After former Nittany Lion quarterback Matt McGloin went undrafted in last spring’s NFL Draft, it was unlikely that he would get a chance to play this season. Fortunately, circumstances worked out. Now, not only is McGloin playing professionally, he’s a starting quarterback in the National Football League. This week, McGloin gets a chance to showcase his skills in front of a national audience on one of the biggest football days of the year.
The Oakland Raiders signed McGloin this off-season as an undrafted free agent. He worked hard in camp and moved his way up the depth chart. An injury to first-string quarterback Terrelle Pryor opened the door for McGloin to make his first NFL start two weeks ago in Houston.
The rookie signal-caller made a splash in his first game, throwing for three touchdowns and leading the Raiders to a victory.
Last week against Tennessee, McGloin had another solid performance, throwing for 260 yards and a touchdown that put Oakland ahead in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, McGloin’s bid to start 2-0 was foiled when the Oakland defense was unable to hold and gave up a game-winning touchdown to the Titans late in the game.
This week, McGloin leads the Raiders into Dallas to face the Cowboys in their traditional Thanksgiving Day game. Thousands of Americans will turn on their televisions and watch football after filling up on turkey. This will easily be the biggest game so far of McGloin’s young career.
Through two games, his numbers are not spectacular, but could be labeled as serviceable. He’s completed 44 of 79 passes for 544 yards and four touchdowns and just one interception.
While at Penn State, McGloin transformed from a former walk-on who was plagued by interceptions and poor throws, to the best passer in the Big Ten in 2012. He thrived in new head coach Bill O’Brien’s NFL-style offense and threw for 3,271 yards with 24 touchdowns and five interception.
For the Thanksgiving Day game, the Raiders are big underdogs against the Cowboys. Although a victory may be hard to come by, McGloin has an opportunity to impress probably the largest audience he’s played in front of yet.
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