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Syracuse vs. Penn State: Hackenberg < Heisenberg

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A source has told ESPN's Nittany Nation writer Josh Moyer that true freshman Christian Hackenberg will get the start for Penn State.

USA TODAY Sports

While the Syracuse Orange await news of who their starter will be, reports are out that the Penn St. Nittany Lions will throw true freshman Christian Hackenberg to the wolves, er, Orange. It's a rare occurance:

The last true freshman to start for Penn State was Rob Bolden in 2010. Before that, you had to go back 100 years to Shorty Miller to find the last quarterback to start the first game of his college career for the Nittany Lions.

Hackenberg beat out JUCO transfer Tyler Ferguson for the starting nod. Bill O'Brien didn't confirm the report but he didn't deny it either. However, he also threw it out there that both QBs may still see the field:

"The guy who's the starter is going to play the majority of the snaps," he said. "But I think it's important when you have two young guys -- it's a totally different situation from last year -- is that whoever the backup is needs to get his feet wet a little bit."

If I know Scott Shafer, the gameplan has always been to get into the backfield and wreak havoc with whoever was playing QB. Knowing a true freshman is back there will only make that strategy more vital.