NITTANY NOTES: Late Hits

Late-breaking news from the program as Penn State prepares to face Indiana at Beaver Stadium Saturday.

Fans are asking a series of questions about the team as Penn State tries to bounce back against Indiana this weekend in Beaver Stadium.

Is the offensive line back to the typical formation after the guards flipped at Iowa?

Yes. As indicated earlier this week, Rich Ohrnberger was shifted to the right guard position against Iowa because the staff felt he'd be a more effective matchup with Hawkeye defeinsive lineman Mitch King. This week has seen a first-team offensive line set of:

LT: Gerald Cadogan
LG: Rich Ohrnberger
C: A.Q. Shipley
RG: Stefen Wisniewski
RT: Dennis Landolt

As one observer said, "The staff saw something, but I am not sure shifting up the line like that ever works. Give King a ton of credit, he's damn good. But these guys get comfortable in their slots and pick-up tendencies off the guys on either side. You switch that and it takes an element of their game away. I probably wouldn't have done it, but it's easy to say that now."

Will defensive end Josh Gaines be ready to see action against the Hoosiers?

Gains has seen limited reps this week to give him time to recover from the ankle sprain he sustained against Iowa. The defensive staff expects him to play, but that could be on a limited basis in the rotation, depending on how he feels as the game approaches.

"Josh is tough — quiet but tough. He hasn't complained at all about this, so if it's up to him he'll play. But it comes down to how he's able to get off the line and get on his feet," according to one observer.

What does the quarterback situation look this week?

According to observers Daryll Clark is still seeing the bulk of first-team reps. But backup Pat Devlin has see an increased number of practice with the starters and in a wider variety of formations.

By all accounts, observers expect Clark to start. However the staff appears to be preparing Devlin in case he is needed to step in this Saturday.

"The staff still seems to be treating this as Daryll's huddle, but they realize he's got some issues physically and mentally he needs to address," one observer explained. "I think they are just prepping for that."

What is up with TE Andrew Quarless?

Quarless has been dealing with an ankle injury since mid-October. However, according to observers, he's had issues with the "basics" (pulling in balls and blocking fundamentals) for most of this season. Several observers feel that this, along with his struggles at Iowa, will likely impact his playing time through the final two home games this season.

"Quarless has been up an down his entire career. I don't think his head has been completely into this for a while now," one observer said.

How is the secondary looking?

"They worked a lot on zone and man schemes this week. They really focused on transitioning the gaps and assignment work," an observer said.

Observers expect the scheme will not shift significantly for Indiana this week.

How is safety Drew Astorino?

As FOS broke following the Ohio State game, Astorino broke his left thumb in the contest. He practiced normally leading up to Iowa, but then saw limited time in the game, which surprised many.

This week Astorino has had some limitations put on his reps, so his situation appears to still be up in the air.

"I thought Drew was all set for Iowa. He looked good leading up to the game. It sounds like he may have aggravated that thumb [injury]," explained one observer.

Have the players put the Iowa loss behind them?

"For the most part. I think the emotion is still there, but the talk and focus has all been on Indiana and how they have a lot to play for still. But they have to close out on this season," as one observer said.

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