QB Carousel Continues this Weekend at Temple
It is now week three of the college football season and the Penn State Nittany Lions still do not have a starting quarterback. The carousal under center will continue this week as the Lions go on the road for the first time this season. Neither Rob Bolden nor Matt McGloin has thrown a touchdown pass so far this season.
Bolden has seen the majority of the snaps but has failed to separate himself from McGloin. Bolden is 17-for-41 for 181 yards and one interception; clearly not the performance needed to take hold of the starting gig. McGloin hasn’t taken advantage of Bolden’s slow start, going 7-for-18 for 77 yards. Despite the fact that Bolden has completed just 41.5 percent of his passes, he appears to have the edge once he takes hold of the offense.
This week at Temple will look quite similar to last week’s game against Alabama. Bolden and McGloin will share the snaps again after an overall dismal performance against the Crimson Tide. Neither candidate took advantage of a golden opportunity in the national spotlight.
Bolden was 11-for-29 with 144 yards through the air. Bolden also brings a mobile aspect to his game, which is one asset he should take more advantage of. On four keepers he accumulated 25 yards rushing with a long run of 15 yards.
McGloin did not attempt a run against the Tide which came as no surprise. McGloin is a pure pocket passer with poor mobility. The Lions passing attack is one-dimensional when McGloin is in the game. The general upside to being a pocket passer is a stronger, more accurate arm. However, McGloin went 1-for-10 for 0 yards in last Saturday’s game, displaying an inability to run the stagnant offense. Bolden had slightly more success, but was still unimpressive in his second straight year facing Alabama.
Luckily for Bolden, he doesn’t need to be superman to run the offense. The offense is built around time possession and the running game. Emerging star Silas Redd leads the ground attack and as the season progresses teams will start loading the box to shut him down. In that event the Nittany Lions will become a one-dimensional team and they must be able to throw the football. Until Bolden or McGloin takes over as the starter, opposing defenses will prey on the rushing attack and force the Lions to beat them through the air. Seeing how Penn State has yet to throw a touchdown pass this year, the panic alarm is close to going off.
This weekend will prove to be the turning point in the season. The Lions have perennially blown out Temple in the past, but recently the Owls have been a much improved team. The Lions need to make a statement in their first road game and get the passing game going. This will be the week a quarterback finally throws a touchdown pass and jumpstarts a lifeless passing attack.
Both Bolden and McGloin will get their shot, but when the Nittany Lions return home to face Eastern Michigan the team will have a starting quarterback. It would be nice to see Bolden move out of the pocket and run the ball himself more than he has been. That would help get the running game going with Redd and would also open up holes in the defense. If Bolden was more mobile he would force defenses to plan for another aspect of the offense and as a result it would take pressure off the passing game.
The competition is still open, but McGloin must rebound after a disastrous performance against Alabama if he has any shot at regaining the starting job. Right now it appears to be Bolden’s job to lose, and a touchdown pass could provide him with a much-needed confidence boost going forward.
It is time for someone to step up and be a leader on the offense.
Jared Abbott is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and psychology. To contact him, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.