Penn State's quarterback competition has now survived two regular season games, and all indications are it will spill over into Saturday's game against Temple in Philadelphia as well, as Joe Paterno reinforced his decision to play both Rob Bolden and Matthew McGloin at his weekly press conference on Tuesday at Beaver Stadium.
"I think we've made a decision up to a point," Paterno said. "I think we want to play both of them for a while until we find out which one we think might be better for the football team."
The coach then defended the performance of both players on Saturday against Alabama, pointing out their receivers dropped a number of key passes that could have turned their respective days around.
For the season, Bolden, who has started both games, is 17-41 for 181 yards and an interception. His completion percentage is 41.5 and his quarterback rating is 73.7. McGloin has thrown for 77 yards on 7-18 passing. His completion percentage is 38.9 and his quarterback rating is 74.8. Bolden is averaging 4.42 yards per attempt, while McGloin is averaging 4.28. Obviously not a whole lot of difference between the two statistically aside from Bolden's greater number of passes.
Paterno did acknowledge, however, that he's thought about the decision to replace Bolden with McGloin on the third drive of the game against the Crimson Tide. Bolden had just led a scoring drive and Paterno thought he looked good, but decided to stick to the game plan of getting McGloin some snaps early as well.
"I might second guess myself a little bit because I thought Bolden threw the ball really well early," Paterno said. "I think he just didn't have any luck. But we had kind of told the kids that [playing both early] was the way we were going to operate for a while, so I probably...maybe changed that a little bit, but I intend to play both of them."
And so, the offense will once again prepare for an opponent with two quarterbacks splitting time this week. As far as offensive lineman Quinn Barham is concerned, however, the team can be successful with either behind center.
"I don't really have a problem with whoever's back there," Barham said. "It doesn't really matter who's back there, both guys are capable of getting the job done."