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Sept. 27, 2009
Head Coach Joe Paterno Quotes
Q: Can you talk about your struggles with the offensive line tonight? Did Iowa do anything differently up front to give you problems?
A: No, I thought Iowa played the same kind of game they had been playing. We didn't play particularly well in some phases. We just didn't get it done.
Q: Do you have a sense of what led to the turnovers?
A: I don't know. I have to look at the tape before we start saying this is what happened. Obviously we'll see that turnovers were a big thing in the game. The blocked punt started it, but I thought the kids hung in there and tried to come back. We just kept making mistakes.
Q: After the punt they downed about the five when you were up 10-nothing, did you just have trouble getting out of there and did that swing the momentum?
A: It changed the field position, we had tough field position the whole second quarter. The first quarter we had the long drive and a lot of plays and only a field goal out of it, which was disappointing. In the second quarter that was part of it, the fact that we ended up on the two- or three-yard line, something like that.
Q: The defense kept you guys in it for three quarters; can you talk about how they kept you in the game for a very long time?
A: We were in the ball game realizing that it was going to be a tough football game and knowing both teams had tough defenses. I think we played a strong game defensively, as did they. The only difference is that they came up with the turnovers and the blocked punt. For a club as good as they are physically, I though the offensive line played a better game than they did all year.
Q: What's it like going against Kirk Ferentz? What's he do that gets his team so prepared with calm and poise against Penn State?
A: He's a fine coach obviously and he's got a fine staff. They're doing a good job with them. I think that's a credit to him and his staff and to the kids he has. I think that quarterback he has, has become a really good football player. He doesn't get all the publicity all the people do around the country, but he's a guy that's steady and solid. The offensive line is really big time.
Q: What happened on the punt block? Was it Jeremy [Boone] or did somebody miss?
A: It was a mistake on the blocking.
Q: After a loss like this, what do you look for within the team to see if the team can rebound?
A: I think we will learn from it. Sometimes you can talk about different things and how games are won and lost and I think they haven't been through it. It's still a fairly young football team as far as playing time is concerned, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. The wide outs and offensive line, two or three of those kids haven't played a lot. I think it's a question of learning and not feeling that all is lost. I think we can learn from it and get better.
Q: After you went up 10-nothing, did they take away some things as the game went on, aside from the field position?
A: I don't know if they took anything away, they played it pretty much the same way they had in the beginning. We just didn't do some things as well.
Q: Could you talk about Daryll Clark's performance for a bit? The first quarter [was] very good, last three quarters, not as good.
A: I think it's wrong to start blaming anybody. I think at times the pass protection got a little shaky. A couple of times that got him out of rhythm and early in the game we were doing a little better job with the pass protection and he had a better chance. The first play we had the football we just fooled [Iowa] and got behind them with a -yard play. They were sound, they played good defense and they react well. I think Clark played a good, tough game. He had some passes dropped and tipped. That was a team loss, no one person or play lost it. We got licked.
Q: Do you think, in retrospect, that the non-conference schedule prepared you for a game as physical as tonight?
A: I don't think that had much to do with what happened. I think Iowa, realistically, had some easy people early and then they had a good Arizona team that they were able to hang in there with. They weren't a dominant team in that game, but they hung in there and got that win and came out here and played well tonight.
Q: You made a change over on right tackle, is there something that was bothering you with [DeOn'tae] Pannell?
A: Well we had said during the week we were going to play [Nerraw] McCormack because he had played well when we used him and he was practicing well. Pannell got licked early and we said we were going to get McCormack in early in the game just to get him in because he had only played seven or eight plays a week ago. And he's practiced better than that, so we thought he deserved a chance to play more. The combination of events brought him into the game a little quicker.
#43 Josh Hull
Q: I know with the revenge factor when looking back to last year, [this loss] has to sting even more? A: We never went into this game looking at it as revenge. They did everything they could do last year to come away with the win. Everything that happened tonight seemed as though it went their way. It's just one of those things where you have to learn from it and bounce back next week and have a solid week of practice.
Q: Where were the breakdowns in this game?
A: I don't even know. I felt like we played solid on defense. They nicked us with some big plays down the stretch. We rallied back and did what we needed to do. In the end, I think it was the turnovers that really hurt us. That's with any team we play. Turnovers will get you in the end.
Q: How tough was it to penetrate the offensive line?
A: It was difficult; their front four did an excellent job tonight. They gave us some trouble. We put in a blitz package and Navarro and I came free a couple times. The coaches did a great job of putting us in position to make plays.
#73 Dennis Landolt
Sr./Sr., Offensive tackle
Q: Why were there so many struggles on offense?
A: We just weren't clicking. We just didn't play a clean enough game. We were not executing.
Q: Do you feel that the non-conference schedule prepared you for the physical nature of this team? A: I don't think their physical play was a problem. We just weren't getting things done like we need to.
Q: Do they stunt more than most teams?
