Penn State still doesn't have a starting quarterback, but the team is finally allowing both candidates to talk to the media during game week.
Both feel they should be the No. 1 quarterback (no surprise). Both also seem surprised the competition hasn't been resolved (like the rest of us). Both discussed the importance of being the starter, why they should be the starter, the two-quarterback system and several other topics.
Here's a summary:
As he has before, Bolden didn't hide his feelings about the quarterback race. "I feel like I am No. 1," he said.
Bolden has started each of Penn State's first four games, although McGloin has also seen action in the first half. Being the first quarterback off of the bus and the first to take snaps clearly means a lot to Bolden. "It's really important for me," he said. "I think during the week of practice, we cover everything, we're both prepared, and it's important for me to be the first guy. ... I want to be the first guy to take the team down the field and score."
Bolden thinks he's well ahead of where he was at this point last season, calling himself "clueless" early in his freshman season. He does see the need to improve his touch on passes, especially the deep ball.
Here's how Bolden describes his relationship with McGloin: "I talk to him. We don't really hang out that much, but we have a pretty good relationship. There's no conflict or anything."
One of the subplots to Penn State's quarterback race is the fact Bolden nearly left the program after the Outback Bowl and didn't rule out a departure when he talked to Bennett on Penn State's preseason media day. He sounded more committed Wednesday, saying, "I haven't thought about leaving since I've been back, so I'd say I'm happy. I never thought I'd be in a two-quarterback thing, but I'm happy where I am."
McGloin thought he had won the job coming out of camp and several times anticipated the competition being terminated. "I thought I was doing everything better," he said, "making better reads, moving the ball better, playing better when I'm in there. But I guess the coaches didn't feel that way coming out of camp."
McGloin disagreed with coach Joe Paterno's theory that there can be an advantage to not starting and coming off of the bench. "Absolutely not," he said. "When you are doing work, studying film, then there's no advantage to coming in in the first quarter or the fourth quarter. I'd definitely like to be the first guy out." He did note Penn State's first-quarter struggles on offense.
Many view Bolden as the more talented option with greater upside, while McGloin is seen as the grinder, the guy getting the most out of his ability. Most references to McGloin include the fact he's a former walk-on, which rankles the junior. "I can't stand being called a former walk-on," he said. "It's annoying at times, and I wish people would drop it. I don't consider myself a walk-on. I consider myself a Penn State football player." Can't blame McGloin for feeling this way, as the "former walk-on" references infer that he doesn't deserve a real shot at the job.
McGloin was asked whether Bolden's potential to transfer (real or perceived) has delayed a decision on naming a starter. "I can understand were that's coming from," he said. "But whether Rob is considering leaving or not has no effect on the way I perform and should not have an effect on the coaches' decision on who should start. If it did, I'd be upset." Again, can't blame him for feeling this way.
McGloin said he's willing to do what's best for the team, but like Bolden, he identifies drawbacks with a two-quarterback system. "Rob and I are two different leaders, two different guys in the huddle," he said. "It's tougher keeping the crew together coming in and coming out. I'm proud of the way we handled it."
McGloin also brought up an interesting point on Penn State getting away with a quarterback rotation against weaker teams but not elite ones like No. 2 Alabama. "Alabama, they do so many things defensively, it’s hard to rotate two guys in and out," he said. "It would have been better off to go with one guy and take it from there."
McGloin, on his relationship with Bolden: "We have a healthy relationship. We're always trying to encourage each other, trying to make each other better. ... Come game day, you want to win, regardless of who's in there."
Some interesting thoughts from the Penn State quarterbacks.