Penn State 41, Indiana State 7: No debate on win, just quarterbacks
Silas Redd scored twice in the first half to help Penn State build a 28-0 halftime lead. He finished with 104 yards.
Penn State's Jordan Hill hits Indiana State quarterback Ronnie Fouch as he releases a pass.
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Although Penn State overpowered Division I-AA Indiana State, 41-7, Saturday, the Nittany Lions quarterback derby still is unsettled.
It remains a two-horse race between sophomore Rob Bolden and redshirt junior Matt McGloin entering the showdown Saturday against No. 2 Alabama at Beaver Stadium.
"I think both of them are going to play," said coach Joe Paterno Saturday after he worked the rout against Indiana State from the coaches' booth.
Bolden started his second consecutive home opener and played six series against the Sycamores. He engineered one touchdown drive of 77 yards and completed 6 of 12 passes for 37 yards. He was sacked twice.
McGloin played four series and produced touchdown drives covering 75, 77 and 21 yards. He hit on 6 of 8 passes for 77 yards and was sacked once. Bolden played the first quarter, McGloin the second. Bolden played three series in the third quarter and McGloin one before both retired for the afternoon.
"We probably made more mistakes when Rob was in there than Matt," offensive coordinator Galen Hall said. "They might have played better defense when Rob was in there instead of Matt. I don't think you can read anything into it, if this kid's driving the football team and this kid's not.
"So, I just think it doesn't matter which one is in there, we've got to go play."
Quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno pointed out Bolden was the victim of two key dropped passes that could have resulted in touchdowns of 42 yards by Derek Moye and 41 yards by Justin Brown, both in the first quarter.
"Rob hits Moye in stride, he's got to make that catch," Paterno said. "Justin Brown's a little late coming out of the break, he gets one hand on it. If he pulls it down, it's a touchdown. That has nothing to do with losing the huddle, we just got to make a play.
"When you evaluate the things that those guys can control, which is all we can do when we evaluate the quarterbacks, I think it actually came out pretty even, a lot more even than you think."
Bolden and McGloin thought they played well, but wish the coaching staff would pick a starter and ditch the two-quarterback system.
"I still want to see a first guy, either me or Matt," Bolden said. "It has an advantage, but whatever Joe does, I have to roll with. Joe is his own man, all I can do is go out there and do all I can do and hope that situation handles itself."
"I don't think it's going to be a two-quarterback system too much longer," McGloin said. "But if that's what coach wants, then that's what we're going to have to do. I just don't think it's what the team wants. The team wants one guy."
Walk-on Shane McGregor, the No. 3 guy, was the only quarterback to score a touchdown, scampering in from 3 yards in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore tailback Silas Redd proved to a bright spot in his first career start. He ran for 104 yards on 12 carries (8.7 avg) and scored twice on first-half runs of 9 and 4 yards.
Chaz Powell returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and fullbacks Joe Suhey and Mike Zordich scored on a pair of 1-yard runs.
In addition to a shaky performance by the offensive line in pass protection, Penn State's kicking game was dreadful minus punter/kickoff specialist Anthony Fera, who is suspended.
Walk-on Evan Lewis missed field-goal attempts of 38 and 47 yards and also missed an extra point before being replaced by freshman Sam Ficken. Sophomore walk-on Alex Butterworth averaged just 38.0 yards on three kicks.
"I thought the kicking game wasn't good," Joe Paterno said. "I don't know whether we'll have Fera [back] this week, but we're going to have him either this week or next week."
NOTES -- Paterno said he hopes to return to the sideline against Alabama. ... Penn State forced three turnovers and converted two into touchdowns. Strong safety Drew Astorino and freshman cornerback Adrian Amos had interceptions and defensive tackle Jordan Hill forced a fumble and recovered it. ... Outside linebacker Gerald Hodges had one sack and Hill and defensive end Jack Crawford and split another. ... Redshirt freshman outside linebacker Mike Hull, from Canon-McMillan, led the Nittany Lions with seven tackles. ... Redshirt junior middle linebacker Mike Yancich, from Trinity, had a career-high six tackles.
First Published September 4, 2011 12:00 am