A: They used more down linemen stunts rather than blitzes used by most teams, but that really wasn't the problem.
Q: Their front four seemed to cause a lot of trouble. Was there something that was perplexing the offensive line? A: I will have to look at it. I don't really know what to say; they're a good front four. We just have to play better.
#11 Navorro Bowman
Q: How is the injury?
A: It's still getting there. It's not all the way healed, but sometimes you have to play through things to show your teammates you are all about the team.
Q: Can you put this loss into words?
A: You just get back into the film room. You learn from your mistakes and listen to your coaches. Those guys know what they're doing. We as a team, need to sit down and trust our strategies. We need to focus on the little things that made us lose tonight. It's a tough loss but I'm sure we will bounce back from it.
#17 Daryll Clark
Q: Was there a point where you felt this game was just slipping away?
A: Every time we had an opportunity to put some points on the board, whether it be three points or a touchdown, something seemed to happen. When we would get something going, an interception or a mistake would happen. It just knocked all of our rhythm out of our offensive drives. They took advantage of our mistakes every time. Iowa is a good football team. They were solid on defense. The opportunities we had, we didn't take advantage of.
Q: Did you talk to the offensive line after the game?
A: I just told them that we win as a team and we lose as a team. There were a couple mistakes here and there from everybody. What we do after this will determine what type of football team we are. We still have a lot of football left.
Q: They seemed to stay patient. They don't get rattled. Do you sense that too?
A: I guess they believe something was bound to happen sooner or later that it just flipped the whole game. Our defense can only do so much. They did everything they could against them. Offensively, we just didn't have success. We had the blocked punt, a couple of dropped passes, tipped balls, misreads by myself, and it just added all up. We weren't able to get it going like the way we did in the first quarter.
Head Coach Kirk Ferentz
A: First of all, I thought it was a really hard-fought football game by both teams. Penn State really played hard. We knew would. They always do. I'm just really proud of our football team- all of our coaches are. The effort that our guys played with, the determination, was really outstanding and the team really proved to be a very resilient bunch tonight cause there was nothing easy about what happened out there. So I'm just really happy. It took some great individual efforts. Phil just mentioned Adrian Clayborn's. We haven't blocked many punts... what's it been, five years since we've blocked a punt and it's just a phenomenal effort. I've never seen a play like that by a big guy like that and it gave us a spark, but the bottom line is our guys fought hard for the full 60. If you're going to have a chance to beat Penn State, that better be what you plan on doing.
Q: The defense, outside that first play of the game, they were pretty remarkable, right?
A: Good game plan on Penn State's part. They had us on that thing and you give up a big play, which you hate to do, it's tough to win giving up big plays especially against good teams. Then they drove it on that next series, got a field goal and after that we settled down and started playing pretty well. I thought we got a good effort from everybody, but again the guys up front were doing some good things and that's really important for us when we're playing good defense.
Q: Have you ever seen a defensive fourth quarter like that?
A: It's probably been awhile, but that really was something to see. Our guys really knuckled down, they started getting confidence. I couldn't see Pat's play on the fumble, but I just talked to my son on the phone real quickly and he said it was a great effort by Pat, not only to cause the fumble... so that's what you hope in a game like this that your veteran guys, the guys that have been experienced. You hope they're going to step up and do something to help the cause. You've got (Adrian) Clayborn, (Pat) Angerer, (Broderick) Binns... right on down the line. I thought that really helped us out.
Q: You're not supposed to get a block on punt safe, how important is it for the guy to keep going hard no matter what the play was?
A: That's something all of our coaches do a good job of, I think coaching and Lester (Erb) and Darrell (Wilson) make a great team on our special teams and that's something that we coach. Other teams do it, too. It's not like it's unique to us, but our guys are pretty coachable and Adrian (Clayborn) takes that to heart. He got a chance there at one and did a great job.
Q: How important was winning the field position battle today?
A: Real big. We thought it would be coming in. I go back to when we came up here in 2000 and Jason Baker did a heck of a job punting for us and that was a big part of that game. Again, we're in a tough environment here, we're going against a real good football team, field position is going to be big and special teams is going to be big. We talked about that from day one. It's not like we invented anything. It's just common sense in a game like this. Special teams better come through for you, and fortunately we've got some guys doing a good job there. The only thing we were hoping is that it would be a 60 minute game, and after the first 10 minutes or so, I wasn't quite sure it was going to be that. Our guys hung around and kept playing. That's a real credit to them.
Q: Two years in a row, you've come back from two score deficits against this team in the second half. Where does that come from?
A: That's our players. They're a resilient bunch, they're a real resilient bunch and I think they've got a lot of determination. They've been a fun group to coach this season. It's early in the season, but this has been a fun group to coach already, going back to January just being a round them in the building. They care about each other and they believe in each other. When that starts to happen, some good things can happen for sure.
Q: This sets the Big Ten schedule with some home games now...
