Practice notebook: Belton not taking part

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Injured tailback Bill Belton was nowhere to be seen at Wednesday afternoon's open practice, while Derek Day took snaps with the first team.

Twenty minutes before practice officially started, Belton tweeted: "I trust and believe that everything happens for a reason."

Belton was believed to be in the training room while the media watched practice for 30 minutes. He sprained his left ankle Saturday against Ohio, late in the third quarter, and coach Bill O'Brien said Tuesday he remains day-to-day. If Belton doesn't practice by Friday, O'Brien said Day will get the starting nod.

Zach Zwinak, Akeel Lynch and Curtis Dukes will vie for the backup role.

On the other side of the ball, cornerback Stephon Morris practiced with the first team and seemed fully recovered from a sprained right ankle that caused him to be carted off the field Saturday. Linebacker Gerald Hodges also practiced with the first team.

Jones Bench'ed: True freshman quarterback Steven Bench appears to have moved up to No. 2 on the depth chart, ahead of redshirt sophomore Paul Jones.

Bench and Matt McGloin were the only two quarterbacks with red jerseys, and Bench looked sharp. He found Trevor Williams in the end zone on a goal-line play and tossed accurate balls on short and intermediate routes.

Nice pass: McGloin tossed a few long balls Wednesday. The most memorable went to -- who else? -- Allen Robinson.

McGloin tossed a 40-yard bomb from the 20-yard line, and Robinson caught it in perfect stride. McGloin heaved a similar pass to Matt Zanellato on the next play, but it was about two steps ahead of him.

OL switch: Mike Farrell practiced with the first team Wednesday, ahead of Adam Gress who was named the spring starter.

Farrell appears to have had the better preseason camp, and he's one step ahead of Gress right now.

Drops: In the 15 minutes the media was able to see Penn State do something other than stretch, two wideouts committed some bad drops.

McGloin tossed a 5-yard out to Shawney Kersey, and the pigskin bounced right off his hands onto the turf. He stared at his hands for a moment before running back to the huddle; it was a perfect pass.

A play later, Evan Lewis dropped another ball -- although it was a little low.

Safety carousel: Stephen Obeng-Agyapong played with the first team Wednesday, ahead of Jake Fagnano, at the safety spot.

Fagnano was named the spring starter, but his hamstring issues opened the door of Obeng-Agyapong during preseason camp. Players said the long-named redshirt junior had an impressive few weeks, so Obeng-Agyapong looks to be the starter Saturday.