Skip to main content Skip to footer
Penn State vs. Alabama Game Quotes

Follow PSU Football:    

Sept. 10, 2011

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 1  |  Photo Gallery 2 

Penn State vs. Alabama
September 10, 2011

#11 Matt McGloin
Sr./Jr., Quarterback

Q: How does that defense compare to anything else you've seen so far?
A: It's a big-time defense we played today. They had nine returning starters and you don't find that too often. It was a great challenge for us today. We're definitely learning a lot from this game and going to take it with us as we move forward into next week's game and into the Big Ten.

Q: No touchdown passes in two games for the quarterbacks. Are you getting worried about that?
A: Absolutely not. Last week, we really didn't throw the ball much. We ran it a lot of times. We weren't really worried about how many touchdown passes we throw during the game. We're just worried about winning the game.

Q: Is it difficult going back in and out of the game?
A: I don't think it was too difficult. I'm getting the idea of what it's like to be in and out of the game, staying loose on the sidelines, paying attention and getting involved. I was involved today; Rob (Bolden) was involved today.

#19 Justin Brown
Jr./Jr. Wide Receiver

Q: What do you think this game told you about where you guys stand as a team right now?
A: We still have a lot of work to do. At some points of the game, we played hard, but we have a lot of work to do. We have to put this loss behind us and get ready for the Big Ten and Temple.

Q: Are the wide receivers feeling any heat with the battle that's going on (with the quarterbacks)?
A: It's tough but we as receivers are supposed to make plays and catch the ball.

#81 Jack Crawford
Sr./Sr. Defensive End

Q: Was there a lot of heat on you with their offense?
A: Yeah, but we still have to hold up. After facing them last year, we knew there were some things we had to fix. Still, it's about the unit up front. Sometimes their offense wears you down a bit. We just had to keep going.

Q: How frustrating is it to not come up with a turnover in a game this big?
A: That's frustrating. It comes down to getting to the ball, putting pressure on their quarterback and really stopping the run.

Penn State vs. Alabama
September 10, 2011

Tom Bradley
Defensive Coordinator

Q: You never forced a turnover, is that kind of a recurring theme?
A: Yes, we thought we had a couple of picks. We were in some good coverage schemes I thought. When we get the opportunity, we have to make those plays.

Q: Joe said that the guys seem to be making those plays in practice. Do you have anything you can put your finger on why it doesn't happen?
A: I don't know about that. We just have to make the plays. When we get the opportunity, they threw a couple to us, we should have made them.

Q: What do you think about the plays in the end, they cuffed the quarterback a little bit, they made some deflections and pick off a couple of them?
A: We gave them a couple different looks today on third down. If we could get them to third and long we we're probably pretty good. I don't know the stats but we're pretty good when we get them to some thirds and longs. It's just hard to get them into it when they are successful in their running game.

Q: Tom, getting turnovers is such a big part of your defense. But as far as stopping the pass, how do you think you guys did in that respect?
A: Well we lost the game so we think that way but I thought we were fighting hard. I didn't like their body language on the drive where they split us at the end of the game. I didn't like that they were just standing there. We didn't tackle, we didn't go after guys and we felt sorry for ourselves in that series. I thought we came out with a lot of enthusiasm today. I think the fake punt that they ran took a little wind out of our sails. We were flying around there early but we get into situations where we need to come up and make some stops

Q: It looked like you had the right defense in for that fake punt.
A: Yeah, we practice that. We only took out the two safeties and put the returners so it was the front guys who were part of the same defense we practice all the time, so it wasn't anything new.

Q: Did it catch you off guard?
A: I don't think so, we played it pretty well. He made it by whatever they said he made it by.

Q: What you think about that spot?
A: I think we would have challenged it if we had a time out left to challenge it. We couldn't do anything about it. We might have challenged it. It looked pretty close to me.

Q: That seemed like a momentum changer in the game....
A: I would say it was because we were playing really well. We had them on their heels for a little bit.

Q: How big is Temple now?
A: Yeah, we have to get right back at it tomorrow and get going. I don't know what Temple did today but they shut out Villanova in the first game and Villanova has a heck of a football team every year.

Penn State vs. Alabama
September 10, 2011

Q: Joe was talking about the defense making plays
A: We're close. We have to come up with the plays, we have to make the big plays. We need to get our hands on balls and make the catches. We have to do those things and make the plays.

