Nittany Notes: Final Touches

The Nittany Lions are placing the final touches on their preparations and gameplan headed into Saturday night's brawl with the Buckeyes of Ohio State. The intensity levels have been "booming" in practice as the team approaches the biggest game in Happy Valley in years.

Be Aggressive

Though practices Wednesday and Thursday were "aggressive and intense," the session on Friday will be "light" featuring helmets and shells with no pads and limited contact.

Thursday saw an "intense practice" with the staff having to ask some players to "pull back on their contact" for fear that "they'd sustain some unnecessary injuries." Paul Posluszny and Scott Paxson were among those who were playing "all-out." It has been so intense that some players have gotten into scuffles.

Backer Shifts

The linebacker unit saw a shift yesterday with Posluszny on the outside with Dan Connor and Tim Shaw seeing reps in the middle. Connor was seeing snaps at the middle position earlier in the week. This week he has earned his first-team navy practice jersey back for the first time since the season started.

A New Face on Coverage

True freshman Sean Lee has been seeing reps on kickoff coverage this week. "He plays fast and hard and is so aggressive. He is always looking to level someone out there," one observer said.

It is unclear whether Lee will burn his redshirt and play against Ohio State, but the staff seems to have prepared him for action this week on kickoffs.

Personnel Losses

With Paul Cronin being removed from the squad allegedly due to public intoxication charge, Anwar Phillips will step in as the nickel back with Justin King shifting in for Phillips at corner in the nickel package.

As for Cronin's holding duties on field goals and extra points, Jason Ganter has stepped in to fill in for that role.

Also offensive tackle John Wilson has been sidelined with a knee injury, reportedly to his ACL. Andrew Richardson has stepped into the starting tackle role this week. "He has fill in well and is ready. He is good off the snap, sits low and has handled his assignments well. He just needs to focus on his role and lock up the pressure points."

Who's Got Ginn?

The corners play sides rather than assignments in coverage. "Who matches up with him all depends on which side Ginn lines up on and which scheme the defense is in," one observer shared.

So a much anticipated King-Ginn matchup may or may not happen depending on the look both teams show.


The squad has been running more crossing routes this week in drills with a particular focus on using the flat more in the passing game. "The staff wants to get the tight end involved more so they are shifting some things around. The offense has looked sharp this week though."


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