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Penn State Football: Freshman Steven Bench Thrust Into Action

by on September 08, 2012 1:55 PM

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — And here, on the second Saturday of September, the freshman from Cairo, Ga. became Penn State's No. 2 quarterback.

Steven Bench arrived on campus in May. Four months later, he ascended up the depth chart to back-up Matt McGloin, always one play away from being thrust into action. That play came in the second quarter, when McGloin was hit on his right throwing arm and had to be taken into the locker room for further evaluation.

McGloin had a wrap on his right elbow when the team emerged from the locker room to start the second half and could give it a go. Penn State led, 7-3, at halftime.

Bench is a run-pass threat from SEC country. His father is a high school coach, and he was set on attending Rice before his high school quarterbacks coach sent his tape to PSU coach Bill O’Brien immediately after he was hired Jan. 6.

He's carried three times for 18 yards against Virginia and completed 2-of-6 passes for 12 yards.

Bench arrived on Penn State's campus with the intention of one day winning the quarterback job, to show the recruiting "experts" the two-star label they slapped him with means nothing.

“I’m gonna go in there and work hard, work hard until I am the starter," Bench said in March. "I am gonna try and start this year.”

Said O'Brien: “We felt like his accuracy and decision-making will fit what we're trying to do very well. His leadership skills came across when he came on his official visit. We're thrilled to have him on-board and looking forward to working with him.”

Nate Mink covers Penn State football and news for He's on Twitter as @MinkNate.
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