UNIVERSITY PARK - Penn State's quarterback rotation on Saturday could alternate by quarter or every couple series. Or, coach Joe Paterno may just stay with the hot hand until that quarterback deserves otherwise.
But Paterno made this much clear on Tuesday: he's sticking with his two-man quarterback tandem of Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin.
At least for now.
"We've got two quarterbacks," Paterno said at his weekly press conference at Beaver Stadium. "And as we talk now, whether we have two quarterbacks a week from now ... we'll see."
So much for the theory that a poor offensive showing in last week's 27-11 loss to Alabama would lead to the Nittany Lions clearing up the quarterback quandary early this week.
Against the Tide's tough defense, Penn State (1-1) managed a game-opening drive that led Evan Lewis' 43-yard field goal and a relatively meaningless touchdown on its last offensive series with the game well in hand.
Bolden led both drives. Paterno second-guessed himself Tuesday after noting that Bolden was throwing the ball well early against Alabama but ran into bad luck.
"But we had kind of told the kids that's the way we would operate for a while," Paterno said. "So, maybe we change that a little bit, but I intend to play both of them."
It got ugly in between the two series. The Nittany Lions sought to move on quickly Tuesday to get ready for Temple (2-0) on Saturday after being subjected to analyzing film the last couple days.
"Everybody makes mistakes and it's easy to point fingers at other people," tight end Andrew Szczerba said. "I think the biggest thing is to get over that game ... and if anything, it has got to make us a lot more hungry than last week."
Other players Tuesday also followed Paterno's lead, pointing to the need for the team as a whole to get better. Concerns include forcing more turnovers and limiting the dropped passes.
Szczerba was the culprit on one of the Nittany Lions' own three turnovers last week with a fumble. All the receivers are trying to work on keeping hold of the ball.
"Concentration, obviously," Paterno said when asked to pinpoint reasons behind mishandled catches. "It's a question of confidence. That's the hard part sometimes when you watch practice, a couple of those kids that didn't make some catches make some great catches in practice.
"I mean, it's just something I've got to get them over. And we can play up to our potential," he added. "We're not playing as well as we can play, I don't think."
For now, Bolden and McGloin will both continue to throw to those receivers. The passing numbers aren't pretty: the quarterbacks are a combined 24 of 59 for 258 yards and an interception with no touchdowns. It's the worst passing offense in the Big Ten through two games.
Take into account, though, that one of those games came against the Crimson Tide and its seasoned, speedy defense. Paterno has, and he remains pleased overall by what he's seen from behind center.
"Both quarterbacks have played well enough for us to win with," Paterno said. "And I'm reluctant right now to tell anybody, hey, we're going to start this guy because it would look like the other guy didn't play well. I thought they both did a pretty good job, really."
As for Paterno himself, the 84-year-old coach said again he hoped to return to the sideline Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in front of what's expected to be friendly road crowd. Penn State heavily recruits the Philadelphia area.
As with the last two weeks, Paterno was driven to the front door of the Beaver Stadium media room on Tuesday, then ambled up to the podium with the help of a crutch. Paterno hurt his right shoulder and pelvis after accidentally getting hit in practice Aug. 7.
Paterno said he can walk without a cane, though he's in pain after being on his feet for a while. He's also working stairs again, and appears to be moving better each week.
"But I'm getting there," Paterno said. "I'm hoping I'm going to be able to do it Saturday."
Notes: RB Stephfon Green is back in Paterno's doghouse after state Liquor Control Enforcement officers charged him last week with four misdemeanors - two counts each of furnishing alcohol, and furnishing alcohol to minors. Charges stem from an incident in July, court records show. Paterno said Green won't be with the team Saturday. A senior, Green rejoined the team in late August after undisclosed off-field issues kept him out of practice. ... RT Chima Okoli sprained his right ankle against Alabama, but practiced Monday and should be ready for Temple, left tackle Quinn Barham said.