|Follow PSU Football:||Follow @PennStateFball|
Sept. 25, 2010
Penn State Quotes
Penn State Quotes
Head Coach Joe Paterno
Q: Can you assess the play of your offense inside the 30?
A: Well I think we did a good job most of the day on both sides of the football and the kicking game. I thought we played a good football game except for the point you made. It was just execution a few times and the other times it was maybe selection. You've got to give Temple credit. They've got quick kids that are strong. They got tall, rangy kids that hustle and tackle well. They were tough to run on and I didn't want to particularly throw the ball all the time down there with a young quarterback. So I think we can do better, no question about that. We have to do better down in there. We can't waste that many scoring opportunities in the sense of touchdowns and not field goals. But I thought defensively and offensively we played a good, tough game. In the second half we had to come out and do some things and we did them. So I was kind of pleased with the whole day.
Q: What are the benefits of winning a game like this where it's back and forth?
A: I think you are underestimating some of these clubs. This team has only lost a couple of games as a full team, Temple. They played UCLA in the bowl game last year and they lost 21-14. They are a good solid team, well coached. I think our kids had to hustle in the second half and make some plays. I'm just happy we won it. I think it was good for us. I'm just happy we won it.
Q: Royster ended up having a big day. Were you expecting him to do something like this today and do you think he is ready for Big Ten play?
A: Well, I've tried not to look ahead as I've said to you guys many times. If you start to look ahead you get in trouble. So I have not looked ahead to Iowa. I will go home and look at it. They had a game today and somebody told me they were winning pretty good. They got a lot of people. We've had trouble with them the last couple of years. We will go home tonight and we will have the game on tape. I will take a look at it and I will know more about that. I thought going into the year that Iowa, Ohio State and Alabama, three teams we had to play on the road, were all really big time football teams. I don't know how Alabama made out today, but they played a heck of a first half against us. So I just think we got to go to work, get better, and hopefully play better in certain situations against Iowa. We need to be comfortable playing in front of a hostile crowd.
Q: What was your evaluation of Royster's performance and what kind of improvement did you see in his running today?
A: I was seeing the commentary about him somewhere earlier, and I think people got the idea that I thought he wasn't doing very well. I talked to him earlier in the week and said, "Forget about what everyone is talking about. Just play your game and we'll see what happens." I thought he played very well today, he got some yards, outside of the fumble which hurt us earlier in the game. But I thought he played very well.
Q: Your quarterback on that 96-yard drive made some big throws on two third down play. Can you talk about the poise he showed in a big moment?
A: Well hopefully he is going to get better over time and I think something like this is good for him. He had to make a drive and as you said, he threw some very good passes. I think he has to enjoy it a little more. I said as we were warming up, "Just forget that you are only 12 years old. Go out and have some fun (laughter). Everyone is trying to treat you like a baby." I told him to keep playing because he is going to be very good.
Q: You got some good plays from Stupar and Mauti. Do you think the linebackers made some improvements today?
A: I think (Nick) Sukay at safety made two big time plays. I thought Stupar made a big play. It's been something we've been trying to get those guys to do because they do have athletic ability. And Mauti is the same way. So I think in that sense it was a good game because (Stewart) has not thrown an interception all year. They are very careful with the football. I don't know if you realize it or not but we played a pretty good football team today. They may not be a great team but they are pretty darn good. They are solid, hustled, came off blocks offensively. Those two backs are pretty good, they are quick. The quarterback had been good. The wideouts are big kids. So I think it was a good effort. Their kicking game as I said going in, I thought they had one of the best kicking games I have ever seen. I thought it was a good win. I think it was good for Bolden to get in there and make a drive in the clutch. Every experience is helpful.
Q: What was surprising about Temple's defense and why was it so difficult to get to the endzone?
A: They hustled, they are well coached, they are good athletes. You got to realize how young they are. I don't think they have a lot of seniors. They lost some kids. I think they lost six or seven kids. They knew what they were doing.
Q: Royster got 26 carries today. Was that in the game plan to give him the ball that much?