Q: Given how long your defensive line was out there what is you assessment?
A: They played pretty well. We substituted pretty regularly. We were out there for some seventy plays today. We substitute so I don't know how much each guy played, we'll have to wait and see.

Q: How about them getting their hands on some balls, knocking some passes down?
A: A couple of them have to get that one tip and things might have been different. We have to come up with the big play in a game like that. They did, they get the punt return in the midfield, they seemed to make the plays and had the short field to work with.

#25 Silas Redd
So./So., Tailback

Q: How did it go verses how you thought it would go?
A: Well it's not the result we wanted. We need to learn to be physical. They were physical. We knew what they were but we just couldn't execute.

Q: You were able to do some things early in the game, did they adjust or what happened there?
A: That's exactly what they did. Even before halftime, they adjusted and we couldn't get the job done.

Q:What did they do differently?
A: They had more guys in the box and in coverages. They just kept us guessing.

Q: Quarterback rotation, what was that based on? Was that a preplanned thing?
A: I have no clue. I don't know what was going on with that.

Q: Did it hurt the rhythm of the offense? When did you know who was going to be quarterback? That series?
A: Yes, that series. A little but that's not an excuse. They are both capable to lead an offense.

Q: Do you think you are developing some offensive identity yet?
A: Yes and no. It's still early in the season. We still have a lot of games to play. We can run the ball, we can throw the ball. We just need to execute better.

Q: What's it like in the locker room after a game like this?
A: At the end of the day we are a team, we are one unit. We pick each other up. No body's head was hung in the locker room. We just have to move on. We have a Big Ten championship to look forward to and we have to try and get that done.

Q: Do you take anything positive from this game?
A: They didn't physically outplay us. I felt like they did last year. We were bumping heads out there. We just got out executed out there and made a few turnovers. If we could play these guys again, I think it would be a different story. We know what we have to do now. We need to execute and play perfect or close to perfect football.


Penn State vs. Alabama

September 10, 2011

#71 Devon Still
Sr./Sr., Defensive Tackle

Q: How much of it was what you were unable to do versus what they were able to do?
A: It was obvious we were not able to move the ball on offense as much as we would like. As a defense we tried to go out there and keep playing hard and get the ball to our offense so they can make something happen.

Q: Do you feel like the defense held their own today?
A: I think we did hold our own but there were a lot of things that we could have done to help our offense a little bit more like cause some turnovers and put the ball on their side of the field so it was easy for our offense to score. We just need to work on things as a defensive and offensive unit so we can score

Q: Richardson did a lot of his damage in the third quarter, but were you guys A: It's obvious, when you are on the field a lot, you get fatigued. Defense is going to have to learn how to play through the fatigue and play hard.

Q: How would you assess your personal performance?
A: I think I set out there to do what I wanted to do and that's to be a dominant force inside. Unfortunately we didn't come out with the win so I have to work on things that I can do myself that can help my team in the future.

Q: How tough is Alabama? Did they beat up on you guys a little bit?
A: I wouldn't say they beat up on us a lit. The defense was on the field a lot and the offense wasn't able to move the ball and the defense got a little fatigued in the end of the game. It's just something we have to focus on in the future.

Q: On the fake punt, you guys couldn't call for review. Do you think it was off?
A: It possibly could have been a little off but that's part of the game. You just fight through things like that

Q: Is there something you are going to say as a captain?
A: Well have a meeting on Monday. I need to let the team get over the loss and move on from there.

Q: Is there any danger that your heads are not going to be where it should be for the Temple game after this one?
A: We can't dwell on the past. We have to push forward. Get this team back to our focus and play Penn State football.


Penn State vs. Alabama

September 10, 2011

#42 Michael Mauti
Sr./Jr., Linebacker

Q: How do you think you did on the defensive side?
A: I think we came out today to play. I was proud of our defense. We forced a lot of three and outs and were flying around making tackles, but the main thing is we didn't cause turnovers and they did. It's a big determiner in wins and losses; we've been trying to emphasize that all week. It's one area we've got to capitalize on.

Q: What was going on, from an emotional standpoint (after the Alabama's fake punt)?
A: We had thought we stopped them. I thought it was pretty obvious that we did. He hit the kid and the kid went backwards. So we're all going crazy on the sidelines and they call us back. We were breathing heavy and kind of sucking wind a little bit, and then they go on a long drive. It's tough; we've got to respond as a defense.

