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Penn State Quarterbacks Race Still Razor-Close

Coach Joe Paterno still can't pick between Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin.

Penn State's Big Ten opener is now less than a fortnight away, and as the team's quarterback competition has failed to resolve itself, speculation about what coach Joe Paterno is seeking from Matthew McGloin and Rob Bolden has only intensified.

It seems not even the coach, however, is quite sure what will help him make a decision about which quarterback should get regular duties. At his weekly press conference on Tuesday, Paterno was at a loss when asked what he's looking for.

"I don't know what I'm waiting for," Paterno said. "I think both those kids are so close and both those kids deserve to play."

How close are they, though, exactly? Consider these numbers.

Through three games, McGloin is completing 54.1 percent of his passes and has thrown for a total of 201 yards. He's averaging 5.4 yards per completion and has a quarterback rating of 99.7 with no interceptions to this point.

Bolden has completed 44.8 percent of his passes for 273 yards. He's averaging 4.7 yards per completion, owns a quarterback rating of 77.5 and has thrown two picks so far.

McGloin saw a majority of the passing snaps on Saturday against Temple as the Nittany Lions defeated the Owls 14-10 at Lincoln Financial Field. He finished the day 13-for-19 for 124 yards. But it was Bolden who got the call for Penn State's final touchdown drive that proved to be the difference in the game. Here's video of McGloin's comments on the quarterback rotation after the game.

Bolden didn't have a great day statistically against Temple, finishing just 9-for-17 for 92 yards, an interception, and a quarterback rating of 86.6, but he completed some key passes when he needed to on the Lions final drive, including an 11-yard completion to wide receiver Derek Moye on a fourth down play to keep the game-winning drive alive.

Despite the exciting finish to his day, though, Bolden was candid after the game in assessing his performance.

"I didn't have my best game today," Bolden said. "I had a few mistakes here and there and I could have did some things different ... so as far as [the coaches] looking at that and seeing if they're going to choose me or choose Matt, I don't know."

Penn State will face Eastern Michigan this weekend at Beaver Stadium before heading to Bloomington for their conference opener against Indiana. At this point, it looks like the two-quarterback system will endure for the foreseeable future, as Paterno told reporters he isn't necessarily compelled to make a decision before the league slate begins.

That said, that's not exactly a situation he's thrilled to be in.

"Maybe I'm making a mistake in not deciding," Paterno said. "I'm not real comfortable having two quarterbacks.  I'm not comfortable with it.  But I also wouldn't be comfortable if I did something that I felt ended up being unfair to one. So I have a dilemma."


Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.