A: I don't count. It's good he needs a good workout (laughter). He hasn't carried the ball that much because the game situations have been so different. This game we were hoping we could run a little better than we have been. We didn't run as well as I thought we could. But I think he did well and it was a good game for him.
Q: Where is your offensive line now without Eliades?
A: I got to talk it over with the staff. I can't make that decision without talking to the line coaches. Then of course, I have to make sure he is out. Doc told me he thinks he is. If I don't say something then you guys will think I'm trying to hide something. So I'm telling you what I know.
#5 Graham Zug
Sr./Sr., Wide Receiver
Q: On the last drive was that kind of a coming of age for you guys?
A: Yeah, it was important for us. It shows we stayed in the game and were focused at the very end. We knew what we had to do and we took care of it.
Q: Bolden, on that last drive, what was his demeanor like?
A: He was calm, focused, and composed. He knew that he could trust us and believe in us, and he took care of the offense and made sure we did what we had to do.
Q: What does it say about the team now that you can come out and win that game the way you did?
A: Temple's a great team and it ended up being a long fight and a long game. It's good for us. It shows that even if we're in a tough game we can stay focused and composed and be ready to play.
Q: Next week is another prime time game against a big time opponent, how much better do you think this team is than maybe you were a few weeks ago?
A: We each learned a lot. You learn from your mistakes. You learn you can't make little turnovers and mental mistakes. So, we're coming along and we're getting better and are a lot more prepared now.
Q: Can you talk about Evan's day at running back?
A: He did a great job. He came in focused. He hasn't slowed down one bit since the beginning of the season, and he constantly gets better each week.
#6 Derek Moye
Q: The last touchdown drive you guys put together, can you talk about Bolden's play, getting the two huge third down conversions?
A: Definitely, that's big for a quarterback especially a freshman quarterback making two third down conversions. He showed a lot of composure in making those plays and leading us down the field to make the touchdown.
Q: How important was it for you guys to get Evan Royster going today?
A: It was really important. I think he went out there and he ran hard. He had a good game from the first play.
Q: How big is the game at Iowa next week especially considering that they knocked you out of the BCS championship two years ago and probably the Orange Bowl last year?
A: I don't think it really matters anymore what happened the previous two years. It's the start of Big Ten play, so we will be excited for it.
#1 Nick Sukay
Q: Getting turnovers, especially when the offense is struggling, has that a point of emphasis in practice the last few weeks? A: Yes, definitely. We know we needed more turnovers, so we've been emphasizing that in practice and even during the game. We knew the offense wasn't clicking the way we knew they could. So, we knew we needed to make some plays for them and help them out as far as field position. We were emphasizing that every time we went out, we had to make a big play.
Q: How much different is the back of the field without Astorino in there because you're probably so used to playing with him?
A: We all work together in practice. I've been working with Andrew Dailey in practice too. Either one of them, any safety, we've all been working together. So, when we rotate, it's not that much difference.
Q: Was it kind of frustrating that the defense kept setting up the offense with such great field position and they couldn't hammer it in, so it was still a dog fight even though you guys were playing so well after that first quarter?
A: Well that's football. One side has to pick up the other side sometimes and vice versa. When sometimes things aren't going their way, we know we need to make a play for them and help them out and that's just what we were trying to do out there.
Q: Was this your best game, defense overall as a whole?
A: Yeah, I felt we played well against Kent State last week but, yes, I feel this was our best game because we answered the bell. We made plays when we needed to.
#61 Stefen Wisniewski
Q: Can you talk a little about Royster's day and what that means?
A: I think that means that he's back. [He's] definitely back on track, looking like the Royster of old that we all grew accustomed to. As far as why, it's hard to say. Maybe it's just that he needed to get back into his groove a little bit, and he finally did now.
Q: Can you tell us what the huddle was like when you guys took over there at the four-yard line?
A: We knew we needed a drive and we knew it was going to take a while. So, we just did it play by play. It was pretty fun once we got closer to the end zone and the crowd got into it, so it was pretty exciting.
