Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mcgloin's Transformation How He's Become One of Penn State's Best Quarterbacks

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mcgloin's Transformation How He's Become One of Penn State's Best Quarterbacks

Article excerpt

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- It was "gun trips right 64 special H sneak." Bill O'Brien remembers it like it was yesterday.

In a meeting during spring practice, O'Brien called quarterback Matt McGloin up to the board and told him to diagram the play. According to O'Brien, McGloin drew it up without hesitation -- and perfectly. That's when the first-year coach of the Nittany Lions knew he had his man.

"I knew at that point that we had a kid that was working and wanted to be the starting quarterback," O'Brien said Saturday after Penn State's 45-22 win over Indiana, a game in which McGloin set new school marks in career passing touchdowns, single-season completions and single-season passing yardage.

McGloin completed 22 of 32 passes for a career-high 395 yards and four touchdowns against a Hoosiers defense that will be happy to see its season end next week. There was one mistake on a ball that McGloin forced into coverage to Matt Lehman that was popped in the air and intercepted, but that's always going to be a byproduct of McGloin's game.

He's confident, sometimes to a fault, but that confidence, coupled with a revamped offense and a surprising receiving corps led by sophomore Allen Robinson has led to the rebirth of the former walk-on quarterback from Scranton.

McGloin is nearly unrecognizable when compared to the kid who threw five interceptions in the 2011 Outback Bowl, or completed 1 of 10 passes for 0 yards last season in split-duty against Alabama. He'll still make ill-advised throws from time-to-time, but that receiving corps has been there to bail him out.

His transformation, due in large part to O'Brien's offense and the tutelage of quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher, has propelled Penn State to a 7-4 record with one game left and has McGloin 14th in the nation in passing yards (3,071) and 16th in passing touchdowns (23)

"As you saw his improvement, you saw his confidence rise," Fisher said of McGloin. "And when a quarterback gets confident, he's got a chance to play well and that's what's happened with Matt. He's gotten more confident every week and he's executing."

Confidence has never been the issue for McGloin, who will turn 23 in two weeks. …

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