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Nov. 15, 2008
Coach Joe Paterno Quotes
Q: Can you assess the play of your offense?
A: I think we were sloppy at times in the first half. Indiana played hard but gave us a lot of opportunities to really put it away early. But we didn't do a very good job with that, so I think we were sloppy. I think we were okay in the second half. We could be better. We made some mistakes. I think the second half was good for us because we knew we didn't play very well in the first half offensively. And even the touchdown that they got was a sloppy play defensively. It was careless. I think it will be good for us. The team coming in here next week might be the best team in the league right now.
Q: Daryll Clark has three turnovers today, are you worried about his confidence?
A: No, that is one of the reasons I kept him in there. I figured he has to work his way through some of that. We are going to talk a lot about the fumbles. He had the two fumbles and that's just carelessness. Sometime you have those days. He has had some problems, but I think he needs to work his way through it.
Q: Daryll Clark is a sensitive kid and he seems to take things very hard, are you approaching how you deal with him differently?
A: I told the whole football team that none of us did a good job last week. I certainly didn't. It was a team thing. I told him to go out there and have some fun. Relax. You don't have to carry the whole team yourself. It's as simple as that.
Q: Could you assess the play of your special teams today?
A: I thought that was where the game was probably turned around. Their kicking game has really hurt them. I think ours played very well.
Q: What do you have to do to get off to a better start on offense?
A: We are doing some things a little different and sometimes it takes a while to get adjust to it. That's still an excuse. We should be better to start off. We had been earlier but the last couple of games, we haven't. A lot of people didn't think that we got off to a good start versus Iowa, but I would disagree with that. We didn't put the ball away. We didn't put it in the end zone but when you keep the ball for 23 minutes in a half, you have to be doing something right.
Q: Josh Gaines started but did not stay in the game for long, is he still bothered by the injury?
A: He's not 100 percent. He was going to try to make a go of it, but he's got the ankle injury.
Q: How about Evan Royster, is he hurt?
A: He gets banged up once in a while. We have got to get Green some work. Didn't Royster carry the ball 15-18 times today? I don't know; I haven't seen the stats. Green is a really good prospect and he isn't going to get any better sitting on the bench. He has got to play some. And the other kid, Beacham, is a good back. You try to get some of the young kids involved. Royster isn't a 235 or 240 lb. back who is going to run over people. He has to do things with his feet and his eyes, so we have to keep him healthy.
Q: Deon Butler became Penn State's career receptions leader today, can you talk about what that means to him as a former walk on?
A: We are going through a period in this country where a lot of things that people didn't think could happen have happened. I think that when a kid like that comes in here as a walk-on and he turns out to be as good as he is, it's great. I think we have to be careful where we place kids in there lives and what's in store for them and what we pre-ordain for them. He had scholarships to smaller schools but his father and mother footed the bill and made the sacrifices because he wanted to go to a place like Penn State. They are not wealthy people. They have a nice home and his father has a good job. He has an older brother who is a college grad. So, I think it's a tribute to the family. I think that the fact that he was a walk-on and is now the Penn State receptions leader is something we can brag on and let a lot of people know about.
Q: Is there a fine line you walk with your quarterback, whether or not you stick with him when he makes a mistake?
A: I didn't think Clark was struggling that much. What are you talking about, struggling? He made a couple of nice runs. He fumbled the ball on the one-yard line and then fumbled the other one. It was a tough ball to throw. And he threw the one interception and we threw the ball something like 25 times. I don't think that was a bad effort. He threw a touchdown pass.
Q: Had you planned to get Pat Devlin into the game?
A: I wanted to play Pat. I was going to try to give him a whole quarter because I think Pat is a good prospect. He is a good quarterback in his own right. But I wouldn't agree with you that Clark didn't have a good day. He might not have had a great day but it wasn't a bad day.
Q: Do you feel your defense was able to bounce back after last week?
A: I thought the defense played a very strong game except for that one play. In all fairness to Indiana, they are a banged up football team right now. They are fighting for an identity. Their quarterback is very, very quick but they have troubles throwing the football.
Q: You said that Michigan State might be the best team in the conference, what brought you to that conclusion?
A: The way that they are playing. They have won nine games already and they have beaten some pretty good football teams. I haven't seen a lot of Michigan State. I would be dishonest if I told you otherwise but with the replays of all of the games, I may have seen them play a couple of games. They have a great running back. Their quarterback is getting better all of the time. They have a great tight end and a good kicking game. And they play hard and play well. I just get the feeling that they are playing as well as anyone in the league.
Q: Mike Lucian played for Stefen Wisniewski in the second half, is Wisniewski still hurting?
A: He is hurting a little bit and he wasn't playing really well. And Lucian deserves a shot. He plays both guard positions and center on offense and he can be a back-up nose guard on defense in a jam and he practices hard, so you like to give him a shot. Wisniewski was having a little trouble, so we thought we would play Lucian.
Q: Next week's game is for the Big Ten title, would you like to be on the sidelines?
A: I would like to, but I won't. I can't. I am going to have to get something done with this thing as soon as the Michigan State game is over. The next day, probably. I just wish we could talk about my football team instead of my leg.
Q: Have you given any thought to the possibility that next Saturday could be your final game at Beaver Stadium?
A: Nah. I haven't even thought about it.
Penn State Player Quotes
Q: How angry, if at all, was your defense after the way last week's game ended?
A: Angry is not the word. I think they just want to come out and get back to playing good solid defense. Coach (Paterno) had talked to them about coming out and having a swagger again, feeling good about yourselves and doing those things. I tell them all the time there's no paybacks. The only people you try to pay back are those that have helped you along the way. It's not about paybacks or angriness, it's just getting back to playing football and making plays. Today, Mark Rubin stepped up and made a play.
