Mike McGlynn was out nearly the entire spring after left shoulder surgery and he was limited to noncontact work throughout the preseason before being cleared to play just before the opener against Eastern Michigan. He got in for just one play last week, to keep his streak alive at 36 straight games played, but ended his starting string at 31 straight.
McGlynn was back in the starting lineup against Grambling State Saturday, but he opened at right offensive guard for sophomore Joe Thomas.
"It was good to get Mike McGlynn back,'' Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt said. "Mike played about three quarters, so it was good to get him back in action, because he hasn't played in a while. And without any training camp, it's not easy to do what he did. It was his first real live action.''
McGlynn rehabilitated the shoulder throughout the summer and during the preseason and gave credit to Buddy Morris for getting his conditioning to a level where he didn't need too many breaks against the Tigers.
"I played the first three drives, and then I got a rest,'' McGlynn said. "We scored pretty quick, so I was out a couple drives, but they did that a little bit to help me out. So, I'm getting back in game shape and getting out there on the field in live action. So, I'm happy I came back this week.''
What was a little different for McGlynn, who was recruited at Pitt as a center and interior lineman, was that he played guard for the first time since his freshman season. He was a backup tackle as a redshirt freshman and eventually entered the starting lineup. He started from that point through last season at right tackle for the Panthers.
"It's a lot different playing on the inside, but it's something I'm going to have to keep working on,'' McGlynn said. "This week, preparing for Michigan State, I have to work hard and do it every day. I can't take any time off, any practices off, because I have to get a lot better than I played.
"But I felt pretty good out there, even on some long drives, and we got the running game going a little. (But) we can't have any penalties. We had too many holding penalties, and that takes you out of your rhythm and puts you in too many long downs. And it's tough to keep complete those.''
McGlynn helped boost Pitt's running game, as did freshman tailback LeSean McCoy, who ran 19 times for 107 yards and three touchdowns.
"LeSean, he's going to be a real good back,'' McGlynn said. "He's got a bright future, and I think he ran the ball pretty well.''
And with McGlynn upgrading Pitt's offensive line, there should be more big games to come for McCoy and the Panthers running game.
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