Starting tailback Bill Belton and cornerback Stephon Morris are nursing ankle injuries though Penn State coach Bill O’Brien is hopeful each is able to play Saturday at Virginia.
O’Brien said neither injury is serious but that he won’t know until later this week the availability of either player at Penn State tries to avoid its first 0-2 start since 2001.
Belton rushed for a team-high 53 yards on 13 carries in a 24-14 loss to Ohio. He and Morris, Penn State’s most experienced defensive back, each left the game in the second half.
Derek Day, who started his career as a walk-on, will start at tailback if Belton is unable to play in the noon game at Scott Stadium, O’Brien said. True freshman Da’Quan Davis is in line to start if Morris is not able to play.
With or without Belton O’Brien said he plans on running more after Penn State threw the ball 48 times in the loss to Ohio and had just 22 rushes.
O’Brien isn’t planning on making any changes at quarterback as senior Matt McGloin will continue to get all of the snaps. O’Brien said late month that Sto-Rox graduate Paul Jones will play this season.
“We’re sticking with one guy for now,” O’Brien said Tuesday at his weekly news conference.
– Scott Brown