Dienhart: Penn State QB race still on

Penn State released its first depth chart of the season this morning—and there is no No. 1 quarterback listed. Instead, Nittany Lions coach Bill O’Brien has an “or” between Tyler Ferguson and Christian Hackenberg.

What’s it mean? America may not discover the identity of Penn State’s starter for this Saturday’s season opener vs. Syracuse in East Rutherford, N.J., until he walks under center for the first offensive snap of 2013.

I honestly don’t know why this has to be drawn out any longer, do you? It’s not like Penn State will gain some schematic edge over Syracuse. Ferguson and Hackenberg have similar styles, so the defensive preparation for the Orange wouldn’t be radically different regardless of who was Penn State’s starter. And neither has taken a snap in a FBS game, so it’s not like experience is a factor.

Regardless, stay tuned. Most think the highly touted true freshman Hackenberg will take the opening snap—but that JC transfer Ferguson also will play. What will be more interesting will be to see who finishes the game under center for Penn State. That will matter the most.

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About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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Show Comments (2 Comments)
2 Post Your Comment
shookwriter27 on 8/26/2013 @ 4:05pm EDT Said:

They’re going to see which one does better under game conditions.

Jeff Spatz on 8/26/2013 @ 4:42pm EDT Said:

Syracuse also is not naming their starting QB before the game. The Syracuse head coach answered your question, Tom.

“Why give anybody an advantage?” (Syracuse HC) Shafer said after Monday’s practice. “To me I just wouldn’t understand it. If it gives them one more practice play against something they think one kid can do compared to the other, why give them that advantage? I just don’t think it makes sense for me.”

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