|Follow PSU Football:||Follow @PennStateFball|
Oct. 6, 2007
Penn State Coach Joe Paterno
Q: Can you discuss Kinlaw's performance and the status of Royster and Scott?
A: I thought Kinlaw did well except for the fumble. Boy, I tell you, we don't get a turnover a game, we didn't get one today, did we? We turned it over three times. I thought overall, Rodney did well. Scott broke a team rule and I think that's as much as I'm going to say.
Q: How about Royster, what's his status?
A: Royster is fine. He got hurt a little bit. And he's young. But I thought he did well, too. I thought overall, we played a pretty decent football game, I think.
Q: Do you know the nature of Royster's injury?
A: I asked him when he was standing behind me and he said 'I can play.' I didn't get a chance to see the doctors yet, so I don't know. He's obviously not really serious, he might have gotten a stinger or something like that.
Q: How's Koroma's foot? It looks like he is playing pretty good.
A: Koroma's fine. He's better. He's going to be a good player.
Q: How much did it mean to you to just get a win today, to get something positive going, given the way everything has been going the last few weeks?
A: Our problem has been that we've been beaten by two good football teams that played really well against us and we didn't make any plays and we hurt ourselves in key situations that would have given us a chance to win one or two of the games we lost. I thought it was important that these guys go out there - the more they play and the more they understand how games are won and lost, the better they will get. There's still an awful lot of young kids in there playing. I went into this game hoping we'd have some consistency. I was hoping we wouldn't make too many mistakes. And then, early we fumbled the football and I said to myself, 'holy smokes, when are we going to learn?' But I think they kind of hung together. Anthony (Morelli) had a good day. His two interceptions at the end, he just got a little careless there. But I thought that there were a lot of good things today.
Q: It looked like you were able to spread Iowa out and then run the ball inside. Was that something you saw on tape and you also switched your guards from left and right, Ohrnberger and Lucian?
A: We switched Ohrnberger over there because of #47 (Mitch King). #47 is a really good football player and Ohrnberger had his hands full all day. Ohrnberger is just a little stronger than (Mike) Lucian so we switched those two kids around.
Q: Did you spread them out consciously and try to run?
A: We ran the same stuff we've been running. Sometimes it works and it looks like it's something different. It's play with three wideouts, four wideouts at times, which we've been doing right along every game this year. We just had a little bit more luck. I think, to be fair, the Iowa kids were in there a lot of plays and they got a little tired at times so that made it a little bit easier for us to run the football.
Q: Do you think the win today helps Morelli going into play against Wisconsin next Saturday, for his confidence?
A: I don't know. I think any time you play and you have a good game, it helps. And the things that we're doing, we've been doing and the more he does them - his timing was all better today. Some of the criticisms I've had of him at times is that his timing is way too long and he wasn't sure of certain things. Today he seemed to pick up things better. He had a lot more confidence in what he saw and threw the ball on time a little better. So, all of that will help him, hopefully. Most of the time, we had pretty good pass protection, too, because we did a lot of play action passes to try to help him.
Q: Can you talk about the day the Kevin Kelly had and the importance of that field goal going into the half?
A: I thought that was big and was important at that time because it gave us a chance to go in (to the locker room) where it would take two touchdowns to beat us. So, I thought it was good. I thought that part of the game was probably as well as we've done anything in the clutch so far this year.
Q: Were you thinking about going with Daryll Clark when Morelli struggled early?
A: If we hadn't maybe got a couple of points on the board, maybe I might have, just to try to change the pace of the game. When I play Clark, I play Clark because he can do some things that can change the game that we don't ask Anthony to do. If we had gotten stymied, I probably might have thought about putting him in there and doing some things he can do a little bit that might have gotten them a little bit concerned about some things they were doing. But I never really thought he (Morelli) wasn't doing well.
Q: Do you see the tailback thing evolving as kind of a committee for now and are you trying to keep Green redshirted?
A: Well I wouldn't want to put Green in there until he's had a little more work with us. Green worked with us this week but up until this week, he's been working on the scout team as a tailback. So, I would like to have him, when he goes in there, to have a little more confidence. I always used to have a rule, I'd rather play a kid two weeks too late than one day too soon. I'd rather have Stephfon feel a little more comfortable, be able to anticipate certain things a little better and when he gets to that level, we'll have to make a decision whether we want to play him or not.
