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What Can Penn State Expect Out of Steven Bench in 2013?

With Jake Waters announcing he will attend Kansas State and not Penn State, the questions about the talent and abilities of quarterback Steven Bench have started to emerge.

Matt McGloin had an incredible season for the Nittany Lions in 2012, setting records and limiting turnovers. Now the time has come for Bench to step up.

With Bench taking over Bill O’Brien’s offense, it is important to remember the people that surround him.  The Nittany Lions have significant talent returning to accompany the young starter in the 2013 campaign.

Most notably, Allen Robinson, Zach Zwinak and a lot of talented tight ends.

Allen Robinson had a record setting season in 2012 catching 77 passes for 1018 yards and 11 touchdowns. Without a doubt, he will be the number one target for Bench.

Robinson emerged as a star in the Penn State offense under O’Brien and should have continued success in 2013.

Brandon Moseby-Felder had 31 catches last season for over 400 yards and is a threat in the offensive system. With such young players around him, Moseby-Felder should be a leader in the receiving corp. 

Along with Robinson and Moseby-Felder, it’s important to mention running backs Zach Zwinak and Bill Belton.

Zwinak had a 1000 yard season in 2012 and took over as the primary back for the Nittany Lions. The downhill runner was able to pick up crucial yards when the Penn State offense needed them and he should be able to do the same in 2013.

Belton entered 2012 as the primary back for Penn State. He would eventually finish the season with 60 carries, but this doesn’t mean he will not be utilized in 2013. He has a year under his belt at the new position and if he can stay healthy, will make a solid second option at the running back position. 

Then there are the tight ends.  

Bill O’Brien has utilized tight ends unlike any other program in the country.

With young players like Jesse James and Kyle Carter emerging as stars and seeing significant time in 2012, Bench has no shortage of offensive options.

Jesse James had 5 touchdown receptions last season and was a crucial part of the red-zone attack for the Nittany Lions. Kyle Carter should also help Bench as he caught 36 passes for over 400 yards.

The Nittany Lions have a lot of talent coming into 2013. With a new quarterback at the helm, the fans shouldn’t be worried but instead excited.

Jake Waters is not coming to Penn State.  That doesn’t mean that the offense will take a step back. Steven Bench is going to do just fine, he has plenty of talent around him and a great set of coaches to teach him.

Gary Gilliam might have put it best when he tweeted, “I hope people aren’t doubting my boy Bench. He’s got a great future here.  Just watch!”

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