November 24, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions fans cheer during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State vs. Syracuse-Blue-White Roundtable

Our dear friend Adam over at Black Shoe Diaries has once again organized the biggest and best gathering of Penn Staters in the blogosphere for a weekly roundtable discussion of this weeks game.  The folks at JoePa’s Doghouse, Nittany Lions Den, and The 50-Yard Lion are all participating again, along with BSD.  Every week we will post our responses here, and Adam will collect some of the best responses.  Check out each of the other sites for their thoughts as well.

On with the show!

Welcome back from the interminable offseason.  What are you most excited about from this Penn State season?

There are about a dozen things that have me excited about this season, but the biggest to me is watching PSU continue to move into the 21st century offensively.  You could make an argument that this year’s offense has more natural talent than the 2012 edition, although it of course lacks the experience under center.  But with guys like Robinson, Zwinak, Felder, Carter, James, Belton, Lynch, and several more at his disposal, it’s going to be fun to see how O’Brien involves all of his skill players.

Syracuse has a quarterback battle of their own.  Who starts for the Orange – Terelle Hunt or Drew Allen?

I have no inside info, other than an older brother who graduated from Syracuse, but I’m going with Allen.  While it’s very minimal, he has taken some snaps at the college level, and he’s also been around a successful program with Oklahoma.  He just feels like the safer pick.

With Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges in Minnesota, who do you expect to lead the defense this year?  Who is the impact player for this weekend’s game against the Orange?

From all indications, Mike Hull has become the vocal leader of the defense, and if he plays like he did a year ago, he will also become a leader by example.  Someone I expect to have a big year, Anthony Zettel, also has that “rah rah” kind of personality.  As for this weekend, I’ll go with a guy who seems poised for a huge year, Nyeem Wartman. The Orange are going to rely on their strong running game, regardless of who gets the start at QB, and that plays right into the talented linebackers hands.

Predictions – who will start at QB?  Who will win the game?

Hackenberg gets the start, and while I doubt it’s the most well played game you’ll ever see, Penn State is solid in the running game and on defense, with a 21-14 win.

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