With the Nittany Lions grabbing the first victory of the 2008 season last weekend, their focus now turns squarely to Oregon State. See what the squad has been working on in the early practice drills this week.

Penn State is coming off a 66-10 victory over Coastal Carolina, but practice observers say that "this proves next to nothing." As one observer said, "They did what they had to do, but [the staff] doesn't know how good or bad this team is right now — it really did not show much. The [players] know that for the most part."

"[This team] knows there is a lot of work ahead," another observer said. "A lot of the guys were thrilled on Saturday, but by the time they were wrapping up in the locker room guys were saying — 'nothing yet. ' "

Translation: The team has not seen anything yet.

Another observer said, "Who knows what to make of the Coastal Carolina game. They weren't very good. We'll see where things stand (this coming) Saturday."


Monday's practice session saw screen work on offense. "The [offensive] line really has to get off the blocks and out in front of the play to make it work. They need to create space," an observer said.

As another observer explained, "What [the line] needs to button up is timing. They had some success [against Coastal Carolina], but they need to set their assignment at the right moment to open up the play and help create the space to let it develop."


The offensive line also got in some end rush drills. "[The offensive staff] is expecting pressure off the edge, which will test the tackles," one observer said. "But while they run a pretty standard scheme, the expectation is that Oregon [State] is going to throw out some packages to rattle the pocket and try to force the hand of [Daryll] Clark or [Pat] Devlin."


As you may have noticed, senior defensive end Josh Gaines took a few snaps at defensive tackle on Saturday. Gaines said he is fine moving inside in a pinch. Also, freshman Jack Crawford saw reps at the DT position as well. So what's the deal?

"It's situational and it's for depth," an observer said. "Crawford has been there recently. I think that's for depth, while Gaines is situational - I mean he's 270 [pounds], so he could shift inside with [Aaron] Maybin on the edge to help collapse the corner on a rush."


With questions swirling about the secondary, fans are wondering how the unit will shake out against Oregon State. A.J. Wallace did not see excessive reps this past Saturday. "I think it was more of a case that they were resting him for this game," an observer said. "I mean he'll likely be on [Sammie] Stroughter, so they wanted to get him extra time to rest and avoid any re-aggevation of that hamstring."

Wallace was in the blue first-team jersey and saw first-team reps on Monday. "It seems like the coaches are expecting him to see a lot of work [this week]," another observer said.

Mark Rubin, who struggled at times last week, is still seeing first-team reps at safety. "Mark is in the first-team blues. He's seeing the bulk [of first -team work], with Drew Astorino in the second-team red jersey seeing some first-team work."


And what of Daryll Clark and Pat Devlin? "I think people understand now why there is a debate as to who should start," one observer said. "They both really bring some things to the table."

Another observer said, "I think you will see the same set-up [as Coastal Carolina], where Daryll will start with Pat seeing significant drives of his own."

Neither quarterback ran the ball against Coastal Carolina. Might that change this week?

"If they need it, you'll see it," the observer said. "They wanted both guys to work on their passing. But if things start to collapse or OSU shows some open gaps, then they'll take advantage. If the weather still looks like it will be soggy [on Saturday], I expect they will get more runs in as the week goes on."

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