Penn State is getting back in action Saturday with the Nittany Lions taking part in their annual Blue-White Spring Game!

While some spring games have devolved into positional drills and limited action, the Nittany Lions are trying to pull off a close-to-normal format for Saturday. Penn State has revealed separate rosters (and coaching staffs) for White and Blue teams that will face off in a game with normal clock rules in a 13-minute first half. (The second half will be anywhere from 10-13 minutes.)

Heading into 2024 and the first year of a 12-team Playoff, expectations are high that Penn State can remain in contention all season long. It will take some key performances and an upset or two while getting a much-better offense and a defense capable of regrouping after some key departures to the NFL.

Before we get to the regular season, Saturday’s spring game will give fans a first look at the Nittany Lions and a chance to answer some key questions entering the summer. Here are some of the key storylines and players to monitor throughout the game.

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What does Andy Kotelnicki’s offense look like?

Expecting to see something significant in regard to a new offensive scheme during the spring game is an act in futility. James Franklin and company are not about to shed a ton of light on the inner workings of the new offense during an intrasquad scrimmage.

Still, the way the Nittany Lions divided coaches and players for Saturday is worth examining.

Franklin himself will lead the White team with Kotelnicki also on that side of the coaching staff. Starting quarterback Drew Allar is also on the White team to go with both Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton in the backfield.

Without a traditional QB battle or a new starter under center, the biggest question is seeing how Kotelnicki unlocks the explosive talent of his unit. After all, the unit has not lacked talent in recent seasons, but the offense thus far has not been able to consistently unlock the talent on that side of the ball.

Keep an eye on: Julian Fleming

After a massively underwhelming season for Penn State’s wide receiver room, Julian Fleming was brought in from Ohio State to serve as a key target. And, his role may even be expanding further.

According to Matt Zenitz with 247 Sports, KeAndre Lambert-Smith is considering entering the transfer portal. If that happens, Lambert-Smith would be one of the top players available from the spring portal window as key receiver. (For what it’s worth, Lambert-Smith is listed on the White team roster for Saturday’s spring game.)

For the spring game, Fleming is slated to be on the Blue team roster, meaning he will not line up alongside Allar. Instead, he will catch passes from Beau Pribula, Ethan Grunkemeyer and Jaxon Smolik this weekend, but that doesn’t change the interest in Fleming’s performance.

Keep an eye on: Abdul Carter’s new position

Abdul Carter has been a playmaker since he stepped onto campus as a true freshman, delivering 104 total tackles, 16 TFL and 11 sacks across his first two seasons. Now, he’s transitioning to a true defensive end position after previously lining up at linebacker.

So far, James Franklin has been blown away by the transition, describing Carter’s move as going “better and faster” than expected. It’s “a different world” lining up on the edge per Franklin, but Carter has shined thus far.

Now, fans will get their first glance at Carter in his new spot on the defense as he tries to turn into a game-wrecking pass rusher to help replace the production of Adisa Isaac and Chop Robinson.

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