Tag:Matt McGloin
Posted on: January 8, 2012 11:26 pm

Ron Vanderlinden staying on staff at Penn St.

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Bill O'Brien will no doubt look to revamp the offensive coaching staff at Penn State as he attempts to build a Nittany Lion attack in the mold of the one he's guided for the New England Patriots. But the defense? It looks like that side of the ball will retain a strong flavor from the Joe Paterno era.

That's after multiple Nittany Lion players confirmed following a Sunday team meeting that Penn State linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator Ron Vanderlinden would be held over as part of O'Brien's staff. A former head coach at Maryland, Vanderlinden has been an assistant in Happy Valley for the past 11 seasons. He began the 2011 season as linebackers coach before being promoted to co-defensive coordinator following Paterno's exit.

Vanderlinden is the second defensive assistant to be retained by O'Brien, joining defensive line coach Larry Johnson. Tennessee Titans assistant Charles London has also been hired as the Nittany Lions' running backs coach.

Though full-season coordinator and former interim head coach Tom Bradley obviously deserves much of the credit, Vanderlinden's cameo as co-DC was nonetheless a highly successful one. The Nittany Lions finished 20th in total defense, a sterling 12th in yards-per-play allowed, and an even-better fifth in scoring defense. With numbers like those, it's understandable why O'Brien would want to keep as much continuity on that side of the ball as possible.

But still, the first thing the Nittany Lions wanted to talk about after the meeting was ... O'Brien himself. Quarterback Matt McGloin said he "got some chills" discussing offense with his new head coach.

“I expect that it’ll be an entirely different playbook,” McGloin said. “It’s exciting, just watching the Patriots and knowing we’ll be doing similar things.”

“You can definitely sense that he goes about business, and loves football, and he showed that to us,” said wide receiver Justin Brown. “I think everybody’s just excited to get things going with our new coach and move forward.”

“To the people who had doubts about him, everybody has to start somewhere,” said running back Silas Redd. “Every head coach has a head coaching debut, and this is his debut. He’s more than ready to steer this whole thing.”

If McGloin is right that the offense will hum, and Redd and Brown are right that O'Brien is ready to lead, and a defense with Vanderlinden and Johnson aboard can hold the line, a hire that was near-universally panned among the Nittany Lion faithful may (like similarly unpopular hires Gene Chizik and Brady Hoke) wind up OK in the end.

All information and quotes via CBSSports.com RapidReporter Jim Rodenbush. For daily updates on Penn State football, be sure to follow Rodenbush's RapidReports right here.

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Posted on: January 2, 2012 4:40 pm

QUICK HITS: Houston 30, Penn State 14

Posted by Adam Jacobi

HOUSTON WON. Case Keenum became just the ninth player to top 500 yards passing in a bowl game by going 45-69 for 532 yards and three touchdowns, and Houston coasted to a 30-14 victory. Keenum and Patrick Edwards hooked up for their 19th and 20th touchdowns of the year, and Edwards finished with nine catches for 228 yards and two TDs in the winning effort.

HOW HOUSTON WON: All Houston had to do was score a couple touchdowns and Penn State wasn't going to outscore them. Houston took care of that in the opening quarter, where Case Keenum led the Cougars to 17 points and over 200 yards of offense. From there, it wasn't hard to keep Rob Bolden and the Penn State offense in check, and Houston eased off on the gas pedal accordingly.

WHEN HOUSTON WON: Houston held a double-digit lead for the vast majority of the game, but Penn State's ability to keep the Cougars out of the end zone in the second half meant that this was still a two-possession game for most of the 4th quarter, and even for PSU, two scores in 5-10 minutes isn't completely out of the question. Indeed, Rob Bolden had speedy wideout Devon Smith open on a fly route late in the fourth quarter, and Smith could only get one hand on the pass. If he catches it and PSU converts the two-point conversion, this would have been a one-score game. Smith let the pass fall, Rob Bolden threw a horrific interception on his very next throw, and the game was effectively over.

