PSU is 3-2 and both of those losses have been 24-3 decisions at ranked teams Alabama and Iowa. In Saturday’s loss to the Hawkeyes, Penn State was held to 3-of-13 on third-down conversions and just 54 yards rushing. True freshman QB Robert Bolden was just OK, going 20-for-37 for 212 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
That loss knocked Penn State out of the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2007. And coach Joe Paterno’s offense is last in the Big Ten in scoring at 19.2 points and red zone efficiency (12 of 18, including just six touchdowns), and second to last in rushing (138 yards per game) and total offense (355 per game). So is it time to perhaps make a change? Fans in Happy Valley have been calling for backup QB Kevin Newsome.
But Paterno said this week that Newsome “needs to spend more time doing his homework,” explaining that the sophomore “has gotten by with his athletic ability.” Plus Paterno doesn’t want Bolden to start looking over his shoulder and losing confidence. But there’s still a decent chance that PSU uses Newsome as a change-of-pace Wildcat quarterback starting this week against Illinois – bet on the game with Bodog’s NCAA odds. An exceptional runner, Newsome averages 5.4 yards per carry.
“I think there is a place for him,” Paterno said. “Maybe we have to use him a little bit more. I don’t know.”
PSU’s next four games give the offense a change to get well as it faces four teams that aren’t good defensively: home to Illinois, at Minnesota, and home to Michigan and Northwestern.
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