August 30, 2011

Delay of game

The long-awaited conclusion to the saga of Penn State's quarterback battle isn't coming this week.

Penn State head coach Joe Paterno announced at his Tuesday press conference that both Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin would play in Saturday's season-opener against Indiana State.

"Both of those kids have done really well," Paterno said. "They both worked hard this summer. They both stayed up here this summer and worked with the guys and they've had a real good preseason.

"I'm not a guy that likes to play two quarterbacks, but I think we'll play both of them. We'll play both of them. They're both ready to play and as I said, they've done everything we've asked them to do. I think both of them can take the football team and get us to play about as well as we can play offensively, so, we'll play both."

The decision comes after months of speculation and practice field battle between the two dating back to the conclusion of the 2010 season.

After opening the year as the program's first true freshman quarterback to start the season in 100 years, Bolden led the Lions to a 3-3 record in his first six starts, completing 96 of 171 attempts while passing for 1,177 yards, four touchdowns and seven interceptions. Playing sparingly through the rest of the season, he finished with 1,360 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions, completing 112 of his 193 attempts.

McGloin, meanwhile, took the reins following Bolden's concussion at Minnesota in mid-October. He started five of the next six games thereafter, leading the Lions to a 4-3 record of his own, capped by a five interception performance against Florida in the Outback Bowl. For the season, he completed 118 of 215 passes for 1,548 yards, 14 touchdowns, and nine interceptions.

Although the competition has raged throughout the off-season, Paterno maintained that, at least for now, both quarterbacks would take the competition to the playing field.

"We're trying to get zeroed in on Game No. 1 - Indiana State - this week. We're trying to be as good as we can possibly be, right now," Paterno said. "As I said earlier, I think we have two quarterbacks, both of whom have done well, both of whom have made great progress, both of whom I think can get the most out of this football team.

"What goes on from there, I don't have a crystal ball, and the good Lord doesn't come down and tell me to do this or that. He didn't even tell me to get out of the way of (wideout Devon) Smith for crying out loud. I got run over by a 160-pounder that knocked the devil out of me, so, who knows?

"All I know is this week, I think both of the kids we have have done very well and they're both going to play and we'll see what happens from there."



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