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Oct. 28, 2007
Penn State coach Joe Paterno
Q: Was there a point where you felt things started to get away from you guys or what's your general assessment?
A: We couldn't stop them. That's a good football team. They played really well. I thought at halftime, we had a shot at it because they were kicking off to us. But, we couldn't make it happen.
Q: Down 17-7 late in the first half with about two minutes left and you were at the (38)-yard line with a fourth-and-two, what was the thinking (to punt)?
A: My thought on that was, I didn't want to turn it over with two minutes or something to go like that because we weren't playing that good defense and I knew we were going to get the ball to start the second half. I thought about going for it but I knew they were going to kick off to us and I thought if we went in at 17-7 that we still had a good shot at it.
Q: Can you talk about the Ohio State offensive line? You guy didn't seem to get a whole lot of pressure on Boeckman?
A: We didn't get any pressure on him. And then when we did go after him, he did a good job of dumping it off and they hit that one screen on third-and-13 for the touchdown. They did a good job. I mean, you've got to give them credit. That's a good football team and they played very well. They caught the ball well, he (Boeckman) threw it well and they protected him well. I thought we did a pretty good job against a tough running game but we obviously didn't do well against their passing.
Q: How do you feel about the play of your secondary tonight?
A: I hate to start talking about one aspect of it. Offensively, they were just one step ahead of us all night. You can't starting blaming the secondary or this guy or that guy. You've got to give Ohio State credit. They played a heck of a football game.
Q: This is the second week in a row that the secondary has had some trouble. Is it troubling to you to see that? Do you think it is a trend?
A: I'll have to take a look to see what happened. We've had trouble against two teams that have had good days against us. That kid at Indiana had a good day and this kid (Robiskie) - they're good. Robiskie was the guy that literally turned the ballgame around against us last year when he caught that ball in the back of the end zone on a third-and-12 play. So, as I said, they were good and we just didn't do some things that maybe could have changed the tempo of the game but that's second-guessing. It might have been worse if we had tried something else. I don't know. They just played a good game. What more can I tell you? He (Boeckman) was good. The offensive line gave him protection. Now if that's a trend, I don't know. I don't know if there's many teams that are as well-balanced, offensively, as this team is because they do have a couple of really strong running backs. So, you can't take too many people out of the box or they'll run the ball down your throat. So, you have to kind of play cat-and-mouse with them. But I was impressed with them.
Q: Can you talk about your decision to take Morelli out after the interception?
A: The only reason I took him out was I wanted to play Clark a little bit. I thought by that time, I thought we were out of it at that stage and I thought it would give Clark a chance to get a little work. Plus, he's an Ohio kid, and I thought it would be good for - just to get him in there and let him - because you never know when he's going to have to play.
Q: So, it had nothing to do with the interception?
A: No, absolutely not. The score was out of reach. That was the only reason. If it (the interception) had made it a 14-7 game or something like that, I wouldn't have taken Morelli out. I thought Morelli played a good game. I thought he did alright.
Q: How do you feel about the way your offense played against the No. 1 defense in the country?
A: I thought we did a pretty good job offensively, really. Trouble was, we had to get more point than I figured we'd have to get to beat them because I didn't think they'd get that many. I thought, really, we played a pretty good game offensively.
Penn State Player Quotes
Penn State vs. Ohio State
Oct. 27, 2007
#1 Justin King
Q: Was that the most balanced you have seen Ohio State play?
A: Sometimes I thought they were going to pass and they ran, and sometimes I thought they were going to run and they passed.
Q: They picked up a lot of the blitzes...
A: I was standing back there, trying to stay in coverage. They had some time and kept people in. It was just one of those days.
Q: How difficult will it be to pick up the pieces and come back after this emotional game?
A: We have great leadership. I feel like we will keep it together and come back and win our last three games. We will work hard. This is not the end of the season.
Q: Describe how you were able to knock the ball out of Brian Robiskie's hands...
