Joe Paterno and Penn State Fans Can't Write-Off Matt McGloin Just Yet

Mike MuellerContributor IINovember 15, 2010

Penn State fans need to relax.

Stop tweaking-out about quarterback Matt McGloin. He played one bad half against one of the top defenses in the country. He’s not the savior of Nittany Lion football. He’s just a surprisingly serviceable quarterback that has earned the right to compete for the starting job.

I feel like I’ve been on the Matt McGloin beat for the last four weeks. It’s honestly one of the few interesting stories on the team. He came out of nowhere to become a household name at Penn State. Now, he’s quickly falling out of everyone’s good graces because of two bad quarters.

Is this because McGloin is a former walk-on? Why is it that when true freshman Rob Bolden struggles it’s considered a learning experience? Bolden actually has more game-time experience under his belt than McGloin does.

He started eight games and has thrown five touchdowns and seven interceptions. McGloin has thrown nine touchdowns and three picks after playing in six games and two starts.

Two of those interceptions are the reason why McGloin is on the hot seat this week. They were both returned for touchdowns in the second half of the Ohio State game and led to 35 answered points by the Buckeyes in a 38-14 beatdown.

The Nittany Lions were held to just 60 yards of total offense in the second half after racking up 212 in the first half. McGloin made some poor decisions late in the game and fed right into Ohio State’s defense on third-and-long situations. The Nits could not run the ball after the break and were handcuffed, yet again, by more conservative play-calling.

It’s easy to judge a guy when things are going well. I would rather see him struggle. I don’t think we’ll truly know how good McGloin is until we see him perform over the next two weeks. How he responds to adversity will say a lot about his future at Penn State. Yes, he had a bad half against Ohio State, but will he learn from that and move forward? That’s the question.

There is no denying the fact that the offense this season is better with him under center. He’s led the Nittany Lions to 90 points in his last three games and has thrown seven touchdown passes during that stretch.

McGloin guided Penn State to 14 first half points at the Horseshoe. That’s the most points the Nittany Lions have scored in Columbus since joining the Big Ten. His two touchdown passes also ended a streak of 45 quarters and 11 games for Penn State quarterbacks.

The future may very well be in the hands of Rob Bolden or even Paul Jones, but you can’t write of McGloin just yet. He’s had his share of success and is now experiencing failure the first time in a Nittany Lions uniform.

Penn State scored a total of six points against Alabama and Iowa with Bolden under center. McGloin put up 14 in the first half at Ohio State. He can’t be written off yet. Let’s see how he responds against Indiana and Michigan State. Then and only then will we finally see Matt McGloin’s true colors.