Watching the entire Jerry Sandusky scandal unfold in real-time was anything but real. It was hard to believe that the university and football team I’d come to know and love was uncovering the largest scandal in college football history. But watching this Penn State football season so far has taught me several things, not the least of which is the resiliency of this Penn State University and football program. Here are few more:
1. Bill O’Brien is the man for the job. Coming from New England O’Brien was certainly used to the spot light, but nothing can really prepare you for the unique situation he signed himself up for when he came to Penn State to coach this legendary football program through anything but a proud moment. At 4-2, O’Brien has steered this program in the direction it needs to go. Taking the focus off of all the negativity and on to what’s supposed to matter: the wins. He’s handled it with class, calm, and commitment. Since O’Brien was hired soon after the scandal broke, he’s expressed a single message of a united team and has not strayed from that message since. Here’s to 6 more wins.
2. Matt McGloin stepped up when the school really needed him. This guy has really come into his own with 61.5% completion and 12 TDs so far this season. All this despite an admittedly weaker realm of protection rendering 7 sacks – which is already more than he’s been taken down in any of his other seasons. Yes, he’s getting more playing time with Bolden out of the picture, but he’s putting up these numbers with poise, consistency, and against the adverse atmosphere created from the past year’s events.
While the name Penn State University has been, for at least a while, tainted by the putrid air of a horrendous scandal, the people who make up this University have done anything but take it sitting down. Penn State has proven itself a fighter, proud and resilient.