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Sept. 20, 2008
Coach Paterno Quotes
Q: Joe, how's your leg?
A: My leg's okay. I just stand on it too long, and it aches. But, you know, I'm probably babying myself.
Q: Joe, there were a lot of mistakes today - fumbles, kickoff coverage. What's your general assessment?
A: I tell you it was a very, very sloppy performance - fumbles, had an interception. Coverage was terrible. I felt sorry for Temple; their quarterback goes down on the second or third play. He's the guy who's really been driving them. I wasn't very please.
Q: Joe, can you talk about the running of Stephfon Green today?
A: Well, Stephfon's got a chance to become a very good back. If he gets out in the open and behind somebody, he's going to be very tough to catch. He's getting better. He's getting better. He has a tendency at times to do an awful lot of this in the backfield. He misses some opportunities, but he's getting better. He's works out, and he's a good kid. And I think he's got a chance to become a good back.
Q: Coach, there clearly is a lot of interest in you. Does it bother you that maybe some of this takes away from the team?
A: Absolutely! I've got a bunch of kids out there fighting all kinds of adversity with different lineups, hanging in there together. Alright. And you're worried about my leg. Now, if you were a bunch of good-looking girls, I'd feel better about it.
Q: Coach, going in were you a little concerned that you guys may not have a focus or what do you attribute today to the sloppy play?
A: Well, I don't know. I thought Tuesday we had a very mediocre practice. And I told them that. Wednesday and Thursday, we practiced really well. I felt pretty good going into it. I don't know what it is. Sometimes you think you're ready to go, but you just don't have that edge. You get a little careless with the football. And you get into this and that. Sometimes it's hard to tell if you have that edge or not. We can't be this. But you're going to do that, and they are going to beat you. But, overall, it's a win. I won't take anything away from it. I thought at times our defense played very well. And, at times, we did things well on offense. We just didn't have a lot of consistency. I didn't really feel good about it. And I'm just giving you my gut feeling. I haven't seen the tapes or anything. But we got to play better than that, I thought.
Q: Joe, Bowman had his first start. What did Bowman do over the past couple weeks to earn that start to reward that?
A: Well, he's been rotating with that other kid, Bani Gbadyu. Ron says "Let's start Bowman," so I say "Let's start Bowman." He's been practicing well. But both of those kids are good football players. Both of them can play. They've both played well when they've been in there. And they're getting better all the time. Bowman hasn't played a lot of football previously to this year, but I think he deserved to start.
Q: Was Royster bumped up?
A: He had a couple of tough quarters - two and a half quarters. We're going to give Green some work. And Carter, except for that stupid play he made at the end, has been a good football player. So you'd like to give them all a shot at it. But you'd like to give them some game experience because Carter hasn't played a lot, Green hasn't played a lot. Stick Beachum in there; Beachum hasn't played a lot. Even Royster hasn't played a lot. Any time you can get a chance to divvy it up and get them some experience, and you try to do it.
Q: Joe, did Mickey Schuler get bumped up today? Do you know what happened to him?
A: Yeah, he's got an ankle sprain. He's going to play probably. His ankle is - I don't know what the difference is between an ankle sprain and a slight ankle sprain. But he's got a slight ankle sprain.
Q: Coach, were Galen and Bradley in charge during the game?
A: I was upstairs.
Q: How does the strategy work when you're not on the field but upstairs?
A: I get more work up there than I can downstairs. Because I got a microphone. I press 1 and I got the offense. I push 2 and I've got defense. Plus, I'm sitting here, the offensive coaches are here and the defensive are there. So when there's a timeout or something like that, I'll say get down to Tom, get down to Mike McQueary. I wouldn't want Mike to get through a game without me chewing him out. My chewing him out, pardon me. My wife will give me the business on the grammar.
Q: Joe, will it been good to open the conference season next week?