Q: Up until Iowa's scoring drive, they hadn't converted a third down, they were something like 0-for-10 and only had something like 54 yards of offense. Can you speak about the play of your defense today?
A: I thought our defense played a very, very fine football game, a very solid game. I thought our tackling was good. We obviously, most of the ballgame, our pass coverage was good and we were able to have a strong rush without sending a lot of people. I thought it was a good afternoon. I thought the kids hustled. I was a little concerned about that earlier in the week because they were a little down after losing to Illinois and I tried to tell them that Illinois is a pretty good football team. And they are a pretty good football team. Did they win the Wisconsin game? (In the crowd: Yes). They beat Wisconsin. And Wisconsin is a good team. So, I think they did well.
Q: What went into the decision to start Shuler instead of Quarless?
A: Quarless is a careless kid. He's got to learn to be a little more disciplined. He's got a tremendous amount of talent because he can really run for a big guy. But he's got to practice every play all out. He's got to play every play. Sometimes he's sloppy with his blocking. But he'll get better. He's just a true sophomore and of course he missed those first couple of week. And Shuler is a pretty good player.
Q: You had mentioned Anthony's two interceptions perhaps as a result of some carelessness. Was that frustrating or just discouraging to see that?
A: I told him, I said 'Anthony you've got to forget about those. You've had a heck of a good game, just forget about them.' I think he'll learn from me. We all got a little loosey-goosey there the whole bit. It was 20-0 and we should have put that thing away and we got careless.
#23 Kevin Kelly
Jr./Jr., Punt Kicker
Q: Surprised you got a shot at the 53-yarder?
A: I was not too surprised because that was the seventh or eighth one we have attempted since I've been here. The whole week, Coach Paterno challenged me again to make the long kicks. I was able to make that one because I hit a good ball and the snap holding was great. The line did a great job of blocking. Iowa is a good penetration team. For me to get that ball off was awesome.
Q: Did you get a sense for how big it was to get the team up by two touchdowns at the half?
A: Anytime you can get points at the end of the half, whether it's a field goal or a touchdown during a long play while grinding out the drive definitely helps, especially mentally over the other team.
Q: What reaction did you get from your teammates?
A: It was awesome. Everyone ran over to me and said nice job, whether it was in the tunnel or in the locker room. Towards the end of the game everyone was still saying good job, it was a great environment.
#76 Gerald Cadogan
Sr., Jr., Tackle
Q: Howe important was getting a win today?
A: It was very important. We are trying to establish ourselves, and winning as home game after two away games was huge. It felt great to be home again.
Q: Regarding good job of runningbacks...
A: It all started this week in practice. This week was an intense week in practice and it showed on the field today. They did as great job. Rodney Kinlaw had 160-some yards, so that is a great job.
Q: Iowa was supposed to be a good team against the run...
A: Yes, and they were. #92 was very strong and very physical.
Q: Iowa usually gives up 85 yards a game and you guys had somewhere around 250...
A: We got the job done today after as great week in practice. We are not worried about the critics, and we went in there and played our game today.
#22 Evan Royster
Q: Regarding knee injury...
A: I hit my thigh on something. I just felt as sharp pain right above my knee. I may wake up a little stiff tomorrow and then be fine.
Q: When did you find out you would get an extended role today, and how did that change your mindset?
A: I found out about an hour or two before the game that I was going in during the second or third series. I had known yesterday that I would expect an increased role in today's game.
Q: How did you handle waiting your turn to play here at Penn State?
A: Every week in practice, I prepare myself to play. I do not know if I will or not, but they tell me to be ready, so I make myself ready. If they want to put me in, they put me in.
Q: Regarding how he thinks he played...
A: Honestly, I did not have to do that much. The line was opening up like crazy.
#20 Rodney Kinlaw
Q: Regarding your career high performance...
A: I just had to come out and work hard, especially after I had the fumble. I needed to come out and redeem myself.
Q: What kind of boost does today's game bring to your rushing game? Are you a different runner than Austin Scott?
A: I think our styles are similar. He runs more like Tony Hunt with power, where as I am a straight slasher.
Q: Are you surprised with how Evan Royster played today?
A: I think he did a great job. He and Stephon Green are going to be great backs.
Q: Regarding his 28 carries...
A: I did not even know I had that many. I can get used to it.
#50 Mike Lucian
Q: When did you find out about your position change?
A: Showed up Monday and said 'you're going left, you're going right.' I didn't like it until today. I felt comfortable.
