Cap One Quick Hitters

The latest Penn State notes and tidbits from the bowl game preparations for LSU in Orlando. Get up to speed on Chaz Powell, Michael Zordich, a serious injury and more.

ORLANDO -- Quick Hitters as Penn State prepares to take on LSU in the Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day.

Back In Light Blue

After missing most of PSU's final two regular-season games with a shoulder injury, and then not being present during the open portion of a practice earlier this month, receiver Chaz Powell is said to be back at full speed.

He is wearing a light blue jersey in practice, which signifies an offensive starter.

We caught up with him for a moment at the bowl's Day for Kids at DisneyQuest Sunday, where he said, “I'm good to go.”

Full Tilt

A couple of players we talked to informally Sunday said one Lion who has seriously improved during bowl practices has been fullback Michael Zordich.

Zordich began the season at linebacker but made the move to fullback due to a domino effect of sorts. When tailback Stephfon Green sprained an ankle against Minnesota, backup fullback Brandon Beachum switched to tailback. So Zordich moved in behind starting fullback Joe Suhey.

Green returned after missing two games. But then, in a win over Indiana, Beachum sustained a torn ACL. So Zordich's move is likely permanent.

Sources say the coaching staff has been on the fullbacks all season to pick up their blocking, and that the 225-pound Zordich has finally begun to turn heads in that regard leading up to the bowl.

Don't be surprised if he begins to chip away at Suhey's playing time.

Tough Break

Heading into Sunday's practice, the Nittany Lions had only had to deal with one serious injury during their bowl prep. During double sessions last week, redshirt freshman tailback Kevin Kowalishen tore an ACL.

Linebacker Sean Lee said the walk-on from Northampton, Pa., had been doing a great job on the scout team before the injury.

Tripping Up

As we reported earlier, redshirt freshman linemen Brandon Ware and James Terry are not on the bowl trip. But now we have a reason -- kind of.

The official reason given for their absence is the dreaded “violation of team rules.” PSU athletic department folks declined to be any more specific.

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