Sometimes, a news story isn't so much a news story as mere confirmation. For instance, after Penn State sophomore walk-on quarterback Matt McGloin tore apart visiting Michigan in a 41-31 win in relief of nominal starter Robert Bolden , and then led the Nittany Lions out of a 21-0 hole with 35 straight points to beat Northwestern after two series with Bolden went nowhere, it would take an extremely stubborn coach not to decide that McGloin had earned the starting position.
And Joe Paterno didn't win 400 games by being stubborn , not that Bolden is out of the picture just yet:
Paterno said he had intended to reinsert Bolden [against Northwesten], but McGloin got hot and finished with 225 passing yards and four touchdowns. McGloin has thrown for seven scores the last three games, with one pick.By this stage, though, there might not be many Nittany Lion fans who'd agree. McGloin is sporting a 7-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio compared to Bolden's 5-to-7, is averaging .7 more yards per pass attempt (7.9 to 7.2), and has a passer rating some 34 points higher (154.83 to 120.16). McGloin has had the benefit of facing three less-than-killer defenses in Minnesota , Michigan, and Northwestern, but there's also not much arguing with a three-game win streak or the kind of listlessness the offense displayed under Bolden in losses to Iowa and Illinois .
"I don't want to take anything away from (Bolden), but obviously the other kid has come in here ... and made some big plays," Paterno said about McGloin. "We're going to go with him, but I hope Bolden will be able to play."
Of course, it won't take long to determine if McGloin is a product of his opponents or not; this week's Nittany Lion opponent is Ohio State , the No. 3 defense in the country, and the Lions will be on the road in Columbus. If McGloin can play well enough to keep Bolden on the bench in those kinds of circumstances, it'll be worth asking if we'll see the true freshman again this season ... and if a player who began the season as a third-string afterthought is JoePa's official Quarterback of the Future.