Archive: August, 2013
For quarterbacks, turf tastes worst behind the line of scrimmage.
Syracuse and Penn State will both send two first-time starting quarterbacks onto the football field at MetLife Stadium this Saturday. Whoever they are, both are probably worried about their first Division I sack in their new uniforms.
Either true freshman Christian Hackenberg or junior college transfer Tyler Ferguson will rely on Penn State's offensive line to hold off that sack as long as possible. But junior guard Miles Dieffenbach said his unit will have its hands full with Syracuse’s uncompromising front four.
An opponent’s indented facemask was a microcosm of Penn State running back Zach Zwinak’s season in 2012. Now, the redshirt junior hopes it’s a harbinger of 2013.
Zwinak doesn’t remember the team of the player whose facemask he caved in. His physical style of football often resembles a defender’s more than a ball carrier’s.
“Zwinak’s really a north south kind of guy,” guard Miles Dieffenbach said. “He really helps you out breaking all those tackles and all those arm tackles. He really helps out an offensive line.”
Penn State coach Bill O’Brien will not divulge publicly the identity of the Nittany Lions’ starting quarterback for Saturday’s season-opening game against Syracuse prior to the opening kickoff.
O’Brien had been hinting for almost a week that he would keep his selection of either sophomore Tyler Ferguson or freshman Christian Hackenberg close to the vest. But at his first teleconference of the season on Tuesday, he declared to the media, “You’ll find out who the quarterback is on the first play of the game against Syracuse.”
The first depth chart for the season released Monday by Penn State coach Bill O’Brien gave no clues as to the identity of the starting quarterback for the Nittany Lions’ season opener against Syracuse on Saturday at the Meadowlands.
The depth chart listed sophomore Tyler Ferguson “OR” freshman Christian Hackenberg where the first-team player;s name would be. For you detectives out there, Ferguson was listed first, but it could have been in alphabetical order or numerical order (Ferguson wears No. 5, Hackenberg No. 14).
O’Brien had said at the start of pre-season that he would name a starting quarterback about two weeks in. He is expected to comment on the situation Tuesday during his first weekly teleconference of the season.
The days leading up to Penn State’s season opener are dwindling but not the number of questions directed at coach Bill O’Brien regarding the identity of the Nittany Lions’ starting quarterback.
And Thursday, on a conference call to hype the Lions' Aug. 31 debut against Syracuse at Met Life Stadium, O’Brien’s mood turned testy.
O’Brien said Tuesday that he’d name a starter between sophomore Tyler Ferguson and freshman Christian Hackenberg by the end of the week. When asked Thursday for a “clarification” as to when that day might be, O’Brien indicated he didn’t care for the question.
The Inquirer's Joe Juliano and CineSport's Chad Cutler discuss Penn State's quarterback battle, the lack of physicality in practice and who could break out this season.
Penn State will play San Diego State in football for the first time ever in 2015, the third non-conference opponent that has been scheduled for that season by the Nittany Lions.
The game is set for Sept. 26 at Beaver Stadium. Penn State still has one more non-conference game left to be scheduled for 2015. Temple, Buffalo and San Diego State are the others.
San Diego State finished 9-4 last season and earned a share of the Mountain West Conference title with a 7-1 mark. The Aztecs played in the Poinsettia Bowl, their third consecutive post-season berth.
Austin Johnson has yet to play a snap, but Jordan Hill’s graduation has opened up big spot in the middle of Penn State defensive line.
Austin, a graduate of St. Augustine Prep, looks primed to help replace the pass rusher from whom he’s learned — and still learning — so much. Defensive line coach Larry Johnson said Austin has been watching film of Hill during training camp.
“[Austin] is smart. He's really smart,” Larry Johnson said. “He can play with great effort. That's the greatest challenge of any defensive lineman, learning to play with great effort on every snap. You can do it two or three plays, but Jordan Hill played every snap like it was a first snap.”