Penn State Football: Don't Count on Quarterback Situation Clearing Up vs Alabama

Kevin McGuireAnalyst IISeptember 6, 2011

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 3:  Rob Bolden #1 of the Penn State Nittany Lions passes the ball against the Indiana State Sycamores during the game on September 3, 2011 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Penn State's quarterback situation could still be weeks away form being settled. Read that again. I said weeks.

Penn State's depth chart for the week two matchup against No. 2 Alabama once again reads Rob Bolden or Matt McGloin as the quarterback, just as it did a week ago against Indiana State. Both candidates for the job had fairly equal performances although McGloin had the better overall numbers and showed an ability to move the offense with a little more consistency than Bolden. This cannot be denied, although if Bolden's intended receivers could hold on to a couple of passes things may have looked a little different.

As it stands now, the job of full-time starter is wide open, and the latest audition will be against one of the top defenses in the nation. If you can not take what happened against Indiana State and make a decision, can Penn State take anything against the toughest defense they will see all season? It is possible, if one of the players puts together a solid performance and gives the coaching staff a reason to believe that it is not a fluke.

"I don't think it will be a two quarterback system for much longer," McGloin said following Penn State's 41-7 victory against Indiana State. He and Bolden both stated that they believed the team's best chance to win would be if the offense was in the hands of one quarterback.

"I say one quarterback, whether it's Matt or me," Bolden said when asked which system gives Penn State the best chance to beat Alabama. "Hopefully me," he then said with a smile.

That will not be the case against Alabama unless something happens in practice between now and Saturday morning. And it may not happen for another couple of weeks.

It is entirely possible that the decision on a full-time quarterback may not be made for another couple of weeks, leading in to Big Ten conference play against Indiana. Penn State should be capable of winning games against Temple and Eastern Michigan, no matter how many quarterbacks they use, and if the coaches are not impressed with either player's performance against Alabama, then look for the audition to continue in Philadelphia in Week 3 and possibly in to the end of September against Eastern Michigan.

Why stop there? Penn State should also be able to get by Indiana with one or two quarterbacks if the decision is still not made by the time the calendar flips to October. But by the time conference play begins, and the game start to really matter, the staff should have more than a good feel for who gives their team the best chance to win on a weekly basis.

"The team wants one guy," McGloin says. So do the fans.

If this weekend ends with no clear winner, this debate will continue on for a couple more weeks. Buckle up.


Kevin McGuire is the national college football writer for Follow his college football discussion on Google+ and Twitter. Become a fan of him on Facebook.