It may have taken Penn State four games to do it, but after a sluggish start the Nittany Lion offense finally scored their first passing touchdown of the year. Matt McGloin's 27 yard strike to Joe Suhey started off what would become a surprisingly efficient air attack for a team that has seen little consistency from either quarterback.
Passing for 364 yards and 4 touchdowns, Matt McGloin and Rob Bolden made short work of a EMU defense that just didn't have enough to stop a slowly organizing Penn State offense. An additional 104 yards on the ground from a milital of running backs helped the Nittany Lions put together probably their most complete game of the season. Silas Redd rushed for 48 yards on 12 carries, and with Brandon Beachum sitting out due to an ankle injury, Curtis Dukes had a nice game rushing for 29 yards.
In the ever popular quarterback debate, Matt McGloin had a clear statistical advantage over Bolden, passing for 220 yards and 3 touchdowns. While there has been some discussion to the playcalling when each quarterback is under center, there is very little doubt which of them played better yesterday afternoon. McGloin looked sharp in the pocket, and made good decisions on his way to the best performance by either quarterback this season. While Boldentechnically throw for over 100 yards, a vast majority of them came after a short pass to Devon Smith that turned into a 71 yard touchdown who was one of 12 different Nittany Lions to catch a pass Saturday afternoon.
On defense, Penn State's normal steady secondary seemed a little out of sorts giving up 202 yards through the air, including several 20 plus yard plays but otherwise held the Eagles in check. Devon Still was unstoppable on the line and showed once again why he could be a 1st or 2nd rounddraft pick this year. The defensive line play was solid, holding a rush happy offense to only 68 yards on the ground.
Unfortunately, the victory did not come without its toll as Michael Mauti was sidelined with what was later reported as a season-ending ACL tear. The loss of Mauti is one that will not quickly be overcome, although an inspiring performance from Nate Stupar was a great display of the depth at the linebacking position. It remains unclear as to what Mauti's next course of action will be, but surgery seems almost unavoidable.
D'Anton Lynn also was part of a scary moment as a collision with several players led to him being taken off the field on a stretcher. The memories of Adam Taliaferro and his remarkable story came to mind as Lynn was taken off the field, thankfully though Lynn was later released from the hospital, but is not expected to play next week against Indiana.
Ultimately this was Penn State's best performance of the year. A solid kicking game, sure handed recivers, and solid quarterback play all sent Nittany Lion fans home with a little more hope about the future of the program than they had a week ago.