Jay Paterno: Two-QB system “gives us the best chance to win”

Penn State quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno reiterated Thursday night that the team feels it has two No. 1 quarterbacks in sophomore Rob Bolden and junior Matt McGloin, despite McGloin’s superior statistics through six games.

“We don’t designate a starter. We have two one’s,” Paterno said as a guest on Penn State’s weekly radio show. “That’s something that I think people outside the program have tried to apply to it, and we are not inside the program. We are playing them the order that we have the last couple of weeks because we feel like that is the best situation for us to play those two guys in.”

Paterno would not get into specifics as to the reason Bolden has started and McGloin has come off the bench in all six games, saying, “There’s things about each guy that is unique. The way we’re playing them right now is the way we feel gives us the best chance to win.”

Paterno said the coaching staff doesn’t even use the term “starter” and the quarterback who plays first is something they analyze each week and could change from week to week. 

McGloin is 56-of-95 for 758 yards with five touchdowns and just one interception, while Bolden is 42-of-92 (45.7 percent) for 486 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions. McGloin leads Bolden in passer rating efficiency, 141.23 to 84.92.

Paterno downplayed the statistics, pointing to the fact that a quarterback can’t control everything that happens on offense.

“Rob, in his defense, has had some dropped passes. Some big ones, some really big ones in the first game, a couple big ones in a couple of the other games,” Paterno said. “I think they’ve both done very, very well. What we grade them on is only what they can control.”

In an earlier segment of the show, host Steve Jones shed more light on wide receiver Derek Moye’s injury. Moye, a fifth-year senior and team co-captain, is expected to miss two games with a foot injury. Jones said he spoke with Moye on Thursday afternoon and that “his attitude is great” and he is not in any pain. Jones said Moye is wearing a protective a boot and already using a stimulation pack.

As for who is going to step up in Moye’s absence, Paterno mentioned juniors Devon Smith and Justin Brown, as well as sophomore Brandon Moseby-Felder and true freshman Allen Robinson.

“I think we’re going to have to run the ball a little bit more obviously because you take a guy like Moye out of the equation of the pass game,” Paterno said. “But I think when you look at our wideout group, I think the good thing is that we’ve developed some depth there… The thing about these opportunities, they always present a chance for somebody to rise and you learn something about somebody you didn’t know.”

--Jake Kaplan