WHAT HOUSTON WON: Houston landed a huge blow to the common refrain that the Cougars were undeserving of major bowl consideration by whacking a nationally ranked team from an automatic qualifier conference. Yes, Penn State had its own issues, but none of those issues had anything to do with the Nittany Lion pass defense, and Keenum absolutely torched that D. PSU had a top-five pass defense coming into the game. Had.

WHAT PENN STATE LOST: Undoubtedly, Penn State and its fans just wanted this season to be over, and now it is. Rob Bolden was tantalizing on deep throws but utterly lost on the routine ones, so he blew an opportunity to make a case for starting over Matt McGloin (who missed the game after suffering a head injury in a fight with WR Curtis Drake) next year. Similarly, Tom Bradley's 1-3 record as interim head coach may likely have precluded him from being the lead candidate for the job. There really weren't any positives for this season by the end of it, and now it's time for Penn State to address its larger issues off the field.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Not only was Case Keenum's performance close to record-setting, it could have been so much worse. 380 of Keenum's 532 passing yards came in the first half, which led most to believe that a 600-yard performace was upcoming. Only 152 passing yards in the second half? Outrage! Disappointment!

FINAL GRADE: C-. It would be wrong to turn one's nose up at a 500-yard passing performance, so congratulations to Keenum and Houston for that, but this game was basically never competitive; Houston spent over 54 minutes of game time with a double-digit lead, and Penn State's offense was so anemic that a 10-point lead may as well have been 50 points.
Posted on: January 2, 2012 6:56 am

Keys to the Game: TicketCity Bowl

Posted by Adam Jacobi

PENN STATE WILL WIN IF: Rob Bolden is a different quarterback when he's not looking over his shoulder. Rob Bolden was a highly touted quarterback recruit for Penn State, and when he became the first true freshman to start at quarterback for Penn State in the 2010 season, the primary reaction was one of excitement and not, say, the revulsion that Penn State fans have felt whenever Bolden has come into a game this season as part of the QB rotation. Bolden has completed under half of his 107 passes and has only one touchdown to his name on the year, so we're talking about a level of (non-) production that few quarterbacks who have attempted over 100 passes in a season can match. And now, Bolden is the unquestioned starter, as starting QB Matt McGloin has been ruled out as he continues to recover from the concussion he suffered when WR Curtis Drake knocked him out in a December fight. Perhaps Bolden just needs to get into a groove and not stand on the sidelines for 2/3 of a game. Perhaps he's got a big game dialed up. Perhaps. 

HOUSTON WILL WIN IF: Case Keenum can stay upright for 90% of his pass plays. Case Keenum, the NCAA's leading passer in all of history, is obviously very good at throwing the football, and he's got a host of talented wideouts. What he's also got in the TicketCity Bowl is an opposing defense that ranked fifth nationally (and first in a stingy Big Ten) in pass efficiency defense, and that fact stems from Penn State having both an outstanding secondary and a top-notch defensive line. Houston's offensive line needs to keep the Nittany Lion pass rush as far away from Keenum as possible, because a pass offense as predicated on timing as Houston's is can ill afford to have its QB flushed from the pocket or taking sacks. The cleaner Keenum's jersey stays, the better a chance Houston has of winning this thing.

X-FACTOR: Both teams are working with an interim head coach right now; Penn State has been using defensive coordinator Tom Bradley ever since Joe Paterno was fired mid-season, and Houston's special teams coordinator Tony Levine has been heading the Cougars since Kevin Sumlin was hired by Texas A&M. Penn State's approach has been largely similar to Joe Paterno's tendencies, though the quarterback rotation was quickly scrapped, and it'll be interesting to see if there's any substantial difference between a Kevin Sumlin offense and a Tony Levine offense. Regardless, both Bradley and Levine are basically auditioning as head coaches, as both men are potential candidates for the job, and there should be no shortage of motivation for either of them to put together a winning gameplan. 
Posted on: January 1, 2012 6:28 pm

Matt McGloin will not play in TicketCity Bowl

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Earlier this week, Penn State announced that Curtis Drake, the sophomore wide receiver who sent QB Matt McGloin to the hospital with head injuries after a fight, would not join the team for the TicketCity Bowl. Now, McGloin will miss the game as well.

