Penn State Football: 2017 Blue-White Game Prediction Roundtable

Apr 16, 2016; University Park, PA, USA; A general view of Beaver Stadium at Penn State before the Blue White spring game. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 16, 2016; University Park, PA, USA; A general view of Beaver Stadium at Penn State before the Blue White spring game. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports /

What does the VBR staff think will happen during the 2017 Blue-White game?

Arguably the best part of the college football offseason is almost upon us. Penn State’s annual Blue-White game is a chance for Nittany Lion fans to once again travel to Happy Valley and converge on Beaver Stadium and the surrounding parking lots. Amid all the tailgating and revelry will be the first chance to get a preview of the 2017 Nittany Lions.

There’s always a surprise or two from the game, someone who comes from virtually nowhere or something that noon saw coming. What will happen in this year’s version? Head coach James Franklin has stated this spring that he wants a more competitive game, so he’s going to make it more of a ones versus twos battle.

While the actual score won’t matter, plenty of things that happen during the game will carry impact for the upcoming season. Let’s just hope that there are no major injuries to speak of after the game.

Brining back a weekly tradition from the regular season, it’s time for the VBR prediction roundtable for the 2017 Blue-White game.

Site Expert Barry Leonard Jr. 

James Franklin wants to make this year’s game more competitive, but I’m still not expecting to see a ton of the starter, even though he’s planning on having the first unit go against the second unit. I doubt we see any  or very little of running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Trace McSorley.

I’m also not expecting to see a lot of new wrinkles from the offense. Instead, I’m looking for a big dose of the backup running backs, mixed with a bit of McSorley, or more likely Tommy Stevens, throwing it downfield to see who could possible turn into the top receiver this year. Look for Juwan Johnson to have a big day catching the ball.

More from Victory Bell Rings

On defense, the linebacking unit and the defensive line will be the most interesting to watch. Guys like Cam Brown and Kevin Givens have both had strong springs and will look to continue the good play during the scrimmage.

I’m excited to see defensive end Shane Simmons, as I’m expecting a lot from him this year. And, of course, true freshman Lamont Wade will be a big draw, especially with his potential role expanded due to the injury to John Reid.

In the end, we likely won’t see a whole lot, but in the end, the Blue-White game will get all of us excited for what’s to come during the 2017 season.

Contributor Mary Leap

There are a few things I am looking for this weekend. First off, the offensive line. Connor McGovern is transitioning to center after a year as the starting right guard. Also, I am anxious to see how Michal Menet looks. Don’t look for much of Brendan Mahon who has been limited this spring, but will be ready for the fall.

A second thing to watch is what young guys emerge. With solidified veterans such Saquon Barkley, Mike Gesicki, Marcus Allen, and Jason Cabinda not slated to play very much who can shine in extended reps? Especially at safety where Nick Scott, Troy Apke, and Ayron Monroe are competing for the starting job opposite Allen.

Finally, who will step up at wide receiver? Chris Godwin is gone to the NFL, DaeSean Hamilton is looking to bounce back, Saeed Blacknall has yet to put all of his potential together, and Juwan Johnson has been maybe the MVP of spring practice. DeAndre Thompkins and Irvin Charles have shown flashes in the past as well. Penn State is loaded at wide receiver, but the question is who will step up?

Contributor Shane Lunnen

Blue-White weekend is finally here. The forecast does not look great with cloudy skies and upper 50s. That could keep away some fans. However it will be nice to finally see the Nittany Lions back on the field for the first time since the heartbreaking Rose Bowl loss.

Don’t expect to see guys like Trace McSorley, Saquon Barkley, or Mike Gesicki getting many reps if any. In regards to the offense, I’m very interested to see who steps up at wide receiver. Juwan Johnson could have a big game Saturday.

Over on the defensive side of the ball, we’ll get our first look at the the new look defensive line and a secondary without John Reid. Freshman Lamont Wade is trying to earn a spot in the defensive backfield this season so Saturday will be a big opportunity for him.

Overall, let’s hope there are no injuries Saturday. Since it’s about to be the dreaded long haul until fall camp, let’s just enjoy the game.

Contributor Corey Hunter

Saturday afternoon brings with it the anticipation of another season of Penn State football, and the chance to get to the college football playoff.

The defending Big Ten champions will have to replace some key personnel like WR Chris Godwin, C Brian Gaia, DE Garret Sickels, and LBs Brandon Bell and Nyeem Wartman-White. They also need to see who will fill the void left by the injury to CB John Reid.

They return many of the players that led the Nittany Lions that helped win not only the Big Ten Eastern Division, but also the conference.

On Saturday, I would expect to see the Lions play their base offense/defense. I am interested in seeing how WR Juwan Johnson performs. From all indications, he has had a marvelous spring. Also piquing my curiosity is the weekend’s performance of Miles Sanders. He has added muscle mass over the winter and could be primed to have a very solid season playing behind Saquon Barkley.

All told on Saturday, I would expect Penn State to keep most of their big plays close to the vest. No matter, the chance to see Nittany Lion football again and be with my extended “family” is worth it all!

Contributor Tommy Butler

With the injury bug and depth issues across Penn State’s roster, the Blue-White game could end up giving little known players a starting job during the season.

With most of the starters and players on the brink of starting playing for the Blue team on Saturday, I’m going to spend most of my time watching players on the White team.

It’s quite obvious that the Blue team will dismantle the White team in the game. With that knowledge in mind, any good play by players on the White team become that much more impressive.
OLB Koa Farmer is one player I’ll be watching on the White team. Farmer is a truly skilled athlete looking to fill Brandon Bell’s starting spot. The Nittany Lions were weak at LB last year and the Redshirt Junior could be what fans have been looking for.

Next: Penn State Football: Everything You Need to Know About the 2017 Blue-White Game

WR Juwan Johnson is another player that could be stepping up in a big way this next season. The 6’4 217lbs wideout hasn’t had many game reps yet in his young career but looks to have the talent to shine in the spotlight.