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Sept. 29, 2007
PENN STATE HEAD COACH Joe Paterno...
On where the loss leaves the team...
"I don't have the slightest idea. I'm going to have to go back and look at the tapes, spend some time with the players and staff and go from there."
On the Illinois offense...
"We knew coming in that they had a good offense. They have a good quarterback and they run an offense that we haven't seen in awhile with the option. At first we struggled but once we got settled into the game we did okay."
Penn State defensive adjustments for the game against Illinois...
"We tried to practice against their speed on offense, but when you don't have someone who can do what their quarterback can do, when you get to the game it takes the defense awhile to get adjusted. Their second quarterback came in with fresh legs and had the biggest run of the ball game."
On Penn State's red zone offense...
"To be frank, I really don't know what our problem is. Obviously, we weren't very effective down there today. We can't throw interceptions and turn the ball over when we are going in to score. It's something that we are going to have to address."
On Illinois opening kickoff return...
"It got the crowd into it right away. When you are a good football team things like that happen to you and you have to recover. We had every opportunity to win the football game, but you have to give Illinois credit. They made plays in the clutch and we didn't. Simple as that."
QUOTING PENN STATE PLAYERS:
Cornerback Justin King
On PSU's second-half performance...
"We came out ready and eager, we just couldn't capitalize on some key plays and the turnovers hurt. Illinois also came out more aggressive than us and took advantage of our mistakes."
On the near interception at the end of the game...
"I was really close. I got my hands on it and so did the other receiver. I just couldn't pull it in."
Punter Jeremy Boone
On if he felt any pressure performing in a close game...
"No, I didn't feel any pressure coming into the second half. I knew the team counted on me in a fourth down situation and I had no choice but to come out and perform."
QUOTING ILLINOIS HEAD COACH Ron Zook...
"No question that's a great football team. I think one of the best things about the game is that we didn't play nearly as well as we are capable of playing. That's the good thing. I told them to enjoy this for 24 hours, then we've got another team coming in here next week."
"Two years ago was the low point. I still had the feeling all that first year that we just had to stay the course. Right now, I don't want to say we've turned it around, we haven't turned it around, but we've made progress. You think about these players, the guys that have been here the past few years, they've had some tough times. It's hard to come back every Saturday."
"With this kind of crowd and this type of energy, now we're to the point where we're going to take a lot of energy to make sure that we continue to play with that."
On switching from Juice Williams to Eddie McGee...
"Juice was forcing it. He made some errant passes. It's not as if he can't do it because he can. I told (assistant coach Mike Locksley), 'Let's try to get a spark here. Let's get Eddie in.' I'm not saying we're in a two-quarterback system. I don't even want to get into that. But (Eddie McGee) came in and did exactly what we wanted him to do. I thought in the second half, we were backed up on our end of the field for the whole half until he got in."
"(Juice) just cares about winning. Obviously he wants to compete and he wants to be the starting quarterback. He's going to do whatever he needs to do to win."
On play of Arrelious Benn...
"I think we all know that he's going to get better and better. I think we're going to continue to see him do those things. He's a heckuva talent."
"He's so big and strong. His legs look like a linebacker's almost. I felt pretty good when I saw him breaking away that nobody was going to catch him. He can run."
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