LINCOLN, Neb. — Matt McGloin left his response open to interpretation, but he didn’t hold much back during his postgame interview.
The senior quarterback was the first Penn State player to address the media after the team’s nine-point loss to Nebraska. Not surprisingly, the first question he was asked was about the controversial play in which Matt Lehman’s goal line stretch was ruled a fumble.
“We’re not going to get that call here. We’re not going to get that call ever, actually,” McGloin said. “No matter who the refs are, we’ll never get that call.”
McGloin was immediately asked why he thought that way but didn’t elaborate.
“Why do you think it is?” McGloin said. “That’s just the way it is.”
On the field, the play was ruled a fumble. And though in replays it appeared Lehman had possession of the ball when he crossed the plane of the endzone, replay officials concluded there was not enough evidence to overturn the call — something McGloin and pretty much any Penn State fan disagreed with.
“It definitely looked to me and everybody else he got across,” McGloin said. “I guess they saw something else.”
McGloin later took to social media to prove his point. Not too long after the conclusion of the game, he tweeted an animated GIF, which shows Lehman appearing to have the possession with the nose of the football in the endzone. As of Sunday evening, McGloin’s tweet was retweeted more than 720 times.
The call was a vital turning point in the game, and instead of giving Penn State a late lead, Nebraska ended up with the ball at its 20-yard line. McGloin — who finished the afternoon 18-of-37 for 240 yards along with a touchdown and an interception — and the offense had two more possessions to take the take the lead after the fumble, but did not pick up a first down on either drive.
The Scranton native said he and his teammates were prepared to not have calls go in their favor, and noted the team continued to play hard after the Lehman play, but just weren’t able to close out the game.
As he stood at a podium, surrounded by members of the media, McGloin also was asked if Penn State had an “us against the world” mindset.
“That’s the mentality we have. You guys know that. We’ve said it before in our interviews,” McGloin said. “It’s us against the world, and we’re not going to get those calls in these type of games.”
McGloin was the most outspoken Penn State player following the defeat, and other players who spoke to the media avoided strong comments about the officiating. Senior center Matt Stankiewitch, who is one of McGloin’s closest friends on the team, said he didn’t think the referees showed any sort of bias.
“I think Matt is very emotional right now. Matt’s an emotional player,” Stankiewitch, said after the game. “We respect his enthusiasm for the team and his emotion. But I feel like all the refs did the best they could to call the most even and fair game they could.”