The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Penn State Football

November 9, 2010

JoePa turns to McGloin at QB

STATE COLLEGE — With another career milestone in the books, coach Joe Paterno can devote his full attention to preparing Penn State's new starting quarterback for No. 8 Ohio State.

Matt McGloin is taking over as the starter for freshman Rob Bolden after helping revitalize a suddenly potent offense averaging more than 30 points a game over a three-game winning streak.

With the Buckeyes next on Saturday, things are looking up in Happy Valley a month after a lethargic 3-3 start. The Nittany Lions (6-3, 3-2 Big Ten) have been energized, especially following the come-from-behind, 35-21 victory last week over Northwestern that secured JoePa's 400th career win.

"Last week was a good experience for them. They realize (if you) get behind, if they stick together ... a lot of good things can happen," Paterno said Tuesday at Beaver Stadium. "Hopefully, that will be a carry-over and we can keep building on it."

While McGloin will start, Paterno hinted he may still play Bolden against Ohio State. It was the reverse last week, when Bolden started and McGloin came on in relief to help Paterno secure his milestone.

But enough about the 400th win.

"I'm hoping to get to 401 for crying out loud," Paterno said. "We're getting to be where we can be a pretty good football team. We've got a long ways to go before we can go around thinking we're better than pretty good."

For now, Paterno thinks that goal is best achieved with McGloin, though he's trying to stress that it's not a reflection of a change of attitude on Bolden's future. Bolden has thrown for 1,350 yards and five touchdowns with seven interceptions, but got knocked out of the Minnesota game three weeks ago because of a concussion.

McGloin relieved Bolden in that win and started the victory over Michigan a week later after coaches were cautious with Bolden's recovery. Bolden got the starting job back against Northwestern but was pulled after his second series, when he fumbled the ball away on a sack.

Paterno said he had intended to reinsert Bolden, but McGloin got hot and finished with 225 passing yards and four touchdowns. McGloin has thrown for seven scores the last three games, with one pick.

"I don't want to take anything away from (Bolden), but obviously the other kid has come in here ... and made some big plays," Paterno said about McGloin. "We're going to go with him, but I hope Bolden will be able to play."

Whether by coincidence or not, the running game has dramatically improved the last couple games, as has line play. McGloin has developed a reputation for a penchant to throw deep, though the offense has also benefited by using backs on more screens.

Senior tailback Evan Royster said he doesn't think settling on McGloin publicly so early will make a big difference with preparations. But he's hoping the momentum of three straight wins carries over against the tough Buckeyes.

"There wasn't any specific moment, but I think just after being 3-3, we had a lot of senior guys step up and say, 'This is not how I want my senior season to go,' and change some things," Royster said Tuesday.

On defense, end Eric Latimore is listed as probable for Saturday, about a month after hurting his left wrist. Fellow end Jack Crawford saw limited action against Northwestern in his first playing time since hurting his right foot a month ago, and should be available.

Having both players could help a defensive line that must contain Buckeyes dual-threat quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

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