A pair of roommates from Maryland seem to have figured things out. Injuries, disciplinary shenanigans, and the prospect of squandered potential threatened the Penn State careers of Navorro Bowman and A.J. Wallace. Everyone assumed that Bowman would return to his high standard of play once he returned to the field, but Wallace has been a pleasant surprise -- even to a guy who has seen a lot of football in his 82 years:
"I've been pleased with A.J. doing a lot of things that we've challenged him with," Paterno said. "I was not going to play him for two games until he proved to me he was going to class and doing some of the other things he hadn't been doing.
"I guess he just decided, 'Hey, it's going to be done a certain way. If I want to play, I have to do it that way.' When he did that, I think he started to realize what it takes to be really good."
Paterno challenged Wallace again last week, giving him his first start of the season and most of the responsibility for covering Minnesota's Eric Decker, the top receiver in the Big Ten. Decker finished with just one catch, and that came between safeties Drew Astorino and Nick Sukay.
It turns out Paterno wasn't the only one who challenged Wallace.
"What ya gonna do, No. 1?" Bowman asked him. "Are you gonna step up to the plate and show everyone how good you really are?"