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Penn State continues to beat the odds

Matt McGloin threw for 321 yards, Zach Zwinak added another 134 on the ground and the Penn State Nittany Lions beat the Purdue Boilermakers 34-9 on Saturday.

It was great to see the Nittany Lions answer numerous questions after a loss to bitter rival Ohio State, but the most important part of Saturday wasn’t beating Purdue. It was beating the odds.


When the 2012 campaign officially started last January with the hiring of then New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, analysts were quick to say the Nittany Lions would struggle this year.

With the general consensus seeming to be that Penn State would struggle to find wins in 2012, the Nittany Lions set out to prove something. They took the practice field amidst NCAA sanctions, departures of star players and worked to re-establish Penn State Football.

With the win last Saturday in West Lafayette, the Nittany Lions have secured a non-losing record. This means they won’t finish below .500, something only Nittany Nation thought possible.

With a 6-3 record, this groups of players have achieved what some thought unachievable. The roster has come alive this year, players that were once seemingly looked over have become household names and a head coach that was one doubted has become revered.

Matt McGloin is putting up career highs this season, throwing for 18 touchdowns to just 3 interceptions. He seems to get better every week and has become the unquestioned leader of the offense. Zach Zwinak has rushed for over 500 yards in 2012. A fullback turned halfback, Zwinak, along with Bill Belton and Michael Zordich, has re-established the rushing attack at Penn State.

The defense lead by linebackers Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges have proven this is still Linebacker U. They don’t give up easy points; they’re in the face of opposing quarterbacks, creating turnovers and poor decisions. The defense has been just as impressive as the offensive, and still they look to keep getting better and moving forward.

Bill O’Brien and his staff have lead a group of inspired players week after week. When this team started 0-2, no one could have predicted they would reach 6-3. They have secured a non-losing record in the most difficult time in Penn State football history. The questions have been answered with a loud We Are…

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Kevin McGuire

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. College Football Hall of Fame voter. Also managing Bloguin's NittanyLionsDen.com and Macho-Row.com.

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