A: I was reading his eyes. We were in cover three, and I expected a fade. As soon as I saw his eyes go up for the ball, I knew I could get it out. That is why I was trying to tell the refs to review it. I knew I got the ball out.
#10 Lydell Sargent
Q: What are your emotions right now?
A: This is a tough loss. There were a lot of emotions going into this game and a lot of emotions during the breaks. They played very well offensively and took advantage of a couple of things that we did. But we will be back.
Q: Did Todd Boeckman surprise you at all?
A: They pretty much ran everything that we did not see. They did not run anything we were used to or saw in tape. We adjusted to things in the second half, but they ran plays that we could not pick up on. He played well. They scored every down and did not punt at all. We did not make plays today.
Q: You usually get a lot of pressure on the quarterback and he had more time today...
A: They made adjustments on the line and with their routes. They knew what we were going to do, or at least had an idea, and they took advantage of that.
#40 Dan Connor
Q: Regarding Ohio State's third down play...
A: That is what killed us and will kill you in every game. Every single time they converted on third down. They did not punt that much at all. We have to learn from this.
Q: What was it that hurt you the most about their offense?
A: It was a mix. They ran it on us and that opened up the pass, and vice versa. They spread it out a little bit and hit a long pass, and that opened the run back up. We did not play that great as a defense.
Q: How different if their offense from last year?
A: It was different. Troy Smith could run on you. They always scheme well and go on balance a lot. They mix up their alignments, and that is tough to go against. They did a great job.
Q: What were some of the things the defense struggled with?
A: It is hard to say without looking at tape. The fact that we weren't getting three and outs is the only thing I can look at after game day. It is something we have to improve on.
#14 Anthony Morelli
Q: I know you wanted to get the ball more. What was it like to watch the defense on the field so much?
A: They are a solid football team. They move the ball well and probably are the number one team in the country.
Q: Talk about the first drive and how well you ran the ball.
A: We mixed it up well. We had them on our heels and there was great play calling. We seemed to get away from that a little bit.
Q: During the second quarter, on the fourth and two, did the offense want to stay out there for that?
A: Absolutely. There is no team in America that does not want to stay out there and go for it. That is Coach Paterno's call. That is his decision. He gets paid for that. That is all on him, not us.
Q: After that first drive, what did Ohio State do from there on out to keep the momentum?
A: They killed the clock. We were not on the field very much at all. I do not know what their time of possession was, but it had to be something crazy. We moved the ball well on offense, but just a little too late. We were down by two scores and a field goal at the end and turned the ball over.
#3 Deon Butler
Sr./Jr., Wide Receiver
Q: Is Ohio State really that good?
A: They were just solid. They were really efficient. Efficient on offense, efficient on defense. You have to bring you're A-game to beat them. They are nothing spectacular, just a solid football team. We didn't bring our A-game.
Q: What are your thoughts on the rest of the season?
A: If we win these last three, we can still get to a good bowl game. The season is not over. We just have to learn from this.
Q: What do you learn?
A: That you just have to come to play. We have to watch film and learn from those mistakes. That was a just a solid game they played, and a solid beating we took.
Q: Why couldn't you get into more of a flow?
A: Formation wise, I was getting lined up in the boundary. Ohio State plays a lot of squat which means they play two-deep in the boundary. I was getting double-teamed in the boundary.
#12 A.J. Wallace
Q: You had a high point of the game tonight, talk about that a little bit.
A: I just saw the crease early in the game when we first got the chance to return it, so I tried to do that and slipped. I just made a memory mark of that and the second time I saw it again. I tried to hit it harder and earlier and it went in my favor.
Q: Do you guys have that "never give up" attitude?
A: Absolutely, no one ever quits on this team. Everyone just goes and plays hard. Every play you play like your last. Everyone just went out fighting. We just wanted to get more points on the board and make it easier for the offense.
