One of the few bits of information that can be gleaned from the Penn State-Alabama game today is that Rob Bolden is clearly the best option for Penn State at quarterback.
Bolden's stat sheet is nothing to be proud of. He completed just 11 of 29 passes for 144 yards and one interception. He also ran for 25 yards on four carries and he punched in a two-point conversion.
Despite his subpar stats, the Nittany Lions' offense only moved down the field when Bolden was behind center. Also, it's tough for any quarterback to be productive against Alabama's scary defense.
Conversely, Matt McGloin completed one out of ten passes for zero yards for Penn State.
Every time McGloin stepped on the field, the Nittany Lions' offense sputtered. He had constant miscommunications with the offense and his throws were off target. McGloin's lack of talent showed against Alabama's excellent defense.
That's not to say Bolden is without faults. A number of times, Bolden floated passes or under-threw his receivers. He's extremely lucky that he finished the game with just one interception.
On two consecutive plays, Bolden was initially intercepted by Robert Lester. However, both of the interceptions were overturned by the replay booth.
Bolden's progress as a quarterback is only being hindered by the coaching staff's decision to let McGloin play. For Bolden to get better, Penn State has to let him play every game for the entire game.
McGloin should be given some leeway due to splitting time with Bolden. It's clear that he could not get into his groove from the time he stepped on the field. It's difficult for a quarterback to play well when he's only given a short amount of time to prove himself.
Even when McGloin is playing poorly, he plays with a swagger at quarterback that coaches love.
However, it's clear that Bolden has far more talent than McGloin. McGloin's confidence is to be admired, but he is not as good as Bolden.
Bolden has more arm strength and he can use his feet to make plays. McGloin has poor mobility and he often looked flustered in the pocket. There's a reason Bolden was the number four quarterback coming out of high school according to ESPN and McGloin was the #47 quarterback recruit.
Recruiting rankings should be taken with a grain of salt, but the difference in talent between Bolden and McGloin is enormous.
If Penn State wants to win games, they have to choose a quarterback now. The Nittany Lions cannot have their players divided in the locker room. They must announce that Bolden is their starting quarterback in order to have some continuity going forward every week.
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