Men of the Scarlet and Gray Podcast #5 with Kevin McGuire

This week on Men of the Scarlet and Gray Myself along with my awesome co-hosts (Chip Minnich and Jeremiah Sharpe) get the privilege to discuss Big Ten East football and college football in general with Kevin McGuire. We also briefly discuss the Scarlet and Gray Days on the Big Ten Network and wrap up the training camp also discussing OSU QB situation.

For anyone who doesn’t know Kevin McGuire he has been a friend of our show. He is an extremely hard working college football writer and now podcaster. Kevin who can be found on twitter at @KevinonCFB. You can enjoy his work at Athlon Sports, NBC’s College Football Talk, also Lets not forget he also does work for Nittany Lions Den. You can and should listen to his podcasts on and Nittany Lions Den Podcasts which is part of the Nittany Lions Sports Radio also part of the vSporto network.

Speaking of vSporto network you can enjoy our show and many other quality shows on Buckeye Sports Radio. You can download the iOS app or listen on your browser of your Andriod device (App is coming soon). You can follow Buckeye Sports Radio on twitter @buckeyesradio.

We have to make mention that if you are subscribed to Men of the Scarlet and Gray Live Podcast you will have to go back into iTunes or whatever your favorite app is and find Men of the Scarlet and Gray. Our new show will no longer be getting connected with the MotSag Live feed. We apologize for any inconvenience and are hoping you won’t have any issues finding the show now. Currently are awaiting approval on Stitcher which hopefully should be coming very soon. If you can’t find us on your favaorite podcast app let us know so we can make it a priority to get the show on there to enjoy.

You can also now follow The podcast on twitter @MotSaGPodcast and like the Facebook page Men of the Scarlet and Gray Podcast.

Q&A with an Opponents Blogger: Penn State

This week I had the freat pleasure of sitting down with Kevin Mcguire to discuss the Penn Sate/Ohio State match-up tomorrow. Kevin who was nice enough to join our podcast this week is a contributor to NBC College Football Talk and has a site You can also follow Kevin on twitter @KevinOnCFB and he is a worthwhile and good follow for college football fans. Without further ado onto the PSU/OSU discussion.

MotSaG: Penn State’s run defense is only giving up an average of 60.8 yards a game but have given up over 100 to Northwestern and Rutgers. Do you feel they can contain Ohio State’s rushing attack?

KM: It should go without saying that the strength of this Penn State team to this point in the season has been the defense as a whole, and it starts up front with what has been a decent defensive line. Can they contain Ohio State’s running game? Probably, at least for a while. I wouldn’t expect Ohio State to break many big plays on the ground, although I think the Buckeyes could be able to wear down Penn State’s defense over four quarters

MotSaG: Do the Nittany Lions have the talent and depth to contain or keep up with the Buckeyes explosive offense?

KM: Penn State probably has the talent to keep up at the skill positions, but the offensive line is quite another story. Penn State’s o-line has been a complete mess this season for a number of reasons, most notably the two years of recruiting sanctions against the program. Because the line has been an extreme work-in-progress, Christian Hackenberg has been forced to try and make some things happen when they just are not there, and the running game has lacked a chance to get on track. So because of that, Penn State’s offense will have a tough time going point-for-point with Ohio State, and it may be up to the defense to come up with some big plays, and perhaps even some points.

MotSaG: Who are the key players on Penn States defense Buckeye fans should be aware of?

KM: Pay attention to a couple of players up front on the defensive line. Deion Barnes at defensive end is a form Big Ten Freshman of the Year and right by his side is Anthony Zettel. Both have been playing well this season and Zettel has come up with a number of key plays in the backfield. It will be up to these two to bring pressure on Barrett and maybe disrupt the running game before it can get going, but they will be up against their stiffest test of the season against this Ohio State line.

MotSaG: With Penn State coming off a bye do you think an extra week of preparation would help PSU fix some of the major problems on their offensive line?

KM: Well, it certainly can’t hurt. Penn State has now had two bye weeks out of the last three, so you would hope the stability of the offensive line would be a major focus. I am sure it has been, but ultimately I just do not think enough work can be done with what is available to them. Fixing Penn State’s offensive line is going to have to come through recruiting with a full set of scholarships to offer. This is not a line that can be repaired with some duct tape. It needs a complete overhaul.

MotSaG: Word is offensive guard Miles Dieffenbach has been practicing any status on him playing Saturday and being able to help that line out?