Q: Rob struggled a little bit with his accuracy at times, but he came up with some big throws. You've been around here a while, what does that mean to you when you see a rookie do that?
A: That's really exciting for us. In the fourth quarter with the game on the line, to see a freshman quarterback making throws to move down the field towards the end zone, that's huge. It shows he's not going to get down when he has a couple bad throws early and that he's going to keep fighting and keep getting better. Seeing a drive like that from a freshman, that's pretty impressive.
Q: I know your heart goes out to Lou, but what did you think of the job Chima did on such short notice?
A: It's definitely tough, and Chima did an excellent job stepping up there. I was really impressed by it. He's a guy that a year ago was a 'd' lineman, and he just switched over in the spring, so he's really progressed fast and really looked good in there for his first big time game action.
Q: Your quarterback made some big moves on third downs to give you some breathing room. Can you comment on that?
A: We were probably a little conservative in the beginning of the game on some third downs throwing some screens and things. I can't tell you exactly what I said in the box on the first third down...but I basically said, 'the heck with it. Let's find out what we got.' I think that that [96-yard drive] will be a clutch drive for him and his development. We said put the heat on them. The second, third-down throw he made to Brown, he got absolutely tattooed on that one as he was letting go of it. We should have picked the blitz up on that one. He had a guy bearing down his neck and then makes a big-time throw like that. We don't want to get overly excited, but that is key to see him be able to do things like that. I told him after the game that that is what a quarterback does, that is when you know you have it.
Q: How about before that play? He didn't seem as accurate today.
A: He tried to guide them [the passes]. I think we came out struggling early in some key situations and I think he thought, 'I have to hit this pass,' it seemed like he was almost trying to hand it to them. I got him on the headset and I started to tell him, 'hey, stop guiding it,' and he said Coach Paterno was talking to him. Coach told him to throw the ball and don't guide it, you know where you want to go with it, just let it go. I said, 'well, that is exactly what I was about to tell you, so I can't tell you much different.' The rest of the way he made some clutch throws.
Q: What was the difference with Royster and the running game today?
A: That is a good question. I think we ran really hard today. All the backs got in there, Zordich was running through people. There was definitely some determination in him to run really, really hard. This is a good defensive football team. They have done some good things so it was a good test for us.
Q: That 96-yard drive, not just for Bolden, but for the entire offense. What does that do for the team?
A: I think it was big...We had a TV timeout and said this is where you go 96 yards to see what kind of people we are and what kind of team we are. We wanted to run it out of there, but we got caught in the third and seven, made the first down, another third and long, made the first down. It was critical for us to find out what kind of team we have. Joe [Paterno] loves stuff like that. I don't, I'd rather be up 20 points and not have to find that out but he loves that. We found out something about us, about the team, and they did a great job.
#71 Devon Still
Q: Were you guys feeling more pressure from the offense, getting field goal after field goal? Did you think it was on you to keep this thing together?
A: Most definitely. We attempted six field goals today which put a lot of pressure on us. It keeps the other team in the game with us only scoring three points. As a defense we had to step it up to keep the team in the game.
Q: What did you think of the linebacker's play today?
A: I think they did a great job. That is the best job that I have seen out of them all year. They were really fired up.
Q: As a defensive unit, did you guys get any momentum after seeing your offense punch it in for that touchdown?
A: In the beginning of the game our offense struggled, so as a defense we felt like we had to step it up. Once we saw the offense gain momentum and punch in some touchdowns we got more energy. Out on the field you can get tired, but seeing the offense score gave us that energy that we needed to have.
Q: What made matching up with Temple so difficult today?
A: My hat goes off to the Temple offensive coordinator. He 'schemed' us real well. Most of the zones, our goal is to go down with the offensive lineman and he told the running back to cut it back off our butts because there was a big hole. We went into half time and the coaches made adjustments so then we started making plays.
#9 Mike Zordich
Q: What sparked you guys emotionally in the second half?