Q: What's it going to take now to re-gather yourselves and get up for next week?
A: We have to bounce back; we need to learn from everything. Whether it's a big win or a big loss, we have to bounce back. It's hard to put a positive spin on it, but we haven't started Big Ten play yet, so we still need to go out and win the Big Ten.

#50 DeOn'tae Pannell
Sr./Sr., Guard

Q: Can you sum up the feelings of the offense?
A: Disappointed. We didn't really show what we can really do and play a complete game. We didn't make enough plays to make anything happen and help our defense out.

Q: Did you practice at tackle this week?
A: I had a little bit of work but nothing major. I've played the position before, so that helped a lot. I was just ready when they called my name. You've got to be ready for anything.

Q: Do you feel the offense is pressing during some of these bigger games?
A: We might put a lot of pressure on ourselves because we want to be really good; we know we can be really good. We just want to succeed so bad that we probably do put a little more pressure on ourselves than a lot of other people do.


Penn State vs. Alabama

September 10, 2011

#54 Matt Stankiewitch
Sr./Jr., Center

Q: Do you think pass protection was a little more improved this week?
A: We definitely wanted to improve that from last week. We still got to get better. We had some rushes that we're not going to be satisfied with.

Q: In the first quarter, you guys came out running the ball a lot and there were a lot of holes. Silas had a lot of carries. Do you think he handled that well?
A: Silas is a great back. I love blocking for Silas. I can't ask anything more of him because I know he's going to give 100% the whole time. He expects the same from us, too. We have to make sure we give our 110% every play.

Q: Silas was taking a lot of hits and then that last touchdown, he's all beat up and leaps over the pile. He was kind of selling himself out there, sacrificing himself.
A: That's who Silas is and why I love blocking for him. He's an awesome person and an awesome football player

#6 Derek Moye
Sr./Sr., Wide Receiver

Q: Do you feel like you had some opportunities you couldn't quite cash in on?
A: Overall, I think as receivers we've got to make some more plays. Granted, they were tough plays, but we expect to make those.

Q: You have high expectations going into the season, are you disappointed with how the season has started for you?
A: I wouldn't say disappointed. It's only the second game. I have some things I need to improve on. Like I said, there were some tough catches that I usually make and pride myself on making, but I just didn't today.

Q: How much do you think that is affecting the rhythm of the offense?
A: I don't know. We've got to catch the ball. We can't really worry about who is back there or who is not back there, we've just got to catch the ball.


Penn State vs. Alabama

September 10, 2011

#28 Drew Astorino
Sr./Sr., Cornerback

Q: What did Alabama do today that stopped Penn State from scoring?
A: Alabama did a good job of securing the ball. Sometimes the opponent just does a good job of making sure that you don't get the ball at all. I think that's what the Crimson Tide did today.

Q: How has Alabama defeated the Nittany Lions so easily in the last two years?
A: Alabama is well coached and they have good players. We just didn't play our best game.

Q: Do you think it Alabama was able to do a lot more to the Penn State offense than any other aspect of the game?
A: I can only speak for the defense, but we played tough. We were just put in some really bad positions. Most of the time, Alabama started at the 50 yard line when they scored. It just didn't go our way.

#7 Curtis Drake
Jr./Jr., Wide Receiver

Q: When were you officially cleared to play in a season game?
A: I was officially declared this past Thursday after practice. I got an X-Ray and there were no changes in my healing after weeks of practices. Everything looked good. I think I'm at 100 percent now.

Q: Where do you think the Nittany Lions are headed this year?
A: I think that we're trying to get back to the level that they were before I was injured. I think I was one of the leaders on the team and that we're just focusing on putting in the work to be a great team.

Rob Bolden
So./So., Quarterback

Q: Why do you think Alabama won over Penn State this year?
A: I think that Alabama wanted it more. We played our hardest and tried to make it count. In the end, it just wasn't enough and the outcome of the game showed that. Alabama threw a lot of things our way. By the fourth quarter, the main objective was just to score.

Q: What is the goal of the offense this year?
A: I think we're still trying to find where we belong in it all. We have the drive but the results aren't coming out to be what we want.

Q:What do you think it takes for you to step up as a leader on the Penn State team compared to Matt McGloin?
A: I just think that I have to step up to the plate. I don't try to compare myself to McGloin or anyone else on the team. I never have. To me, this is all just football and how capable you are of doing things. I think I'm fairly capable of being a good leader for the team.


