Youngsters Shine in Spring Game

The sun was not the only bright thing as the Blue outlasted the White, 27-14, before a record crowd of 73,000 at Beaver Stadium.

Penn State staged its annual Blue-White game before a sun-splashed record crowd of 73,000 Saturday.

The game did little to answer any of the pressing questions facing the program: Who will start at QB? How will the defense react to the loss of star linebacker Sean Lee to injury? Who will be coaching the team in 2009?

But it did, as usual, provide a chance for some promising redshirt freshmen to show their stuff before a real audience.

Running back Stephfon Green wasted little time living up to the hype that's been surrounding him, taking his first handoff through a hole on the left side and then blazing 57 yards to open the scoring for the White. He finished with 87 yards on 12 carries to lead all runners.

Another young member of the White -- tight end Andrew Szczerba -- served notice that the suspension of projected starter Andrew Quarless may not be that big of a deal, after all. In the first half alone, Szczerba hauled in five catches for 65 yards, doing most of his damage over the middle.

As for the quarterback battle, since the team ran little of the spread offense we are likely to see in the fall, it was difficult to gauge much of anything out of this game. Daryll Clark and Pat Devlin both moved around among the first, second and even third teams.

Clark's best throw was a 33-yard-TD pass to Derrick Williams, who had broken free behind safety Michael Mauti. Overall, Clark connected on 9 of 16 passes for 106 yards and two scores.

Devlin's highlight was a roll-out left on which he threw the ball slightly behind Graham Zug on purpose, allowing the receiver to slow up and beat the defensive back for a 33-yard score. Devlin was 12 of 18 for 122 yards and the one scoring strike.

Defensively, the Lions kept things basic. Though no blitzing was allowed, this game was evidence of just how deep PSU is at end. Second-teamer Aaron Maybin had 3.5 sacks (but QBs only had to be touched to be downed in this game).

Other youngsters who showed flashes were true freshman running back Brandon Beachum (55 yards on seven carries), Zug (four catches for 47 yards) and punter Ryan Breen, who corked an 81-yarder.

Most of the Lion veterans were long gone by the middle of the third quarter, giving way to the reserves to show their stuff.

Who won? Well, the Blue got the nod, 27-14, pulling away after a 14-14 tie at the break. But it should be noted that many players changed sides at halftime, allowing the coaching staff to get a better look at some different combinations.

So the real winners were probably the fans, who were treated to a fantastic day and a handful of exciting plays.

NOTES • Redshirt freshman receivers Derek Moye missed the game with a pulled hamstring. We caught up with him afterward and he said the injury was not serious. • Other players who missed the game with injuries included DB Nick Sukay (foot), DT Devon Still (knee) and DE Jerome Hayes (knee). • It was like a who's-who of former Lions on the sideline. Faces seen included, Paul Posluszny. Michael Robinson, Matt Rice, Blair Thomas, Bryant Johson, Justin King and a host of others. • Portland Trailblazers rookie Greg Oden was in the house. He sat in the stands with a friend from the PSU women's volleyball team.

Stay tuned to FOS for more from the game, including video interviews with players and coaches.


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