There won't be much positive buzz surrounding the Penn State football program during the 2012 season. The scandal that has ripped at the fabric of the university has prompted national attention to ignore what is happening on the field of play.
But the players that opted to stay and help the Nittany Lions rebuild deserve some credit for their commitment to the school and the program.
One player that is making the most of his opportunity, despite playing without the surrounding talent that opted to part ways with the university, is quarterback Matthew McGloin.
Penn State has put together a very impressive 5-3 season. They lost their opening two games, due in part to a 1-for-5 field goal effort in Week 2.
McGloin has since responded by hoisting the team on his shoulders. He's thrown for more than 250 yards five times this season, but his best showing was a 13-for-21 night with 231 yards and four touchdowns against Navy.
After an unimpressive junior year where he split reps with Rob Bolden, he's completing more than 62 percent of his passes in his final year. He has 2,115 yards with 16 touchdowns and just three interceptions for a QB Rating of 136.0.
This Saturday he will lead his team against a Purdue team that is still harboring bowl game aspirations despite a 0-4 record in the Big 10.
The Boilermakers surrendered 246 yards and three touchdowns to Philip Nelson in his second start for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
McGloin could be eyeing his third 300-yard game of the season on Saturday.
Head coach Bill O'Brien has a fair amount of fun at McGloin's expense, but he thinks quite highly of his fifth-year senior per Joe Juliano of the Philly Inquirer.
"He's a great kid, a fun kid to coach. I love coaching competitive people, and he's a very competitive guy," O'Brien said.
There is little for McGloin to play for other than pride and fulfilling his competitive nature. His team isn't eligible for the Big 10 title or a bowl bid, and McGloin isn't flashy enough to receive any attention for the Heisman Trophy.
He also fell short in qualifying for the Davey O'Brien award, something that didn't sit well with some members of the media.
Voters who failed to select #PSU senior Matt McGloin as a Davey O'Brien Award semifinalist weren't paying attention.— Ivan Maisel (@Ivan_Maisel) Oct. 23, 2012
At 6'1" and 200 pounds, with a 40-time that O'Brien says is timed with a sun dial, his NFL prospects are limited. But he should at least receive a combine invitation. With a solid showing in the Senior Bowl, McGloin could attract the attention of an NFL team.
For now, though, he's focused on what he can do to help Penn State rebound from a disappointing loss to Ohio State.
McGloin runs a fast-paced offense. They average an amazing 90 plays and more than 37 points per game.
Ohio State halted a five-game winning streak by Penn State. McGloin is determined to start a new one.
We only have four games left. That's our mind-set. We can't worry about what happened in the past. We have to keep pushing forward and moving on. Purdue is a good football team. They took Ohio State to overtime and we have to be prepared for that game.
This doesn't bode well for the Boilermakers.
Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a featured columnist covering the NFL and the Seattle Seahawks.
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