Penn State vs. Alabama

September 10, 2011

#10 A.J. McCarron
So., Quarterback

Q: What's it like having a guy like Trent Richardson to hand off to?
A: Anytime you see any of our guys in the backfield you know you're good. You know you're able to check down the defense and they make plays for you. That's one thing I've learned. The offensive line, receivers, tight ends, running backs all made a lot of plays for me today.

Q: On the defensive side of the ball, you guys basically shut them down to three points the entire game. A lot of people are comparing this year's defense to that 2009 defense. What do you have to say about that?
A: I don't really know. I know I face them a lot during practice and I had to face the '09 defense. They were both really good and this one's going to be special, we just have to keep it up and keep playing the way we're playing.

Q: Do you feel like you personally won more than the game today, like the quarterback race?
A: No, I don't worry about that. That's not my concern. That's why coach makes the calls. He tells me to go out and play and I play.

Q: Did you feel like you managed the game better than last week with no turnovers?
A: Yeah, definitely. Anytime you come away with no turnovers. Not just myself, the whole offense did a great job of not allowing turnovers and the defense got us turnovers. So that's the way we have to play. If we keep playing like that, it's going to be a special team.

Q: What did you think of the adversity with the crowd noise?
A: They were rockin' at the beginning but we had to get in a rhythm. But that's anywhere you go. Playing at home, away, it doesn't matter. As long as you get in a rhythm, you get going, everything's going to be fine. We found that rhythm and we moved the ball really well today. We definitely have areas for improvement. We can get better. I felt like for the environment we're playing in we did a great job.

Q: Is this a game where you grow up a little bit, mature so to speak?
A: I've been sitting behind Greg (McElroy) for two years; I learned a lot sitting behind him. That's why I have the players around me though to help me out. As long as they have confidence in me, we're fine.

#4 Marquis Maze
Sr., Wide Receiver

Q: Talk about your leadership out there on the field with A.J. (McCarron) starting at quarterback.
A: A.J. (McCarron) is a leader himself. He is young but he takes command of the huddle. He does a great job.

Q: Can you talk about the punt return?
A: I don't know where I fielded it but it was open. I just ran down the sideline. I just made something out of what they gave me.

Q: Do you think this game prepares you for later down the road with some tougher teams?
A: I think so because we came into a hostile environment and we have most of our hard games away from us. I think it helps.

#3 Trent Richardson
Jr., Running Back

Q: Were you surprised by how many Alabama fans there were? It looked like there was a lot of red out there.
A: I wasn't surprised, that's Alabama for you. I love our fans. Our fans love us and they're always going to be behind us.

Q: Talk about how well your own defense played.
A: Our defense played pretty good. We held them to three points until the end. They played pretty tough today and they're always going to play tough. We're behind them.

Q: The offensive line seemed to take over in the second quarter, what happened in the first quarter where you couldn't get going?
A: They were doing a lot of stuff on the backside. We went in there, we adjusted, and got it done. I thought we did pretty good today.

Q: Can you assess A.J. McCarron's performance today?
A: A.J. (McCarron) did a pretty good job. He's a smart quarterback. He's not making too many mistakes and is keeping our offense on our toes and keeping the defense fighting the whole time and that's what we like.

Q: Do you take some of the offensive responsibility to help stabilize the offense while the quarterback situation gets taken care of?
A: It's always going to be responsibility for me because I know I'm a vet on the offensive side and I know it's going to be pretty tough on the quarterback because quarterback is a hard job. So, I have to keep him motivated; keep him on his toes, make sure he's never getting down and keep him humble. I wanted to take over for both of us.

Q: What about A.J. McCarron's performance? What do you think a win on the road today does for his confidence?
A: It's going to raise his confidence real high and that's what we need as a quarterback. He's going to be a leader, he's trying to be a leader now and that's what it takes to be a leader and step up.

#21 Dre Kirkpatrick
Jr., Cornerback

Q: How loud and intense was it out there? Especially early when they took that drive down and scored.
A: I didn't think it was going to be that loud. When we had the punt and when we got the sneak run pass. I was like, "I didn't think it got this loud," but they had great fans and they showed up.

Q: As loud as LSU, Auburn, South Carolina last year? All of the above?
A: (The Penn State fans) were loud. I couldn't hear anything. It was loud.

