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Would you WANT to be Linebacker U? // B1G 2019, Penn State Potluck #3

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We talk which part of a defense you’d want to be the strongest and share our favorite freshwater fish recipes.

Purdue vs. Penn State Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times/MCT via Getty Images

The B1G is an “outdoorsy” conference. Lots of land grant schools, lots of animal husbandry, and lots of fans that fill their time away from football huntin’ and fishin’. That’s definitely the case for Penn State.

Question #1: Freshwater Fish

The state fish is the Brook Trout, of which I’m a fan. These are fun fish to catch and they taste great. However, trout are a pain in the butt to prepare because they are small, delicate fleshed, and easy to overwhelm.

I caught a few of these little guys over the years. In fact, my largest PA trout was a brookie. But mostly, I caught browns and stocked rainbows in the Little Juniata river or Bald Eagle creek. It was far easier to catch them than to cook them.

I remember a particularly disastrous attempt to grill one (most of the meat fell in the coals).

As a resident of Florida, most of the fish I see get prepared one way - fried. But that’s not how we used to cook trout, when I was a kid.

When I prepare trout, I remove head, guts, fins and tail. Heat butter in a pan until clear. Throw in some diced onions and lay the trout in. Once I flip the fish over, I add some white wine, capers, a squeeze of lemon. Remove the fish, add some more butter and you have a nice sauce.

That’s probably an outlier for most Pennsylvanians even, but I love fresh fish. And even though I eat mostly salt water species, I still like to prepare them like that - a little butter, lemon, white wine and capers. Even King Mackerel taste great done like that.

Question for you - do you eat freshwater fish from your home state? If so, how do you like it prepared?

GF3: Lake Erie Yellow Perch sandwich. Fried. Accept no substitute.

Boilerman: The only way I’m eating freshwater fish from Indiana is if it’s from a private pond. Indiana’s not exactly known for its high-quality H20. I do enjoy Walleye, Bass, and Bluegill. Pan fried. Job done.

Aaron Yorke: Townie, you are really showing your townie-ness on this one. Most Penn State alumni come from outside Centre County, and we don’t go huntin’ and fishin’ every weekend. I respect the hell out of anyone who can find his own meat in the wild, but I just grab a salmon filet from the supermarket and stick it in the oven. When I’m away from home, though, I do like sampling some of the local fare at seafood restaurants.

MC: We all know Wisconsin is all about that Friday fish fry, and in that sense I’m typically good for some fried walleye, perch, or cod. The local stop back home was only ever open on Fridays, hopefully that was because it was local and not that they had to wait a week for the fish to travel…

MNW: It was what...a few weeks ago that we were talking about walleye quesadillas? I’ll cop to loving walleye, especially a walleye taco but also just the OG, pan-seared with some lemon pepper and a little bacon if you’re feeling frisky (I usually am).

I’ve been really meaning to try, though, a recipe that we have in our book, for some reason, for green onion and northern burgers.

Beez: Legit have no idea what freshwater fish come from Wisconsin. MC is right that fish frys are where it’s at in Wisconsin, but as I don’t live there anymore, I’m certainly not eating fish from there. I also don’t know if North Carolina has any freshwater fish, but if they do I certainly eat them (catfish, maybe?). Also, if we’re counting blue crab from the ocean as a freshwater fish, then hells yes I eat freshwater fish.

Stew: There are some absolutely great trout streams in NE Iowa. And freshly caught grilled trout is a true treasure in this world. Like Townie described, head, guts, tail, and fins are removed. Some lemon, salt, and pepper and throw on the grill. The skin should peel right off, and the meat should easily come loose from the bones. It’s just a fan-fucking-tastic summer meal.

WSR: Yeah, you can do pretty much anything with Walleye. It’s amazing what you can come up with over the course of 6 fridays in the spring with some Walleye, some spices, and a little creativity. I’ve done tacos, salad (after sauteeing with lemon, like a good boring person), grilled, and smoked. Smoked walleye is pretty good.

Poll

Freshwater fish?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Not for me, thanks.
    (10 votes)
  • 6%
    Perch from a lake whose inflowing rivers start on fire
    (7 votes)
  • 7%
    Pan-fried, whatever it is
    (8 votes)
  • 11%
    I am a city-slicker who buys salmon at a supermarket
    (12 votes)
  • 20%
    Friday Fish Fry
    (22 votes)
  • 11%
    Blue crab from the ocean
    (12 votes)
  • 14%
    Trout
    (16 votes)
  • 18%
    Walleye, walleye, and more walleye
    (20 votes)
  • 0%
    Other?
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    I’ve got a great carp recipe for you...
    (0 votes)
108 votes total Vote Now

Question 2: Would YOU want to be Linebacker U?

Penn State produced some outstanding defensive players over the years. As I write this, I have a signed Mike Mauti #42 picture hanging on my office wall.

I think every PSU fan loves great linebacker play. We are Linebacker U after all. But there is more to a defense than just great linebackers.

There’s nothing worse than seeing your team torched on a pass play because the defensive back forgets his assignment...except seeing the opposing running back stiff arm his way through the line and gallop down the sidelines for a score (Akrum Wadley graduated...didn’t he?)

If you had to choose one defensive group to be great, which would it be? Linebackers, defensive backs or linemen? Why them?

Aaron Yorke: I would pick the front four because a great line can stop the run and make life miserable for opposing quarterbacks. A deep secondary is becoming more and more important with the way offenses are evolving, but I’m still an in-the-trenches guy at heart.

MC: I would also say defensive line, especially in a 4-3. Great play there makes everyone else’s job way easier. As a fan of a 3-4 team I could argue linebackers as well, since the line has generally been asked to be more of a space eater in that setup while LBs try to wreak havoc. When the secondary shines sometimes it just feels like it’s bailing out other shitty plays/failures. It’s not what Sun Tzu wanted.

Beez: Defensive line for sure in a 4-3, linebackers in a 3-4, provided the 3 lineman are at least serviceable.

MNW: Because I’ve almost only ever known the 4-3 in teams I watch/root for, it’s also definitely defensive linemen for me. I recall being miserable as some of the defensive fronts from Michigan and Michigan State broke through the Northwestern O-Line and destroyed Trevor Siemian et al in the disastrous 2013-2014 seasons, or how Joey Bosa tormented the ‘Cats in 2013, and I would love a defensive front that could do that -- pressure a quarterback and force bad throws or stuff rush after rush.

Stew: It’s all about the line play up front. The secondary can cover for only so long, it’ll break down without pressure up front. And Linebackers can only make plays if they’re playing clean, without OL coming down on them. Gimme a beastly line, it’ll make up for a lot.

WSR: It’s always all about the fat kids. Give me 4 guys that can control the point of attack on run downs and torment the passer when he drops back and I’ll give you a team that’ll be in every game.

Poll

Pick a position group:

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    D-Line U
    (65 votes)
  • 21%
    Linebacker U
    (27 votes)
  • 3%
    Secondary U
    (4 votes)
  • 4%
    Kicker U
    (6 votes)
  • 18%
    Punter U
    (23 votes)
125 votes total Vote Now