Lions likely lock up New Year's game
LANDOVER, Md. - Penn State's win, plus comeback victories by Ohio State and Michigan State, all but assured that the Nittany Lions will be in Florida for a New Year's Day game.
The Gator Bowl in Jacksonville is the odds-on favorite, although there's an outside chance PSU could be selected for the Outback Bowl in Tampa.
The Big Ten appears to be guaranteed to get two teams in BCS bowls, with Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan State in the running. Whichever one doesn't make a BCS game will go to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando.
The next pick belongs to the Outback Bowl. Iowa now has four losses, and if PSU beats Michigan State, it also would finish with four. The Outback likely would take Iowa, which beat the Lions, but the Hawkeyes have struggled down the stretch and possibly could be bypassed.
The more likely scenario is the Outback takes Iowa and the Gator takes Penn State, even if the Lions lose to Michigan State and finish 7-5.
McGloin bounces back
Matt McGloin faced adversity for the first time last week with a poor second half at Ohio State, but he regrouped to have his first 300-yard game against Indiana.
"Early on I slowed the game down, I let the game come to me," said McGloin, who completed 22-of-31 passes for 315 yards and two TDs. "I took my time, made my reads, took what the defense gave me."
McGloin threw a 3-yard TD pass to Brett Brackett in the first quarter and a 21-yarder to a wide-open Derek Moye in the third. The starting job is clearly his now, and at this point he doesn't feel any pressure to continue to prove he deserves it.
"I don't think you really need to prove anything to anybody," he said.
Some would have disagreed after McGloin struggled badly in the second half of a 38-14 loss to the Buckeyes.
"That's a game you have to forget," he said. "The quarterback has a short memory, so I don't even remember that game as of right now."
A performance like Saturday's makes it seem more and more likely that McGloin could indeed be the starter for the next two years instead of highly touted recruits Rob Bolden and Paul Jones.
"McGloin is a good, solid kid," Paterno said. "He's not a flashy kid. But he has good leadership qualities, he learns quickly, anticipates certain things."
Upon further review
The officials had a tough day Saturday as five of their calls were reviewed, and four were overturned. The referee was Dave Witvoet, who has been involved in a number of controversial Penn State games and calls.
"It takes an official with some character and guts to say, 'Hey, I'm not sure,' and he takes a look at it," Paterno said. "I think that's being fair to everybody."
The officials blew a key call when PSU linebacker Nate Stupar stripped quarterback Ben Chappell and returned it for a touchdown and an apparent 24-7 lead. Chappell was down, which replay showed, and the game went from looking like it was over to competitive in a few seconds.
"They have video evidence, and I'm a video major, so I know that stuff is very precise," Stupar said. "When it happened, I'm like, 'Hey, they got me.' When the play was going I didn't know if [Chappell] was down or not. I just grabbed it and started to run. I didn't hear a whistle at all. I just left it up to the replay."
The Hoosiers caught the Lions napping with a 46-yard pass on the next play, setting up a TD that made it 17-14.
JoePa talking politics
Asked to identify the four players who were late and got in trouble, Paterno wouldn't discuss it and said one was President Barack Obama and another was Vice President Joe Biden, whose name he couldn't recall.
Paterno also said his wife, Sue, was able to take a tour of the White House on the trip.
From Deon Butler to Josh Hull, McGloin to now James Van Fleet, Penn State typically gets a lot out of players who came to campus as walk-ons.
"We just buy into the system," McGloin said. "We believe in the coaches, we believe in the people around us, and the coaches believe in us, as well. We're not looked at as walk-ons or anything like that when we get here. We perform well and we're taught well, and I think that's the reason why so many walk-ons have good careers here."
The bus carrying Paterno and some players broke down en route to the stadium Saturday.
"We had to transfer about 12 kids and myself from one bus to the other bus," JoePa said. "Thank goodness it wasn't very crowded at that time of day."
Hoosiers still winless in league
Indiana's players treated Saturday like their bowl game, and they were in position for an upset until the game-changing blocked punt.
"It only made it a seven-point game, but we certainly wanted to get into the fourth quarter tied," Hoosier coach Bill Lynch said before later adding, "I'm not saying we were going to stop them throughout the fourth quarter, but to give them a freebie ..."
Chappell completed 22-of-41 passes for 235 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Receiver Tandon Doss had seven catches for 90 yards and a score to go along with five carries for 61 yards.
There has been speculation Lynch may be fired after this season, and Doss gave a politically correct answer when asked about it.
"I'm not too worried about it right now," Doss said. "I'm just trying to focus on Purdue next week."
C Doug Klopacz suffered a left ankle injury in the first quarter, came out, returned the next series and then didn't come back. "It doesn't look good," Paterno said. ... Stefen Wisniewski moved over from RG to C, where he played last year, and John Urschel came in at RG. Wisniewski admitted he was "rusty" playing center. ... If Klopacz remains out, Paterno said the decision to keep Wisniewski at center will depend on how well Urschel or DeOn'tae Pannell play. JoePa talked about how smart Urschel is, and the lineman noted, "I'm a math major. I'm pretty much the unofficial math tutor for the team." ... Chaz Powell was pulled from his kickoff return duties in the third quarter. He was replaced by Silas Redd. ... Collin Wagner was replaced on kickoffs in the fourth quarter by David Soldner.
(Compiled by Cory Giger)