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Michigan Bloggers Hail the Victors and Heap Praise Upon Matt McGloin

More than 48 hours after coming up just short in a hard-fought contest in Happy Valley Saturday night, Michigan bloggers can't stop singing the praises of first-time starting quarterback, Matthew McGloin.  In an impressive display of solidarity and class, the kudos continue to rain down.  In addition to McGloin, the Wolverine blogosphere seemed to note nearly every contributing aspect of the Penn State victory: JoePa, JayPa, the defensive tackle play, and even the overall team discipline their opponents displayed in holding down the victory in this last scheduled meeting between the two historic programs.

After going on and on about the composure and poise McGloin displayed in his first career start, mgoblog was effusive about his first-half performance:

That progress looked like enough to get Rodriguez through 2010 into a prove-it 2011 until some walk-on shredded Michigan for 28 first-half points.

After crediting the would-be green QB for his heads up scramble to extend the important first PSU scoring drive, they went on to describe the accuracy that produced zero turnovers, converted 10 of 16 3rd down conversions and contributed to a very Michigan-like 27 first downs:

When a true freshman whiffed on a PBU/possible pick-six on 3rd and 14, and the drive continued another 10 plays so that half the starters must rotate out, well, we're dipping into a lot of blue.

Maize n Brew, perhaps the most gracious of the Wolverine blogs, focused more on the coaching aspect of the contest.  They gave plenty of due credit to Jay Paterno for preparing McGloin to perform so admirably in a prime time Big Ten contest and noted the alarming lack of penalties or turnovers by his focused and prepared squad.  And they spent more than a few paragraphs congratulating Joe Paterno on his 399th win and for rallying his own young team back from a flat homecoming performance just weeks before. When lamenting that this may have been Michigan's last opportunity to compete against the college football icon, the room got a little dusty:

I've done that because I believe in my heart that he is a good man. He is a decent human being given a difficult task. When I look at the manner in which he has handled the kids in his program, meted discipline, and represented himself and the school despite challenging times, that belief has been confirmed. I've also done all these things because I believed that he was a decent football coach. Strike that, a great football coach and that we were lucky to have him.

That he was actually talking about Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez is unimportant; we know he meant JoePa.  Some of the players also dipped into the praisefest.  David Molk, Michigan's outstanding center, known more for being tough and gruff, had these kind words to say about Devon Still, his opponent across the line from him Saturday night.

Losing isn't good. Losing looks bad, and we don't deserve it. We've worked too hard, gone too far, and done too much, and this shouldn't be the outcome.

Lastly, the graciousness and sportsmanship of the Michigan fanbase came home to roost for me in the personal arena.  My good DC friend Mike F, one of three very close Michigan friends (no word yet from Rachel or Steve) dipped deep into his memory bag and recalled the congratulatory texts I sent him in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, years of Darkness and Heartbreak for this Penn State fan, and felt obliged to return favor with this text from late Saturday night:

Sadly, it's not that you're that good, it's just that we're that bad.

Thanks, bud!  We Penn State fans are pretty sure we know what we have: a young and improving team, a great coach, and a lot of pride in our tradition, win or lose.  We are sad to see the end of this scheduled series.  Good luck to you, Michigan.  You've got a fine offense, an amazing young Quarterback and a proud tradition of your own.  We'll hope to meet again in a championship game sometime soon.