Sports

Bye week a bonus for freshman QB Hackenberg, Penn State as No. 4 Ohio State awaits

  • Penn State head coach Bill O' Brien, left, points to Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg (14) during a time out in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Michigan in State College, Pa., Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

    Penn State head coach Bill O' Brien, left, points to Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg (14) during a time out in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Michigan in State College, Pa., Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)  (The Associated Press)

  • Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg (14) looks to pass during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Michigan in State College, Pa., Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

    Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg (14) looks to pass during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Michigan in State College, Pa., Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)  (The Associated Press)

His career as a full-time starter now at six games, Christian Hackenberg's freshman season already has reached halftime.

Penn State's 18-year-old quarterback has had more good times than bad while leading the Nittany Lions to a 4-2 record heading into a second bye week at the halfway point. And they'll follow up a 43-40, four-overtime victory over previously undefeated Michigan with an Oct. 26 trip to No. 4 Ohio State.

"I think we were going to (carry momentum) either way," Hackenberg said. "We're really focused as a team. That's a testament to the coaching staff and how we attack each day at practice.

"(The bye week) is even better. We have a couple more days to prepare, get a good game plan and get ready to go to a hostile environment and play a really good football team. I think it's more of a bonus for us."