NITTANY NOTES: Final Touches

Penn State spent part of Thankgiving on the practice field preparing for its regular-season finale against Michigan State. Get the latest notes on the squad here.

Here are some late news and notes on the team, including some injury and personnel updates as Penn State put the final touches on its preparations for Michigan State and Senior Day.

  • Not surprisingly, center Doug Klopacz has not seen reps in drills this week. He did request to "try out the ankle," the injury he sustained vs. Indiana last week had not healed enough. Stefen Wisniewski has been manning the center position and has put in extra snapping time this week.

  • The right side of the line has seen Chima Okoli back getting the bulk of tackle reps after missing last week's game for being late to a team meal. The right guard position has seen split reps between John Urschel and DeOn'tae Pannell. Pannell has the experience, but Urschel "has really come along and took to the line well (on Saturday)." Expect both to play Saturday.

  • Linebacker Michael Mauti has seen practice in the green cross jersey. He indicates his shoulder feels good, and is listed as probable, however, position coach Ron Vanderlinden has been using a rotation of:

    SOLB: Nate Stupar / Khairi Fortt
    MLB: Chris Colasanti
    WOLB: Bani Gbadyu / Gerlad Hodges

    It sounds like Matui's status will be a game-day decision, although Mauti is lobbying hard to see action. The consensus is that if he's healthy, Mauti's play will be a major asset to containing Michigan State's running game.

  • Although Penn State came out in the nickel package early and often last week, the Lions have practiced more in the base set this week. They have still worked the nickel with Stupar and Hodges at the LB spots, though.

  • Silas Redd has seen a "boost" in the number of reps he got this week. He also got to handle some more kick return drills this week.

  • Not surprisingly, Matt McGloin got the bulk the first-team QB reps this week. The staff put a focus on third-and-long and red-zone work. They also worked check-downs and breakdown management. They also put in a lot of time on film, particularly on the play of MSU linebacker Greg Jones.

  • One observer said, "Matt's become comfortable with a variety of targets. He puts in time with his receivers and talks to them about placement and delivery." McGloin and Justin Brown have spent some added time on this recently. "He definitely has the head of a quarterback."

  • There's been a lot of talk about Senior Day. A lot of the seniors continue to "try to slow things down" and are spending extra time in their routines and around Lasch Building. As one observer said, "It's always emotional, but this class has some very emotional guys who this will really hit hard." Evan Royster and Stefen Wisniewski in particular have been mentioned in that area.

  • The team had a "training table feast" together on Thursday night to celebrate Thanksgiving and also watched some football on TV. is your source for the BEST content and community covering Penn State football.


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