McGloin to start today for Raiders
UNIVERSITY PARK - While Penn State fans were watching their No. 14 go to work on Saturday against Purdue, it was announced they will have another No. 14 to root for today.
Former Nittany Lion quarterback Matt McGloin was named the starter for the Oakland Raiders in their game against the Houston Texans in Texas.
Bill O'Brien said with his experience in the NFL, he knows it takes a smart, competitive player to start, and he feels McGloin fits that mold.
"It takes a guy that does the same thing every day," O'Brien said. "He's in the office early, he leaves late and that's what Matt is. Everything Matt gets, he deserves."
McGloin's journey has been well documented from joining the PSU team as a walk-on to winning the Burlsworth Award, which is given to the best player who began his career as a walk-on, to making his first start in the NFL this weekend.
Tackle Garry Gilliam said he is looking forward to watching a player he used to catch passes from compete on Sunday, and it adds some motivation.
"It just kind of gives everyone hope out there that if you put your mind to it and put the work in, there's no reason you can't achieve your dreams," Gilliam said.
When McGloin leads the Raiders out onto the field, he will see a familiar foe lining up under center for the opposing Texans: Case Keenum.
Keenum was responsible for tearing apart the Lions in the 2012 TicketCity Bowl - a game in which McGloin was on the roster for Penn State, but did not play because of a concussion - as he led Houston to a 30-14 bowl victory. Keenum, who took over for Matt Schaub this season, completed 45 passes in that bowl victory for 532 yards and three touchdowns while throwing no interceptions.
When a reporter told O'Brien that Keenum would be the starter McGloin would be going up against, the coach asked, "Who's Case Keenum?"
Granted the reason Penn State fans remember the name was before O'Brien's time with the team, he still backed his turnaround quarterback from Scranton.
"Well, let's go Matt," O'Brien said.
Extra motivation before game
On Military Appreciation Day at Beaver Stadium, the coin toss brought the fans to their feet.
Adam Hartswick, a wounded veteran who grew up in State College, took care of the coin toss duties as he walked onto the field with two prosthetic legs replacing those he lost while stepping on an explosive device in Afghanistan.
O'Brien said he could not get over how much Hartswick's presence at the game hit him.
"What a great person. What a great man," O'Brien said. "It was an honor to have him on our football field today."
O'Brien said he turned to linebacker Glenn Carson following the coin toss and said, "If this doesn't motivate us, I don't know what does."
Another record for Robinson
Allen Robinson claimed yet another record on Sunday, but this time, he broke his own.
Robinson had 98 yards on eight receptions, which pushed him to 81 receptions on the year, thus breaking his 2012 single-season PSU record of 77.
The eight receptions also moved up him the career ladder as he tied Derrick Williams for third all-time with 161. The next target on the list for Robinson in career receptions is Bobby Engram, who caught 167 passes during his time at Penn State.
DT Baublitz done after this season
After the game, defensive tackle Kyle Baublitz said this would be his last year playing football.
Baublitz said he decided to give it up a year early because he came to the conclusion that he is ready to move on with his life.
"I've been praying about it, thinking about it, asking a bunch of people, getting their influence and I finalized it today," Baublitz said.
Baublitz said the hardest thing to give up will be the atmosphere of the games in Beaver Stadium.
"The fans are amazing and great and that's the most important thing I'll miss," he said.
O-line shines on big rushing day
The offensive line often goes unnoticed while running backs like Zach Zwinak and Bill Belton get the glory.
Following an offensive onslaught that saw the Lions put up 45 points behind 289 rushing yards and a clean slate in the sack column protecting Christian Hackenberg, O'Brien was ready to put that glory on the backs of the offensive line.
"Any time you rush for almost 300 yards, somebody is doing something right," O'Brien said.
In a performance that saw Zwinak, Belton and Akeel Lynch carry the ball a combined 54 times, the line was all smiles.
Guard John Urschel said there is no better feeling for a lineman than putting up yards in the run game.
"You just want to run the ball over and over and over again, that's an offensive lineman's dream," Urschel said.
Gilliam, who battled so hard that he got his helmet jammed together with a Purdue player's helmet, said he loves run blocking, and he would not mind if Penn State ran the ball 60 or 70 times a game.
"[Run blocking] definitely shows your physical toughness up front and I mean we have tough guys all across the line," Gilliam said.
Purdue still winless in Big Ten
The Boilermakers only scored four touchdowns in Big Ten play in their previous five attempts at earning a conference win, but they put up three alone against Penn State.
Although the outcome was the same and Purdue dropped its sixth Big Ten game this season, the Boilermakers were close at times.
Purdue cut Penn State's lead to seven points by closing out the first half with a 100-yard kick return from Raheem Mostert then scoring on the opening drive of the third quarter, but all in a losing effort.
"It was one of those games where the win got away from us," Purdue coach Darrell Hazell said. "We had a chance to make it 14-14, but at that point, we turned the ball over."
Turnovers ended up costing the Boilermakers as they fumbled the ball four times and lost it twice while quarterback Danny Etling threw an interception to cornerback Jordan Lucas.
Etling, who was responsible for both the fumbles Purdue lost, said he did not quite do his job this game.
"When the pocket collapses, you have to really try to tuck that ball away and protect the football because that's what the job of the quarterback is," Etling said.
News and Notes
PSU's game captains were DT Baublitz, FB Pat Zerbe and T Adam Gress. ... RB Akeel Lynch returned to the lineup after missing time due to a knee injury suffered against Ohio State. Lynch rushed the ball nine times for 44 yards. ... LB Brandon Bell went down with what appeared to be a leg injury in the fourth quarter. After remaining on the field for a little bit, he got up and walked off under his own power. Bell saw more playing time with the recent injury to LB Ben Kline, who will be out for the year.