According to PennLive.com, Penn State head coach Tom Bradley said on Sunday that McGloin would be out for the TicketCity Bowl against Houston, and that means Rob Bolden will be under center for the Nittany Lions instead. Bolden and McGloin had been in a QB platoon for most of the season, and it was only after Joe Paterno was fired that McGloin was named the full-time starter.

McGloin was knocked out in the fight, and according to his father, he suffered a seizure and a probable concussion as an aftermath of the fight. He has been with the team in Dallas, but not practicing; McGloin was meeting with area physicians last week.

Neither McGloin nor Bolden have been particularly productive for the Nittany Lions, but McGloin eventually established himself as the more effective of the two QBs. McGloin went 125-231 for 1571 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions on the year for an underwhelming 118.3 QB rating, but that production vastly outpaced Bolden's effort: 46-109, 548 yards, one touchdown, four picks, and an 80.1 QB rating. Bolden was a highly-rated QB recruit and the first true freshman to ever start a game at quarterback for Joe Paterno, while McGloin was a former walk-on, but it's become readily apparent that McGloin has been the better quarterback over the last two seasons. 

For all the latest on Penn State's coaching search and preparation for the TicketCity Bowl against Houston on Jan. 2, follow Nittany Lions Rapid Reports.

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Posted on: December 27, 2011 5:45 pm

Curtis Drake doesn't join Penn State on bowl trip

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Curtis Drake, the Penn State wide receiver who punched out starting quarterback Matt McGloin on December 14, will not join Penn State for its TicketCity Bowl game against Houston. Penn State interim head coach Tom Bradley told reporters on Tuesday that Drake, a sophomore, was staying home for "personal reasons."

Drake will not be charged for his role in the fight between him and McGloin, though a police report was filed after the incident. McGloin reportedly suffered a seizure and a concussion after being hit in the head during the scuffle, and he was hospitalized briefly after the fight. McGloin, who later took reponsibility for the fight, is with the team in Dallas, but he has not practiced since the fight and was evaluated by physicians on Tuesday. The TicketCity Bowl will be held January 2.

The other Penn State players who are missing the TicketCity Bowl are sophomore WR Shawney Kersey, who is also missing the game for "personal reasons," and two academic casualties: redshirt freshman QB Paul Jones, who has been academically ineligible all year, and junior cornerback Derrick Thomas, who collected four tackles in eight games of backup play this season.

Drake had five catches for 102 yards and one touchdown this season, while Kersey had five catches for 108 yards.

For more on this upcoming matchup, check out the TicketCity Bowl Pregame.

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Posted on: December 19, 2011 12:34 pm
Edited on: December 19, 2011 12:35 pm

McGloin says fight was his fault

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Over the weekend we learned that Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin got into a fight with wide receiver Curtis Drake, and that the fight had some scary consequences. Not only was McGloin knocked unconscious during the fight, but he also suffered a seizure and had to be hospitalized for a brief period.

McGloin has since returned to the team, and on Monday he took full responsibility for the fight with Drake.

"I'm willing to take full responsibility -- it was my fault," McGloin told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I started it, but as a quarterback for this university, I should be held to a higher standard. It should not have happened. I should've walked away from it.

"It was just two guys who are emotional about the game, who got into an argument." 

McGloin said that the fight consisted of a few punches being exchanged, and that he slipped and hit his head on the concrete floor, which knocked him unconcious. McGloin also said that he had yet to speak to Drake since the incident.

