Paterno Solves Penn State's Quarterback Quandry: And It's Clark!

Alex FergusonSenior Analyst IIAugust 27, 2008

I was chatting on my Gmail messenger to a guy who works closely with Penn State, and the question-of-the-week/month/summer came up: who's going start against Coastal Carolina: Darryl Clark or Pat Devlin?

"It'll be Clark," he said.

And he was right.

On Tuesday Joe Paterno announced that Darryl Clark would be his starter against the mighty Coastal Carolina (who finished 5-6 in the Big South, beating no-one major and losing to no-one major last year) at 12pm ET at a sold-out (ish) Beaver Stadium.

Darryl Clark is a poor man's Michael Robinson in terms of speed. If Penn State fans are expecting a Michael Robinson speedalike and strongalike in 2008 then they've got another thing coming. Sure, he'll be able to maneouvre himself out of the pocket, but he simply has to make the throws.

Throwing-wise, he'll be better than Michael Robinson. Despite Michael Robinson's fantastic arm, he seemed to overthrow all of his passes. It was only the fact that Williams, King, and Butler managed to get to them prevented complete embarassment. In the Alamo Bowl against Texas A&M, Clark ran for 50 yards in 8 attempts. He showed some wheels against Wisconsin too, but let's not get too excited.

And as with Devlin, we've heard the whole "cannon for an arm" thing before. Antony Morelli, somebody? It's been said that Devlin is pretty useful himself out of the pocket, and he's got a better arm than Clark.

But in the land of Joe Paterno, seniority rules - and that's why Clark is going to get the job. And he HAD to make a decision - remember Notre Dame's fiasco at the start of the 2007 season, when three quarterbacks didn't really impress enough for Charlie Weis to make a decision until the Michigan game?

Personally, I'd love to see the whole Floridaesque thing - as the Gators so effectively did with Chris Leak (pocket passer) and Tim Tebow (brilliant runner) in their National Championship run in the 2005-6 season. After all, Devlin's got a great arm and Clark's a very useful - if not a Michael Robinson - runner.

And the best thing for Clark is that he's certainly not without weapons as receivers either. Derrick Williams, Deion Butler, Anthony Quarless and Jordan Norwood are all excellent targets with good hands - if they all don't get injured or behave themselves.... Someone called it the "Spread HD offense". Here's some highlights of the past.

But remember with the highlight reel - both Zach Mills and THAT MAN Morelli are in that reel.

Anyway, here's to 1-0 against Coastal Carolina. But remember - Joe Paterno's choice for 2008's biggest test comes September 8th against Oregon State.