- Associated Press - Saturday, September 10, 2011

STATE COLLEGE, PA. (AP) - Matt McGloin paced the sideline with headphones to talk to coaches in the press box, brushing past Rob Bolden while his fellow quarterback rushed to get his helmet to get back in the game.

Until a late flurry, it didn’t really matter which quarterback was in the game for No. 23 Penn State.

With Bolden and McGloin alternating for a second straight week, the Penn State offense looked out of sync Saturday in 27-11 loss to third-ranked Alabama at sunny Beaver Stadium.

“Dropped the football, had a chance to make a couple big plays and didn’t make them,” coach Joe Paterno said. “We certainly deserved a whooping today. I think we’ve just got a lot of work ahead of us.”

A defense that spent more than 34 minutes on the field appeared worn down at the end. The Nittany Lions (1-1) didn’t grab a turnover, but gave up three.

But the big question after the game for Penn State was the same that hovered over Beaver Stadium before kickoff: Who’s the starting quarterback?

Officially, Bolden took the first series again. He and McGloin combined to go 12 for 39 for 144 yards _ though all the yardage was accumulated by Bolden, who was 11 of 29 passing with an interception.

He led the Nittany Lions’ only touchdown drive, culminated by Silas Redd’s 1-yard plunge with 1:53 left. Bolden also converted a 2-point try on the run, grimacing a bit after appearing to take a shot at the goal line.

Otherwise, though, it was a frustrating day for the Nittany Lions.

“Honestly, we don’t have one. I don’t know,” said disheartened receiver Derek Moye when asked if Penn State had an offensive identity. “We’ve got to get one.”

Paterno remained noncommittal afterward about how he would move forward at quarterback, other than saying he had to look at tapes and talk it over with his staff. He said both Bolden and McGloin each played well.

Stay tuned, as Penn State will play Temple on Saturday in Philadelphia.

On the other side, quarterback A.J. McCarron was poised and efficient in a rare trip to Big Ten country for Alabama, throwing for 163 yards and a touchdown. Alabama completed a sweep of the home-and-home series between the two storied programs with a methodical and smothering performance reminiscent of last year’s 24-3 win in Tuscaloosa.

Both teams came into the second week of the season with unsettled quarterback issues. At Alabama (2-0), those appear to be settled.

Playing in front of the largest crowd ever to see an Alabama football game, McCarron was 19 for 31 with no turnovers and a 5-yard touchdown pass through traffic to Michael Williams in the first quarter.

Story Continues →