As for how this will affect Penn State in its bowl game, McGloin has not yet been cleared to practice and failed a concussion test on Sunday. Interim head coach Tom Bradley said both players will face internal discipline, but also that he doesn't plan on naming a starter at quarterback before the bowl game. Penn State's other option is Rob Bolden, but Bolden is in a bit of hot water himself.

According to Bradley, Bolden was part of a "prank gone awry" and was cited for stealing a bottle of Gatorade from a convenience store on Friday. Though Bradley also said that Bolden's incident won't have any effect on his playing time.
Posted on: December 17, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: December 17, 2011 7:34 pm

Matt McGloin knocked out by teammate

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There hasn't exactly been a lot of good news about the Penn State football program in recent months, and the program got a bit more on Saturday. There are multiple reports coming out of State College that quarterback Matt McGloin got into a fight with receiver Curtis Drake following practice on Saturday. A fight that ended with McGloin being knocked out cold.

The details of what happened or what caused the fight are still sketchy at this point, but apparently there was a heated exchange during practice, and when Drake approached McGloin in the locker room after practice, things went downhill. Police were called to the scene to investigate afterward.

Making things even scarier, McGloin's father told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that his son suffered a seizure and a possible concussion. McGloin was treated at Mount Nittany Medical Center and has since returned home.

Penn State is scheduled to play Houston in the Ticketcity Bowl on January 2nd.

Here's the official statement released by Penn State, in full:

Penn State Police were called to the football locker room this afternoon to investigate a report of a fight between two members of the Nittany Lions football team -- Matt McGloin and Curtis Drake -- after they finished practice.

McGloin was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center where he was examined, treated and released.

Campus police and Penn State's Office of Judicial Affairs will investigate the incident and report results as they would for any other student involved in an incident on campus. 

Posted on: November 23, 2011 3:37 am
Edited on: November 23, 2011 3:37 am

Keys to the Game: Penn State at Wisconsin

Posted by Adam Jacobi

PENN STATE WILL WIN IF: Wisconsin's feeling generous. Penn State is scoring a hair under 21 points a game, good enough for 11th place in the Big Ten. 21 points is, of course, not going to beat Wisconsin; the Badgers scored 28 points against Illinois last week, and even that was a season low. So if Penn State's going to stay in this one, it's going to need put points up early and often. And yet, this is a Matt McGloin-led offense we're talking about, so the Nittany Lions are going to need some help. Wisconsin's defense hasn't given up more than 17 points in any of its nine wins, but that number jumps to 35 ppg in the two losses. So if the Badger defense can be coerced into allowing several successful touchdown drives, we might be looking at a shot for the Nittany Lions to walk into Camp Randall and steal a victory. If Wisconsin plays a strong game on defense and takes care of the ball, though, this might be a long day.

WISCONSIN WILL WIN IF: Montee Ball stays Montee Ball. Heisman voters are starting to realize what Wisconsin and its opposing defensive coordinators have known all year: Russell Wilson is a very good quarterback, but it's Ball who's the real focal point of this offense. Ball now has a commanding lead among all non-QBs in most total touchdowns with 30 on the season, and he just showed off his durability by racking up 38 carries for 224 yards at Illinois (who has the Big Ten's second-best rushing defense) last week. Penn State's going to need to shut down Ball without committing so completely to the task that Russell Wilson can throw with ease. Wilson can demolish pretty much defense if it has eight men in the box all watching Ball's every move at the snap.  

X-FACTOR: The almighty turnover will likely loom large here. Penn State basically can't afford to give away the ball deep in Badger territory; points are going to be hard enough to come by without wasted drives. Similarly, it would behoove both teams not to give the other a short field with a turnover deep in their own territory; those can swing a game all by themselves. So while an armpunt with no return isn't exactly the end of the world here, a fumbled kick return or a red zone interception might be enough of an opening for Wisconsin to make this one a blowout -- or Penn State to make it a game.

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