Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Breaking down the Penn State Quarterbacks

This season, Penn State is in a similar situation to Michigan circa 2008. For those of you who haven't undergone multiple sessions of therapy to forget the QB situation in Ann Arbor for the 2008 season, it comprised of Steven Threet, Nick Sheridan, and Justin Feagin ( I actually forgot that he played in 4 games). For the offense Rich Rodriguez runs, Threet was hardly an ideal option. He's 6'5'', 237 pounds, and is only considered fast when compared to the migration patterns of the grey fieldslug...
His 40 time is still being tabulated

Nick Sheridan was a coach's kid, walk-on who would have never seen the field if Lloyd Carr and Ryan Mallett had stayed. Justin Feagin was a very athletic (read: raw) QB prospect brought in at the last minute to give RR some semblance of a spread QB. In other words, the cupboard was fairly bare.

This brings us to 2010 and the PSU situation.  They came into the season needing to replace their 3rd all-time leading passer Daryll Clark. They returned former Michigan commit Kevin Newsome who played in 10 games last year. He completed 8 of his 11 passes for 66 yards and 0-0 TD-INT. They also returned former walk-on Matt McGloin who saw action in 2 games.  They recruited the position well, signing two top ten QB prospects in Paul Jones and Orchard Lake St. Mary's Rob Bolden. Bolden actually beat out the pack to start the season opener against Youngstown State. He's thrown for 1307 yards and a TD/INT ratio of  5/7 in his 7 games this year. Not bad for a true freshman in the Big Ten. The problem is that he is injured and may not see the field against Michigan on Saturday night. He was apparently concussed in the Minnesota game, and was still having memory problems as of Tuesday.

McGloin and Newsome are both 6-13 on the year with McGloin having thrown 2 TDs. Newsome is a more dangerous runner, and has more overall experience at the college level. Before Bolden's injury, I would have guessed that the RB triumvirate of Royster, Green, and Redd would do most of the damage. If Bolden misses the game, I'm not sure Penn State will attempt 15 passes unless they get down big.  Even with the way teams have gashed the under-manned Michigan secondary. It will be interesting to see how much info gets leaked in the coming days regarding Bolden's status. Paterno is 176 years old a veteran coach who knows not to give any information away.

If I had to make a guess, I would say Bolden starts, but we see a mixture of all 3 QBs in the game. Bolden just hasn't shown enough to scare anyone. Of course, neither had Justin Siller in 2008. (What is it with young QBs from the state of Michigan going away for college and terrorizing the Wolverines?) If Michigan can keep the Nittany Lions at or around their level of QB production, they have a good shot at ending their two game losing streak.

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