On Friday Bill O'Brien announced that Matt McGloin will be the starting quarterback for Penn State in the 2012 season. The team, according to Jeff Nelson, has already been informed of the decision.
In addition, O'Brien has reportedly said that Paul Jones will be the team's number two quarterback, and Curtis Drake has been removed from the roster and is not expected to return.
This should not be considered much of a surprise, although it is not a decision that will sit well with a good number of fans. McGloin has ended each of the past two seasons as the team's starting quarterback, replacing Rob Bolden along the way, but has been far from the level of a Kerry Collins, Michael Robinson or Daryll Clark and has not helped the team win a game against an opponent many would consider to be a decent opponent. To be fair, nobody should be comparing McGloin with the likes of Collins (best QB in school history), Robinson (most inspirational on-field performer in recent memory) or Clark (bled blue and white like few others to play the position).
Bill O'Brien has announced senior Matt McGloin as #PennState's starting quarterback— Jeff Nelson (@GoPSUJeff) June 1, 2012
Bill O'Brien informed the team members who are on campus early this morning that Matt McGloin was the starting QB— Jeff Nelson (@GoPSUJeff) June 1, 2012
McGloin has taken over on offense the past two seasons and given the offense some sort of spark more often than not, although he has also played a significant role in some poor moments on the field as well. Last season McGloin passed for 1,571 yards and eight touchdowns while completing just 54.1 percent of his pass attempts. He was intercepted five times, and nearly intercepted nearly twice as many times, if not more. On third downs McGloin had a 46.1 completion percentage, which includes a 30.8 completion percentage from four to six yards to go for a first down. In the red zone McGloin was 16-of-31 for four touchdowns and one interception.
While McGloin excelled against weaker competition, including passing for over 200 yards against Eastern Michigan and Indiana, most fans will point to his shortcomings against upper echelon opponents. He was 1-for-10 against Alabama for zero yards, which even against the eventual BCS champions looks bad. He was 9-for-17 for 97 yards against Wisconsin in a game with a trip to Indianapolis on the line, but to be fair the defense went in to a turtle shell against Russell Wilson and Montee Ball that rainy afternoon.
But numbers don't always tell the whole story. His style is a bit Brett Favre-ish at times, with erratic and ill-advised throws seeming forced to make a big play despite increased risk of turning the football over. His skills are not anywhere close to what you will see from some of the game's top quarterbacks. We get that. But the question remains, is he the best option to run Bill O'Brien's offense right now?
That remains to be seen, but at least a decision was made. In the end, having a decision made now should put Penn State's offense ahead of the curve compared to last season. What McGloin does have going for him is his command in the huddle, which has been said to be superior to the other options, and his confidence must have sold O'Brien.
Now it is up to O'Brien to have this decision be sold to the fans.
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