Day will start, Penn State's O'Brien says

Former walk-on Derek Day will start at running back in Saturday's game against Virginia, Penn State coach Bill O'Brien said on his weekly radio show on Thursday night.

Sophomore Bill Belton, who sustained an ankle injury in the season-opener, is still day-to-day, O'Brien said. Belton tallied 53 yards on 13 carries against Ohio. Day recorded 36 yards on eight carries.

Day, a 5-foot-9, 193-pound fifth year senior from Harrisburg entered training camp as the No. 3 running back. When Silas Redd transferred to Southern California, Day was bumped up to No. 2. Now, as Belton recovers from injury, it appears Day is No. 1.

O'Brien also suggested that Curtis Dukes, a 6-foot-1, 245-pound redshirt junior, will see more carries in the Virginia game. Dukes rushed for 237 yards last season, but sat out of spring practices to focus on academics. O'Brien said Dukes had a great summer.

One player who probably won't see the field is freshman Akeel Lynch. O'Brien said the freshman running back has "a tremendous future at Penn State," however it's not his time yet. O'Brien would not commit on whether he would redshirt Lynch or not. 

"Akeel Lynch has made a lot of progress," O'Brien said. "But veterans deserve a chance to play right now."

-Emily Kaplan