MORGANTOWN, W.VA., NOV. 3 -- Tony Sacca is the starting quarterback and Tom Bill is the backup. And that's just about all Penn State Coach Joe Paterno cares to say about the matter.
But when Sacca faltered today, Bill stepped in early in the second quarter to engineer three touchdown drives and spark the 24th-ranked Nittany Lions to their sixth straight victory, 31-19 over West Virginia at Mountaineer Field.
"I don't plan to go to Tommy at all," Paterno said. "I planned to go with Sacca, but Tony just looked out of it a little bit."
Sacca completed one of four passes for 13 yards.
Bill, the starter last season before being suspended for an alcohol problem, completed seven of 12 for 99 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for a touchdown.
"I don't even want to look past Monday," Bill said. "If there's one thing I learned from last year it's to take it one day at a time. It just feels good every week to help out. Tony's a good quarterback and he's going to be a great one someday."
Penn State (6-2) scored on the first series when cornerback Darren Perry intercepted Greg Jones's first pass and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown, starting the Mountaineers on the way to their fifth loss in eight games.
"I don't like it when you get touchdowns that easy, because you haven't done anything yet," Paterno said. "You have a tendency some times to let down."
After a West Virginia field goal, cornerback Derek Bochna's interception with 3:53 left in the half set up Bill's nine-yard pass to wide receiver Terry Smith. The Mountaineers got another field goal to make it 14-6 at the half.
Garrett Ford's 11-yard run on the first drive of the second half closed the margin to 14-12, but Penn State scored on its next three possessions: Bill ran five yards late in the third quarter for 21-12; Gerry Collins ran 19 yards for 28-12 and Craig Fayak kicked a 37-yard field goal with 5:29 left.
"Our kids played their hearts out," said West Virginia Coach Don Nehlen, whose team outgained Penn State by 329-246 in total offense. "I never thought we were out of the game."
Representatives from the Hall of Fame, Citrus, Blockbuster, Gator and Cotton bowls were on hand to look at Penn State.