Q: What does this say about you guys? Last year against South Carolina when something went wrong early you guys didn't always regroup. This year you pretty much shut them down after that.
A: We were young. When the game got rowdy, a lot of people's focus went the other way. A lot of people started getting down about themselves. But this year when someone makes a bad play it's just like water under the bridge and go to the next play.


Penn State vs. Alabama

September 10, 2011

Coach Joe Paterno

Q: Joe, how would you describe the performance of your offense today?
A: I don't think we played too well. There were too many turnovers, dropped catches, and we went for a couple big plays and didn't make them. I think you have to be careful that you don't take credit away from Alabama. Alabama played a good football game. They didn't have a turnover and had only one penalty. They certainly deserved to win it today. I think we just have a lot of work to do. I was disappointed, obviously, that we didn't do some things in the clutch that we had been doing in practice. We had a couple guys just get a little tired. Overall, I didn't think we did a particularly good job in any aspect of it. Then again, I'm always reluctant to take credit away from the Alabama players and coaches. They did a good job.

Q: How much did the rotation at quarterback interrupt the rhythm and flow of the offense?
A: I don't think anything of it. I thought the two quarterbacks played a pretty good football game. There are a few throws they'd like to get back. We've got to catch the ball for them. Let's be realistic, there were a couple of big time throws out there that we didn't come up with the ball. I thought the quarterbacks played pretty well. I thought the offensive line overall played well against a good defensive football team. As I said again, Alabama didn't give us anything easy; they didn't turn the ball over. Part of the problem has been our defense; they didn't have any turnovers last year. We just have to make some plays.

Q: Joe, you were up 3-0 and Alabama converted a fake punt. How important do you think that play was in the game?
A: Well, obviously it was a big play at that stage of the game. It's debatable whether he made it or not but that's all part of it.

Q: What happened on the first drive of the game, having to use all three timeouts? Were they for different circumstances?
A: There's no excuse for that. I think that's a legitimate criticism. We got ourselves into a situation where we were trying to take advantage of the audible defenses that they use. I think we got ourselves in a situation where we got a little bit too involved with details. We didn't need to do. I blame myself for that one. That didn't really have an impact on the game; we survived that. We never got ourselves in a situation where a timeout would have made a difference in the first half. We used three timeouts in the first quarter and that was it.

Q: What will tomorrow mean for you?
A: You forget about this thing and you get to work. We've been here before; I've been here before. It's no fun. I think we have a good football team. I don't think we played as well as we're capable of playing. We have to go back out there tomorrow as a staff and figure out what we didn't do well and why we're not catching the ball better. We've caught the ball pretty well in practice. Those are the things that we'll take a good look at and we will. These kids have been good kids, worked hard, and been good to be around. My job is to make sure that we do a good job with them because they've really worked hard.

Q: What are your thoughts about 9/11 tomorrow?
A: I don't think there's anyone in this country, that was old enough to know what was going on, that doesn't have a good memory of what happened. I still remember we were having a staff meeting - we were playing Virginia that week - and Mike McQueary came in and said, 'They bombed the trade centers.' I said, 'Awe, that's probably one of those things like the guy who said we were being attacked by Mars.' My daughter spent some time down there, worked down there, before she moved to Jersey. You don't forget those things obviously. That didn't have a bearing on what we did today. You try to move on and get on with your life and try to figure out why these things happened and how to prevent them. I don't think it had anything to do with the way we practiced or the way we played. Obviously, it's a terrible, terrible thing to have to remember. What is there to say? I watched a show last night for an hour and a half and they showed the guys that had worked there and had them talk about losing women, husbands, wives, children. You just don't erase that; I don't think anyone erases that.

Q: Your team was handled pretty easily by Alabama the last two years. Do you think there is a big discrepancy between the programs, or do you think you just didn't play that well?
A: I think they just played better than we did. As I said, we didn't make a couple of plays and they did. You go out there and some days you play a little better and some days you don't. I thought Alabama played well. Their kicking was solid, they didn't turn the ball over, and they caught the ball well. It was a good football game and they just played a better football game than we did. I don't want to take anything away from them because they are a good football team and Nick (Saban) has done a good job with that program. How much difference is there in the quality of the two teams? We'll find out.

