Breakout players for 2013: No. 4
December, 18, 2012
By Josh Moyer | ESPN.com
Lee Coleman/Icon SMIQuarterback Steven Bench worked his way up from fourth string to second string before the season, and could be the starter this fall.During the next week, NittanyNation will count down the five Penn State players who weren't named to the All-Big Ten teams and are poised for breakout seasons in 2013.
The No. 4 breakout player: QB Steven Bench, rising sophomore
When he signed his letter of intent in February, he thought he would be coming in as the fourth-string QB -- behind Matt McGloin, Paul Jones and Rob Bolden. That dynamic quickly changed.
Bolden transferred before the season, Jones quit during the season and McGloin is set to graduate. That makes Bench the most experienced quarterback heading into the spring, and that means it's his starting job to lose.
Recent juco commit Tyler Ferguson (Bakersfield, Calif./College of the Sequioas) will push him, but this could be a breakout season for Bench. His father said he dreamed of playing college football on a big stage -- and this is his chance.
He showed O'Brien enough to surpass Jones on the depth chart after about three months on campus, and his work over the offseason will go a long way in determining whether Penn State can pick up right where it left off or if next season is a struggle. Bench is a smart QB with a compact throwing motion, and the smarter QB -- Ferguson or Bench -- will likely become QB1.
ESPN's scouts called him "a bit of a sleeper," and NittanyNation think he might be poised for a breakout season.
Quotables: "Steve's really come a long way. ... I told him he's going to have to battle to win this job. I know they're going to bring in some other guys and he'll have to compete, but he's really come along." - McGloin
Challenges Facing Franklin at Penn State
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35