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September 15, 2011
Redshirt junior quarterback Mike Glennon had not started a football game since the high school state championship contest of his senior campaign until he opened week one against Liberty. He logged 100 snaps in his first three years on campus but was on the field for 65 plays in the opener, a 43-21 victory in which he threw for 156 yards and a score.
Glennon started slowly - missing on four of his first six attempts - but eventually found his groove and was 16 of 25 for 137 yards and a touchdown from that point on. He noticed his comfort level would increase while the game wore on.
"I think I'm getting comfortable with playing a full game again, getting every series, going to the bench and being back out there in a couple of minutes," the 6-foot-6, 232-pounder said. "I'm really just getting used to playing a full game."
Glennon started off better on the stat sheet last weekend in a loss to Wake Forest - he was 3-of-4 in the first quarter - but the team was limited to two field goals in the first half and the field general was not happy about that. However, the aerial attack came alive in the second half as he tossed for 263 yards and three scores after the break.
"I think we just need to be consistent and capitalize when we [have opportunities]," he said. "In the first half, we were driving the ball well, we just weren't scoring when we were in the red zone. To win games, we need to score touchdowns, not put up field goals."
The most noticeable thing for Glennon between his first two college starts was how the game began to slow down against Wake Forest, although the ACC opponents offered a stiffer test than Liberty, members of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).
"I think Wake Forest is probably more athletic than Liberty but I felt the speed, for me, seemed slower," he said. "With them being faster guys and the game feeling slower to me, that is always a good thing. I think it will continue to slow down as we progress."
Against the Demon Deacons, Glennon connected with Tobais Palmer and T.J. Graham on touchdowns that went for more than 60 yards. The 65-yarder to Palmer in the third quarter marked the longest scoring throw for the Wolfpack since the North Carolina contest of 2009 when former signal caller Russell Wilson connected with Owen Spencer on a 56-yard toss.
"Both of those guys are big playmakers," Glennon said. "I know they've got the speed and ability to make plays so I try to get the ball to them. I get the ball in their hands so they can do something with it and that's exactly what happened this past weekend."
Glennon also credited the offensive line for their assistance in his first college game with over 300-yards passing. Glennon finished 24 of 41 for 315 yards and three touchdowns. He also was not sacked after being taken down four times against Liberty.
"They did great," Glennon said of his front line protectors. "Not giving up a sack against a team like Wake Forest is doing a great job. They took a lot of pride in what they were doing and they executed very well."
Looking ahead to the South Alabama team that will travel to Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday, Glennon reiterated that the Pack can't look past their opponents, who are 19-0 all-time and ready to face their first-ever FBS opponent.
"They're a good group," he said. "They've never lost a game, I think that's the biggest thing about them - they're winners. They've got some returning guys and they've got some transfers from Division I schools. They're going to want to win, they're not going to want their first loss."
Head coach Tom O'Brien noted in his Monday press conference that the Jaguars have played much of their first two games with just two defenders in three-point stances while the rest of their athletes have their hands off the ground. That could cause confusion for some offenses, but Glennon feels prepared for the unique defense.
"Coach [Dana] Bible does a great job teaching us that it doesn't really matter if someone has their hand on the ground," he said. "Whether they're standing up or not, there are known rushers and we count them as known rushers. The coaches have done a good job preparing us for that."