Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin agree Penn State should stick with one quarterback, and they also agree on who should be the guy.
"I feel like I am No. 1 and feel like I should be," Bolden said Wednesday.
McGloin has believed all along that he should be the starter.
"Definitely a couple times during camp I felt I hands down won the job," he said.
Wednesday marked the first time the quarterbacks have been made available to the media leading up to a game this season, and both answered a variety of questions on topics pertaining to the quarterback competition.
Joe Paterno tried Tuesday to say it doesn't matter who starts at quarterback as long as both play, but neither Bolden nor McGloin agrees with the coach.
Both badly want to be the No. 1 guy, although neither could explain exactly why or what's the difference between starting and coming off the bench.
"It's really important to me," Bolden said of starting.
It's apparently simply a prestige thing because he had no answer for why it's such a big deal.
"I'd just rather be first and not second," Bolden said.
McGloin had no better response. He said he "definitely would like to be the first guy out," and when asked why stated, "Just knowing you're on that field for the first play."
There is no advantage, McGloin added, to starting the game on the bench and watching how the opposing team is playing, as Paterno alluded to Tuesday.
"Absolutely not," McGloin said. "I would like to be the first guy out. I don't think there's an advantage at all if you're doing your work."
Both quarterbacks gave candid answers when pressed on most issues. To no one's surprise, McGloin offered up the most revealing responses.
"I can't stand being called a former walk-on," he said when asked about that label. "That's rather annoying at times. I kind of wish people would just drop that whole thing because I don't consider myself a walk-on or anything like that. I consider myself a Penn State football player."
McGloin also provided some specifics when comparing himself to Bolden. He said he gets rid of the ball quicker than his counterpart, which prevents him from taking as many hits, and noted he's a vocal leader, while Bolden tries to lead by example.
Both quarterbacks dispelled a theory that's gained traction lately -- that the coaches are calling different plays for the two of them, possibly giving McGloin more opportunities to succeed.
"We run pretty much the same offense," Bolden said.
Bolden mentioned he has no regrets about trying to transfer in January or how that situation played out. He also said he hasn't thought about leaving since he came back and is happy at PSU, although he added, "I never thought I'd be in a two-quarterback [situation]."
One notion that has been bandied about by fans is the idea that the coaches have catered to Bolden by starting him, in an attempt to appease him after the whole transfer saga.
McGloin was asked about that specifically and said, "I can see where that's coming from. But whether Rob is considering leaving or not, it really has no effect on the way I perform, and it should not have an effect on the coaches' decision."
McGloin went on to add, "I don't think it does. If it did, I would definitely be upset."
Bolden, who last season became the first true freshman to start a season opener at quarterback during the Paterno era, said he has made big improvements over the past year.
"Right now I'm way ahead of where I was last year," he said.
"Just coming from high school, that speed transition everybody talks about, it was difficult," he added.
One thing that's helped Bolden is familiarity with his teammates. He didn't arrive on campus until May of 2010, then was thrust into the starting role three months later.
"My whole personality has changed pretty much," Bolden said before noting, "I was kind of quiet last year, didn't really know what was going on, unsure of some things."
One area in which Bolden has not improved is throwing the ball with more touch. Almost every pass that leaves his hand is a fastball, something even he acknowledges is a problem.
"I notice that as well watching film, some of my deep balls I need to put a little bit of air on them," he said.
McGloin has outplayed Bolden from a statistical standpoint in three of the four games, but he struggled against Alabama, going 1-of-10 for no yards.
McGloin pointed out the Lions could get away with rotating two quarterbacks against the likes of Indiana State, Temple and Eastern Michigan, but against a strong team like Alabama, "We would have been better off just going with one guy and taking it from there."
McGloin leads Bolden in every statistical category and is the reigning Big Ten co-Offensive Player of the Week for his strong performance against Eastern Michigan. Still, his struggles against Alabama further fueled the belief held by some that, while he's good against lesser competition, he has a limited skill set that gets exposed against quality teams.
"I really don't pay too much attention to what other people say about my performance," McGloin said. "The only person I really listen to is Coach Jay [Paterno] or Coach Joe about how I play in the game.
"I've definitely improved over last year, or else I wouldn't be playing at all right now for the past couple of games."
Cory Giger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and @CoryGiger on Twitter.