PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions host Temple on Saturday afternoon in Beaver
Stadium (3:30 p.m. on ABC/ESPN2).
As the team puts its final touches on the gameplan, GoPSUsports.com sat down with quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher to talk about Temple preparations.
GoPSUsports.com: Matt McGloin is off to a
very good start statistically with eight touchdowns and one interception. What
is your evaluation of the way he has played?
Fisher: "Matt has really progressed from spring practice, throughout camp and these past three weeks. He's worked hard. He is a smart kid. He likes to compete. I think every week, he has gotten better. And Navy was his best game."
GoPSUsports.com: The first thing Matt always talks about is decision-making. How has he improved in that area?
Fisher: "He is much better. He is a smart kid. He understands football. He loves football. He works at it, and he has gotten a lot better. This is a complex offense with a lot going on, and it takes a lot of hard work to be good. He has made very good progress, and hopefully that continues."
GoPSUsports.com: What have you seen from Temple's defense on film as you prepare for Saturday?
Fisher: "They are a pressure defense. They want to see if you can handle their pressure. They will zone blitz. They will man blitz. They are going to find out how bad the quarterback wants to stay in the pocket and deliver the ball. They have good athletes. They are well coached. I saw them when I was at Miami (Ohio) a year ago. It is the same scheme. They have good players and they play hard."
GoPSUsports.com: With that being said, what is the biggest thing Matt needs to do well on Saturday?
Fisher: "He is going to have to deliver the ball with a lot of noise from the pocket. There are going to be a lot of people flying around him. We have talked all week about it. He is going to have to deliver the ball and look right down the gun barrel in the pocket and throw the ball on the money."
GoPSUsports.com: Switching gears, talk about the way freshman Steven Bench has progressed.
Fisher: "He is doing well. Steven comes from a really good high school football program. Football is important in South Georgia. He likes football. He works at it. He has gotten better. With any young guy, it is a work in progress, so he is going to have days when he is better and some days when he is trying to figure it out. He has a lot of talent. He is going to be a good player here. I am looking forward to seeing how he progresses."
GoPSUsports.com: In this offense, how much work does the quarterback do when he steps to the line of scrimmage?
Fisher: "Quite a bit. We talk a lot about organization - getting us out of the huddle, getting is into the right play and checks. It is a pro-style offense so there is a lot going on with the quarterback. He has to be on his game and see defenses, see blitz pressures, all those things to get us in the right direction. Matt has come a long way in that area. He does a good job, and I hope he continues to master it. It's a big part of what we do."
GoPSUsports.com: What area have the quarterbacks improved most in since the beginning of training camp?
Fisher: "I think in our pass-game decision making. We have done a good job of getting the ball out on time and to the right guy at the right time based on the coverage reads. It takes time, particularly when you are running a complex offense. They have done better, and Matt just continues to improve in that area."
GoPSUsports.com: How much does last week's win help with the confidence level?
Fisher: "Any time you win, it helps bring energy and focus. But our guys have been focused. They have practiced hard since they got here at the start of camp. They give us great effort every day. We stubbed our toe a little with two-straight close games. We had our chances, but we didn't quite get it done. For our players, they have continued to work at practice. And that is where you win. You win on the practice field. When you get your first win that is the biggest one of the season. It just builds confidence. We are excited (this week). Temple is an in-state game. It is a big game, and we are looking forward to it."
GoPSUsports.com: What are your keys to the game for the offense this week?
Fisher: "I know you hear this every week, but you have to be able to establish some form of run. We have to be able to run the ball. We have been able to get better at that each week. Temple's not going to let you run easily. They are going to out-number you in the box. A really big key is that you need to make big plays throwing the football on them. There will be opportunities where you get one-on-one matchups outside. You just need to take advantage of them. You have to be able to handle their pressure and deliver the ball with people around you. And that's really going to be the big key, can you make the big plays when they are there."
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