Penn State Needs to Right the Ship Against Eastern Michigan

Aaron McKinneyCorrespondent IIISeptember 22, 2011

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 10: Head coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State Nittany Lions coaches from the press box against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half at Beaver Stadium on September 10, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Penn State needs to answer quite a few questions this week.

Next Saturday is the start of Big Ten play and the slate opens against Indiana and then Joe Paterno's kryptonite: Iowa. The staff needs to have all its ducks in a row and all the kinks worked out when the team runs off the Beaver Stadium grass after facing Eastern Michigan on Saturday. 

The offensive line, although not the biggest problem, is a problem. No matter who the quarterback is, he can't throw while on his back. Wasn't this supposed to be a better line? I know Stefan Wisniewski is gone, but all reports going into Week 1 were that this unit had fixed a lot of problems. Not exactly.

Against Indiana State, the Nittany Lions didn't have to do anything. Plus, Silas Redd has made the unit look better in the running game than its actually been. It has to change because Iowa and the rest of the Big Ten will have a field day.

What happened to the pass rush? Penn State has a very strong secondary, but they can only cover for so long on a play. Jack Crawford and the rest of a very experienced defensive line better get their acts together and get some pressure on quarterbacks. Mike Mauti and the rest of the linebackers have been very solid, but they don't need to be asked to do so much. 

The biggest issue is quarterback. Paterno has been dragging his feet on this one. It's obvious he is obsessed with Matt McGloin, but why did he prevent Rob Bolden from transferring? Bolden has the obvious edge in talent. McGloin has the intangibles, but his talent is so limited.

The only way Bolden will get where he needs to be is with experience. He is only a sophomore, let him go out there against EMU and make decisions AND mistakes. He can get away with plenty this week because even a poor offensive performance will get Penn State a win. Bolden needs to get those issues out of his system before the Nittany Lions go to Indiana and the Hawkeyes come to town.

Don't let the season get away from you, Joe. Show us you're not too old or that your favoritism towards veteran players has returned. And let your assistants, especially Mike McQueary, handle the sideline affairs a little more.