The Penn State Nittany Lions made their first trip to the newest Big Ten venue, TCF Stadium and defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers 33-21.
Rob Bolden, facing no presure, opened up sharp, completing his first nine passes. He threw a 21 yard TD to WR Brett Brackett for the game’s first score. He was looking great, but after running, he got tackled hard and apparently took a blow to the head. He went to talk to Mike McQueary, the wide receivers coach who shoved him back in the game. Bolden then fell down. McQueary might have some explaining to do, with all the head trauma concerns in football circles this week, though he didn’t shove Bolden hard. Bolden left the game and surprisingly, Matt McGloin, #3 on the depth chart entered. McGloin was nearly picked off on his first throw. However, after a D’Anton Lynn interception and runback from the Penn State end zone across midfield, Penn State called a deep throw which McGloin connected on to Derek Moye for a TD. Penn State led 21-7 there and was not seriously threatened the rest of the way.
Howver, despite a second touchdown, McGloin was erractic and threw an interception. Kevin Newsome, #2 on the depth chart, got a few snaps too. A stomach virus pushed him down the chart. The sum of their performances made clear why they are not starting quarterbacks for Penn State. McGloin is a shoot from the hip QB and Newsome isn’t terribly developed. Perhaps the most telling part of the game came after the final gun when ESPN sideline reporter Shelley Smith asked head coach Joe Paterno a question about Newsome, to which Paterno replied:
Smith clarified, but the point was already made. I’d say the odds of Newsome transferring are probably pretty high now, not that I am worried.
As for the rest of the team, the defense was hardly stout, giving up big runs and some downfield throws. The highlight was the safety that Devon Still scored by sacking Adam Weber in the end zone. Stephon Morris #12 did not seem to have a good day. The officiating was rather poor, especially if you are a Minnesota fan, but a few bad flags went Penn State’s way after the game was decided.