Paterno picks McGloin to take on Ohio State

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State coach Joe Paterno not only revealed Tuesday that Matt McGloin would be his starting quarterback, he reflected on the one that got away, Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor.

McGloin, a former walk-on, will get his second career start Saturday when Penn State (6-3, 3-2 Big Ten) meets Pryor and No. 8 Ohio State (8-1, 4-1) at Ohio Stadium.

McGloin, a redshirt sophomore, has thrown seven touchdown passes and only one interception in the past 11 quarters for the Nittany Lions, who are riding a three-game winning streak.

He made his first start against Michigan two weeks ago in place of injured starter Rob Bolden, who was out with a concussion, and led Penn State to a 41-31 victory against the Wolverines.

Bolden returned to the starting lineup this past weekend against Northwestern, but was pulled after two series. McGloin rallied the Lions from a 21-point deficit to a 35-21 victory.

Next game

• Game: Penn State (6-3, 3-2 Big Ten) at Ohio State (8-1, 4-1), Ohio Stadium.

• When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday.


Bolden, a freshman, has thrown five touchdown passes and seven interceptions in eight starts.

"Obviously, [McGloin's] come in there in a couple of football games and made some big plays, so we're going to go with him," Paterno said at his weekly news conference. "But I'm hoping that Bolden will be ready to play."

Penn State has scored 109 points in the past three games after scoring 109 in the first six. McGloin has been in control of the offense for 93 of those points.

"I think he brings a lot of confidence to our offense and we can obviously move the ball a little bit with him in there," tailback Evan Royster said.

Paterno said Kevin Newsome, who began the season as the No. 2 quarterback but has since slipped to No. 3, continues to struggle.

"Kevin's biggest problem is a mental one," Paterno said. "He's got a lot of physical ability. But he hasn't quite kept up with the other two kids in some of the decisions that have to be made and things of that sort. "

McGloin's first road start will come against Pryor, the former Jeannette High School star who picked the Buckeyes over the Nittany Lions in 2008 when he was the country's top recruit.

Pryor, a junior, has a 27-4 record as Ohio State's quarterback, but he is 1-1 against Penn State.

"He's older," Paterno said. "He's more mature. He's more polished. And so all those little things that you would expect an athlete as good as he is and as conscientious as he is, you'd expect him to get better and that's what Pryor's done. He's a good kid. He really handles himself well.

"He's all business. He's not out there trying to outdo anybody. He's just out there trying to get his football team to win. He's the kind of guy a coach likes to see have success.

"I don't want him to have too much this week, but he's been good. And he's getting better all the time."

As a freshman in 2008 at Ohio Stadium, Pryor fumbled on a third-and-1 carry after being hit by Penn State strong safety Mark Rubin with 10:38 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The miscue led to the go-ahead touchdown for the Nittany Lions, a 1-yard sneak by backup quarterback Pat Devlin, who has since transferred to Division I-AA Delaware.

Penn State scored the final 10 points en route to a 13-6 victory, its first in Columbus in 30 years.

At Beaver Stadium last season, Pryor passed for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Buckeyes scored the final 17 points en route to a 24-7 victory.

Pryor has completed 152 of 225 passes for 1,997 yards this season. He is fifth nationally in pass efficiency (165.2), and has thrown 20 touchdown passes and seven interceptions.

He has rushed for 463 yards and four touchdowns.

"Terrelle Pryor is a whole different animal," defensive tackle Ollie Ogbu said. "He's a really big guy. He's about 240 pounds, so he's just as fast, just as big. So, it's kind of like tackling a very athletic tight end out there."

NOTES -- Royster said "it's kind of insulting" that Penn State opened as a 17-point underdog against Ohio State. "I think we've proven that we can put points on the board, we can win games," he said. "I think a lot of people will take offense to it and I think it will make us just work even harder." ... Penn State is 6-8 all time in Columbus.

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