Q: Joe, what is Stephfon Green's status with the team?
A: His status was brought up the other night. I haven't really had a chance to talk about it with anyone yet. It's about the minors. That's something I wasn't aware of that I should've been. There are some things that I was aware about that I wanted to remind him about his responsibility to his team and family. Now, all of a sudden, something else pops up and it disturbs me.

Q: Do you have a better idea of if you want to stick with a rotation at quarterback or stick with one?
A: You got me at the wrong time. I can't tell you that right now. I've got to go look at tapes; I want to talk to the staff. We'll practice a couple days and see how everyone reacts to the fact that we got licked and go from there. Hopefully, we'll have some people out there on Monday ready to look at what we didn't do well and try to set their minds that we'll try to correct those mistakes. Whether or not that comes down to the quarterback position, I doubt it very much. I thought both guys did pretty well but didn't get a lot of help. I can't tell you anything right now. I got to spend some time with the staff and look at some tapes. It's different upstairs. It's a little different talking about it down here. We'll see. We just played two games and still have ten to go.


Penn State vs. Alabama

September 10, 2011

Jay Paterno
Quarterbacks Coach

Q: Did Rob Bolden take steps in the quarterback competition with his performance?
A: I've got to look at the film. I think they both had chances. I think as an offense, we did not make the big play that you've got to make. Whether it was a big catch, big run, we did not make the plays that we needed to, to beat a team like Alabama. That's what it comes down to. The three turnovers, obviously, were killers. The biggest one was the one right before the half. I think, both of those guys (Bolden, Matt McGloin) are going to look at the film and they will grade out a little better than they think they are right now. We just did not make that big play that we've got to make to win a game like this.

Q: How disappointing is a loss like that against a team at home?
A: It's very disappointing. We felt like, in terms of X's and O's, we had some things we wanted to do that would match up well with them. We got some of those things. We were better on third down than I think we realized we would be, and on some third and longs we made. It's obviously disappointing. We came back from last year's game feeling like we made a couple of key mistakes that cost us a chance to compete and win the game. We will feel the same way when we look at this film because of three turnovers, and obviously a couple of big plays. The fake punt- that spot- obviously changed the game because it's 3-0 and we get the ball there at the 30-yard-line or wherever it was. Why they didn't review it, that's beyond me. I don't know. It's not for me to make that call. We have a replay TV in our thing and it certainly didn't look like he made it, so we were ready to go. Next thing you know, they had the ball. So, really it was like four turnovers when you count that as a play that we thought we had made.

Q: What happened on the timeouts in the first half?
A: On the second one, Chima Okoli was hurt and was trying to be a hero to come off, which is good, but he should sit down so we can get our sub in. We got caught without an offensive tackle. I credit the fact that he wanted to make something out of nothing but we try to tell those guys to get down. That cost us. The injury one, there's nothing we can do about that one. The other one was a fourth and one and we just wanted to make sure we wanted to go for it. We felt like at that point it was worth the timeout to make the first down. That one didn't bug me. The first one, yeah, that was just a miscommunication on our part.

Q: How do you keep a balance with Bolden and McGloin in the rotation?
A: I think when you go back and look at the film, some of the throws they made, I don't think they were really out of rhythm. When you look at it, there was some good throws there. There were some plays there for us to take advantage of and we didn't take them. I don't think it came down to rhythm at all. They were both really into it, both competing. I talked to them in the locker room after the game and I said, "Look guys, there are some things there that could have happened for you if you had made some plays, but we win as a team, we lose as a team. So you can't get upset because someone didn't make a catch or didn't make a run or you miss a throw or you miss a pass protection." By in large, the passing figures were pretty good today.

Q: What was the rotation?
A: We started out with two series and two series. Then, during the course of the game, we felt like we wanted to keep them both involved and engaged. Like I said, we didn't score enough points obviously. There are plays there that were made that we did not make. We've got to do that. That's going to be the focus this week. We've got to play a team at that level. We can't leave 20-yard gains, and 15-yard gains and fumbles on the ground and then the one interception was a deep pass, but we can't leave those things on the table. That's going to be the key thing for us. We've got to make our motto to close the deal. If we're moving the ball, we've got to close the deal and get seven.

#56 Eric Latimore
Gr./Sr., Defensive End

Q: What did you think about the team's performance- knocking down balls at the line of scrimmage?
A: We just try to be relentless and try to go after the ball every snap. We just tried to do whatever coach (Larry) Johnson told us to do defensively.

