And nobody has benefitted more from the changes than senior quarterback Matt McGloin. Through four games, he has connected on 83 of 140 passes for 1,006 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions. Both picks went off receivers' hands.
While splitting time with Rob Bolden last season, McGloin had only eight touchdowns (to go along with five interceptions) the entire year.
Heading into this week's Big Ten opener at Illinois, McGloin leads the conference in passing yards per game (251.5) and overall passing yards, and is tied for the lead in passing TDs. Penn State is second the conference in passing offense (254.5 yards per game).
And that may explain why the fiery McGloin took … well … offense to a question about the offense near the end of his weekly teleconference with reporters Wednesday.
The exchange went as follows:
Reporter: Matt, is this offense better than last year's?
McGloin: (Laughs.) What kind of a question is that, man? You can't compare the two. It's two different philosophies. The coaches have done different things. All I'm saying is that I'm happy to be in this offense this year. This is where I'm at and we're doing a great job with it so far.
Who asked that question? he added Who asked that question?
Reporter: Josh. Josh Moyer of Nittany Nation.
McGloin: Come on, dude, asking stuff like that. (Pause.) All right, we're done here.
And with that, the call was over. In fairness to McGloin, the call's moderator had indicated the teleconference was coming to an end, anyway.
Since the spring, McGloin has been very open about how much more comfortable he is in O'Brien's offense than he was in the system used by former coach Joe Paterno and his staff.
Before the season, McGloin said O'Brien and new quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher teach, the right way how to play the game of football and the right way how to play quarterback. We have never had anything like that before here, so we are really happy with the progress we have made.