Penn State turns to Patriots assistant?

As the scandal-ridden Penn State football program attempts to turn the page with a new coach, the university has zeroed in on New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, according to a report.

USA Today’s Jon Saraceno reported on Twitter that "only contract details need to be finalized" before O’Brien takes the Penn State job. Jason LaCanfora of previously reported O’Brien is a candidate.

O’Brien, 42, has been a Patriots assistant since 2007 and is in his first year as their offensive coordinator. He also serves as quarterbacks coach. He gained some notoriety this season when he and Patriots start QB Tom Brady had a shouting match on the sideline during a game against the Washington Redskins.

A former linebacker and defensive end at Brown, O’Brien coached in the college ranks for 14 years, at Brown, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Duke.

After 46 seasons and a Division I-record 409 victories, Joe Paterno was fired as coach in November in the wake of the child sex abuse scanal involving longtime Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Tom Bradley is 1-2 as interim coach and will direct the Nittany Lions in the TicketCity Bowl against Houston on Monday in Dallas.