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Penn State Football: For Starters, McGloin Appears to be the Favorite in Quarterback Derby

by on April 21, 2012 6:40 PM

Two points seemed to be agreed upon by all involved in the 2012 Penn State quarterback derby.

With about two hours of game action in the books and an entire 15-practice spring season now over, here’s what’s known:

1. Yes, Saturday’s Blue-White Game was a near-meaningless scrimmage that featured a vanilla offense. Nevertheless, it’s more evaluation material heading into the summer.

2. There’s no rush to make a decision on the starter or even the two finalists.

“We have to let it soak a little bit, and then we’ll make a decision heading into training camp on who we’re going with or who the top two are,” head coach Bill O’Brien said following Saturday’s glorified practice.

Fifth-year senior Matt McGloin, junior Rob Bolden and redshirt sophomore Paul Jones showed a mixed bag of production on Saturday for O’Brien and quarterbacks coach Charlier Fisher to digest.

There was good — McGloin's three-play, 65-yard touchdown drive in 1:05. And there was bad — three interceptions by Bolden.

And Jones, at first glance, likely falls somewhere in between.

It's why you can expect the fifth-year senior to be one of the two finalists come training camp.

Why?

"One thing I did was manage the huddle, manage the team, got us in the right plays," McGloin said.

That might be half the battle with a brand-new offense.

McGloin, of course, is used to quarterback competitions. He wrestled away the starting job from Bolden the last two seasons.

“I’m probably gonna be looked at as being the underdog once again for some odd reason,” McGloin said.

He summed up his day with one word.

Inconsistent.

Still, McGloin has looked really good to close out the spring season, Fisher said, and looked sharp when he played within himself.

As for who else could challenge McGloin . . .

There's Bolden, who threw three interceptions and spent a lot of time after the game answering questions about his mindset after one-and-a-years of rocky play.

“I feel like I’m No. 1,” he said.

And there's Jones, who showed a live arm but completed only 6-of-15 passes for 113 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and was asked afterward about just being in consideration for the starting position after being academically ineligible last season.

Now that he is firmly entrenched in this race, his thoughts?

“It doesn’t matter what my take is,” he said.

Because . . .

 “The bottom line, we’re not trying to make a decision based on one practice or one game,” Fisher said.

Notes:

  • John Urschel was the recipient of the Frank Patrick Total Commitment Award . . . Matt Stankiewitch won the Red Worrell Award (most improved offensive player) . . . Stephon Morris won the Jim O'Hora Award (most improved defensive player).
  • Morris had his right middle finger wrapped in a bandage. He said it will take six weeks to heal, but surgery is not required.
  • Sophomore Adrian Amos, who intercepted McGloin on Saturday, showed good instincts at safety. Amos earned playing time at corner as a true freshman last year.

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Nate Mink covers Penn State football and news for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @MinkNate.
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