A: We were struggling the first half and we were not getting the ball in the end zone. We just came in at half time and talked to everyone. We said that we just need to have more fun, we need to have more fun out there...the defense came out and made some big stops, some big plays and got the ball rolling.
Q: Can you talk about the play that set-up your touchdown?
A: I just really wanted to score. The offense [line] did a good job blocking people for me, so I just put my head down and kept my feet moving to try and get as far as I could.
Q: Jay [Paterno] said you have been begging for the football. How did it feel to finally punch one in?
A: I have been begging all year, just having fun with the coaches to let them know that I wanted it. I was looking for that kind of stuff and to finally get on into the end zone was a great feeling. I was really, really excited about that.
#42 Michael Mauti
Q: How do you think the defense did today with the offense struggling in the beginning?
A: That is the way we want to keep things going. The offense was struggling a little bit and they needed us to be there, to have someone step up. We needed a little spark.
Q: Was that spark missing a little in the first couple games?
A: Guys are still trying to get their feet wet a little bit. Games like this are where we are going to build up and get better every week. That is something we definitely needed, to play with a little swagger out there.
Q: Did Joe [Paterno] or Tom [Bradley] stress that at half time?
A: They said that it was going to be a game. That was a good Temple game and the best Temple team that we have seen. They came to play so we had to come back and keep fighting every series.
Q: Did you guys believe the coaches when they said how good Temple was?
A: Yeah, they have been talking about it all week. During the second half we wanted to talk about us a little bit. That was a good Temple team. I give credit to them. They came out here to play.
#36 Collin Wagner
Q: Do you have more confidence this season?
A: Yeah, definitely. It's great to have a year under your belt. Coming out, even in the first game, I didn't really have any problems with having confidence coming out. The second year is a lot easier to go out there and know that you've been in this spot before and you've come through and that you're capable of doing it.
Q: Was there a conscious mental change?
A: I mean I think it was just the whole year, having a year under your belt. Then, the bowl game helped out as well.
Q: Does it help build your confidence knowing that you have the leg to kick the longer field goals?
A: Definitely. You can go out there knowing that you don't have to hit every single ball perfect and that you can still reach it from further distances.
Q: How is the chemistry between you and holder Brett Brackett? Does he set it down perfect almost every time?
A: Yeah, he's been working real hard. He was having a little trouble at the beginning of the season but its one of the things that he really focused in on and he's doing a really good job right now.
#28 Drew Astorino
Q: What were the halftime adjustments that the defense made?
A: Our coaches always do a great job at halftime making adjustments. We drew up a couple blitzes that we didn't previously run but we had in our repertoire. We used those. We made some adjustments in the secondary. I think we just came out and played. We tackled and we kept them to a lot of three and outs, which was big.
Q: Did you feel like the defense had to work harder since the offense wasn't getting into the end zone?
A: I feel like whether the offense is putting the ball in the end zone or not, we should be on our toes. Our goal should be to give up zero points. We gave up 13 I think, which we will have to go look and see what went wrong, but I felt like we played well after that.
Q: How does it feel to play without pain in your shoulder? Are you nicked up?
A: I don't think I've been really nicked up. My bicep tendon is a little. I don't know, flared up or something like that. It's not the same injury. It's not the same anything like that. I think a lot of it was maybe in my head a little bit. They gave Andrew Dailey the start. He deserved it. He's been playing well in practice. I just feel like I came to practice every day this week and tried to get better and just try to wing it and not really worry about it.
#34 Nate Stupar
Q: What did you think about the stats favoring Penn State, but the game still being so close?
A: It was a really close game. It was a battling game. Temple came out and they're a really good team. They're probably going to go 10-2 or something, 10-1. They're going to be a great team. They're probably going to win their conference. They came out, played and had something to prove for themselves. They came out, played against us in the first half and the defense woke up and we just came after them. The stats, yeah, but you get that in numerous games.
Q: Did you challenge yourself as a defense to pick up the offense?
