Nov. 10, 2007
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I thought we played a good solid game. Temple started well, and they had a couple of shots at it, and they didn't get them and that was obviously discouraging to Al and the Temple kids, but I thought we played a solid football game. Temple's got a nice squad. They are going to be okay.
What happened with Evan Royster?
He's got an ankle sprain. I'm not sure how serious it is.
Can you tell us about Rodney Kinlaw going over 1,000 yards today?
I'm happy for him, and he's really tired, and one thing he's never forgotten even when things weren't going his way, when he came to practice, he practiced. He's always been a 100 percent. In fact some times he tried so hard, he was always trying to make something happen. Just like the one play today he could have gotten in there and gotten a two-yard gain and lost six on it, I think. That's what he used to do to us all the time. But he's gotten now where he's more disciplined, he's smarter, he's seeing things better and it's nice to see a kid who works as hard as he has.
Did Temple play better today than what you thought they would?
They did some things that really hurt them, but I thought they played hard. Their defensive line until they got tired at the end. They really played well. Their receivers are quick. So, I think that they have a good solid football team, and they are playing without their quarterback who I really liked coming out of high school, and he went down south to play baseball. So I think they are solid, Al just keeps picking away at things, and I think they are going to be good.
What do you think of the response of people in Philadelphia with Penn State coming here for the first time in so many years?
We have so many Penn Staters from here, and obviously our students can't get tickets to the games at home because of the demand. So I think when we get a chance to come to Philadelphia, the kids have an opportunity to see us play and get to see their friends. I think it's great, obviously it's great for us, and I think it will help Temple.
Can you evaluate Anthony Morelli's day?
I think he had a good day. Just the one interception. I was a little annoyed. He had another guy wide open. But other than that, I think he played a good, solid football game.
On his fumble:
I don't know. I mean you can't look at all of the negative stuff; he had some great throws today. He made a couple of really big time catches for him, but I think overall we played well.
On Derrick Williams: What's different about how you played the game, are you trying to give him the ball a little bit?
Not really. We go in trying to take what they give us. I think the whole operation is a little bit smoother than it's been, because of the fact that the same guys have stayed healthy, knock on wood and will stay healthy. So I think it's a question of if they give us wins. We take them plus the fact that we are running the ball well. We didn't do it early in this game, but we did it overall, I don't know how many yards we had. But I think when you start to run the ball a little bit, they start to bring more people around the ball and throwing the little flares out to them and all that kind of stuff. So I think it's a question of having balance, my favorite word as you guys know.
Are you concerned about your tailback not being able to play next week?
Well, sure. I think (Brent) Carter is a pretty good player. I got a freshman kid that I've been trying not to use that we are going to keep out it if we can. I'll worry about that when I have to.
What kinds of adjustments were made at the half?Your defense played a lot better the second half:
Well, we did get a little sloppy early. I was a little bit annoyed, I didn't know if we played with a lot of intensity, and we didn't tackle real well the first half. We stood there and watched them catch it, and we never attacked them when they caught those little short routes. So instead of getting four yards on the completion, they ended up making six, eight and ten and kept the football. So we talked about tackling a little more aggressively at halftime.
Can you talk about coaching against a former player?
I told him, I said 'Al, you're doing fine. You're going to have a good football team, just stay at it.' And he will. Al has done a good job here, and he needs a couple more players here and a couple more players there, but he's just where I think he'd like to be. I think his kids hustle, and they look good, and they don't have a lot of fat kids, and they have a lot of get up and go. I mean it, I'm serious about that, he's done a good job.
Have you thought about playing a neutral site game in Philadelphia?
There's got to be a reason to play in a neutral state. We really haven't discussed that. The only time we really discussed a neutral site is one time I was trying to tease Bobby Bowden and he said, "why don't we play in a neutral site" and I said, "where?
" And he said, "Jacksonville."
On where Penn State is now:
I think this game coming up is going to be a big game for us. Michigan State is a good solid football team. They had a chance to beat Michigan, and they kind of let it get out of their hands. Even against Ohio State, they were in the game until they end they just couldn't do the couple of things that they had to do. So we're in good shape. I still second guess myself, but I think overall we have done just as well as we have. We've got another game to play.
