Lions247.

Shipley has bounced around the NFL but has played for the nearby Arizona Cardinals the last three seasons.

Miss previous editions of the Wakeup Call? They can be found here.