Q: They're the number one team in the country, how hard is this team taking that loss?
A: We went in as if it would be an upset for us if we lost. The team, we took it hard. The atmosphere is just to regroup and not dwell on it. We have another game next week and we can still make a good bowl. We can go 9-3.
#57 A.Q. Shipley
Q: What happened after that first drive?
A: Not sure really what happened. We didn't get a chance to get really good field position all night. We'd start moving the ball and moving the ball and then something would happen. It just seemed like the first drive went perfect. After that we were still moving the ball. We average six yards a carry on the ground. We just abandoned it early because we got behind.
Q: Are they as good as advertised?
A: They're a good team. Yeah, they're a good football team. They were better than us today obviously. Losing 37-17 doesn't look good.
Q: What was their defensive line like?
A: They were solid football players. Just overall, the quality was solid. Nothing really spectacular but they were solid football players.
#2 Derrick Williams
Junior Wide Receiver
Q: How disappointing was this loss considering the buildup and the hype surrounding this game?
A: I was disappointed. Ohio State played a great game. We tried our best out there and we played a good team, and today was their day. All we can do is go back and practice and try to get better.
Q: After your first drive you must have felt pretty good about yourselves and then it seems like you couldn't get traction after that?
A: Yea, the first drive was amazing. Ohio State, they had a good team, but we were practicing all week. We knew how tough the game was going to be, and they played a good game. So, the only thing we can do is try next week.
Q: You know how bad you wanted this win against the number one team in the country. How hard will it be to pick up the pieces and continue on with this season?
A: I think it's going to be pretty easy. We have a legendary coach in Joe Paterno. He's going to make sure we still work hard. We still have a lot to play for. The only thing that we can do is try to get better.
Q: Are they as good as the final score showed?
A: They beat us. There was no question. They did a good job today. Like I said, we made some mistakes as a team. They came out and they did a good job.
Q: How frustrating is it that you just can't seem to get over the hump of Ohio State, Michigan, those types of teams.
A: It's frustrating because the talent that we have is unbelievable. We just have to put it all together and I think some good things will happen.
#47 Josh Gaines
Junior Defensive End
Q: Talk about the pass protection that they had.
A: It felt like it was seven guys against five. They match protected, did a good job. They hung in there. They knew what they were doing when they came in here, they had a good game plan, and they stuck with it.
Q: How disappointing is this after all the buildup for this game.
A: It's disappointing, but we have to keep our heads up. We have to go into Monday and focus on Purdue now. We have to get ready for that game. It's a big game. This is our third loss and we have to keep fighting. We have to keep our heads up, keep going to practice and keep our heads up.
Q: Is it going to be hard to keep your heads up after this loss and to realize that you still have three games left?
A: It's a tough loss, but we can't get our heads down. If you get your heads down it just leads to other negative things. We're a positive team; we have positive guys around us. We have great coaches, so we're going to go with it, go into Monday, work hard and get ready for Purdue.
Q: Are Ohio State as good as they looked?
A: They're a good team. I'm not going to deny them, I'm going to give them the credit. They're a great team. They got up front. The quarterback played well, Wells played well. They were a good team.
Q: Coach Bradley said that he's going to look in the mirror before he starts looking at the play of the players. Did you feel like you were as prepared as you needed to be or was Ohio State just a step ahead?
A: You can't blame Coach Bradley. Everybody has to look at themselves in the mirror. I have to look at myself in the mirror. There were a couple of plays where I didn't play well. And then you have to look at the positions. You have to look at the guys playing next to you, you have to look at yourself, you have to look at the defensive line, you have to look at the linebackers. That's how it's played. Nobody played well every play. We just have to keep our heads up and get ready for Monday.
Q: Comment on the absence of Tony Davis from the lineup tonight...
A: We found out about Tony (Davis) on Friday night. Mark Rubin had been playing about 20 to 25 snaps per game and he really had to play the whole game today. We didn't' have time really to mix and match to get a backup ready for Rubin.
