MINNEAPOLIS -- Matt McGloin threw two touchdown passes to Derek Moye for Penn State in relief of injured starter Rob Bolden, and the Nittany Lions used struggling Minnesota to get their first Big Ten win, 33-21 on Saturday.
After a rough homecoming loss two weeks ago to Illinois, Penn State (4-3, 1-2) got its sputtering offense going and built a healthy lead even after losing its freshman quarterback.
Minnesota's Adam Weber became the fifth Big Ten quarterback to reach 10,000 career yards, throwing three touchdown passes to Da'Jon McKnight and finishing 26 for 49 for 299 yards and one costly interception.
DeLeon Eskridge rushed 26 times for 111 yards for the Golden Gophers (1-7, 0-4), who played their first game following the firing of coach Tim Brewster and the takeover by interim replacement Jeff Horton.
Bolden threw six interceptions -- and for only two scores -- in the previous five games, but the freshman completed his first nine passes Saturday. He was 11 for 13 for 130 yards and a touchdown to Brett Brackett before getting hurt midway through the second quarter when he was tackled by Mike Rallis near the sideline. Bolden sat upright on the ground for a few minutes while being attended to before leaving the field. Penn State didn't immediately reveal the nature of his injury.
McGloin finished only 6 for 13 for 76 yards and an interception, but the sophomore's first career completion was a beauty. Right after Weber's end-zone heave to double-covered McKnight was intercepted by D'Anton Lynn and returned for 58 yards, McGloin zipped a 42-yard pass to Derek Moye for a touchdown that stretched the lead to 21-7.
Listed as the third-stringer, McGloin was summoned ahead of Kevin Newsome, who took a few snaps in the second half but did not throw a pass.
This performance surely wasn't enough to satisfy the restless Penn State fans pushing for coach Joe Paterno to retire, but for a group that entered the game last in the Big Ten in points and total offense it looked like progress -- even against the conference's worst team.
The Gophers fell to 4-8 all time against the Nittany Lions, losing their fourth straight after four consecutive victories.
With President Barack Obama scheduled to lead a rally on campus later in the afternoon, TCF Bank Stadium barely looked half-full. The announced attendance was 48,479, the smallest in 12 games here. The Gophers are 4-8 in their new home, including 0-5 this year.
Penn State's defense has been ravaged by injuries this season, but linebackers Mike Mauti, Bani Gbadyu and Gerald Hodges led a group of players that used last week's bye to get healthy enough to return. Promising sophomore defensive end Sean Stanley, who was held out the last two games and recently was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession, was also in the mix.
McKnight leads the Gophers with nine touchdown receptions, six coming in the last nine quarters. The junior had eight receptions for 103 yards.
Penn State will enter fall camp with a new up-tempo offense and both lines in flux, but solid competition throughout the roster.
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