Penn State Nittany Lions: spring practice

Practice notebook: QBs, DBs & more

April, 10, 2013
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Bill O'Brien maintained an even tone Wednesday afternoon as reporters surrounded him to pepper in questions about his two quarterbacks.

He remained stoic as he explained "no guy has really stood out above the other guy." Consistency has been the buzz word this spring, and that seemed no different at practice No. 10, which was open to the media for about 30 minutes.

O'Brien's calm demeanor dissolved two hours following that interview once practice began and his quarterbacks guided the team during a two-minute drill. It was the only time the media were able to watch the signal-callers face the defense -- and they did so inside Holuba Hall as thunder rumbled around the facility.

"Don't film this!" O'Brien barked during the 7-on-7s.

Steven Bench took snaps with the first team and, again, showed glimpses of greatness and inexperience. He completed three straight passes by finding three different receivers, and Mike Hull's blanket coverage on Jesse James prevented a fourth straight completion.

But it was the following pass attempt that caused O'Brien to pull Bench aside and gesture to him.

The quarterback dropped back and attempted to rifle in a ball over the middle. The pigskin went right through safety Ryan Keiser's fingertips, and a coach called out, "Game's over right there. Gotta get that!"

Bench rebounded on the next play by finding Allen Robinson in the end zone to finish off the two-minute drill. Tyler Ferguson then took over and completed two straight passes before faltering.

He spiked the ball to stop the clock, then held on too long, and appeared as if that counted as a sack. He followed up by completing a short pass to Richy Anderson, but it was too late. O'Brien whistled the drive dead as the marker showed fourth down.

"They both had their moments," O'Brien said prior to the drill. "I've been very impressed by how hard each guy has worked."

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