A: Well, I wish we would've been more precise today. Illinois, well obviously we're going to have a tough time with them. I think the kids are anxious to get into it. I'm anxious to get into it so I can see what kind of football team we have.
Penn State Coach and Player Quotes
Q: Jay, he is a coach and a legend, but to you he is your dad. How does it make you feel to see him struggling a little bit, getting into elevators and golf carts?
A: He is fine guys. He is getting around better than some other people who are a lot younger than him. He is fine, no one needs to get panicked or anything. Trust me, if you were sitting next to him in the second half like I was you would know he was okay. He was not real happy with what he was seeing.
Q: The operation does seem to work well when he is upstairs, going back to a couple years ago. How do things work whenever he is up there?
A: He can put his hands on us, so we do have fear of him. No, it works fine. He sees a lot of things up there and he sees a lot of things on the sidelines. It is not a whole lot different, but it was kind of fun having him up there.
Q: You mentioned Brett Brackett and Graham Zug, was there an added emphasis to get them involved today?
A: No, I mean people are going start trying to take things away from us. On the touchdown to Zug we had Norwood and Williams in the boundary and they came around him and Zug was wide open. It was a great read and a great throw and Zug decided to make the play. The same thing with Brackett. It isn't really an emphasis, but you have to take what they give us and today they were giving us those guys.
Q: There was a sluggish start. Do you have any reason for that?
A: We warmed up flat. You could sense it and feel it. I don't care how good a team you are it is very tough to be emotionally up everyday. I think we came out a little flat probably.
Q: The competition has not been very difficult. Do you think that is why this team hasn't had their emotions up this week?
A: I think what it is, is that we are anxious to play in the Big Ten. Today was one of those games that if we could start at 7am we would have kicked it off at 7am. We want to play and move on and start playing in the Big Ten. With no disrespect to anyone that we have played, we have done nothing to win a Big Ten Championship this season. They help toward bowls and things like that, but not conference championships. We have to go win the Big Ten on the field. Everyone can talk about how well we are doing and what we are doing on the field, but we have to go play and compete. It is going to be a tough game next week.
Q: How do you think the defense played today?
A: I thought they really came out and played well early. Temple had pretty good field position early on. For a while there in the first half, we were really getting after them and doing a good job.
Q: Have you been tested enough heading into Big Ten play?
A: We have had leads and been up by so many points, I can't answer that. I think we will find that out. You hate to fault the offense because they are playing so well and scoring so many points; that is always a good thing.
Q: Can you talk about the job Aaron Maybin and Navorro Bowman did today?
A: Maybin can really get it going. He is a real force coming off the edge. He is getting to be a better pass rusher each week. Coach Johnson has been working with him on different moves. He has to be a pass rush force for us. Anytime you get to people with four players, that is a good thing. Navorro is getting better. He is a prideful guy who works awful hard at trying to be a big time linebacker. And you saw today, he made a lot of great plays.
Q: What was behind the decision to start Bowman today?
A: I think that was something Ron (Vanderlinden) felt he deserved for his week of practice. We have different combinations of guys for different situations. Rather than putting one guy in one package to do almost everything, we kind of split up the load. Now that they are playing more, they are getting more comfortable doing both.
Q: Are you disappointed that you didn't get the chance to see how the defense would have done against Adam DiMichele?
A: I don't know; I have seen him win a lot of games. Not really. He is a heck of a competitor. He makes that team go. When you watch them on tape, he is the one guy who makes plays and does a lot of good things for them.
Q: The offense seemed to struggle early on, what was the reason for that?
A: I don't know what it was. We just came out flat, maybe thinking it was going to be a little easier. We obviously stepped it up in the second quarter, scoring 31 points.
Q: What were the coaches saying after the first quarter?
A: They were mostly saying stick to the game plan and go out and perform.
Q: What did the offense do differently in the second quarter?
A: I think we just started getting our assignments right. We had a lot of missed assignments in the first quarter, so we just corrected those.
Q: Are you prepared for Big Ten play to start?