Q: Do you think the team will have to come out defensively and set a tempo right away against Purdue next week?
A: I think so. Purdue is awful good. They have a good offense. I think they beat Northwestern pretty good today. They can put points on the board and they can move the ball pretty well. Next week, we just have to be ready to play.
Q: How much did you struggle to set the tempo early in the game tonight?
A: We just didn't seem to get ourselves in synch tonight. Then, I thought when we were starting to get into sync defensively, we just weren't able to do it.
Q: How tough is coach Tressel to prepare for?
A: They do a lot of different things with the formations. They gave us a lot of unbalanced tonight. They gave us a lot of trips into the boundary. They gave us a lot of looks where the backside tackle is eligible. Within a plan like that there are a lot of little things you have to be ready for.
Q: How was Ohio State able to set up so many of those short third down conversions?
A: When you get in third and short situations, it is tough to handle. They got the ball in their court. The quarterback threw the ball well tonight. You have got to give them credit. He made some good throws. We just have to be a little quicker to react to some of those throws.
#20 Rodney Kinlaw
Gr. Sr., Tailback
Q: What happened to the offense's momentum after that first drive?
A: We kept coming out and playing hard. Their defense played hard. But their offense did a good job today.
Q: How good was Ohio State?
A: They were a very good defense.
Q: What was working for you guys on that first drive?
A: We were just able to run the ball. There were big holes and I was able to run through them. We just kept moving the ball down there. Morelli was completing a lot of passes. We just moved the ball down there and we got a touchdown.
Q: How frustrating was it after being stopped after that first touchdown?
A: It was frustrating because we thought we were going to be able to come out right after that first touchdown and keep the momentum going. We just slowed down too much.
Q: What did you think of Anthony Morelli's play tonight?
A: I think he did a great job. He had one bad play, but that wasn't anything major. He is the starting quarterback and we have three games left. I think he will bounce right back and lead us to three more victories.
#4 Terrell Golden
Gr. Sr., Wide Receiver
Q: Comment on the game...
A: We just played a tough game. They are a great team. They came out and executed. They played mistake-free football. They played solid offense, solid defense. You just have to get back to the drawing board on Monday. We just have to get back to work.
Q: How do make sure the team stays focused for the remaining games?
A: You just start out if you lift on Sunday, you just go hard at that. Then you work hard at practice on Monday. You just really have to pay attention to detail in films. We just have to watch what we did wrong, and see if there is anything we can do better. We just have to learn from that and carry it into next week's game and the rest of the season.
Q: What were your feelings about the passing offense tonight?
A: Sometimes the chips don't fall your way. We were making some great calls. It just so happens that sometimes they are in the right defense at the right time. We still have to execute. Sometimes, it is not your day.
Q: How frustrating was it to watch them continue to make third downs?
A: It is frustrating. You want to be on the field as an offense, but sometimes it just does not work out that way. We as an offense, also have to be the type of team that is able to punch it in on third down.
Ohio State Quotes
Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel
Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel
"It was great coming here and getting a win. Penn State is a good football team. This is a hard place to play and a hard place to prepare to play in. They came out of the gate and made it tough on us. Our kids hung in there. We did a good job of controlling the tempo of the game with our offense. I think we had 38 minutes of possession. We did a good job on third down. Unfortunately, we let a kick off return go. I thought our defense showed good poise. Penn State moved it on that early drive and not a whole bunch after that except for that one field goal drive. All in all, the kids played hard and prepared hard. That's nine ball games."
Would you hope that more people would say that you are a legitimate No. 1 team now?
"No. It doesn't matter. We have to prove whatever we are at the end of 2007. We are through nine games out of 12. We still have a lot to prove starting with game 10."
Was Todd Boeckman at his best tonight with the exception of the one interception?