Q: What are the main differences, if any, between left guard and right guard?
A: First it starts with our stance and that took some getting used to. Usually on the left side he makes the guy put his hand down but he said don't worry about it. I had my feet staggered a little different. We just kind of flip-flopped everything today but it worked out pretty well.
Q: What was the reasoning behind the switch and is it permanent?
A: No one said anything. I hope it is (permanent). I'd like it to be after today. Rich was right guard all last year and in the spring I played left guard. At the end of spring they switched me to left guard. I feel more comfortable on the left.
Q: Do you feel more and more confident as the weeks go by?
A: Yeah, I had a lot of ups and downs coming in and I was moving around all the time. Buffalo was a nice game for my first start. Michigan, we were nervous. I'm nervous before every game but today I felt the most comfortable of all season.
#14 Anthony Morelli
Q: Talk about getting on page and really clicking there late in the second quarter...
A: Yeah it took awhile but I just told the guys to be patient cause we'll start clicking and putting points on the board. Things worked out for us.
Q: Talk about the dropped pass that came right back for a touchdown...
A: It's tough but I just tried to tell Chris Bell to keep his head up. He's a great player. People in the NFL do that kind of stuff, just move on to the next play. Just tried to keep everyone's head up and stay focused. Things worked out for us.
Q: How do you feel about the faith Joe showed in you when everyone was clamoring for you to be benched?
A: It comes with the territory and the position. You don't have such a good game once in awhile and they call for a back-up. They did the same thing when Zack (Mills) was here when I was a freshman. Things have changed now and we're taking a step in the right direction. I'm happy we got the "W."
Q: Are you in any way relieved by this?
A: It gets tough at times but like I said, it comes with the position. We're playing in front of a big crowd on national TV all the time. We handled it well and I'm happy we got the "W."
#48 Maurice Evans
So., Defensive End
Q: How good does it feel for you guys to get a win?
A: It feels really good. It's been awhile since we've gotten one. Hopefully we'll keep on rolling with it.
Q: You were in the backfield a lot today, was there anything you were able to take advantage of?
A: My main thing this week was taking off. We've been a little slow these past few weeks. The D-line rotation let's us keep each other fresh.
Q: Was there any sense of concern that this season could be slipping away?
A: When you saw the news, you started to think of different scenarios. But this whole week we've been trying fix that, change everything around, try to hopefully get a win this week, which we did.
Q: Do you think today helped at all in getting your swagger back after the loss to Illinois?
A: This game gave us a great amount of confidence. It felt good to win after coming off two losses.
#45 Sean Lee Jr., Linebacker
Q: What did you see out of Josh Hull's performance today?
A: He's a really good player. He's the type of kid who just continually works hard. He's gotten better and better. He's gotten to the point where coaches want to put him on the field.
Q: How do you think he did since it was his first real game?
A: I have to see on tape but the defensive part of his performance, I think he did well.
Q: What kind of pointers were you guys giving him this week in practice?
A: He's the type of kid who has to learn every position so a lot of times he doesn't know a position all the way. He comes to us to ask us questions. We just point stuff out to him.
Q: What's he like to play with on special teams?
A: He's surprisingly a good athlete coming in as a walk-on. When I first saw him I thought this kid is a good athlete, he's a hard worker, and he's going to make it.
#40 Dan Connor
Senior, Line Backer
Q: How good was this "W" after what has to have been a couple frustrating weeks?
A: Yeah we needed this; we need this to just get our confidence back. We had two ah tough ones on the road against two good teams so this was a big one we knew we had to win it.
Q: Was the mentality of the defense any different in terms of in wanting to make up for some disappointing things?
A: Ah, we just wanted to attack you know. Last week I feel like we got caught off guard you know. We just weren't prepared you know, starting with me and working through everyone, you know we weren't prepared for that. So we knew we wanted to come out and attack and I think we did a great job in the first half, shut them down and made them pretty much made them change their style of offense to spread it out in the second.
Q: How nice was it for you defensively off the field to see the offense do well?
A: It's a great feeling. They were running it down Iowa's throat and the offensive line did a great job and Royster and Kinlaw. It was always a relief when you can get a break and can hang out on the side lines and just watch your teammates play.
Q: When you heard that Austin wasn't going to play did the Captains, did you have to step up and say stuff to the team, how did the team react and how did you guys handle it?