A: I think so. If we can we get off to better starts, I think we will be alright.
Q: Do you feel that knocking out Temple's starting quarterback early was the game's turning point?
A: Yes. Maybin did a good job coming around on DiMichele and going for the swipe, but I am not sure what happened there. To tell you truth, number seven (Temple quarterback Chester Stewart) did a good job. He came in and we didn't really know who he was or what to expect. He stepped up in the pocket well and avoided a lot sacks. We got there a lot but he also played it well and got out of there.
Q: Can you talk about the defense setting the tone early on while the offense was struggling?
A: We came out and played well. Aaron (Maybin) came out on fire. He was really getting off the ball and was ready to play. Navorro (Bowman) did a heck of a job, not only on defense but on special teams. He was all over the ball today and got the interception at the end.
Q: How prepared are you for Illinois? Where do you think you guys are as a defensive unit?
A: We have done a good job so far. We haven't seen too much on what they are going to do. But we know there will be some option with their scrambling quarterback. He steps up a lot and has thrown the ball well this year. In watching a few games, he looks good so far. We want to go in Monday and practice hard. The coaches will have us ready to go. We look good right now, so far. But you can't really judge by what you have done out of conference play. People really haven't tried to run on us much but, in the Big Ten Conference, you know that they are going to try to run the ball right up the gut. They are going to challenge you man for man. That's what the Big Ten does. I am excited about Big Ten play. I think we will be ready.
#21, Stephfon Green
Q: How did your first big-break run feel?
A: It felt real good. I just followed my blocks thanks to the offensive line. Those guys, a veteran line like that, you just have to run behind them. You see the end-zone and don't stop until you see the back of it.
Q: At what point when you are running like that, do you know that it is going to be a touchdown? How does that feel?
A: You know, you can't really think about stuff like that, you have to just play. Usually when I think about stuff, that is when I mess up or I tend to get tacked. Today I didn't really think about anything and when I saw the hole, I put my foot down and went right through it.
Q: Coming into this season with Evan Royster doing as well as he is, is it tough to not get as much playing time as you hoped?
A: I am trying to catch up to Evan. I keep telling him to stop getting touchdowns and yards, because I am trying to catch up to him. No, the offensive line is having a great season so far. It starts with the guys upstairs. They give the calls we run the plays the best that we can do and we are getting the results that we are getting.
#83, Brett Brackett
Q: The first attempt to you did not go over as well as your touchdown. What happened there?
A: Yea, I mean the first play was a little disappointing due to the fact that they gave us the middle, which we practiced all week, and coming in first play and seeing it open and not to make the play is frustrating. It was real rewarding to get put back in, to make that touchdown play.
Q: Why do you think it took the offense a little time to get going?
A: I think in the first couple series we didn't have a big play or a spark to get us going. There were no missed blocks, fumbles, or interceptions to get us going.
Q: Do you guys think that you are where you need to be to go into the conference?
A: Yea, I think we are ready to go. We are going to practice hard and be ready to go next week.
#5, Graham Zug
Sophomore, Wide Receiver
Q: How does conference play change your preparation?
A: It's just that much more important to win that game in the conference.
Q: How have you come along personally with things and how much has your confidence been growing as things go along?
A: My confidence is definitely growing and for that to happen this early in the season is a great feeling and builds confidence.
Q: What was the feeling like for your first career touchdown?
A: I was shocked. I was just kind of in the end zone and saw the guys coming to congratulate me. It's just a good feeling.
Q: How much have the senior receivers impacted your improvement as a young receiver?
A: Everything. They've taught me on everything from the littlest things to getting to my route depth to carrying the ball to catching the ball. They've been there on everything.
#76, Gerald Cadogan
Q: You've been around the program for a long time. How tough is it to see Joe (Paterno) in the situation where he is struggling with walking and riding in a golf cart?
