Third stringer McGloin steps up for Penn State

Third stringer McGloin steps up for Penn State

John Hageman

Matt McGloin didnâÄôt expect to see the field Saturday. ThatâÄôs why when the third stringerâÄôs parents asked him if they should make the trip to Minneapolis, he told them not to bother. But McGloin quickly found himself leading the Penn State offense after starting quarterback Rob Bolden went down with a head injury in the second quarter, and the sophomore made the most of his opportunity. His first career completion was a 42-yard touchdown pass to Derek Moye on the heels of a costly interception from Minnesota senior quarterback Adam Weber, giving Penn State a 14-point lead. McGloin finished with two touchdown passes, both to Moye, and 76 yards on six completions . âÄúYou dream about this since youâÄôre playing in the backyard with your brothers,âÄù McGloin said. âÄúAnd to get that opportunity, IâÄôm speechless. Right now, it hasnâÄôt sunk in yet I guess, but probably after I talk to my parents and my brothers it will really hit me.âÄù A three-year starter at West Scranton High School, McGloin walked on to Penn State after receiving scholarship offers from Colgate and Lehigh, both of the Patriot League. But McGloin opted for a chance at the big time. âÄúI just wasnâÄôt comfortable,âÄù McGloin said of going to a Patriot League school. âÄúI wanted to play on the big stage, and Penn State gave me the opportunity, and I took it and didnâÄôt look back.âÄù McGloin redshirted in his freshman year and attempted just two passes last season as the backup to Daryll Clark . But ClarkâÄôs graduation created a conundrum for the Nittany Lions: They had three quarterbacks with a combined 13 career pass attempts vying for the starting job. Bolden, a true freshman , ended up winning the tight race to become the starter, which discouraged McGloin. âÄúIt was tough,âÄù McGloin said. âÄúAt that point, you start doubting yourself. But the people that are close to you remind you how hard you work and how far youâÄôve came, and today it just showed.âÄù Backup quarterback Kevin Newsome played in spots Saturday but had been ill most of the week and didnâÄôt attempt a pass But besides just using his athleticism for quarterback keepers, Penn State head coach Joe Paterno said Newsome needs to get experience if Bolden is out again next week, as does McGloin. Paterno wouldnâÄôt elaborate on the extent of BoldenâÄôs injury, but the quarterback didnâÄôt return in the second half with reportedly concussion-like symptoms after a hit from Minnesota linebacker Mike Rallis. Bolden completed 11 of 13 passes before joining the long list of Nittany Lions already injured this season. âÄúYou guys are tired of hearing it, but weâÄôre a young football team that got younger because of so many key injuries,âÄù Paterno said. âÄúI thought we finally got [Bolden] over the hump and he was reading pretty good âĦ and now we lose him.âÄù Paterno added that if Bolden isnâÄôt able to play next week, heâÄôs not sure whether Newsome or McGloin will take his place. But even if SaturdayâÄôs win over the Gophers was McGloinâÄôs only time on the field this year, it will be something that he will remember for a long time. âÄúI helped Penn State get a win today,âÄù McGloin said. âÄúAnd thatâÄôs what itâÄôs all about.âÄù