The 2012 season was one that finished with an unexpected 8-4 record for the Penn State Nittany Lions. Penn State will be looking to replace several key players going into the 2013 season, and that could lead to the team not finishing nearly as well this time around. Matt McGloin has graduated along with defensive leader Michael Mauti. It is going to be up to Coach Bill O’Brien to put the right players in place to replace those two if the Nittany Lions want to match their win total.
O’Brien knows he has a quarterback prospect just around the corner for the 2014 season in Christian Hackenberg, who will likely be the starter from day one so it boils down to just figuring out this season. It is going to come down to either Steven Bench or Tyler Ferguson. I would guess that Bench has the inside track since he was there last season. Bench may have only thrown eight passes, but that’s better than Ferguson who is coming in fresh. O’Brien will likely go with Bench this season and wait for Hackenberg’s arrival next year.
The defensive question is a little harder to answer. Penn State has a linebacker named Nyeem Wartman who could end up being a four-year starter after taking a redshirt season last year. Wartman got hurt during the second game of the 2012 season and ended up missing the rest of the year. Wartman is a talented 6’1”, 236 pounder who came to Happy Valley very highly regarded and could end up being the next big linebacker star at the school. O’Brien may have the two biggest questions on his team answered by Bench and Wartman at least for this season.