We hope you’ll start your day with us here at the Landof10.com as we work to prepare you for everything that you need to know – Monday through Friday – around the world of Penn State sports. Whether it’s football, basketball, wrestling, hockey, baseball or just a wild story we hope you’ll find interesting, we’re here to share it all with you.
This is your Penn State Wake-Up Call for Thursday, Oct. 20. Let’s get started.
Can Paris Palmer hold the fort on his flank?
David Jones of Pennlive.com wondered Wednesday how Paris Palmer, Penn State’s new starter at left tackle, will hold up this Saturday against No. 2 Ohio State. A fair question, considering Palmer, a junior-college transfer, was inconsistent in 11 starts last year.
He spent most of the first five games this season chained to the bench, but came on in the second quarter of the Oct. 8 victory over Maryland after right tackle Andrew Nelson was lost for the season with a knee injury. Brendan Mahon moved from the left side to the right, freeing up the spot for Palmer. According to this week’s depth chart, that’s how they will line up Saturday night against the Buckeyes.
Jones writes that the Buckeyes will be problematic for Palmer, who struggles against speed rushers like OSU defensive end Jalyn Holmes:
The 6-5 265-pound junior has a burst at the snap that allows him to blast around tackles before they can even get their hands on him. He’s pretty much a nightmare scenario for somebody like Palmer.
The Buckeyes also flip-flop their ends at times, and Jones believes Tyquan Lewis, who has four sacks to Holmes’ two, also will pose problems for Palmer.
The antidote might be to give Chasz Wright some snaps in place of Palmer, though Wright has had precious little crunch-time experience, and much of that has come at guard. It’s also likely the Lions will use screen passes to blunt the effects of the Buckeyes’ rush.
Jones does not believe either move will be a game-changer, and paraphrases something Gerry DiNardo said on the Big Ten Network:
There are games you realistically try to win and there are others where, if they get out of control, you just try to keep your guys as healthy as possible and live to fight another day. … I think for Penn State, this is one of those games of which DiNardo spoke.
PSU commit Micah Parsons transfers amid furor
Penn State commit Micah Parsons, a defensive end who is widely regarded as the top junior in the state of Pennsylvania, has transferred from Central Dauphin High School to Harrisburg High after Dauphin officials accused him of “inciting a riot,” as his dad, Terrence, told Pennlive.com.
Terrence told the outlet that his son was suspended by Central Dauphin officials for three days after doing nothing more than walking into the school cafeteria and yelling out a teammate’s name, who was across the room.
The elder Parsons has viewed surveillance video of the alleged incident, and in his mind “the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.” As he told Pennlive:
“Watching the video and listening to what they are telling me, there are two different things. The police were to his left, he was to their right, he turned his head and called another football player. They threw him out and said he tried to incite a riot, but, on video, nobody was running or moving or anything.”
Terrence believes his son was “targeted” after he tweeted a racist Instagram post by some of CD’s female students while adding, “Lmao this is the school I rep … I gotta transfer.”
Tough test for Saquon Barkley
Lions running back Saquon Barkley was called a “first-rounder” by Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer on Monday, and on Wednesday Barkley told reporters that was “cool.” So too, he said, is the fact that the Buckeyes figure to gear their defense to stop him, after he ran for 194 yards in a 38-10 loss to OSU last year in Columbus.
As he put it:
“I like that attention because I feel like it helps the team out. If you scheme against me, that just opens it up for the other guys on our team. We’re a really talented offense. We have a lot of playmakers and I think if you try to take one player away, then someone else is going to step up and make big plays.”
Barkley, who also earned a spot on ESPN.com’s midseason All-Big Ten team, ran for a career-high 202 yards against Maryland on Oct. 8. Now, he said, he is eager to perform before a White-Out crowd on Saturday:
“The fans don’t understand how much of an impact they really have. It’s so loud, you really can’t hear yourself think. I think this is the loudest stadium in the country, so it’s really going to help us as a team.”
Also in the Land of 10
- Nebraska’s offensive line is in a state of flux following injuries to Nick Gates and David Knevel.
- Minnesota’s Carlton Djam and Tamarion Johnson have been named in a restraining order that seeks to keep them away from TCF Bank Stadium on game days.
- The name of Ohio State offensive coordinator Ed Warriner has been mentioned in connection with the head-coaching job at Purdue.
- Land of 10’s Ben Axelrod on why Ohio State hasn’t made a bigger impact recruiting Pennsylvania.