KM: It does sound as though Dieffenbach is close to returning, and the way things have ben sounding I would not be shocked if he makes a return this weekend. He is supposed to be the veteran anchor of this young line, but he is still week-to-week as he recovers from an ACL injury in the spring. The bye weeks were supposed to be big for him, and perhaps that will be the case. If Penn State can get him on the field, expect them to do so, but not if it comes at a risk in losing him before he is physically and mentally ready for jumping right in against Ohio State

MotSaG: I know the sanctions really hurt Penn State’s depth, how big of a factor will that play in the game Saturday and possibly for rest of season and possibly getting bowl eligible?

KM: This season was supposed to be the toughest in terms of depth on this roster, and that is exactly how things are playing out. I don’t think that will change the rest of the way, and it will show in some games more than others. This game in particular is one that could turn ugly in the flash of an eye given the talent differential overall. The Michigan State game could as well, but the depth concerns may actually be put more to the test in games like Temple and Indiana. These are games Penn State will never lose when fully equipped, but could easily see slip away if not careful right now. I still think Penn State has enough to get two more wins the rest of the way, and those extra practices in the postseason could help in the long-term, but Penn State should probably feel fortunate to get to six or seven wins at this point

MotSaG: How nice is it to finally get the sanctions lifted and being allowed to be able to compete for a B1G Championship and Bowl games and get a full roster together?

KM: From a purely football perspective, it is fantastic. How can it not? Penn State went into the season with two years of a postseason ban and some scholarship restrictions still to play through, but early in the season the NCAA lifted those terms. This, in effect, gave the players and coaches something else to play for and that is great for them. In theory, the team can now compete for a Big Ten championship and make plans for a bowl trip. There is still work to do, of course, but being able to focus on something positive is a bit of fresh air for the program, its fans and alums. Moving forward, the program appears to be heading in a good direction and things will certainly get better on the field as long as James Franklin and his staff prove they can develop talent as well as they can generate excitement in recruiting.

I would have loved to see what Bill O’Brien would have done with a full recruiting class, but now that falls on Franklin and his crew.

MotSaG: What are Penn State’s fans biggest concerns for the game Saturday?

KM: I think most fans are probably realistic in expecting Penn State to lose this weekend, so I think the biggest fear would be getting tanks in front of the home crowd. Last year’s 63-14 loss showed how far away Penn State is from the top of the Big Ten, so there is a bit of pride on the line here as well. If Penn State is going to lose, keeping it at least somewhat respectable would at least be something moving forward. I know moral victories are for losers, but nobody wants to get blown out at home. The biggest fear may be seeing Hackenberg laying face first in the ground like the famous (infamous) image of Anthony Morelli against Michigan (Google it, you’ll find it).

MotSaG: Do you feel that the Paterno statue should be returned or should everyone just finally close the chapter and move on?

KM: I may be foolish in thinking there will be a time in the future when the statue is returned to sitting somewhere outside Beaver Stadium. While I think people should move on and no longer worry about something as trivial as a statue, I do believe there will come a time when we can reflect on everything Joe Paterno did for the university and football program and community and properly place his good deeds side-by-side with his shortcomings. I think a statue can help paint a full scope and offer a chance to reflect on both positive and negative, but the time is just not right at this moment and it may not be for quite a while.

MotSaG: Final prediction for the game?

KM: Prediction? Pain. As I said on your podcast, I have Ohio State winning this weekend’s match-up in Beaver Stadium, 35-17 (which if you bet the over at 51.5 is just fine with you). I think Penn State’s defense keeps this game from getting out of hand as it did last season, but I can’t see Penn State ever making much of a game of this with their concerns on offense. I see Ohio State maybe jumping out to an early lead and cruising into the second half before Penn State gets a junk touchdown to make this closer than the score would actually indicate.

What I am curious to see, for better or worse, is how Barrett handles this environment. As was suggested on your podcast, this should be different compared to playing at Navy or Maryland, but I think at this point he is as prepared as can be to handle it.

I agree with what Kevin is saying it will be interesting on seeing how Barrett and company will handle the environment seeing how this is going to be the loudest and craziest they have played in front of this season. I do however believe that Urban and company will have this team prepared for this and the Nittany Lions. They are on a historic run and J.T. has really grasped the offense well and has to many weapons for Penn State to handle in my opinion. Penn State’s depth is still a major concern and that’s a huge advantage for the Buckeyes hence the reason i said on the podcast I called for OSU to win 56-3.

Once again I would like to thank Kevin McGuire for his help this week and you should honestly check his stuff out, very knowledgeable on college football and informative. Have any questions? Feel free to drop me a line at