Penn State Football Notebook: Paul Jones Getting a Look at Tight End
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Paul Jones is busy learning a different playbook these days.
The redshirt sophomore, who has yet to play a down of college football, is getting a look at the “F” tight end position in Bill O’Brien’s offense, the coach said following Saturday’s 17-16 loss to Virginia. Jones will continue to work with the quarterbacks in practice as well.
Freshman Steven Bench is the current No. 2 quarterback and took snaps at the end of the second quarter and start of the third quarter in relief of Matt McGloin, who left the game briefly with a bruised elbow.
“Next week we gotta keep working Paul at both positions,” O’Brien said. “We’re asking him to do a lot. He’s doing a heckuva job.”
McGloin to be Re-Evaluated
It only took two plays in the second half for Bill O'Brien to send Matt McGloin back into the game with a bruised elbow.
McGloin, for his part, wasn't exactly trying to stay on the sidelines, either.
"As a competitor you don’t ever wanna be taken off the field in any situation," McGloin said. "I told Coach O'Brien if he needed me, I'm ready to go in. I was just trying to get my arm from getting stiff. He told me to go in, so I went in."
Added McGloin: "I wasn't gonna argue with him."
The quarterback twice left the game in the first half — once for one play and later for the team's final drive in the first half. He said he twice hit the same nerve in his right throwing elbow on a defender's helmet. After the second hit, he was taken into the locker room, where the training staff "worked their magic."
McGloin said he would likely be re-evaluated in the next day or so, just for precautionary reasons.
"It's just bruised up," he said, "a little swollen. Nothing ice and Motrin cant fix."
Day to be Examined in State College
Penn State’s running back depth is hurting again after Derek Day left Saturday’s 17-16 loss with an undisclosed left shoulder injury.
Day was injured in the third quarter. He had his left arm in a sling after the game and will be evaluated upon return to State College.
“I just felt something went wrong in my shoulder,” Day said. “It started burning a little bit. I knew something wasn’t right.”
Curtis Dukes filled in for Day, gaining 30 yards on 10 carries. Zach Zwinak also saw three carries.
Freshman Bench Makes Debut
Quarterback Steven Bench was the latest freshman to make his season debut Saturday. (Correction: Evan Lewis was back deep on the punt return unit alongside Jesse Della Valle — not Eugene Lewis. Apologies for the error - NM).
O'Brien had said in a recent ESPN.com article that he wanted to try to redshirt Bench, if possible. Bench spelled McGloin at quarterback for a couple of series after McGloin bruised his elbow.
O'Brien Confused by Clock Issue
O'Brien was a bit baffled after Penn State was forced to use its second timeout of the opening drive because of an expiring play clock following a personal foul penalty on Virginia.
"The penalty was being explained to me, and the play clock was running as the penalty is being explained to me twice," O'Brien said. "I don't even know if the penalty was on Virginia or Penn State, so I'm not sure how that works. I'm just a rookie head coach."