Top 5 moments: McGloin rallies past NU
December, 13, 2012
By Josh Moyer | ESPN.com
Justin K. Aller/Getty ImagesMatt McGloin was at his best late against Northwestern on Oct. 6.NittanyNation will be counting down the top five moments of Penn State's season this week. The No. 2 moment of the season: Matt McGloin rallies past Northwestern on Oct. 6.
This game was Penn State's first real test of the season, its first opportunity to show the nation it still belonged near the top of the Big Ten.
So, when the Nittany Lions entered the fourth quarter trailing 28-17 against Northwestern, it seemed as if that opportunity had died along with any hope to win the Leaders Division. Penn State seemed finished, bound to drop to 3-3.
But then McGloin jogged to the huddle, looked into his teammates' eyes, and tight end Kyle Carter said he could tell from that look that McGloin wasn't giving up. He was about to break out. "I don't know about you all," Carter remembered him saying, "but I love this."
Added McGloin: "There was no panic. We had a full quarter to play."
The fifth-year signal-caller certainly made the most of it. He directed three touchdowns in the final 10 minutes of the game and played his best football when the contest was most in doubt.
On the game-winning drive, he completed 6-of-7 passes for 49 yards. Five yards from the end zone, on third-and-4, McGloin took the snap and rolled right while the Wildcats flooded the middle of the line.
He took off running, awkwardly dove to the end zone and celebrated the touchdown using Aaron Rodgers' signature move. The celebration was quickly made into a .GIF that would be replayed countless times by Penn State fans.
This game symbolized Penn State's season in a way. The Lions were counted out, but they shocked nearly everyone by coming on strong when it was needed most. McGloin showed he was a capable quarterback, Penn State showed it would be a force in the Big Ten, and fans realized PSU could never be counted out.
And that's why it's the No. 2 moment of the season.
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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35