Stephfon Green has re-emerged at just the right time for Penn State.
With Silas Redd still banged up with a collarbone/shoulder injury, Green has taken full advantage of an increased workload. In Saturday's 20-14 win at Ohio State, he scored two rushing touchdowns, marking the second straight week he accomplished that feat.
The fifth-year senior from the Bronx carried 16 times for a 93 yards against the Buckeyes, his highest rushing total since Oct. 3, 2009, when he rushed for 120 yards in a win at Illinois.
“I’ve just been trying to take advantage of my opportunities,” said Green, who already has 16 more yards in six games than he had in all of 2010. “I’m learning from my mistakes, and I’m always trying to get better.”
Green, an emotional and outspoken leader on offense, was twice suspended by former coach Joe Paterno since the start of preseason practices. He returned Oct. 8 against Iowa and gradually saw an increased workload. When Redd was dinged up early on against Nebraska, Green was there to step in.
In Penn State’s first drive Saturday, Green took a handoff from Curtis Drake, who lined up under center in the wildcat formation, and took off up the middle for a 39-yard touchdown run. He also ran for a touchdown from four yards out in the second quarter.
“He came in and he does his thing,” right tackle Chima Okoli said. “He’s not worried about ‘I want to be the featured back.’ He’s not a diva. He comes in there, he’ll get the five yard gains, six-yard gains. So I’m just really pleased with him coming off the adversity that he’s had. He’s just been a great spark-plug for us.”
Wide receiver Derek Moye, one of the team’s senior co-captains, echoed similar sentiments.
“He’s just been in a tough situation as far as being off the team, coming back, having to wait his turn,” Moye said. “But I think that speaks a lot about his character, waiting his turn, and when his turn came around, taking full advantage of it.”