NITTANY NOTES: Scrimmage Report

See which Penn State quarterback made a move over the weekend to lock down the starting job.

Two weeks out from the season opener against Coastal Carolina at Beaver Stadium, the Penn State football team held its most intense double-session practice of the preseason Saturday.

The first session started at about 8:45 a.m. on the outdoor turf field near Lasch Building, and lasted for two and a half hours. Though the players were only in shells (helmets and shoulder pads), it was a “tough session for a two-a-day,” according to one observer.

The afternoon session featured a full-pad scrimmage at Beaver Stadium, and ran an unusually long 120 plays. By comparison, the Coaches Clinic Scrimmage every spring is typically 75-85 plays.

The lowlight of the scrimmage, as we reported earlier, was the broken leg sustained by redshirt freshman defensive tackle Devon Still.

“That's a tough one,” an observer said, stating the obvious.

A couple of other developments of note from the scrimmage:

CLARK MAKES A MOVE

Despite what the PSU coaching staff would have you believe, the fight to become starting quarterback is not a three-man race but rather a two-man tilt between redshirt junior Daryll Clark and redshirt sophomore Pat Devlin.

In Saturday's scrimmage, Clark was much more consistent. We're told he was not great but generally played well. Devlin, meanwhile, had an off day.

So with camp breaking in about a week — the final schedule has not been set, but it looks like the final session will be next Saturday — the starting job appears to be Clark's to lose.

“Maybe it was just today, but Pat will really have to fight to get the nod at this point,” one observer said.

RUNNING BACK ATTACK

For all the heat Penn State has received for not landing a super blue-chip tailback in recent years, the program suddenly seems to be stacked at the position.

Redshirt sophomore Evan Royster and redshirt freshman Stephfon Green led an outstanding ground attack in Saturday's scrimmage. While Penn State's veteran offensive line played an important part in the success of the backs, one observer believes the runners are going to be the key to the offense.

“They are really good,” the observer said. “Very strong. This is going to be a huge year for them.”

Interestingly enough, the strong reviews on the running game came even though none of the backs broke a big run.

"Nothing Green-esque," an observer said, referring to long breakaways that have become specialties of Green.

But Royster impressed by taking a handoff and powering for 20 tough yards up the gut. Later, multi-purpose threat Derrick Williams took a reverse for 18 yards.

MORE OF MOYE

Redshirt freshman receiver Derek Moye continues to turn heads in the preseason. The 6-foot-5, 202-pounder was at it again Saturday.

In a scrimmage generally bereft of long-gainers, Moye had the play of the day, hauling in a 30-yard reception.

QUICK HITTERS

The team does not practice Sunday. … With the second summer semester now complete, the staff will have more flexibility with the practice schedule this week. As of this writing, a slate for the finale week of preseason ball had not been set. … Camp Lockdown was in full force for the scrimmage. While there are typically at least a handful of outsiders on hand for most scrimmages (family, recruits, high school coaches, etc.), Beaver Stadium was completely void of visitors for this one. “No one expect the officials,” one observer said.


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