This update is from Adam Bittner, who is struggling with internet issues in the press box.
Team Rob Bolden? Team Matthew McGloin? Frankly, it doesn’t appear to matter right now. Neither is getting it done.
Penn State was thrashed 27-11 on Saturday afternoon, thanks mostly to poor quarterback play from both its starting hopefuls. Bolden was 11-for-29 with 144 yards and one interception in the loss to the Tide, and McGloin was even worse, finishing 1-for-10 with a yardage total of zero.
The Nittany Lions were in the game early against the Crimson Tide. Evan Lewis hit a 43-yard field goal to put Penn State ahead in the first quarter. Neither quarterback could find a rhythm from there, however, but Alabama’s A.J. McCarron was eventually able to put up enough offense, finishing 19-for-31 with 163 yards and one touchdown. It was all Alabama from the second quarter on, although the Nittany Lions did manage a one-yard Silas Redd touchdown with less than two minutes left in the game.
Penn State fans will likely point to a couple of questionable calls by officials early on in constructing the narrative of the Lions’ demise. Alabama appeared to be stopped short on a fake punt that would have set the Lions up with a short field. Ultimately, though, the offense probably wouldn’t have been good enough to keep pace regardless.
The Tide outgained the Lions 359 to 251 in total yards, and both Bolden and McGloin made a number of bad throws that could have been picked off that were not. If it’s possible, the score sheet paints a rosier picture of what actually happened down on the field today.
Fortunately for Penn State, there were some positives on defense. Linebackers Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti had nice days, each posting double digits in tackles. Devon Still and Jordan Hill were fairly effective on the defensive line.
Don’t expect that to undo a wave of criticism of the quarterbacks over the next week or two, though. They were simply outclassed on Saturday by a counterpart in McCarron with far less experience than both of them.
We’ll have all the post-game reaction from the press room here on the site. Stay tuned throughout the rest of the weekend.