UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State freshman Silas Redd has been pushing for more playing time in the backfield.
The third-string tailback is the second-leading rusher on the team after gaining a career-high 71 yards on nine carries in the 33-21 win against Minnesota this past weekend.
"Silas is electric," right tackle Chima Okoli said. "I call him the roadrunner because his feet move too fast for his body sometimes.
"He's definitely a dynamic back and somebody who's going to make a difference."
Redd, 5 feet 10 and 197 pounds, had all but 1 of his yards in the fourth quarter against the Golden Gophers. He had back-to-back runs of 26 and 20 yards and another covering 17 yards.
Entering the game against Michigan Saturday night at Beaver Stadium, Redd has rushed for 173 yards on 29 carries. He leads the team in average yards per carry at 6.0.
"He's going to be a heck of a back," right guard Stefen Wisniewski said. "He's really good already. He's just so quick, so athletic.
"He really makes people miss. I'm expecting him to be a great one."
Penn State ranks next-to-last in the Big Ten in rushing and is tied for 86th nationally, averaging 128.7 yards per game.
Although starter Evan Royster and backup Stephfon Green are ahead of Redd on the depth chart, coach Joe Paterno hopes to get Green and Redd more work against the Wolverines.
"Obviously, Royster is our first stringer," Paterno said. "He's played a lot of football, has had a lot of success, knows what's going on and is very dependable. Green and Redd -- we like very much and we'd like to get both of them a little bit more work.
"So for me to tag Redd in front of Green would probably not be fair. I think both have good potential. I think Redd played maybe 18-20 plays [against Minnesota], and I think Green played 18-21.
"I think that it's a nice situation. Both those kids could be good football players eventually. But right now they're sharing some opportunities."
As expected, former walk-on Matt McGloin will make his first career start Saturday at quarterback.
"We're going to go with Mac," Paterno said Thursday night on his weekly radio show.
McGloin, who replaced starter Rob Bolden last week after he suffered a concussion, believes he will be successful.
"Give me a week of practice, a lot more reps, some looks at the scout team mimicking their defense," he said. "I think I can go out there and play really, really well."
Wisniewski has been selected as one of 16 National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athletes from across all NCAA and NAIA divisions.
He will receive an $18,000 scholarship for post-graduate studies. Wisniewski, a senior three-year starter, also is a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, presented to the country's top college football scholar-athlete. The winner will receive a total of $25,000 for post-graduate work.
Sophomore Jordan Hill and freshman DaQuan Jones have been forced to move from defensive tackle to end because of injuries.
Paterno said it has been a tough transition for both, but said they have handled it well.
"I think when you ask kids to change positions in a spot where they're highly visible, where people can arrange to do things to take advantage of it, it's tough. But I think they've held their own."
Hill, 6-1, 309, made his first career start at Minnesota and had six tackles.
"I played defensive end my freshman year in high school, and that was about it," he said. "But I didn't think it was that difficult to go outside.
"The only thing that was different was that I was playing in a lot of space, and I wasn't getting double-teamed a lot. Other than that, it wasn't hard for me."
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez was asked about his thoughts on facing the 83-year-old Paterno, who needs two more coaching victories for 400.
Rodriguez, 0-2 against Paterno since taking over the Wolverines' program in 2008, responded: "Joe and I aren't going against each other," Rodriguez said. "I might be able to take him if it was just me and him."
Ron Musselman: email@example.com .