A: You never want to see your head coach and a great man have to struggle to walk and everything. But that hasn't deterred from his coaching. It's just the same old Joe, just at a slightly slower pace.
Q: Are you guys ready for the Big Ten? Do you get the feeling that since you guys were sluggish in the beginning that you were almost looking ahead?
Yeah we're ready. This is what we practice for every day. This wasn't our best game, but we're definitely ready for the Big Ten. We're taking this season one game at a time and that's the approach we're taking. We came out a little bit sluggish, but we were able to pick it up throughout the second quarter and the remainder of the game.
Q: Last year you guys breezed through the non-conference schedule and then dropped the first two conference games. What can you learn from last year so you don't do that again?
A: We got to come out swinging and ready to roll...ready to prove that we're a contender in the Big Ten this year.
Q: Can you talk about Stephfon Green and his performance and how he was able to follow your lead today?
A: He did a great job today as far as hitting the holes and making people miss in the open field.
#17, Daryll Clark
Q: What got you guys going today?
A: I think it was one of our runs, one of our long runs. Then, we had a pass the very next drive. I really can't through it play by play right now, I have to go and watch film, but the second quarter was big for us.
Q: In that first quarter where you were struggling a little, can you talk about how the defense really picked you up?
A: The defense did a great job. They set the tone for us. I talked with Aaron Maybin after the game and he was like, "It was a little funky at first, but we had your back." And they did. They got after their quarterback and had a couple coverage sacks and did a good job of keeping the points of the board because we stunk at first. The first quarter was terrible but the defense did a good job. I tip my hat off to them.
Q: It almost looked like you guys flipped the switch in the second quarter. Is that something you're not going to be able to do against the conference?
A: No, no. You have to come out from the get go against a team like Illinois or any Big Ten team. We're happy that the non-conference games are over with. Now, it's time to really get down to the nitty gritty and get in our grind and we know how important each and every game it is, but you can not come out lackadaisical first quarter and expect to turn it on. These teams that we're playing are high caliber in all aspects of the game so it's important that we come out and get a jump.
#11 Tony Davis
Q: Overall, the secondary, do you feel like it's been progressing and getting better from week to week?
A: Oh yeah. I think we've been gelling. We've been around each other for four or five years and everybody is coming together every week.
Q: Could you describe your interception?
A: It was exciting. Joe (Paterno), you know, told us as soon as they got that big kickoff return that we needed to make a play and it seems like every time Joe says that, something happens.
Q: You guys have found a way these last couple of games to stop any momentum that your opponent might be trying to get. Do you take that as a challenge defensively?
A: Definitely. We take it as a challenge week to week, play to play, you know, just to take their momentum out of the game and keep them down as long as we can.
#59 Aaron Maybin
Jr./So., Defensive End
Q: What is different about your game this year compared to last year, obviously getting more playing time in the absence of others, but what do you think is the biggest difference in this point of the season?
A: I would just say that I'm a lot bigger, faster and stronger than I was at this point last year. My knowledge of the game is a lot more thorough. I put in a lot of work during the off season, trying to make myself a better all-around player as far as stopping the run and being able to get my run-pass recognition a lot better, so I really feel as though that's probably been the biggest thing, just being comfortable in the system and knowing when to take chances, when to be able to gamble and when just to go get it.
Q: Aaron, are you guys ready for the Big Ten?
A: Yeah. Obviously you never know how ready you are until you play the first game, but we really feel confident that we're going to make a really good run at this thing this year. We've been working really hard and everything's been going well for us. We're anxious to get into Big Ten play and to have the opportunity to prove our self in the conference.
Q: Can you talk about the atmosphere for night games here at Beaver Stadium?
A: I can't wait. I really can't wait. I haven't played in a night game here where I haven't gotten goose bumps as soon as I walked into the stadium, so I'm really excited. Our fans are always very supportive. They come out and they're loud and they're rowdy and it does nothing but fuel us a lot more and make us more determined to go out there and get the job done.
