Penn State football coach Bill O’Brien announced Friday that senior Matt McGloin will be the starting quarterback when the 2012 season begins.
McGloin, a former walk-on, started 10 games in the past two seasons but has taken most of the snaps during that time. He won the job in the spring thanks to his consistency according to coach O’Brien. McGloin competed with sophomore Paul Jones and junior Rob Bolden for the starting gig. As a junior last season, he threw for 1571 yards while completing 54.1% of his passes. He threw for eight touchdowns and five interceptions on the year.
O’Brien said that Jones will work as McGloin’s backup entering the Fall and that Rob Bolden would be the third-string quarterback. Jones has been academically ineligible for the past two seasons. Bolden, who started the teams past two season openers, started in the Nittany Lions’ bowl game in January, a 30-14 thumping at the hands of the Houston Cougars.
While the Penn State fan base (and myself) were clamoring for the starting job to be given to talented sophomore Paul Jones, McGloin is a safe choice for O’Brien and the staff. McGloin has experience and has picked up O’Brien’s offense well. While Jones has impressive talent and a bright future at Penn State, McGloin gives the Lions the best chance to win now. Jones will get his chance to shine, and his time will come, but right now this is a smart choice by O’Brien to keep some continuity on offense with the senior signal-caller.
The coach also announced that former wide receiver Curtis Drake, who had a fight with McGloin prior to the bowl game, has left the program. The junior was moved to cornerback during spring ball but is no longer with the team. O’Brien gave no reason for his Drake’s departure.
The Nittany Lions open the 2012 season on Sep. 1 at Beaver Stadium against the Ohio Bobcats, the first Penn State season opener without the late Joe Paterno on the sidelines as coach since 1965.