New PSU coach O'Brien names McGloin starting QB
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Penn State coach Bill O'Brien has named senior Matt McGloin the starting quarterback.
O'Brien announced his decision Friday at a charity golf tournament. McGloin will top a depth chart that will also include Paul Jones and Rob Bolden. The Nittany Lions open the season on Sept. 1 vs. Ohio.
"We'll probably release our depth chart on Tuesday morning," O'Brien said. "There won't be too many surprises on there, I'm sure. But Matt McGloin will be our starting quarterback next year."
McGloin appeared in 12 games in 2011, and completed 54.1 percent of his passes for 1,571 yards and eight touchdowns. He did not play in the 30-14 TicketCity Bowl loss to Houston that ended the season. Bolden completed just 7 of 26 passes that day for 137 yards and three interceptions.
The offense sputtered against the Cougars, as McGloin sat out with an injury. He missed the game after suffering a concussion during a post-practice fight with teammate Curtis Drake.
In his place, Bolden connected with Justin Brown for a pretty 69-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 27-14 at 2:38 of the third quarter, but there were few other bright spots as the season closed. Penn State had only 14 first downs in the bowl loss, and only three by way of the pass.
"He was our most consistent guy throughout the spring," O'Brien said of McGloin. "He has a good command of the offense at this point. And he's a tough kid, a competitive kid. He has shown good leadership qualities.
"And I just felt like he's the No. 1 quarterback."
Penn State finished 9-4 last season, and was held to just 21 points in its final two games, including a 45-7 loss to Wisconsin in the regular-season finale. O'Brien, formerly the offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots is out to change that, and McGloin will be the centerpiece of his plan ... at least to start.
"Going into training camp, you have to make sure that one guy is getting the bulk of the reps," O'Brien said. "You don't have time to give three guys equal reps. So, that's No. 1. And in the summertime, when the coaches aren't around, you have to have leaders on both sides of the ball, and Matt - obviously, being a quarterback - is a leader on the offensive side of the ball.
"You have to have a starter. And then, you go from there."
McGloin threw five interceptions last season, and was sacked six times.
"I have confidence in him," O'Brien said. "He'll do a good job for us."
O'Brien also confirmed Friday that Drake, who was moved to cornerback this spring after spending three seasons at wide receiver, would not return to the team. He did not give a reason for the departure.
Updated June 1, 2012