A: We were like "three and out every single time, they're not gaining a first down." We had a mindset of "we're stopping them every single play." If they get a first down, we're not doing good enough.
Q: How close were you to getting into the end zone on the interception?
A: It's more fun than it looks when you're running. From not running the ball for three or four years, it's kind of hard because you're not used to seeing everything coming so fast. When I caught that and started to run, things kind of slowed down for me. I just started to run, made some moves, had some fun with it and went from there.
Q: Is your defense ready for conference play starting with Iowa?
A: Iowa, they're a great team. They're a good, tough team. We have something to prove. They've beat us the past couple times. They're a great team. It's going to be a great game. We're just going to come in Monday, watch some film, practice all week and get ready for them.
#74 Johnnie Troutman
Sr./Jr., Offensive Guard
Q: Have you seen anything different from Evan Royster in practice to spark his performance?
A: No, he's just doing the same thing. We just, as a unit, we got together and said "we have to do this so we can get the naysayers off our backs. We can run the ball, we can do those things." That was our mission this week.
Q: What do you take out of this win?
A: It was a good, rough, tough game. They came to play and we came to play. We just made a couple mental mistakes down close in the red zone that made it tough for ourselves. We've just got to cut those little mistakes out and when we get down there we've got to put up seven points because when we get to Big Ten play, three points here and there is not going to cut it.
Q: What do you focus on going into the game against a good Iowa defensive line?
A: They've definitely got a good bunch of guys on defense over there. We'll take a look at film on Monday and see how we want to attack the defense.
Q: What did Michael Zordich show you with his tough carries today?
A: I knew he could run the ball like that. He's one of those guys that he touches the rock and he's a physical guy. If he touches the ball he wants to run downhill. He's not afraid of contact. He wants to run people over, so I knew he could do stuff like that seeing him in practices and camp and things like that. I wasn't surprised by what he did.
#22 Evan Royster
Q: Did you come into this game knowing you were going to have a bigger workload than the first couple of weeks?
A: No, I have no idea to be honest. We had some plays that were working and stuff. The coaches were confident they could put me in the game so we were just going to keep running.
Q: What were the coaches saying to you the past couple of weeks when you weren't getting as many carries as you might have expected?
A: Joe (Paterno) said to me "you've got to get those extra yards," a couple of times. I came out thinking that he's right. I should be getting the extra yards. That's what I'm here for.
Q: Did this feel good to help silence the critics?
A: It feels good to show that I can still play the game. I think a lot of people were thinking that I couldn't anymore. Everybody's got their times when they're down a little bit. Hopefully we can just keep this momentum going into next week and the week after.
Q: Was the long touchdown drive in the game good for this offense?
A: It's something that we really needed. It gave us a little bit more confidence. The whole game we were struggling in the red zone and we can't have that going into Big Ten play. It's definitely something that we need to build on and keep doing.
Q: What did the 50-yard run feel like?
A: It was a play that we thought was going to be a good play for us this week. We probably ran it about 10, 15 times today. That first play, they weren't really expecting the run I guess. That safety was a little late filling up in the box and we were able to get off to the races.
Q: What made you so sure the play was going to work?
A: Our coaches were just real confident. They had seen a couple other teams run it against them and it worked out for them so we figured why not for us?
#83 Brett Brackett
Gr./Sr., Wide Receiver
Q: Rob Bolden looks at you as a safety receiver, how do you build on that during the week?
A: I think it works well with all the wide-outs. He's doing a real good job of taking what the defense gives him. When it comes to practices, you know that if we come up in practices for him by making catches you know he is going to look for you in games because he's comfortable.
Q: As a captain, how do you help Rob Bolden grow?
A: I just try to keep him calm. When he is calm and relaxed, he's a smart quarterback. He's got a great arm and when all that's going for him, he'll be fine. I just try to keep him calm and let him know we're doing fine, we're doing well and we've just got to keep doing what we're doing.
Q: What can you do as a unit to learn from that 96-yard drive?
