"Certainly any time you have a player the caliber of and the type of guy that Matt Lehman is go down, it's not good," O'Brien said. "I just absolutely love guys like that, guys that overcome the odds. He really worked hard to improve his game this offseason and he had a fantastic training camp."
After graduating from Newport (Pa.) High School, Lehman went to Shippensburg but transferred to Penn State's Harrisburg campus. He enrolled at the main campus in January 2011, and was awarded a scholarship after last season when he caught 24 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns.
O'Brien also said that linebacker Mike Hull (knee) and tight end Kyle Carter (arm) were day-to-day.
At halftime Saturday, Penn State will honor the 40th anniversary of its 1973 football team that went 12-0 and produced a Heisman Trophy winner in former Upper Darby resident John Cappelletti.
"Personally, given my love of the history of college football and our staff feeling the same way, we can't wait to welcome those guys back," O'Brien said. "It will mean a lot to our fans. We're really thrilled to have them back on the field with us this weekend."
He's a Belushi guy
The Nittany Lions were successful on a pair of fourth-down gambles in Saturday's win, but O'Brien poked fun at himself by admitting he didn't realize the initial try was, in fact, a fourth down.
"I thought it was a first down," he said. "I thought we had gotten the first down on the previous play so I didn't even know it was fourth down.
"It was like [John] Belushi in Animal House: He's on a roll, just let him go . . . after he said 'when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.' "