#18 Navarro Bowman
Q: Talk about the strength with you guys as far as depth. It seems like you guys can stay fresh because you have so many guys who can come in and make big plays throughout a game.
A: There are a lot of guys that compete every day at the same position. No position is locked down. Any position is wide open. Coaches notice when a person is working hard and really wanting to play and really committed to the team. When someone goes down, we always have someone who's ready to step up and prepared to play.
Q: How good did it feel to get the pick today? You looked like you were the best running back on the field there for a second.
A: A lot of the coaches were saying that, too. I played running back in high school. We work on looks and reading the quarterback all the time. I'm just glad I got my pick. I think I was the only linebacker, like I said, to get a pick cause all the other linebackers got a pick in the earlier weeks, so I was the one hungry for an interception, and I'm just glad I got one today.
Q: Navarro, did this seem anything different today? Some people would see this as a breakout game for you.
A: I don't think so. I've just been playing hard, flying to the ball and doing what I do best. If you work hard and keep working hard, good things will come to you. I'm just going to continue to work hard and when the Big Ten starts, we'll see if everything turns around.
Temple Head Coach Al Golden Quotes
Q: Do you have an update on Adam DiMichele?
A: Just that it is going to be awhile. I don't know what the complete diagnosis is. He will be out a considerable amount of time.
Q: Your thought on how Chester Stewart played?
A: Chester played courageous today. Obviously, your number one quarterback gets most of the reps. He fought hard; got anxious a couple times and overthrew the ball. But he came in on the first play of the game at the minus two yard line and threw a nice throw. He's talented...everyone can see that. I was just pleased that he was competing. It's nice that he could finish runs and do those types of things. We will just regroup here tomorrow and move forward. Chester will start next week. Love the kid. I have a lot of confidence in him. Anyone that watched him can tell, even when he is scrambling or running, he is always trying to move forward. He's lowering his shoulders. He is going to be a good player for us. We didn't think it was going to be today. I think it was inspiring to a lot of the guys that he could come in there and do that.
Q: How do the tough breaks that your team has had injury-wise affect you guys as a team?
A: I don't think they scored in the first quarter. I thought our kids were fighting. We had a good-looking pre-game. I didn't think the moment was too big for us the second time. They were ready to mix it up, and I thought they did that. I thought we were physical. I thought we hit pretty well out there today. They just had too much power. They wore us down; the ball is on the ground three times in the first half, and we didn't come up with it. We dropped two interceptions. If you want to stay in the game and you want a chance to win, you have to make those plays. They have a really good offense; they distribute the ball really well right now. You have to give them credit.
Q: Have you gotten a chance to talk to Adam DiMichele? Where is his head?
A: His head is not good. He had a tough break last year. If anybody in this room had a chance to spend some time with him, he is one of the greatest human beings I have ever been around. Period. He'll come through it.
Q: How do you think Penn State's defense played?
A: I thought their defense played really well. (Aaron) Maybin got off the ball really well early in the game. We really just didn't take care of them. We needed to protect the quarterback better; obviously that is the bottom line. I think we only had one or two sacks before this game, and we must have given up a ton today.
Q: How much will your offense change now that Carter (Stewart) will be quarterback?
A: We'll see. We will reevaluate that tomorrow. It's too soon to tell. Anytime you have a quarterback, as with Penn State with (Daryll) Clark, you have to tailor to them. We will try to make sure that we're imploring the plays that he can execute the best and the throws that he does best. We will use the type of offense that best suits him, and well go from there. I don't have an idea right now how much it will change.
Q: We you confident going into this game that your players were ready for the atmosphere?
A: I was pretty confident watching their demeanor last night and in pre-game. There wasn't anything that reminded me of how they felt two years ago, or even last year at our place. I just thought they were ready; they were prepared. Now, we didn't execute well enough to hang in there. But as I said, I think we came out pretty sharp. We weren't afraid to throw it in there and be physical. We just didn't make enough plays, and certainly they played really well on offense, and I think the defense set the tempo for them.
