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O’Brien Still Not Ready To Name Starting Quarterback

The highly-anticipated Bill O’Brien conference call Thursday afternoon ended anticlimactically with the quarterback situation still uncertain at Penn State. O’Brien had previously said he would name a starting quarterback by the end of the week, and seeing as this was his last scheduled media availability this week, it seemed to fit that today would be the day. It was all for naught, however, as O’Brien wouldn’t put the situation to rest.

“I don’t know. It might not come until next week. It may come the first play of the game on offense,” O’Brien said on the QB decision. “I’m going to do what’s best for the football team. All that I care about is that the guys in the team meeting room know where we’re headed. That’s all I really care about, with all due respect to the clarification question.”

Some other highlights from the call:

  • Injured LB Ben Kline has been able to practice over the past few days.
  • Bill Belton has had a strong camp. “He’s going to play a lot of football for us,” O’Brien said. “He looks to be a little bit quicker, a little bit faster.”
  • O’Brien is a fan of neutral site games. “I think it’s really good for your program it’s good for your kids. We have 40,000 alums just in that New York area. It’s important to get out to those areas where we have so many Penn State alums.”
  • Freshmen that O’Brien sees making an impact on offense this season: Christian Hackenberg, Adam Breneman, tackle Andrew Nelson, and wide receiver Richy Anderson.
  • Freshmen that O’Brien sees making an impact on defense this season: None. “Defensively, right now I don’t see a lot of true freshman helping us on that end.”
  • What about special teams? “I do see one run-on freshman that I think can help us in special teams hopefully is Von Walker. He’s come in here and done a nice job for a young guy.”
  • O’Brien isn’t worried that Syracuse hasn’t named a quarterback yet. “In this day and age of college football, you have to be ready for everything, whether it’s a pro-style attack or a shotgun-run attack. We do it all offensively so we give our defense a lot of exposure to a lot of different schemes. We know it’s going to be really tough playing them. They’re an excellent opponent with a really good coaching staff.”

We’re just nine days away from Penn State football. Kickoff against Syracuse is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on August 31 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.

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About the Author

Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a reporter and Onward State's Managing Editor Emeritus. You can find him at the Phyrst more nights than not. If he had to pick a last meal, Zach would go for a medium-rare New York strip steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a cold BrewDog Punk IPA. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @theZachBerger.

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