A: It caught us off guard. Obviously we weren't really prepared for it and I think it's just a wake up call that we've got to watch what we do on and off the field and all eyes are on us. You know you can't make any mistakes.
Q: Illinois beats Wisconsin today, you play them next week, and Big Ten is pretty much still wide open even with two loses.
A: Yeah, yeah. We knew Illinois was a good team and I'm not really surprised. You know you have a tough one every week, that's the toughest thing about the Big Ten so you know. Next week it's not a breather you know you have to go out and play a really good ball club.
Q: What's it like being a Captain on this team this year where you've had to go through some crazy off the field things, a couple of loses, It's easy to be a captain when your winning and everything is going well how tough has it been to deal with this.
A: It's something I have enjoyed because there is so much adversity, you know, trouble off the field, trouble on the field. Losing, then people doubting the team and doubting you. So it's something that I've kind of trained for since I've been here and learned from other guys, so I welcome it and I think we're doing a great job right now.
#3 Deon Butler
Sr./Jr., Wide Receiver
Q: Deon how big was it for you guys to get back on the winning side of things after a couple of tough weeks there?
A: It's definitely big so we just get that winning feeling back in us. It just let us know that we're going to win the game at the end of the game basically you know that we can play with the lead. You know lately we've been playing kind of coming out and back from behind. But today we kind of got out to a bit of a lead so it's just good to be on the other end of things and just get that good feeling and hopefully take that to the next weekend you know and for the rest of the season.
Q: Do you think it's different, you guys really struggled early in the game and then the offense picked it up late in the first half and then into the second half, what did you do, what is the biggest difference?
A: I think a big part of it, just me personally, I think Evan Royster came in and did a great job today and got the running game going and help boost us just getting a more balanced attack going, Rodney stepped his game up, just being able to have another back and Evan stepping up was a real boost for us.
Q: Speaking of that was the Austin Scott thing a distraction to you guys at all as you got ready for the game today?
A: Umm, I mean not really. I mean we don't really know what's going on, you know the coaches or whoever is investigating all of that stuff they have to deal with that. But we don't really know what's going on today, but we just came out to play.
#2 Derrick Williams
Junior, Wide Receiver
A: For these last two weeks I haven't been taking a lot of pressure the thing is that people don't understand how hard he works and how much he works with them team with the receiving core and everything that goes on the main thing is so whenever the pressures on to look at Morelli, if they want to blame somebody, blame the whole team. Morelli is doing a great job, he did a great job today. There is nothing more you can say because people don't understand how much he works in the summer, works right now and he's doing a good job.
Q: What was it that allowed him to overcome that pressure and perform so well
A: I just think that he relaxed. He's been doing a good job. A lot of things people don't understand. It's just more then the quarterback does. There's Royster, there's myself. If anyone wants to blame anybody for the last games blame me for it. Morelli does a good job, that's why we don't have any names on the back of our jerseys, because there is no I in team. He's doing a good job.
Q: Why do you say blame yourself?
A: It's because if you want to point a finger, I just saw that Morelli works so hard in the summer, he just didn't deserve a lot of things that he's been going through for the last two weeks. He's a great Quarterback, he's done everything that needs to be done.
Q: What does a win like this mean for you guys going up against Wisconsin next week?
A: It was a big win. We played a solid team. We haven't watched the Wisconsin tape yet but I'm sure they're going to be ready just like we are, especially since they came off a loss today, so I know for a fact that it's going to be a tough game.
Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz
A: I would like to congratulate Penn State today. I thought they played very well today. They looked like a very good football team. I just told our players that our challenges are obvious. Our positives aren't quite that obvious. There really isn't much else to say right now. We just have to stay on the right path. I think we are on the right path. It is a rough path, but we will just keep working.
Q: Comment on the momentum in the fourth quarter...
A: Unfortunately, we couldn't capitalize on the interception on the sideline. Had we done something with that possession, it could have gotten a little interesting. That is what we were hoping for. It was good to see us take the ball and move it, and then score, obviously. Every experience is important for us right now. Hopefully, something will pay off for us in the near future.
Q: How frustrating was the offense today?
A: It is just hard. Everyone wants to see the offense do better. That starts with the offense. They want to move the ball. It certainly took its toll on the defense as the game wore on. As I said, the challenges are obvious, but the solutions aren't quite as easy. There is really no easy road. The only way I know is to keep working hard and studying. Sooner or later we are going or improve.
Q: How did Jake (Christensen) handle himself today?
