Player Spotlight: Matt McGloin

Story posted November 25, 2011 in Sports, CommRadio by Breanna Jacobs

Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin has finally cemented himself as the Nittany Lions’ starter. After playing in a two quarterback system under former head coach Joe Paterno, alternating snaps with Rob Bolden, interim head coach Tom Bradley named McGloin the starter going into the game against Nebraska. And for McGloin, the road to a starting position was not an easy one.


McGloin began with the Nittany Lions in 2008 as a redshirt freshman. He was a walk-on quarterback and saw little playing time that season. In 2009, McGloin backed up Daryll Clark. He got on the field for the first time in the win against Syracuse, and also played a few snaps in the games against Eastern Illinois and Michigan State.

2010 was the season that changed everything for McGloin. Rob Bolden was the starter, but, after he suffered an injury in the second quarter of Penn State’s game against Minnesota, McGloin came into the game.

His first career completion was a 42 yard pass to wide receiver Derek Moye for a touchdown. McGloin threw for a second touchdown, leading Penn State to a win.

After a brief return from Bolden, McGloin went on to start five of the last six games in 2010, earning his first career start against Michigan. He threw for at least 200 or more yards in all five of those games.

McGloin completed 118 of his 215 attempted passes for a total of 1,548 yards during the 2010 season. He threw for 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also scored two rushing touchdowns.

McGloin is the first quarterback in Penn State history to have consecutive 300 yard passing games; he threw for 315 yards against Indiana and 312 yards against Michigan State. He is also the first walk-on quarterback to ever start under former head coach Paterno.

McGloin, a redshirt junior, has continued to show his offensive value to the team this season. Although he began the season in a two quarterback system, he proved that he was the more effective of the two, helping the Nittany Lions to score points and win games.

So far this season, McGloin has completed 116 of his 214 attempted passes for a total of 1,474 yards and seven touchdowns. He has thrown only four interceptions and averages 134 passing yards per game.

McGloin also had a 16 yard reception in the Nittany Lions’ game against Nebraska, getting the offense close to the goal line. McGloin, who does not possess great speed as a runner, shocked the crowd at Beaver Stadium with that play and his versatility.

McGloin has struggled with decision making as a passer. He has fallen into the trap of throwing into double or triple coverage on numerous occasions, allowing big play opportunities for opposing defenses. However, as he has gotten more time, he has reduced his mistakes.


As a passer, McGloin is not afraid to throw the deep ball; he has a strong arm and is able to heave the ball far down the field. He has shown that he is able to successfully lead the offense.


McGloin’s favorite target throughout his Penn State career has been senior wide out Derek Moye. The two have hooked up for a number of big plays and touchdown passes in the past two seasons, and will try to continue that this weekend.

Penn State travels to Wisconsin on Saturday, November 26, with McGloin at the helm, to play their final game of the regular season with the Big Ten Leaders Division championship on the line.

Breanna Jacobs is a sophomore majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact her, e-mail: byj5032@psu.edu.