He refuses to choose before the first game of the season begins. Penn State Head Football Coach Bill O’Brien said everyone will find out who their starting quarterback will be during the first snap against Syracuse on Saturday at MetLife Stadium. He admits part of the reason for the lack of an announcement is because both candidates are young quarterbacks, Tyler Ferguson and Christian Hackenburg.
The following is the transcript from Tuesday’s press conference when O’Brien discussed the situation:
COACH O’BRIEN: The only other thing I want to address up front is the quarterback situation. I feel like what I try to do every week, along with our staff, is do what’s best for our football team, and, as of right now, you’ll find out who the (starting) quarterback is on the first play of the game against Syracuse.
Believe me, I’m not trying to diminish the importance of that position and what it means to this football program and what it means to our fans, but I want to do what’s best for our players and what’s best for our football team, and so that’s what I’m going to do on that.
Q. This situation is obviously different than last year with the quarterbacks. Is this because the two people involved are young players? Is that why you’re holding off?
COACH O’BRIEN: I think that’s part of it. You’ve got an 18 and a 19‑year‑old guy here. That’s part of it. They basically just got to Penn State. Christian got here a little over a month ago and Tyler has only been in since January.
Last year we had a seasoned quarterback who had been through a lot here at Penn State, he was going into his fifth year, it was a totally different story last year.
Again, it’s more about what’s best for the team. The team understands the direction we’re headed and that’s what’s important.
To me, it’s important, going into a first game not really knowing what your opponent is going to do, and I don’t really think they know what we’re going to do. They’re a very, very good opponent. I think it’s important to do what’s best for your football team, especially going into the first game.