Q: Did you have any indication that Joe Paterno would be in the press box during the second half?
A: No, not really. You always hear things, and a couple guys alluded to it before the game. I just wish him a speedy recovery, whatever the case is.
Q: Does coaching against a coach who is in the press box change anything?
A: No, I don't think it changes anything. I'd coach from the press box if I had that offense.
Q: Were you confident with your special teams today?
A: Yeah. I guess we are top 10 in the country on kick returns. We have a good group of guys in that kick-off return. We have courageous punt returners in Jamal (Schulters) and Travis (Shelton), and we have guys that are buying into it right now. Travis has the green light. He is mature enough to ask me. Certainly, Kevin Kelly is a very good kicker. But Travis has the confidence to ask me, "Okay, coach. Minus five or six, can I take it out?" And I say yes. That is the kind of confidence we have in him. We punted the ball well. A couple of times in the plus territory we had the chance to down it and didn't do that. But other than that, I thought we were ready to play on the special teams unit.
Q: What did Penn State's offense do that made things so hard for you?
A: They make you try to stop a lot of things. That is when you have good offensive distribution. Obviously, with (Andrew) Quarless back- I have known Andy for a long time and I think he's a great football player- he adds another dimension there at tight end that we really hadn't seen (in film) in the previous three games. I think they had a lot of things that we were trying to stop and that made it hard.
Q: What are your thoughts on your overall season, thus far?
A: I don't know. If anyone has perspective, it's me. What we went through the last two weeks...I think when they turn on the TV and see that Connecticut is hanging 40 on Virginia, or hanging 30-something last night...I think they understand that we are getting better. I think it computes to them..."Wait a minute." They only scored six on us, and we were flying around. Certainly, they understand that they needed to finish one more play in Buffalo to be 2-1. This was going to be a tough out no matter how good we were playing coming in. Certainly, Penn State is a very good team. They have a good defense, and very good special teams. Everyone knows what they are doing on offense. I think the important thing for us is to regroup. It's a whole new season for us. We're in the conference, just as Penn State is. The teams that are winning the conference aren't winning with one loss or two losses or three losses; that's the reality of it. A lot of guys get banged up out of conference. Right now, it's who plays best in October and November in our conference.
Q: Did you get a thought in your mind that this may be your last time coaching against Joe Paterno?
A: No. I think he knows he has a good team right now, and he's excited about that. God bless him. I have enough to worry about. He has 1,400 wins.
Q: How have the injuries affected the team's attitude?
A: It's tough. We still have some guys out. We haven't been healthy. That's the way it goes. When you are building a program, you have to stay healthy until you get to the point where you have 85 guys that are trained. We just aren't there yet. We lose a couple guys, and we look mediocre at times. Where as, at the end of last year, we were just really humming because everyone was healthy and we finished strong on defense. We have been a little banged up on defense. I'm concerned about that. I'm sure we will figure it out.
Q: How did your team react to Aaron Maybin switching sides?
A: Not very well. Not good. He is a good player, and he's done that to a lot of people, especially in the Big Ten. He is certainly more mature than he was a year ago. I think he has a tool box now. Last year, he could beat people with speed. I think he has some moves that he has added to his repertoire that make him a better player. I think they are pleased with his development. But we didn't do a good job blocking him. Even when we kept him back in the chip, he got through us. We didn't do a good job on him.
Q: Talk about why you moved Steve Caputo over to that side?
A: I think that is a function of how much we like Steve Caputo. He's another one of these guys that is rugged and tough, likes to compete. He is another freshman, so it was a great opportunity to be in that environment for him.
Q: What is your relationship with Andrew Quarless?
A: We recruited him when I was at Virginia. We got a chance to know his family really well. He's a good kid with a great family. I am pleased to see him back out there. I am happy for him. He's a good football player. I saw him after the game really quick and wished him well.