Tuesday, October 11, 2011
JoePa sticking with two-QB system
By Brian Bennett
The numbers say Matthew McGloin should be the starting quarterback for Penn State. The eyeball test confirms that, as well.
But the only person's say in the situation that really matters is Joe Paterno's. And he's still not ready to settle this quarterback race, even after six weeks of evidence.
The Nittany Lions coach reiterated on Tuesday what he's repeated all season long: there's no clear starter, and both McGloin and Rob Bolden will continue to split time.
"I think it's worked for us in the sense that both kids have done well," Paterno said. "I'm not convinced one is better."
The stats suggest otherwise.
Though Bolden has started every game this season, McGloin has been much better in the past four games. The numbers on both in that span:
Bolden: 25-of-51 (49 percent) for 305 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.
McGloin: 49-of-77 (63.6 percent) for 681 yards, with five touchdowns and one interception.
Last week's win over Iowa seemed to crystallize the discrepancy between the two. Bolden started but played only one series after the first drive. He had just three completions -- all of which were tipped balls and one of which bounced off a referee's foot -- for 31 yards. McGloin completed 12 of 19 passes for 133 yards and the game's lone touchdown, though he also threw an ill-advised pass into the end zone that was intercepted. Still, it's clear that McGloin can make throws downfield and get the team's best weapon, receiver Derek Moye, involved in the offense. Bolden appears limited to making short throws.
Still, it's not enough for Paterno to name McGloin the starter.
"Honest to goodness, we're going to watch it each week in practice and see what happens," Paterno said. "We're fortunate that we have two good kids, both of whom are unselfish. They both want to start more and play more, but they understand the situation. The way we're handling the thing now is best for the team, and that's the important thing."
The situation is frustrating for fans and appears to make no sense from the outside. But Penn State's coaches must be weighing what would happen if they benched Bolden, a sophomore who has threatened to transfer a couple of times already. If they were to lose him, there would be no experienced depth behind McGloin.
And so it looks like the Lions will continue to play both quarterbacks, no matter what the numbers and your eyeballs tell you.