Emotions were running high in State College for the first Blue-White spring football game in nearly a half-century without the late Joe Paterno stalking the sidelines in his traditional khakis-and-black-sneakers garb. Instead, first-year head coach Bill O'Brien, the former offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, was wearing sweats, a headset and was holding on tightly to his playsheet, and it was kind of weird for everybody. From the AP report:
The day started with a local florist delivering 409 bouquets of blue and white carnations to the statue - one for each of Paterno's career victories. Emotions among some fans are still raw after Paterno was ousted by school trustees in the aftermath of child sexual abuse charges against retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
But most fans also say they're looking forward to the future under O'Brien, the former offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots.
The Penn St. Nittany Lions used three quarterbacks — senior Matt McGloin started, as expected — and each one threw an interception as they continue to learn O'Brien's pro-style offense. Starting running back Silas Redd didn't play much, and his backups, Zack Zwinak and Bill Belton, carried most of the load.
First things first, let's talk quarterbacks. O'Brien said it could be all the way until the end of August until the "competition" (his preferred term) is settled, with Rob Bolden, Matthew McGloin and Paul Jones in the running. And all of that ignores the possibility of bringing in Danny O'Brien, who visited Penn State last week.
B.O'B. says he'll call the offense, and Ted Roof will look to modernize Penn State's traditional defensive look somewhat. It's a formula that's worked for quite literally decades, though, so don't expect the PSU defense to start looking anything like the defense at O'Brien's last stop, the New England Patriots.