PSU QB Clark shines in Blue-White game
UNIVERSITY PARK — It is a long way to the start of another regular season, yet Penn State's football prospects for 2009 appear brighter than when spring practices began a month ago.
At least, that's how coach Joe Paterno views it.
"We're getting better," he said, "but injuries have set us back."
Still, injuries can heal, and Paterno is hopeful that the 14 players who sat out Saturday's Blue-White scrimmage at Beaver Stadium can be ready to contribute come Sept. 5, when the Nittany Lions welcome Akron for their season opener.
Headlining the injured list is all-Big Ten linebacker Sean Lee, the Upper St. Clair High School product who missed last season following knee surgery. Lee, a fifth-year senior, has been held out of contact drills this spring as a precaution.
"It felt good to be back out there with the team," said Lee, who led Penn State in tackles in 2007 with 138.
Also missing were key players such as defensive end Jerome Hayes (left knee) and running back Stephfon Green (right ankle). Cornerback A.J. Wallace was on the field after missing time this spring with a hamstring injury.
Incumbent quarterback Daryll Clark, playing in just the first two series for the Blue team, completed 10 of 13 passes for 123 yards, but the White team prevailed, 21-16, before a crowd of 76,500 — record scrimmage attendance for the third consecutive year.
Last year's game drew more than 73,000.
The White team, with backup quarterbacks Kevin Newsome and Shane McGregor each throwing a touchdown pass in the second quarter, rallied from a 7-0 first-quarter deficit.
Clark, who led Penn State to an 11-2 record and a berth in the Rose Bowl last season, completed his first pass to Andrew Quarless for 13 yards and later in the drive used an 8-yard completion to Chaz Powell to set up Joe Suhey's 2-yard touchdown run.
Clark's 28-yard completion to Derek Moye, a Rochester High School product, was his longest of the day before Clark retired to the bench at the end of the first quarter.
Quarless and Zug Graham each had four receptions for the Blue team. Evan Royster was its leading rusher with 21 yards on three carries.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Matthew McGloin led the White rushing attack with 28 yards on his only carry, while redshirt freshman Derek Day gained 25 yards on six attempts.
McGloin threw a pair of touchdown passes while playing for both teams — one of 19 yards to Graham while with the Blue team and the other of 17 yards to J.D. Mason while with the White team.
Clark said he's poised to again excel while helping his young receiving corps, including Moye, who caught two passes from Clark for 29 yards.
"This was a very beneficial spring," Clark said. "The guys stepped up and made a lot of plays. They looked comfortable getting open and catching the ball. I am really thrilled with how they played and can't wait for the season to start."
McGloin, a walk-on from Scranton, is in the mix as Clark's backup after spending a season with Penn State last year. He completed 9 of 13 passes for 111 yards to go with the touchdowns.
If the season began today, quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno said, "Newsome (the team's only scholarship quarterback besides Clark) would be '2', and McGloin would be '2A.'
"The only thing set in stone," he said, "is that Daryll is No. 1."