Q: How close were you to causing a turnover off of one of those tipped balls?
A: We were real close, real close. It's just the way the ball goes, so you just keep on trying.

Q: What was the key to containing running back Trent Richardson?
A: You've just got to get 11 people to the ball every play because he's a strong guy. He's not going to go down, usually, on the first hit. So, you've just got to keep on going.

Q: What is the next step for the defense to improve?
A: Focusing on Temple. Just keep on working, just keep on working. We showed some good things out there today. We've got to just keep doing what we're doing, listen to the coaches and just be disciplined.

Q: What did the defense do well today?
A: We did a good job of gang tackling- especially since last year. Last year wasn't a good performance down in Alabama. We definitely improved this year, I think.

#6 Gerald Hodges
Jr./Jr., Linebacker

Q: Why did you come off of the field at the end of the first half?
A: I had to come off. I twisted my ankle coming off a blitz. I twisted my ankle so I had to get taped up. I just had to get taped up and switch my cleats up a little bit. I got some high-top cleats, I had low-top cleats on.

Q: How close were you to coming up with an interception in the end zone?
A: So close. I should have broke on it a little quicker, but it happens. It didn't go through my hands. I just missed it.

Q: Was it just turnovers that were missing?
A: Yeah, I think a couple of turnovers could have changed the momentum of the game and got the fans pumped up and got those guys (Alabama) to start thinking about how hard the game is going to be.


Penn State vs. Alabama

September 10, 2011

Opening Statement
I think first off, I'm really proud of our team the way they competed in this game today. This was a tough atmosphere, especially in the beginning of the game. Penn State was well prepared. They fought early in the game and we had to sort of overcome some adversity early on in the game. I think it speaks well of the kids and the discipline and certainly the toughness to stay within yourself to do the things you need to do to stay focused and make adjustments and get things right. I was really pleased with the way we competed today. We did a lot of things well today. There are also a lot of things we need to improve on. I really think regardless of what the outcome of games like this really is, how you respond to what you need to do to improve to be a better team- it's really critical to long term success. We wanted to be aggressive today. We wanted to impact. We wanted to win this game based on what the media thought, what the rankings were. We had a tremendous amount of respect for Penn State, their team, their fans. This is a great atmosphere for college football. Their people were really, really constant today in how we were treated- good- and this is what college football is all about. When you get a Joe Paterno-coached team, you know you always want to get their best shot. We certainly got that today. I was proud of the way our players handled it. It's a challenge for us to continue to improve and there were some things today that we got a little surprised by, especially early in the game. Penn State is a much better team than they were a year ago in my opinion. They are very good up front on defense, they really hold on defense. I think we wore them down a little bit in the run game because we did run very well early, but A.J. (McCarron) did a really good job today in managing the game. Taking away the defense, making opportunities in the passing game - that was good. Special teams, turnovers, probably were a big factor in the game. We had a couple turnovers we had a big change in field position with a punt return. Those things were critical in the game. They led to scores. So, I can't tell you how proud I am of our players and how they competed in this game.

Q: How crucial was it for the wide receivers to step up in the game?
A: We needed to continue to improve. Kevin Norwood did a nice job out there today. Kenny Bell did a nice job. DeAndrew White didn't get the opportunities, but I thought he played more. It happens. He had less anxiety than he did a week ago. Obviously it will be good for us to get Darius Hanks back this next week, but I was pleased with the way he guys played in the game. They carried a lot more maturity and a lot more confidence in a much more difficult circumstance from being on the road. So, I was pleased with the way those guys stepped up for us. At least those two games have really helped them because they got in and made plays.

Q: Do you feel like you have found a starting quarterback?
Well we still have competition at the position. We really feel that we have two very good players. We want both guys to continue to develop, but I thought A.J. (McCarron) did a nice job today.

Q: How did the atmosphere affect your team today?
I think that was a real key in the game. We had to make a lot of adjustments early on in the game. The formation variables that we haven't practiced much, we had to use today and a couple new plays that we didn't script. Once we settled down I thought we did a good job, but that was critical on the first drive, and they put a good drive together, and we got to stop, and make them kick a field goal. I think that was a real key to the game.


Penn State vs. Alabama

September 10, 2011

Q: Did you see Joe Paterno before the game?
No we didn't. We did it through messenger. Joe and I are great friends. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. His son, Jay, also told us he wished us well. He told our coaches to tell me congratulations after the game. (It was a) great night for college football. I thought it made a statement about moral character. He's been a head coach for how many years, as always, with tremendous integrity and moral character in just about everything he's ever done. It speaks volumes for college football as competitive as it is to do things the right way and have the best interest of the players in mind all of the time, as well as college football.