"I thought he nursed that throw a little bit. He tried to slip it in there instead of throwing it with the authority that I thought he threw with the whole game. I thought he threw with good feet and had good velocity on the ball. He made good decisions and stepped up into the pocket well. I thought he played a good game. I am sure his percentage is high. I think he threw with a lot of confidence tonight and that starts with not having a whole lot of people in your face."
Chris "Beanie" Wells had another good game, what did you see out of him tonight?
"He ran hard and ran well. One hundred and thirty-three yards against these guys is pretty good. Beanie is good and I thought our offensive line did a good job. I thought they did a good job communicating despite the noise. It's tough to play in here. They are a physical football team...When his pad level is low, he is tough to handle. People have a tough time dealing with him but that means we must have pushed somebody off the ball."
Is it a big step winning in this environment?
"It's a big step winning on the road at any time. It seems like we have been on the road at night all year long or out on the west coast. It seems like we have been away from home and getting home late. It's a huge step that we have won four times on the road now. Now we have to go see how good we are at home."
How big a task was it for Todd Boeckman tonight? Were you interested in seeing how he would deal with this type of situation in this type of athmosphere?
"I felt real good about the plan that the staff put together and that it was going to be the right thing. I felt real good that Todd understood them. That is the key to me. But you have to be able to handle this environment and he did."
Could you talk about the play of the offensive line?
"I thought our offensive live did a good job. Obviously, they got enough push that Beanie (Chris Wells) got his feet to the line of scrimmage and he made some good cuts from there. They did a good job on pass protection because Todd (Boeckman) could slide up and still read without people in his face."
#33 James Laurinaitis
Q: What did you plan defensively going into this game?
A: Trying to affect Morelli and get after him a little bit. We didn't do so well in the beginning, and there are still a lot of things we did not do well that we will have to look at tomorrow.
Q: After the pass breakup in the back corner of the endzone in the third quarter, did you feel that was sort of a turning point in the game?
A: We kept pressuring him, we kept coming, we kept giving him different looks. When we made him run, that is when I think we gained some momentum. We tried to do that for the rest of the game.
Q: They came right at you, how did you handle that?
A: They did come right at us. They did some things differently. They kept running the ball well. On the sideline we just said that we had to relax and figure out what they were exactly trying to do.
Q: Did you have to make any major adjustments?
A: No you just need to find out what they are trying to run. Once you do that you just need to play defense on them. They were doing some new stuff so we just had to adjust to that.
#9 Brian Hartline
Sophomore, Wide Receiver
Q: Did you guys think you would have been so successful at this point?
A: As far as the season goes, no, I had no idea we would be this far.
Q: Why the deep cross route so much?
A: Guys are playing up tight on us. They believe that they may not be able to beat us up top. I guess we are not getting a whole lot of credit with our speed. We are taking advantage of it and we are going with it.
Q: How often do you work on it in practice?
A: Every handful of plays. Getting out there and running a deep pattern sometimes is a lot different than catching a short route, so that is practice within itself. Every three of four plays we will have a deep ball thrown.
#17 Todd Boeckman
Q: Was there anything you did to prepare for the crowd tonight?
A: Back in Columbus, we just played some music all practice, kind of getting used to it and communicating by hand signals. We did a lot of silent count out there too. So that helped out a bit too.
Q: Did you guys expect to handle the defense the way you did today? You guys did not punt once.
A: Yea it is nice when A.J. doesn't have to go out there. I think we did a good job with that today.
Q: Coach Tressel was talking about how you threw the ball with authority tonight. Is that the sign of a confident quarterback?
A: I think so. He always has told me to throw that ball with authority because a defense like theirs has good linebackers and a good secondary. We had to put our offense in the right situations.
Q: Did you feel that confidence out there tonight?
A: I think so. Just, the more and more you go, the more confident you will get. I think that goes with everybody. Just getting out there and the reps. The offensive line did a great job and you have to give credit to them.