RALEIGH — For Halloween, Mike Glennon wore a pair of khakis, a black mock turtleneck with an N.C. State logo on its collar, a white N.C. State hat, sunglasses and a headset.
When Glennon crossed his arms and stared into the camera, he looked like a junior version of the man he was impersonating, Wolfpack coach Tom OBrien.
Ive been saying that since my freshman year that Id do it, said Glennon, explaining his costume. Everyone on the team wanted me to do it. I figured it was my senior year; I might as well do it.
Almost two years after OBrien bet on Glennon in a big way by announcing Glennon would be the Wolfpacks starting quarterback in 2011 even though Russell Wilson had not exhausted his eligibility, Glennons college career is quickly approaching its end.
The 6-foot-6 senior will start Saturday when N.C. State (6-4, 3-3) plays at No. 11 Clemson (9-1, 6-1) at 3:30 p.m. (ABC). After that, the Wolfpack will host Boston College in its regular season finale before bowl game machinations take center stage.
With 23 starts, Glennon is a little ambivalent about how his season and career have panned out.
I think theres been ups and downs, he said.
There are several games and plays that are competing for the top position on Glennons personal highlight list.
He completed three fourth-down passes on the game-winning drive against Florida State earlier this season, including one over the middle to Quintin Payton under duress that OBrien said was the best throw Glennon had made in college.
A couple of weeks later, Glennon threw for a career-high 467 yards and five touchdowns in a 43-35 loss at North Carolina. It was the second time Glennon had gone over the 400 yards, but the other time 441 yards and four touchdowns at Miami also ended in defeat.
Even if some of the losses have left Glennon disappointed, he hasnt let frustration or a recent flurry of dropped passes seep in to his on-the-field demeanor.
I dont think it affects him, OBrien said of the drops. I think we wouldve seen it by now because theres been multiple opportunities for him to be frustrated.
There has always appeared to be a certain level of affection between Glennon and OBrien, with Glennons choice of Halloween costumes being only one example.
Early in Glennons career, OBrien said the tall quarterback reminded him of former Boston College standout and current Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan at a comparable point in their careers. OBrien reiterated those comments this week, saying there are similarities in how Ryan and Glennon approach and play the game.
With some NFL scouting analysts suggesting Glennon could be the first quarterback taken in Aprils draft, Wolfpack offensive coordinator Dana Bible thinks Glennon has only started to tap his potential.
Youre not talking about a four-year starter, Bible said. I believe, strongly, that his best football is ahead of him. So I believe that this weekend, hell be significantly better than last weekend.
N.C. State likely will need Glennon to at least match his final drive against the Seminoles if it hopes to upset a Clemson team that averages 42.9 points per game.
I just want to finish my senior year strong, he said. Obviously, I wouldve liked to have won a few more games, but I cant really dwell on that now. Im just looking forward to these next few games and the bowl game.