Penn State coach Joe Paterno listens to a question during his weekly news conference Tuesday in State College. Penn State plays Indiana on Saturday in Landover, Md.AP PHOTO
This time, it was a simple question and a simple answer.
Is Matt McGloin still Penn State’s starting quarterback?
“Well, yeah,” coach Joe Paterno said Tuesday at his weekly press conference. “Mac played really well (against Ohio State on Saturday) until the second half, obviously. He had what you expect sometimes of young quarterbacks. He got a little careless with the football – made up his mind to whom he was gonna throw the football, and threw it right into the hands of the Ohio State kids who did a good job. … I expect him to start.”
The Nittany Lions are trying to move past that second half against the Buckeyes, in which they were outscored 35-0 and outgained 306-60. McGloin went 13-of-18 for 141 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, easily the best two quarters by a Penn State quarterback in Columbus in the Paterno era.
But defensive adjustments by Ohio State completely turned things around after halftime, as McGloin was just 2-of-12 for 18 yards while tossing a pair of interceptions that were returned for touchdowns.
Now the West Scranton High School product will try to rally the team headed into Saturday’s game against Indiana, which will be played at the Washington Redskins’ FedEx Field.
“Where McGloin goes from there is part of the process of maturing as a quarterback,” Paterno said.
That means dealing with some more adversity.
But after injecting some life into the offense these past four weeks, McGloin has the support of his teammates.
“I think we feel Matt’s going to start,” senior tailback Evan Royster said. “We didn’t practice (Monday), so I’m not sure what the coaches will do. But as a teammate, I think we need to stick by him. I don’t think he showed anything where he shouldn’t start.”
Penn State’s defense had huge problems against Ohio State after Michael Mauti left the game at halftime with a dislocated right shoulder.
The sophomore linebacker is a long shot to return this Saturday.
“I think Mauti is out,” Paterno said. “He dislocated that (shoulder) and he’s had trouble with that, so I doubt if he’ll make it.”
Junior Nate Stupar will likely take over for Mauti at the strongside spot, with true freshman Khairi Fortt seeing more snaps as well.
“Well, there’s Stupar, there’s Fortt, there’s a couple of other kids who can play on the outside where Mauti has been playing,” Paterno said. “Mauti has been an open-field kind of kid, and has had a lot of opportunities. And hopefully … the kid who replaces him will be able to do a decent job.”
Royster and fellow tailback Stephfon Green both missed time with injuries in the second half. Royster returned and will almost certainly be fine for Saturday. Paterno was cautiously optimistic that Green would be available.
Two Penn State players were cited for disorderly conduct this past weekend, according to court documents.
Sophomore defensive end Sean Stanley was cited early Friday, before the team left for Columbus. Freshman tailback Silas Redd was booked early Sunday, hours after returning to State College.
Stanley, who earlier this season was charged with marijuana possession and suspended for two games, started against the Buckeyes.
“Well, he hasn’t played as well as I hoped he would,” Paterno said. “But there again, he’s a kid that’s been banged up and had a couple little problems that set him back some. But I think eventually he’s gonna be a good football player.”
When asked if Redd would play against Indiana, Paterno said, “We’ll find out.”
Penn State vs. Indiana
FedEx Field, Landover, Md.
TV: Big Ten Network