The former West Scranton High School standout broke 10 school records and tied another during his superlative senior campaign. Under McGloin's direction, Penn State led the Big Ten in total offense (437.0 ypg) in conference games and was second in scoring offense (32.6 ppg) and pass offense (283.1 ypg) against Big Ten foes. McGloin led the Nittany Lions to more than 500 yards of total offense three times in conference play, topped by 546 yards vs. Indiana, its highest total against a Big Ten foe since gaining 557 yards against Michigan State in 2008.
During the 2012 season, McGloin was 270 of 446 (60.5) for 3,266 yards, with 24 touchdown passes and only five interceptions. He also was second on the team with five touchdown runs. An honorable mention All-Big Ten choice, McGloin was selected Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Nov. 19 after throwing for 395 yards, just four yards off the school record, and a career-high tying four touchdowns in Penn State's 45-22 win over Indiana. He completed a school record 35 passes in leading a 22-point fourth quarter for a 39-28 comeback win over No. 24 Northwestern. McGloin led the Big Ten in passing yards (272.2 ypg) by 25 yards per game. He also led the conference in completions (270) and touchdown passes (24) and had the fewest interceptions among the Big Ten starting signal-callers. McGloin threw at least one touchdown pass in his last 13 regular season games, with multiple TD passes in eight games in 2012. He threw for at least 200 yards in each of the final 10 games of the season.
McGloin earned his degree in journalism in May 2012 and is working on a second degree, in telecommunications. He was co-recipient of the team's Ridge Riley Award and played in the 2013 Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Game.
Owning a three-point fourth-quarter lead, McGloin threw a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kevin Haplea for the final 10-point cushion. He led one touchdown drive and threw for 145 yards in the Leaders Division matchup against Purdue, gaining 16 rushing yards on three attempts. McGloin made his first start of the season at Northwestern and led the Nittany Lions to an exciting primetime finish. He was 17-of-26 for 192 yards and two touchdowns, leading six straight scoring drives. He threw touchdown passes to Justin Brown (4 yards) and Devon Smith (45 yards) in a frenetic first quarter, with the teams combining for 51 first-half points. McGloin started against Illinois and engineered the final 10-play, 80-yard drive that began with 3:05 left in the fourth quarter, completing four passes for 58 yards on the drive. He connected with Justin Brown and Derek Moye twice for 29 yards each on the drive, which was capped by a Silas Redd three-yard touchdown run with 1:08 to play. Against Nebraska, McGloin threw for 193 yards. He also made his first career reception, gaining 16 yards deep in Husker territory to set up a fourth-quarter touchdown.
McGloin started in the big division battle at Ohio State, directing four first-half scoring drives. He was 10-of-18 for 88 yards as Penn State ran for 239 yards against the Buckeyes. McGloin tossed a 44-yard scoring strike to Curtis Drake to give the Nittany Lions a 7-0 first-quarter lead at Wisconsin in the battle for the inaugural Leaders Division title. He was 9-of-17 for 97 yards against the Badgers. He was injured and did not play in the TicketCity Bowl. McGloin totaled 559 snaps for the year, with season-highs of 80 plays against Nebraska and 65 at Northwestern.
He led Penn State to 27 first downs, 37:29 in time of possession and 10-of-16 on third down conversions. McGloin also led the Nittany Lions to 435 yards, and helped Penn State not commit a turnover for the first time during the season. He led Penn State to scores on 7-of-9 possessions (5 TD, 2 FG) prior to the last possession of the game (took a knee at the Michigan 2 in the final seconds). McGloin got the ball to eight different teammates against the Wolverines. He was 8-of-10 on third down for 108 yards, converting six completions into first downs, including a 20-yard scoring strike to Graham Zug, against Michigan. Rivals.com named McGloin Big Ten Player-of-the-Week after leading Penn State's rally from a 21-0 deficit to a historic 35-21 victory over Northwestern. Down 21-0 late in the second quarter and on their own nine-yard line, McGloin led the Nittany Lions 91 yards in 47 seconds to begin the rally and ignite the Beaver Stadium faithful. Penn State out-scored the Wildcats, 28-0, in the second half, rolling to a season-high 528 yards, gaining 268 passing yards and 260 on the ground. McGloin set career-highs with four touchdown passes, going 18-of-29 to play a substantial role in Paterno's 400th career win. He was 13-of-18 for 141 yards in first half at Ohio State, throwing TD passes to Justin Brown (23 yards) and Derek Moye for a 14-3 halftime lead. He finished 15-of-30 for 159 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
McGloin had his best career performance in leading Penn State to 496 yards and 36:59 in time of possession in a 41-24 win over Indiana. He threw for a career-high 315 yards, also breaking his career-bests with 22 completions and 31 attempts, good for two touchdowns. His 315 yards were the most by a Nittany Lion since Clark threw for 353 yards in the 2009 season-opener with Akron. The 315 yards passing were tied for the 10th-best mark in Penn State annals with Chuck Fusina, who had 315 yards at North Carolina State in 1977. McGloin directed the Lions on scoring drives of 87 and 99 yards to open the game for a 14-0 lead. He hit Brett Brackett on a 3-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second quarter and Moye on a 21-yard scoring strike for a 24-17 lead in the third period. McGloin also connected with Devon Smith on a 45-yard gain for his longest career completion. McGloin became the first Nittany Lion to throw for 300 yards in consecutive games, doing so against No. 10 Michigan State. He re-set his career-highs by going 23-of-43, with two scoring strikes and one interception. McGloin threw for 312 yards, the 12th-best game mark at Penn State, and just three yards off his career-best from a week earlier. McGloin became just the third Penn State quarterback to have at least two 300-yard passing games in his career.
He threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Joe Suhey and a four-yard dart to Moye, leading the Lions to 19 fourth-quarter points. Making his fifth career start, McGloin was 17-of-41 for 211 yards against Florida in the Outback Bowl, throwing a touchdown pass to Moye for 7-0 lead. He scored on a two-yard run late in the third quarter to give Penn State a 24-17 lead. He was intercepted five times, a school record, in the 37-24 loss to the Gators. McGloin was on the field for 458 snaps, topped by 82 plays against Florida and 74 each in the wins over Michigan and Indiana.