A: To be honest, I was thinking more about the drive before that when we were on the one. We were marching then and unfortunately, Rob (Bolden) got hit and the ball came out but that second drive when we went 96 (yards) was huge. That's a really big momentum (change) for us. Temple has a great defense and they had a great defensive effort the entire day and for us to go 96 yards shows a lot of grit and toughness out of our offensive line and we have to commend ourselves on that.
Q: Can you talk about the play of Evan Royster?
A: He has been working hard. It's unfortunate he hasn't had some things going his way. But today right out of the gate he had a great run and I think it was a huge confidence boost for him. The offensive line did a great job of opening up holes for him today and I think he just ran hard.
Q: Can you talk about why you weren't able to punch the ball in?
A: Honestly, I wish I could tell you right now but we have to go back and look at film. I think we just kind of beat ourselves in some situations and they made some big plays in big situations and you have to tip your hat when they make a play. There was a couple times when I think we can capitalize on those when we look on film.
Q: Can you talk about how a game like this helps your team for Big Ten play?
A: When we play in the Big Ten every game is going to be like this. Every game is going to be a tough game. That was a tough football team we just played. It was really something we can learn from that we can hang in those situations and it's something we can improve upon.
#20 Devon Smith
So./So., Wide Reciever
Q: What was it like to not get the ball into the end zone?
A: It's frustrating. We did the same thing in the Alabama game. Luckily, we were able to get field goals to put points on the board and we got the win so you can't complain.
Q: Can you talk about Robert Bolden's performance on the 96 yard drive?
A: That's just him. Like I've told you before he always keeps him composure and stays humble and makes plays. That's why he's going to be a great player.
Q: Are you ready for Big Ten play?
A: We have new starters, and are ready to start off fresh. There are new teams and now a new beginning.
Q: Do you sense a change in Rob Bolden on those third down plays in the fourth quarter?
A: Definitely, I just looked in his eyes and knew he was ready to go. Every time it is third down, you can just look in everyone's eyes and tell if they are ready.
Defensive Coordinator Tom Bradley
Q: Can you talk about Mike Mauti today?
A: I think he was playing aggressive and set an example for the team. You hear coach (Joe) Paterno say constantly attack, attack, attack. I think for a while we were giving too much cushion instead of just going after them. We saw today a couple guys flying to the ball.
Q: Do you think that was the best job you've done of attacking a team in the second half?
A: I thought we did a really good job, especially in the third quarter. Except for the first play in the second half, I thought from then on that I think they had maybe one first down in the third quarter. I also thought we did a very good job against their pass offense.
Q: Can you talk about Nick Sukay's performance today?
A: I think Nick (Sukay) played really well today. After the first quarter he really settled down and made some plays. A couple of those picks he made, on the first one he played that coverage about as well as you can play it and on the second one he made a great break on the ball. I thought Nick had an excellent game and gained some confidence. We need Nick to play well that's a big part of our defense.
Q: Do you think the intensity picked up in the second half?
A: It seemed like it. I thought the third quarter was kind of lights out, I think the guys did a great job. And the offense had two great drives getting the ball out of their own end zone. That's a key. When you can get the ball and put that together that really helps us out a lot. The fourth quarter went pretty fast because of that.
Q: Do you think their speed caught some of your guys off guard?
A: Well, we knew they were pretty fast coming in. We just didn't hold the edges a couple times today. They bounced outside one play and the other one they scored on, I think numerically we weren't right on that one. We should have been o.k. but the one they split us wide on we just didn't fill the "A" gap. They have good backs, (Bernard Pierce) is a good back. They are a well-coached football team.
Temple Quotes - Post-Game Video
Temple Head Coach Al Golden
Q: Coach what did you tell the guys after the game?
A: Just that I was proud of them. I was proud of their effort and obviously the way they prepared. It's easy to fold, it's easy to roll over and I don't think they did that. They really came in here with the intent to win the game, and by the time we get back to Philadelphia, we've got to let it go because we can't lose twice because of this. We can't go into next week with a bad feeling and we've got to let it go.