A: Yeah, that's the only good thing. Somebody said whatever it is, it's like 9 out of 11 or 10 out of 11. We have this tradition of starting on the road. I did make a joking comment about well at least you know you've got four out of seven at home after that first one, so we've got an edge there. We're a long way from the finish line, but at least it's good to get off on a positive start. I'm really happy about that and it's always good to win on the road and it's a big deal and we've got two under our belts right now, so that's a good thing to see.
Q: And on a big stage...
A: That's even better. It was a great football environment. We knew it would be. We asked our team to enjoy that, too. This is pretty rare, pretty unique, you know. If you like football at all, that's got to get your blood going a little bit when you walk in that stadium. It's got to be a lot of fun to be on that other sideline, too. It's a great, great support that they have. This is what football's all about. It's a great environment. It's a great football crowd, great football tradition here. If that doesn't bring the best out of you, then maybe you shouldn't be playing.
#1 Daniel Murray
Jr., Place Kicker
Q: Have you ever seen defense like that?
A: No, the defense was spectacular and I don't know how Adrian (Clayborn) blocked it on punt safe. Somehow he blocked it and was trucking down field pretty fast. The defense played outstanding today. They kept us in the game. Our offense is going to get better each week. On special teams, I missed that field goal and that's unacceptable for me. We'll get better in practice this week and get ready for Arkansas.
Q: Did you feel like Iowa's offensive and defensive lines started to control the game? A: I think our lines did kind of step it up a little bit. I think we're a pretty fit team so I think we're pretty good overall. I think they're going to continue to get better and that's all we can ask for.
#5 Ryan Donahue
Q: How much pride did you take in pinning Penn State in bad field position and switch momentum with your punts? A: It fires me up and I tried to fire the defense up after that. I know it was an amazing feeling. I know we had to pin them back. The gunners did a great job of getting down there. It's exactly what we're trying to do every time we pooch punt. It worked out and it couldn't be any better.
Q: Are you a weapon on offense?
A: I do my job. I pin them back. The defense's job was to get them back farther and into the safety, so credit to them.
Q: With how well each defense was playing, did you feel each punt you had was more and more important?
A: Absolutely. I know on that last one they put two returners back and I knew that they were going to try to return. So, I tried to put some hang time under there and make them fair catch it and he did.
#12 Ricky Stanzi
Q: How much of a role did the special teams play in the game?
A: You love to have special teams on the road, especially a punt block, that's huge. When you can get plays like that it takes a lot of pressure off. I didn't expect anything to happen in a football game but we have the guys who can make plays like that.
Q: Talk about Adam Robinson's carries down the stretch?
A: He did a great job of poise and composure and not running out of bounds just because that's where the logical run was. He stayed in bounds on some plays and did such a good job of just acting like a veteran out there when he's such a young kid. He's really impressed us with everything he's done. The o-line and him definitely carried us in that fourth and third quarter.
Q: How did you keep your focus after two interceptions?
A: That's part of football. The picks will happen. You don't want them to happen but you've got to respond and that's when you just put it behind you and keep moving forward. It's a team effort and I know, with my guys, that I can lean on them whenever something bad happens and you're having a rough one.
Q: What turned you guys around in the second half?
A: It was a one-possession ball game. A lot can happen out there. We were moving the ball at times we just needed to finish. We needed to make a play. We kind of did that, but we kind of didn't. We were able to do what we needed to do which was run the clock down and get a score.
Q: Do you feel like offense feeds off of you're defense?
A: Absolutely. Our defense does such a good job of stopping teams and putting them in bad field position. Our returns will give us good field position because we have such good punting and punt return team. Today we definitely fed off of their momentum and energy obviously.
#19 Amari Spievey
Jr., Defensive Back
Q: You got beat on the first play, how did you recover?
A: I guess I wasn't really respecting the receivers at first. It was a big wakeup call; a big humbling moment.
Q: What did the defense do in the second half to step it up?
A: We gathered ourselves and told ourselves that we have the whole game and to just keep playing and eventually it will start working out for us and it did.
Q: Did you guys get together after the big play at the beginning of the game and talk?
A: Yeah we all got together. My teammates knew that usually doesn't happen with me. They told me to just forget about it. They got at me but they kind of motivated me at the same time so I guess it happens for a reason.
#94 Adrian Clayborn
Jr., Defensive Lineman
Q: What did you feel when you saw that blocked punt coming toward you?
A: I honestly don't remember it. I remember being in the end zone and people trying to tackle me.
Q: How does it feel to play so well against Penn State two years in a row?
A: I'm just glad I can provide a spark for the team and the defensive line. It was crazy out there today.
Q: Did it seem surreal at all or did it feel like you did your job?
A: I did my job but I still can't believe it. I'm still soaking it in. I'm glad I did my job.
Q: Did you think this was the kind of game that was going to rely on special teams?
A: We knew it was going to come down to the last possession. We knew special teams were going to be big like every week. We've got to come out and play the system and play our D and play the way coach tells us to.