Coach Joe Paterno steps down from the stage after announcing at his weekly news conference that the Nittany Lions would stay with a two-quarterback system Saturday against Temple.
By Ron Musselman Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State's offense has bogged down under the two-quarterback system.
But Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin haven't had much help from their wide receivers, who have dropped at least eight passes in the first two games.
The Nittany Lions (1-1) rank 110th among 120 Division I-A teams in passing offense (129 yards per game) and 98th in total offense (305 ypg).
Bolden and McGloin have a combined completion percentage of 40.7 percent, and neither quarterback has thrown a touchdown pass this season.
In fact, Bolden has not thrown a touchdown pass since the first quarter of the Oct. 23, 2010, game at Minnesota.
He has five touchdown passes and eight interceptions in 10 career starts. McGloin has eight touchdown passes and eight interceptions in five starts. McGloin has led 27 touchdown drives to Bolden's 13.
By comparison, former Big Ten Conference co-MVP Daryll Clark had 43 touchdown passes and 16 interceptions in 26 career starts for the Lions.
Even so, coach Joe Paterno said Tuesday he plans to play Bolden and McGloin again in the game Saturday against Temple (2-0) at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
"I think we've made a decision up to a point that we want to play both of them for a while until we find out exactly which one we think might be better for the football team," Paterno said.
"But, right now, I think it's a toss-up. I think both of them are doing well. ... I think we're just not making plays."
Dropped passes have hampered Penn State in its first two games. And the Lions committed three turnovers in the 27-11 loss to Alabama Saturday.
Bolden tossed an interception, tight end Andrew Szczerba fumbled after a catch and wide receiver Devon Smith fumbled on a reverse. The Crimson Tide turned two of the miscues into touchdowns.
"Overall, I think as receivers, we've got to make some more plays," said wide receiver and co-captain Derek Moye, from Rochester High School, who has had a few big drops this year. "We've got to catch the ball. We can't really worry about who is back there or who is not back there. We've just got to catch the ball.
"I have some things I need to improve on."
Paterno tried to pinpoint the reasons his receivers are not hanging onto the football.
"Concentration, obviously," he said. "It's a question of confidence. ... I mean, it's just something I've got to get them over. And we can play up to our potential. We're not playing as well as we can play, I don't think."
Although Penn State's defense played well for a while against Alabama before wearing down in the second half, the Lions didn't produce any sacks or any turnovers after coming up with two interceptions, a fumble recovery and two sacks in the opener against Division I-AA Indiana State.
Although Penn State has won 28 consecutive games against the Owls, Paterno called this "the best Temple team I've ever seen, and that's in all the years we've played."
Paterno attributed much of that success to former Temple coach and Penn State captain Al Golden, who left after last season to become the coach at Miami.
Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley and linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden interviewed for the Temple vacancy, but the Owls hired former Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio.
"I don't want to take anything away from the present coach, but I think Al left that situation in good shape," Paterno said. "Whether it was a good move for him to go to Miami with all the fuss that's going on about that situation right now, I think you'd have to talk to Al about that."
NOTES -- Sophomore tight end Kevin Haplea, 19, was cited for underage possession of alcohol Saturday, a few hours after the loss to Alabama. Haplea started against the Crimson Tide, but usually is the backup to Szczerba. ... Paterno said he is "optimistic" but not positive he'll be able to coach from the sideline Saturday. Paterno acknowledged that he may not be safe on the sideline at this juncture. ... Paterno said troubled tailback Stephfon Green will not be with the team this week. ... Starting right tackle Chima Okoli has a mild ankle sprain but should be able to play against the Owls.