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Boasting the second-best passing attack in the Big Ten, Northwestern can be a handful led by quarterback and Bethlehem, Pa., native Dan Persa. Fitzgerald said this week that Persa was on schedule to play after suffering a concussion during last week’s win at Indiana.

Persa ranks 12th nationally in total offense, accounting for almost 303 yards per game, but his coach values him especially for his stoic leadership.

“If guys aren’t enthusiastic, I don’t give them pom-poms and ask them to be cheerleaders,” he said. “He’s a guy who’s really focused and determined to help our team win, and I don’t see any negative in that.”

Penn State has its own quarterback questions after Paterno said Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin would compete for the starting job against the Wildcats. Bolden missed last week’s game over Michigan after recovering from a concussion, and McGloin threw 250 yards and a score in the win.

Paterno has said Bolden is feeling much better, but that he wanted to put his freshman through a full week of practice before deciding whether he should regain his starting job.

Not surprisingly, Paterno hadn’t mentioned the milestone during drills.

“Just normal Joe, making fun, making his laughs, trying to relax tensions,” linebacker Bani Gbadyu said. “He hasn’t brought up anything with the 400 wins, but everyone knows what it would mean for him, what it would mean for the program.”