Al Golden has referenced you as a reference, anything look familiar?
I guess there are a lot of things. You can't go through a program as long as he did at Penn Sate, become captain of your team and come on your staff for three or four years and not. Hopefully there's something we did that he thought was good. Al has always been a very strong leader. I was kidding with him and Mark (D'Onofrio) before the game. I said, 'Mark, you're the only guy I've ever thrown out before stretch.'
PENN STATE PLAYER QUOTES
Dan Connor, LB
On playing close to home:
It was awesome. Coming here in front and playing in a pro stadium in front of my family and friends was great. My house is probably five minutes down the road on 95.
On Temple's three trips to the red zone:
Sometimes we just had to hold our breath.
On underestimating Temple:
We didn't underestimate them at all. We saw the tape and knew they were improved over last season.
On Temple's offense:
You have to give them credit. They had a great attack and scheme. It was one of the best offenses that we faced all season.
On the pro Penn State crowd:
Yeah, it really did feel like a home. It was great see so many Penn State fans coming to see there team play in Philly.
Anthony Scirrotto, Safety
On underestimating Temple:
We saw them on film all week and we knew that they could do some damage. We knew that they had great athletes and a great quarterback.
Derrick Williams, WR
On going over 100 yards for the first time this season:
Yeah, it felt good, I'm just trying to help out this team as best as I can. Anthony had a great game today, he gave us receivers opportunities to make plays.
Joe's worries about overlooking Temple:
Joe was very worried about it...Temple had a great team. They have a lot of coaches that where at Penn State and Coach Paterno did a great job of preparing for a big time opponent this week.
On his 52-yard catch:
It was a streak and Anothony put it up in a great potions were it was one on one.
Anthony Morelli, QB
On whether the team was looking ahead to Michigan State:
We just tried to stay focused and get a win this week.
On Derrick Williams:
He's a playmaker, he getting open and he makes it happen.
On if the two touchdowns to Norwood were his best career throws:
They were pretty good, I don't know how great they were, but they put points on the board.
Sean Lee, LB
We saw that they won some big games on the road, in the middle of the season so we knew what we getting into to. They did some good things and you really have to give them credit.
On Temple's improvement from last season:
Yeah, they have really improved a ton.... you have to give the credit to their coaches.
AJ Wallace, CB
On team focus throughout the week:
We were focused and we know we have to win out. Some of the stuff that we worked on in practice still worked for them in the game but we made good adjustments.
Rodney Kinlaw, RB
Frustrated on waiting for your turn to play:
It was frustrating but I can't control it, so I just worked hard and got my chance.
On going into the season expecting 1,000 yards despite splitting carries:
I knew if I got my chance I would be able to do it and I got my chance.
On learning to be patient over the years:
Yeah, I have just become more patient waiting for blocks and waiting for the holes to develop. It came with experience just being able to watch film and read the plays.
Al Golden, Temple head coach
How frustrating was the first half?
It's really frustrating obviously. The biggest thing is I thought our kids were focused. I thought they were ready to play, and I didn't think they backed down. I thought they came out and fought. We missed a field goal; we dropped a touchdown on a field goal fake; we had another touchdown called back from a hold; we bobbled the third and two play there at midfield which was going to be another big play; and obviously dropped an interception that could have been a touchdown, so that was disappointing. I thought we had a good design going in. I thought we played hard. You have to make plays. If you want to beat that team, you have to make plays.
On dropped play in end zone after field goal fake:
The kid has been waiting for this moment his whole life. What are you going to say to him?
I just tried to keep him focused and tell him that you can't worry about that play now, you have to move on. Somebody dropped a picture of this play from 1990 here. What a lot of people don't remember in 1990 was that I dropped a pass in the first half of that game against Notre Dame. And the coaches stayed with me, and Coach Paterno stayed with me. And that is one of the biggest things you have to do with kids, cause he needed us at that time. That kid needed us. Seventy thousand people looking as you drop the ball, so I felt bad for him. But obviously that was a big opportunity for us.