Q: Do you know how Bernard (Pierce) is doing?
A: I don't, I don't.
Q: Do you know what it was, Al? Ankle? Knee?
A: I do not - I do not know. I haven't even talked to the doctors since it happened so I have no idea.
Q: Did your outlook change in the game at all when (Pierce) went out? I'm sure a little bit, but maybe not at all.
A: No, nope. They were playing good defense at the time and winning the field position, and we just needed to get a couple of first downs. We just didn't make enough plays.
Q: Your philosophy right there is "just to get into the fourth quarter," I imagine, and just give yourselves a chance to win sometime in the middle of the fourth quarter. Is that pretty accurate?
A: Yeah, I mean we had some opportunities to make some plays. We pinned them deep, we let them out a couple of times - I think that's the biggest thing in the game. We let them out a couple of times when we had them pinned deep. They did a good job; you've got to give them credit. They're an excellent football team and I thought their quarterback played really, really well. He made great throws under pressure and converted big, big plays not only on third down, but also in tough situations backed up.
Q: And you hit him in the mouth a couple of times, it's not like he didn't get hit.
A: No, I mean I thought we played well enough on defense to win. Obviously we need to play better in the kicking game and on offense, but we just didn't make any big plays. We needed to make a couple more big plays.
Q: What'd they do to get Chester (Stewart) unnerved there in the half to throw a couple of picks for the first time this year?
A: Well I mean again, you start to get in those 3rd-and-10's and 3rd-and-11's and that's - you know you're going against more than just the 11 guys on the field in those situations. I'm sure there are some throws he'd like to have back there, but we can't be in those situations and win the game, No. 1. No. 2, we have to protect better, and then I think at the end, obviously he's just trying to make a play. So it's unfortunate, but Chester has done a good job managing the game, and obviously, we looked a lot different than we looked a year ago.
Q: This week, you said the gap was huge and you closed it to the point where you led this game for a couple of quarters. What do you take away from this?
A: Well, I think we're a tough team. I think we're mentally tough. I think we're a mentally and physically tougher team than we have been, and obviously I think we're more talented than we have been. I mean I thought both teams really played hard, to be honest with you. I didn't think there was a lot of - I mean that was a good, physical football game. Again, you got to give those kids from Penn State a lot of credit. They played really hard. They were physical and they made more plays than we did in the end. But obviously, like I said earlier, I'm proud of our guys and hopefully we can build from this.
Q: Did you think Bolden may crack? He's just a true freshman and you hit him, and yet he made two really big throws in the fourth quarter.
A: Yeah, those were big plays. He was under duress both times and he showed who he is and who he is going to be. I don't think we regret the calls in either of those cases. We needed to apply pressure, but you know, the kid didn't give us one, and he did a good job protecting the ball all day. So again, you've got to give them credit. We played better than we have, but not good enough to win. But we played real good. I'm proud of the guys because we played really good opponents here for the first month of the season - collectively 45-10 over the first four weeks, our opponents were a year ago, 45-10. So we came out of it 3-1. Now we got to regroup and get ready for Army.
Q: Coach you didn't score after the first quarter. Was that a function of not executing?
A: Well, I mean again, I go back to giving them credit. They played really well on defense. We didn't make enough plays on offense, and then for like two quarters, it didn't look like we converted on third downs, so that was an issue. We may have got one or two (third downs) in there, but that was an issue. We didn't really convert and they won the field position game in the second half.
Q: What were you thinking at halftime, if you recall anything? You're in really good shape.
A: Yeah, we really thought we'd be there this year. We thought we'd be able to get to the half. Generally, that's one of the keys to playing up here. Most teams that lose, or end up getting blown out, it's because they can't make it to the half. Last year, we're 3-0 or whatever after the first quarter, and end up 21-3 at the half, and then it's over. You know we got to the half, I thought we played really hard. We didn't play much on offense in the first half, I think only 22 or 23 plays, and rotated a lot of guys. So I thought we would be fresh for the fourth quarter and I don't think fatigue was a factor for the first time since we've been up here; we played a lot of guys. But they made the plays and we didn't in the fourth quarter, and that's it. It's as simple as that. They converted the plays, their field goal kicker was excellent, and that's the difference in the game.
