Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, August 8, 2014

James Franklin has created a buzz around the Penn State program with his electric personality and general bombast. The guy is a high-wire act of energy and enthusiasm. No doubt, the former Vanderbilt coach has ?won? the offseason. But how will his first team do?

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Here are some questions I have as the BTN bus heads to State College, Pa.

1. Will the o-line hold up? This is a HUGE concern. Outside of left tackle Donovan Smith, there are issues across the board from a talent and depth standpoint.

2. Is Christian Hackenberg on his game? He needs to build on a promising 2013 debut while learning a new offense. Any consistent offensive success likely will ride on his right arm.

3. The linebackers looking strong? This could be the best part of what could be a solid defense. Mike Hull and Nyeem Wartman must lead the way.

4. Are defensive ends C.J. Olaniyan and Deion Barnes bringing the heat? These guys need to be top rushers to give the defense an edge.

5. Who will be the go-to wideout with Allen Robinson gone? Geno Lewis is billed as the No. 1. How does he look? Any other good options?

6. Are the tight ends as good as I think? This could be the best collection in the Big Ten with guys like Jesse James, Kyle Carter and Adam Breneman.

7. Is kicker Sam Ficken hittin? or missin?? He has had an up-and-down career.

8. How much Wildcat formation will we see? Franklin used it at Vandy. And he has some good backs at Penn State in Zach Zwinak, Bill Belton and Akeel Lynch to execute it.

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.