PSU Nittany Lions: Shane McGregor
October, 27, 2012
By Josh Moyer | ESPN.com
Rich Barnes/US PresswireMatt McGloin threw for 327 yards against Ohio State, but his third-quarter interception directly cost the Nittany Lions seven points.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Bill O'Brien folded his arms after the game and furiously chewed a white piece of gum as the alma mater played.
Some players declined to remove their helmets. Center Matt Stankiewitch didn't even move his lips; backup QB Shane McGregor rested a right hand on his shoulder.
This was a statement game, the game that was supposed to show sanctions couldn't beat these Nittany Lions. That Bill O'Brien couldn't be out-prepared. That Penn State was the best team in the Big Ten.
Instead, Penn State showed it's good, not great. That those first two losses weren't just exceptions -- but were as tied to this team's identity as the five consecutive victories.
Penn State showed Saturday it belongs, right now, with the Wisconsins of the Big Ten -- not the Ohio States.
"I didn't do a very good job tonight as the head football coach," said O'Brien, whose eyes seemed to glimmer beneath the bright lights of the postgame news conference.
O'Brien often smiled before this contest and told the press he wasn't a genie, but a strong fan base still believed in O'Brien as if he were. His squad beat teams with better talent and somehow improved a patchwork offense that lost 10 starters. But Penn State's luck ran out Saturday. It turned into a pumpkin three hours before the clock struck midnight.