O'Brien: No decision on QB until Saturday

August, 27, 2013
8/27/13
1:40
PM ET
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Bill O'Brien said Tuesday he will not announce a starting quarterback before the season opener against Syracuse.

"You'll find out who the quarterback is on the first play against Syracuse," he said during his weekly news conference.

The Penn State head coach said early last week that he would announce by the end of that week whether true freshman Christian Hackenberg or junior college QB Tyler Ferguson earned the start. But, by Thursday, he had reconsidered.

He said Tuesday that the two players' youth both contributed toward his change of heart.

"You've got an 18- and 19-year-old guy here. That's part of it," he said. "They just got here."

Ferguson enrolled in January but missed about a month of voluntary workouts due to personal reasons. Hackenberg arrived over the summer because his high school, Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy, didn't allow for early graduation.

O'Brien's comments don't necessarily mean he doesn't know who the starter will be, however. When asked whether the team or staff already knew the starter, O'Brien declined to comment. He simply restated his position that fans and the media would learn of his decision Saturday.

O'Brien initially said Ferguson held the early edge in camp. But, by Week 2, he said the race was too close to call.

Penn State will face Syracuse at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Josh Moyer | email

Penn State/Big Ten reporter

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