Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, August 18, 2012

The BTN bus is chugging to Penn State with Columbus, Ohio, in our rear-view mirror. I?m not sure what to expect when we watch Bill O?Brien?s Nittany Lions practice on Monday.

The offense has me most curious. How will it move the ball consistently with playmakers like running back Silas Redd (USC) and receiver Justin Brown (Oklahoma) gone? It also will be interesting to see how quarterback Matt McGloin has picked up the new offense, which is more pro-oriented.

I will also check out the tight ends, who figure to be a big part of this attack. How does big Garry Gilliam look?

[ 10 reasons to be excited about Penn State in 2012]

The defense could be pretty good in the front seven. I look forward to seeing players like linebackers Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges along with tackle Jordan Hill and end Pete Massaro. But the secondary? I will keep a close eye on a unit that is breaking in four new starters. Adrian Amos and Steph Morris are good, but depth looks shaky. Will that questionable secondary impact how aggressive the defense will be under coordinator Ted Roof?

At the least, I expect to see a spirited workout for a program that seemingly has developed a tight bond amid adversity.

[ Penn State's 2012 schedule analysis]

The Penn State Preview show airs Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on BTN. senior writer Tom Dienhart is on Twitter and Facebook, all of his work is at, and you can subscribe to it via his RSS feed. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below.

And if you want to leave a comment on this post, use the box below. All comments need to be approved by a moderator.