Nittany Notes: Buffalo Prep

Coming off the Notre Dame win, Penn State turns its focus to Saturday's game against Buffalo. Where is Quarless practicing? Which offensive starter, aside from John Shaw, is coping with an injury? Get answers to these and others questions in this exclusive Nittany Notes report.

With Penn State "energized" from the 31-10 victory over Notre Dame, "the coaches are concerned the team is taking Buffalo too lightly." In fact, at the close of Tuesday's session, Joe Paterno "blew up" at the team about practicing too "easy" and underestimating the Bulls. As one observer explained, though, "The problem is that the guys have watched a lot of film for this [game] and they can see how bad Temple was."

Buffalo stomped the hapless Owls 42-7 in Philadelphia last week.

Defensive Notes

This week the starting defensive line has been DE: Maurice Evans, NT: Ollie Ogbu, DT: Jared Odrick, DE: Josh Gaines, all of whom are wearing the first-team navy blue jerseys. However, the unit has seen some rotations with Chris Baker at defensive tackle and Aaron Maybin at end, despite both wearing the second-team red jersey.

For reference, here are the jersey colors worn by each unit:

First-Team Offense: powder blue
Second-Team Offense: green
First-Team Defense: navy blue
Second-Team Defense: red
Scout Team: white

Defensive line coach Larry Johnson "mixes it up with the guys in blue and red a lot," trying out different combinations. Jerome Hayes has "really impressed" the coaching staff "with the way he has settled in at end," one observer said. "You have to remember he moved over [from LB to DE] like 10 days before the season kicked off."

On area of concern continues to be Lydell Sargeant at cornerback. "He just tends to struggle with the coverage and gets drawn off the route way too often," one observer told us. "He has the speed to recover, but he's has difficulty at times even with the passes from [scout team quarterbacks] Paul Cianciolo and Kevin Suhey."

Offensive Notes

The offensive starting line remains as follows: LT: Gerald Cadogan, LG: Rich Ohrnberger, C: A.Q. Shipley, RG: John Shaw, RT: Dennis Landolt. Besides Shaw dealing with a knee injury sustained against Notre Dame, we have learned that Cadogan broke a hand in the game.

"He's playing with a cast on right now, but he's seeing first-team reps," according to an observer. The injury is not thought to be serious.

As for Lou Eliades, who was held out of practice last week as a precautionary measure due to a concussion sustained in the Florida International clash, he has been seeing work this week at second-team guard.

As we reported in our last Nittany Notes, Joe Paterno told the team in the locker room after the Notre Dame win that Andrew Quarless and Willie Harriott would be cleared to see playing time against Buffalo. Paterno reiterated this in his press conference Tuesday, saying both were cleared to play. Quarless has moved up from seeing scout-team reps to second-team TE, behind Mickey Shuler, and has worn the second-team's green jersey so far this week.

Although Quarless has looked "sharp" and "continues to really hype up his teammates," observers said they do not expect him to start and are skeptical that he will see significant time against Buffalo.

Rodney Kinlaw and Austin Scott continue to split first-team reps at tailback. "The coaches are working with Austin to really help him run through a hole low and hard," one observer explained. Another said, "[The staff] is trying to work situations for Rodney to get the ball with some running room — he does so much better in open space."


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