STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 29: Jonathan Brown #45 of the Illinois Fighting Illini hits Rob Bolden #1 of the Penn State Nittany Lions causing a fumble during the game on October 29, 2011 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
No local Joe Paterno press conference during the bye week, but he still participated in the conference-wide call this afternoon. The big news, such that there is any during a Joe Paterno press conference, is that Paterno plans to keep playing Rob Bolden despite his obvious struggles:
"We're still gonna do it as a rotation. It wouldn't be fair to Bolden for me not to consider him as one of the kids [we play]. He's worked too hard, made too many sacrifices and he's got too much ability for me just because of one football game or two football games to say, 'Hey, we're not counting on you.'
"He's gotta be ready to go. We'll play him, I'm pretty sure. But again, we have this week and next week to go back to some basic things and see what happens."
After a four-series showing in a 10-7 win over Illinois in which he did not complete a pass and was booed by the Beaver Stadium crowd, Bolden is 11-of-31 (.355) for 138 yards, no TDs and 1 interception in bit parts of four Big Ten games. Overall this season, Bolden is 44 of 102 (.431) for 526 yards, 1 TD and 4 picks.
We thought Joe was actually trolling us last week with this stuff, but then Bolden actually played, which seemed to take even him by surprise (he wasn't even warming up as the first quarter came to a close). So perhaps this is foreshadowing instead of placating his young quarterback, and also getting the surly Beaver Stadium crowd prepped for the occasion -- look, you may think I'm crazy, I don't care, Bolden is getting snaps against Nebraska.
The question of course, why? Why any of this?