A: I am sure he is frustrated. Every offense wants to do well. He stays on focus. He keeps his attention where it needs to be, and he stays positive. As I said, hopefully all these are all valuable experiences. I think they will be. We are all going through a tough period offensively.
Q: Can you talk about the Penn State running game today?
A: They ran the ball effectively. They executed well, and they have good backs. They have good guys up front. I don't think it was a huge factor in the first half, but it became a factor in the second half. They did a good job executing, and their guys ran hard. We weren't doing much to help ourselves offensively. Usually, if a game goes the way you want, you are able to run the ball in the second half. They were able to do that today.
Q: Did you think your team would run the ball today?
A: I thought we would have an opportunity. To be honest, I thought Penn State played better defense today than they did the past couple weeks. I don't want to coach their team, but I just thought they ramped things up a little bit today, and played better.
Q: Comment on the first Penn State touchdown pass...
A: We busted on that one. The pass on the sideline really ignited that drive. I think we had good field position on that drive, but that completion on the sidelines really hurt that drive.
Q: Was there anything on film that maybe you didn't see coming into the game from the Penn State passing game?
A: No. I really thought we played good defense until right before the end of the first half. Then they made the reception on our boundary, and then we had that busted coverage. I expected that. I thought we had two pretty good defenses playing today.
Q: Did you consider going for it on that fourth down play early in the first half?
A: We were playing field position right there. Going back, we had two pretty good defensive teams out there today. We haven't exactly been a juggernaut offensively. We just wanted to get the ball back in good shape.
Q: Is the team's confidence shaken?
A: I think that is pretty obvious. We are having a hard time moving the football. I think we are a resilient group. We have a great attitude. They are a great group to work with. Nobody wants to hear this, but we have been in this situation before. Only an outsider would say it is hopeless. But everyone on the team and on the staff thinks differently, and that is all that counts. We have six games left. We have a lot of improving to do yet.
Q: Can you talk about Brett Greenwood's game?
A: He did some very good things. He had some first game mistakes out there also, but he did some good things. He is a guy who works hard. It is a tough, tough place to step in. There is no time like the present.
Iowa Player Quotes
#6 Jake Christensen
Q: What got you into rhythm in the fourth quarter?
A: We had to commit to the pass, by throwing the ball every play it is a lot easier to get into a rhythm.
Q: Why were you out of the rhythm in the first three?
A: We were trying to run the ball in the first half. They weren't buying it. They were stuffing us.
Q: What were they doing to keep you guys slow on offense?
A: Just playing good. They just lined up and beat us. There is no explanation.
Q: What is the mental attitude like in the locker room?
A: Our objective is to go out and win every week. That never wavers. We have lost four in a row. I think that is where we are at right now. But we are mentally down right now. We are all going to bounce back. I think we are all pretty confident.
#47 Mitch King
Junior, Defensive Lineman
Q: What changes did you think Penn State made after a slow start?
A: They made plays. We did well, but it wasn't good enough. In order for us to win, our defense needs to shut them out and not allow them to have points on the board. We didn't do our job defensively and like you said, they started making plays and moving the ball. It's frustrating and we defensive guys need to keep it stout.
Q: With the offense struggling, do you come into the game with the mindset of holding a team under 13 points?
A: We always want to hold them to zero. But it's not always going to happen against an opponent like Penn State. You know, they have a lot of playmakers, and they utilized them and they did a good job today.
Q: How frustrating is it for the defense? You are out there constantly.
A: It's tiring more than anything. I mean we get tired, and like I said, the coaches know that and they are giving us breaks. They need to make sure that we are fresh in the fourth quarter and today they did a great job in doing that. I think we felt good across the board.
Q: What about Penn States last drive in the first half?
A: Well, they had some big plays with the draws and screens. You can't let them have big plays like that. They are routine plays and they just made them.
#20 Bryan Mattison Senior, Defensive End
Q: It seems like Penn State just wore you guys down out there.
A: I think everyone it gets tired in a football game. We condition all year long. We should be able to play a whole game.
Q: You have now lost eight straight Big Ten games. How do you feel about that?
A: Not good. Nobody goes out to try to lose. So we just got to go back to work and just get some things corrected.
Q: Is it hard when the offense struggle and you guys double your possession out there.
A: I'm not going to sit here and throw punches at the offense. They are out there trying. We all have to get better. Both sides of the ball. We just got to put a game together.