Q: Can you talk about AJ (McCarron's) first touchdown pass?
AJ's got a good arm. He's accurate. When he sets his feet right, he's really good. Sometimes he gets a little out of sorts, as he did the week before. I think he played a lot better today. Probably was a lot more confident. I think he did a good job with the plan on what we needed to do on offense today- try to create some balance and barriers of our own, and able to nickel and dime a little bit to move the sticks, and put some really good drives together. I still think we need to minimize the 3 and outs. We did a good job on 3rd down today. We have to continue to improve in those areas.

Q: How would you compare A.J. McCarron's to his performance last week?
Much better. He played against a really good front. No. 71 (Devon Still) is a really good player. We had trouble blocking him sometimes. I thought we played better as the game went on and eventually that will help our confidence.

Q: Is it a sign of the team's maturity that you didn't let the early drive get to them?
Well it's always tough for the defense players especially. You have to get through script. Everybody is going to get a script to start the game, whether they're going to get different multiples or different tendencies in what they've done before. Penn State was doing that, they were moving the ball on us. It was really important that we kept our poise, kept our focus, kept changing the next play. I think it's a sign of maturity. I see that we got out of that drive and settled down and we played pretty well after that.

Q: Can you talk about Marquis Maze?
Marquis has been our go-to guy with missing some of our other players this season. He's done a fantastic job two weeks in a row. He's given us a weapon on special teams. He's been a real key force. So, you just have to keep him healthy. He has problems with his feet, but he's very explosive. Certainly we need some explosive players out there to make big plays. He's had a lot of them for us these past two games.

Q: Why did you do the fake punt?
It was fourth and one, and I thought we needed to change the momentum of the game. We had worked on the play. So, if you have to take chances, sometimes you have to take them early in the game. I have a lot of confidence in our defense. It makes it a little easier to do things like that. Those things are all good calls when they work, and bad calls when they don't. You know that when you call them. So, that comes down to execution.


Penn State vs. Alabama

September 10, 2011

Q: What do you want out of a quarterback?
I think that the leadership, the confidence, getting some of our plays, making the right choices and decisions and distributing the ball. The quarterback has the ball every play. So, the choices and the decisions he makes as to who he gives the ball and what he does with it and who he throws it to are critical in terms of execution. I thought he did a pretty good job in that regard today. He did have some bad plays in the passing game, he got some balls batted down. I thought eventually he was pretty good overall. Hopefully we can build on this and continue to improve.

Q: Would you give A.J. a pat on the back today or say, 'Good job, but...'?
I would say good job, but there was no 'but'. He did a good job. I think this is a work in progress. He's going to develop. He's got a lot of talent, but Sims does, too. He's going to develop as well. It's important that we develop those guys. A.J. did a good job today. A.J. needs to continue to gain confidence and taking what the defense gives him, so that we aren't turning the ball over and not trying to force plays down the field when it's not there.

Q: Did Penn State's last touchdown drive give you some talking points?
No doubt about it. We didn't execute very well in that situation, 3rd down and 20. Probably didn't play that situation very well when we got the ball at the one-yard line, 4th and 20, I think it was. Our defense played well all day today. I don't think they played well in that two-minute drive when we lost the 10 in the critical third down and got enough for the first down. Two minutes is still play, and we are going to have to stop people on two minutes. We didn't get to stop people out there today.

Q: Do you think Rob Bolden is Penn State's # 1 quarterback?
I think he's a good player. I think he's a lot better player now than he was a year ago in terms of his poise, his improvement as a passer. His decision-making is better. He's very athletic. He makes it hard sometimes to cover him on defense. You feel like if you go man-to-man, and he takes off, you are going to have problems. He presents a lot of issues. I think he's improved tremendously. We respect both of their guys. I think both of their guys have played very well for them, counting last year. I think they're a better team because they're getting quarterback play and their defense is good.

Q: Can you talk about your ability to protect the ball today?
I think was the real key of the game, the couple of turnovers that we got. We had a couple other opportunities that didn't go our way. I think the fact that we didn't turn it over and we changed the field position on the punt and the 3rd quarter punt return were the real key plays of the game.




  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago