Nittany Notes: Turning Up the Heat

The PSU coaching staff took a light approach to the initial practice reps this week, with a strict focus on the areas of improvement needed coming out of the Minnesota win. With Ohio State just a few days away the staff has started to turn up the heat on practice intensity to get the players ready for a prime-time clash with the Buckeyes.

Although the early practice sessions this week were light and primarily focused on kickoff and punt return coverage, Tuesday's practice started to see a boost in intensity from the staff and players. With a team lockdown in effect, the players appear to be very focused on the task at hand.

As one observer said, "Yesterday was a knock-down, intense, physical practice that saw some all-out play and big hits. The staff wanted to get the juices flowing in prepartaion for Saturday and players were ready to start getting some physical play in. It was a good all-around practice."

The squad continued to see special team reps on kickoffs, returns and punt coverage, working both the standard and speed squads we discussed in Tuesday's Nittany Notes. They also ran assignment drills matching up the offense and defensive units and then ran some unit drills against the scout-team units.

Dan Connor is now wearing the first team navy blue jersey in practice. Although the starting unit is still said to be Tim Shaw, Tyrell Sales and Paul Posluszny, Dan Connor "should see a lot of playing time against OSU in the middle over Sales."

"The Scout Team has been giving the first-teamers a good workout this week. They have been intense and aggressive, which has been great," another observer explained.

Here are the Penn State players playing some key Ohio State roles on the Scout Team:

  • Troy Smith (QB): Daryll Clark
  • Ted Ginn (FL): Devin Fentress
  • Ashton Youboty (CB): Willie Harriott
  • Anthony Schlegel (MLB): Jerome Hayes
  • A.J. Hawk (LB): Joe Cianciolo/Andy Kubic
  • Bobby Carpenter (LB): J.R. Zwierzynski/Dorian Burton

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