No Blue squad. No White squad. No actual game.

Mr. Iverson, please …

Yep, we’re talking about practice.

In his latest media session, Penn State coach James Franklin said the program just doesn’t have enough healthy, game-ready offensive linemen to field 2 teams. Instead, BTN will get to broadcast a quasi-scrimmage Saturday with the offense on one sideline and the defense on the other. Franklin plans to come up with a scoring system so the live parts of the session can have a competitive flavor. Special teams work and other drills will be interspersed to allow the O-linemen rest periods. Tune in at 2 p.m. for all the, uh, action.

This situation isn’t unique to Penn State, which last had a typical spring game in 2019, pre-coronavirus, pre-NIL, pre-transfer portal. Michigan State put on an open practice last week rather than a game. On the other end of the spectrum, Georgia entertained ESPN viewers with a 26-23 game that ended with a field goal as time expired.

The Blue-White weekend has always been a spring celebration on campus and in town, and this one represents a step back toward normalcy after no spring game in 2020 and an open practice witnessed by less than 10,000 people in 2021. The forecast is for a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon and the university expects 60,000 or more fans might be on hand in Beaver Stadium.

It won’t be a typical Blue-White Game, but it still should shed some light on position battles and other issues the program is working through with the season opener (at Purdue, Sept. 1) 19 weeks away.

Offensive line

The Lions have only 11 O-linemen in spring camp, and apparently not all of them enjoy full-go status.

Juice Scruggs, Caedan Wallace and Olu Fashanu seem locked into starting spots, with Franklin saying those 3 have taken a full complement of reps throughout the spring workout period. Landon Tengwall and Sal Wormley would be the other likely starters currently on the roster, but Tengwall has been dinged up this spring and Wormley is returning from an injury that cost him all of last season. So Saturday’s scrimmage should provide some insight on their status.

Grad transfer Hunter Nourzad (Cornell) will arrive in the summer, and maybe JUCO transfer JB Nelson will show us something on Saturday. If anyone else stands out, that’s a bonus.

LB shakeout

With its top 2 tacklers from 2021 awaiting their NFL Draft fate, Penn State entered this spring with some huge holes to fill in the middle of the defense. Returning starter Curtis Jacobs moves to the weak side, Jonathan Sutherland moves up from safety to take the strong side, and RS sophomore Tyler Elsdon seems to have the inside track in the middle. Key contenders behind them include veteran Charlie Katshir and youngsters Jamari Buddin and Kobe King.

Saturday’s action might shed some light on how the depth chart is looking at this point.

Who’s No. 2 at QB?

In the traditional Blue-White setup, 5-star freshman Drew Allar might have started for the White, which definitely would have added some buzz to the proceedings.

My guess is that Sean Clifford starts and is followed by RS freshman Christian Veilleux. Whether Allar or fellow true freshman Beau Pribula goes next might be the only intrigue. Since Penn State no longer puts out depth charts, this will be the only clue for a while about how the QB rotation is shaking out.

Is Manny the man?

Talk is that new defensive coordinator Manny Diaz plans to add some pizzazz to the solid — but kind of boring, honestly — bent-don’t-break defense that Brent Pry has employed at PSU over the past handful of years. Specifically, Diaz might be looking to work stunts and blitzes to beef up a sack total that took a major dip last year.

Again, we might not see a lot of clues Saturday, as Franklin has listed avoiding injuries as Priority No. 1 for the scrimmage. But perhaps the savvy fan will notice some new wrinkles.

Team psyche

Penn State has lost 6 of its last 8 games, gone 11-11 over the past 2 seasons and has a losing Big Ten record since late October of 2019.

Its offensive line is in such shambles the school can’t put on a legitimate spring game for lack of bodies. The defense lost its top 2 tacklers and 5 of the top 7. Its 9th-year head coach is reticent to embrace the program’s history and tradition if he has to utter the word “Paterno” to do so.

Spring, though, marks the time for new beginnings — fresh starts, if you will. Starting now, it’s time for Sean Clifford to build himself back up into the most confident quarterback in America, as he was describing himself last offseason. It’s time for Ji’Ayir Brown to start hyping himself and his defensive teammates into the group mindset that helped lead the Lions to a 5-0 record and a No. 4 national ranking just some 6 months ago.

Here’s hoping the team’s jumping off point after Saturday’s festivities sends them in a healthy direction, in every sense of the word.