Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Nittany Lions Bounce Back with Easy Win Mcgloin Throws for 321 Yards, Two Touchdowns in Rout of Purdue Penn State 34, Purdue 9

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Nittany Lions Bounce Back with Easy Win Mcgloin Throws for 321 Yards, Two Touchdowns in Rout of Purdue Penn State 34, Purdue 9

Article excerpt

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Ascribing the real reason for Penn State's motivation this season has been an ordeal, as this has never been a conventional season. At least not since July, when the traditional goals of championships were taken away by the NCAA. But it might've become a little clearer in Penn State's 34-9 victory against Purdue on a gray November Saturday at a quiet stadium in Indiana.

Isolate November from that sentence. It is November, which means that Penn State's season will end this month, no exceptions. While other teams are starting to see their destinies take shape, what remains of Penn State's season is shrinking rapidly, and this knowledge of the end has translated into an unwavering intensity to thrive in the finite present. Even -- and perhaps especially -- for a game in a staid environment that followed a devastating loss.

"We don't have, 'we don't need to play as hard this week because we're already bowl eligible or we're in the conference championship,'" quarterback Matt McGloin said. "We don't have that luxury."

Saturday was especially a test of this theory because, really, who should have had more energy, more to play for?

Penn State (6-3, 4-1 Big Ten) was a week removed from losing its version of a BCS game. Purdue (3-6, 0-5) was concluding a week that began with its athletic director releasing a statement raising issues about coach Danny Hope's job security.

Yet, in every aspect, Penn State excelled. The Nittany Lions gained 506 yards on offense. The front seven applied constant pressure. The secondary broke up passes.

Purdue ran just 12 plays in the first half that went for 4 yards or more. To compare, Penn State running backs Mike Zordich and Zach Zwinak had 10 plays of 4 yards or more.

In short, Purdue played with a hangover, whereas Penn State should have been the team feeling beaten down after its loss to Ohio State in what is sure to be its "biggest" game of the season. …

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