On offensive game plan and going so heavy with the pass:
Why? Have you watched them? Have you watched him on tape?Nobody can block them. Two big, strong tackles, rotating ends in there; that's a good defense. That's a good defense. They don't do a lot. They have linebackers who can run, they have safeties who can run the defense, and they have corners who can cover. That's a good defense. Nobody can run the ball. We watched every game.
On atmosphere of today's game and what is does for the city, school and from a recruiting standpoint:
It's a great environment. It's a great showcase for Lincoln Financial Field. It's obviously a great opportunity for our University. Two of the three major state universities that play Division I football came together in Philadelphia. I thought it was a great setting. It's obviously a benefit for us in recruiting. But I'm just disappointed. I thought the score didn't really indicate how we played early in the game and the number of opportunities that we had. I think that is what troubles me.
On the progress of the team this season from last year:
There is no comparison between our teams from last year to this year. There is no comparison. Every coach on their team came up to me afterward and said you can't even compare. But our offensive line really did a nice job protecting. They lead the country in sacks. I think they're one, two or three. They have 44 sacks now with two games left, so I thought our kids really battled well. We just didn't convert. But in terms of learning, I told them the significance of this game is that if I have to convince you that you can play with Penn State, then you learned nothing from this game this year. If I have to sit here and do a séance on Wednesday prior to playing at Beaver Stadium, then we really didn't learn anything today. Our guys came out, and they played hard, and they played with emotion. They didn't back down, and they played with toughness. It's not good enough to win, but it keeps you on the field for a while. We just have to make some of those plays that we did not convert.
On the initial surge coming out of the locker room:
To be honest with you, I don't know if there was an initial surge. I thought we played well the whole first half. We had two or three red zone chances and missed a field goal, dropped a touchdown, had another one called back. That's three scores, 17 points. The other play I would say was great was the third and two, because it was going to be a gigantic play. We fumbled the snap. That was disappointing. Then we come out in the second half, and our defense is playing well. We start both drives at midfield and we don't get anything. We start both drives at midfield and don't get anything. We were still fired up to play in the second half. But once it gets to 24 and the clock is ticking, it's another story.
On what it says about the team playing against Penn State:
It says that we have learned how to do that now. That's the prerequisite. Now we have to win some of those games. Get that down to one year now. I want everyone to understand that I'm pleased with that. I'm pleased that in one year we went from those games being 62-0 where guys actually have to apply the brakes, so it doesn't get to 100, to the point where now we can play football and we look like a football team in the first half. That is important. We lose one guy off that field today. We lose one scholarship player who is going to leave that field for us. We're adding 25. So you do the math. We're playing with a JV team right now.
Did you feel you had to convince the team that they could play against Penn State?
I don't think we're out of the woods yet. We have to convince them to believe. We had done it at Connecticut. I think this team is a better ball club than that Connecticut team. But there was evidence to draw from. I think that was why it was so significant to do that at Connecticut. In terms of our learning and our growth and our development, I'm not concerned about 31-0. We could have tried field goals and all that crap. I don't care about that. I think our guys will take this away in terms of the types of things that we have learned from this experience.
On Quarterback Vaughn Charlton:
I thought he played pretty well. He made some good throws. He misconnected on a few, he dropped a few. But I thought he did a pretty good job. Obviously they have active linebackers and a big time pass rush.
On the defensive line:
I think our defensive line is going to be good. We don't lose anybody. I'm not discouraged about where we're going with our team. This isn't going to be solved really quickly. We have reinforcements coming. We have a freshman class of 25, and like I said we only lose one. I know Penn State is coming back, too, but we are playing with an extremely young team. They release a three deep depth chart and they only have two true freshmen. We redshirt some guys, and I think that's when we'll start to develop a program. That's the plan.
On playing against Paterno:
Does that mean I'm going to tell my grandchildren?
I lost 31-0. Someone is going to put it in the paper tomorrow, but we lost 31-0. The guy has meant a lot to me and my family, and the choice I have made in terms of this profession, and the impact I have on young people, and he has taught me how to be a leader. So if that's the significance of it, that is great, because that is what he did.