Q: Could you talk about your defense?
A: Yeah, I thought the defense played well. There were some break downs in there that you wouldn't see from the outside that we have to get squared away, just some mental errors and some missed assignments that we'll get squared away. But when you're a tough team, and you're a disciplined team, you find a way to hang in there and get tough in the red zone, and I thought we did that today. That's what gave us a chance because they were converting field goals. Now we just needed him to maybe miss another one or so and now you really got a chance. But we just didn't convert when we had opportunities to make a play on offense and we just didn't put enough pressure on them in terms of field position.
Q: Do you think this kind of loss will help you down the road? Is there such thing as a moral victory?
A: No, there are no moral victories anymore. I think we have a chance to be a good team. You know I don't think there are any victories anymore. We came up here with the intent to win. I don't know if anybody else thought that going into it, but I know the 105 (players) and the 12 or so coaches, we came up here with the intent to win and with the belief that we were going to win. So there really are no moral victories. We're really disappointed, but hopefully we have 10 games left. That's the way we're looking at it.
#43 Adrian Robinson
Jr./Jr., Defensive End
Q: What do you take out of a game like this?
A: They beat us; they're a good team. We have a lot to work on.
Q: What was the mood like on the sideline when you guys were up early?
A: The first half was good, but Penn State came out and answered with a better second half and there was nothing we could really do.
Q: [Rob] Bolden really proved he was a good quarterback in the fourth quarter, talk a little bit about his play.
A: He's a tough guy. He's a tough quarterback and I hope to see him next year.
Q: Did you guys get weary at all from being on the field so much in the fourth quarter?
A: No we were ready to go, we just lost. It was a good game on their part.
#23 James Nixon
Q: Talk about what happened on the 51-yard play that got them down near the goal line.
A: It was a great play call and even better blocking.
Q: Compared to years past, you guys really came in here and had a chance to win this one. What do you take away from a game like this?
A: It was a real big game and a great chance for us, but we came here looking to win, not just to compete. It was a big let down for a lot of us, but we're moving on.
Q: What impact does it have on the team when you see Bernard [Pierce] go down?
A: Yeah, our coach tells everyone to prepare like a starter. Anything can happen on any play, so we really all just have to keep going with a 'next-man-in' mentality.
#5 Jaiquawn Jarret
Q: Rob Bolden, a true freshman, talk about his ability to make big plays in the fourth quarter.
A: Rob Bolden is a good young freshman. He showed a lot of poise and executed when his team needed him to.
Q: Did you guys come in with the objective to get in Bolden's face more than you would a more mature quarterback?
A: Yeah, the one time I got in his face he threw an accurate pass. We just wanted to put a lot of pressure on the young guy.
Q: What was it like seeing all those Penn State field goals? You weren't giving up touchdowns, but you kept getting hit for three here and three there.
A: We'd rather give up field goals than seven points.
Q: Did you guys get tired at all being on the field so much?
A: We get tired, but we stick with it. We know our offense will come through on a long drive for us eventually, so we just keep fighting.
Q: Did you think the Penn State players looked at you guys differently at the end of this game than they have in the past?
A: Yeah, I would say they looked at us differently. We came out flying and we were physical. You could tell, they were talking to us and saying 'good job' and 'nice play right there.' So it was a good experience.
- Top Videos
Penn State Football's Contest at Michigan State to Air on ESPN
Penn State Falls 28-16 to No. 14 Michigan
2015 Gameday - Nittany Lions Host Michigan on Senior Day
Security ramps up at Beaver Stadium and Jordan Center for weekend events
Committee Endorses Lasch Building Renovations
Michigan Week Q&A - Terry Smith
Nassib Tabbed as a Nagurski Trophy Finalist
VIDEO: Postgame Player Remarks – Michigan