Q: How much do the seniors on your defense have they meant to this program? They've got a shot to get their second Big Ten Championship.
A: They came here when we were not doing so well and have the chance to win the Big Ten twice. Having the chance to win the Big Ten twice has been quite an accomplishment for this group.
Q: I know it's easy to talk about moving on from a game, but I imagine the Iowa game, like the Michigan game a few years back, you have to accept the fact that you're going to live with those games for a while?
A: You know, it's disheartening, but you can't look back or you're going to miss the opportunity in front of you. We've got to put that behind us and get moving on. We started off today a little sluggish. I was really disappointed in the one big play. That was kind of disheartening. I thought we could have taken control of the game right there and then we gave them an easy one.
Q: Can you talk about the play of Odrick and how he's come along this season?
A: Everybody forgets we lost him last year in the third play of the game against Indiana. He makes a huge difference. I think he's a guy who's playing really well who doesn't get enough recognition on this defense. I think he's one of the outstanding three-techniques in the country. He comes to play every game. He means a lot to us.
#57 A.Q. Shipley
Q: I saw you talking to Clark after his second fumble. You were right in front of him for quite awhile. What were you trying to tell him?
A: I just told him to go out and play. I said, "You know, don't think about it. Yeah, you had a fumble, whatever, you've got to let it go, you've got to keep playing. You can get down on yourself for a second, but don't let it dwell and don't sit there and hang your head on it." I told him to just go out and play. He's pretty tough on himself sometimes because he wants to do everything. He's been great all year it's just sometimes he makes a fumble or throws and interception and you've got to be quick to forget about things.
Q: If you look back to the beginning of the season and you had one game to win the Big Ten Championship, obviously you guys would have taken it. How have you now adjusted your goals after what happened last week?
A: You've got to go out and take it one game at a time. We know it's a one-game season. This one-game season will put us as Big Ten Champs for two times in the four years we've been here. You can't ask for anything more than that. I think we'll be the first senior class to win two Big Ten titles in the four years we've been here, so we just have to go out and focus on Michigan State and then, as Joe says, wait in the clubhouse and see what happens.
Q: Your job is to open holes for Royster, but when he scored on that 19-yard touchdown and he's breaking tackles up the middle, how impressed are you by his ability to get out of trouble?
A: He's unreal. He really is. We give him that crack, and he's on his own with the safeties and the pursuit. He does such a great job of making those guys miss. For him to be able to get into the end zone, just watching that, it was a phenomenal run.
#3 Deon Butler
Gr./Sr., Wide Receiver
Q: You've been hearing about the receptions record for a while, did you do anything special?
A: It was so early in the game. It's tough to make a big ceremony out of that when you've got a tough football game ahead of you. I was glad we kept moving from there but now everyone is talking about it, so that's a good feeling.
Q: How do you feel about next with such a big game on your senior day as a senior walk-on?
A: It's definitely going to be a big thing and a great feeling to walk out that tunnel for the last time, especially with the guys I've came in here with. We've played a lot of football, so our emotions are going to be running high. I think the crowd is really going to be into it. Plus, there's a lot on the line, so I think next week is going to make for a great atmosphere. The guys are going to be really focused and ready to go.
Q: Is it beyond your wildest dreams the fact that you were a walk-on, a defensive player initially, to break an all-time record here at Penn State?
A: I don't think coming in anybody would have thought that, or even myself, but I've just worked hard since I've been here, paid attention to details and it kind of seems like I've snuck up on the record just year after year with more catches. There was no burst or anything. Bobby Engram had a 1,000-yard season and I've just kind of been steady throughout. It's just a great feeling to finally get it over with now since people have been talking about it, and it's something I can definitely look back on.
Q: Is next week going to be especially emotional for you guys in the receiving corps, having
A: We've played so much football and been together so long. We're missing our one guy Justin (King), he left a little early on us, but besides that, us three have been together for a long time. Emotionally, I'm definitively going to be running high. Everyone's talking about what they're going to do. I already told them I might cry. I'm not going to hold it back. It's a special place and to be able to run out of the tunnel for the last time, you never think it ends when you're here, so it's definitely going to sink in next week.
#23 Kevin Kelly
Sr. /Sr., K
Q: Can you talk about the role special teams has had the last few weeks and how confident you are going into your last week?
A: Special teams have been huge, especially today with the field position more so than points. We got a chance to do a pooch punt on the field goal and Jeremy (Boone) had great punts all day. The field position really set them back and that just allowed the defense to do what they needed to do. It helps us out offensively because they are always punting from deep in their territory. The past couple games have been the same way ever since Wisconsin when we had that big special teams game. It's just continued. Field position is going to be huge for next week too so we're going to have to keep it up.
Q: How big of a factor was weather this week and last week in these past two games for you guys on special teams and overall around the board?
A: Last week was definitely a lot worse just because of the wind. I'd take the rain any day over that wind and the temperatures. Today was actually pretty good. The footing was awesome. It wasn't bad today compared to last week. It's night and day almost.
Q: As a senior on this team, how are you guys confidence-wise and how are you feeling going into this Big Ten Championship game?
A: Our confidence is fine. It was fine this week, too. It was just more of a shock thing just because we've worked so hard and to slip up just a little bit, we didn't play well and still had a chance to win last week. Once the game was over with, everybody put the game behind them. We did it well this week and our confidence was as high as it was.
# 2 Derrick Williams
Sr. /Sr., WR
Q: Was there any kind of hangover from the Iowa game?
A: I don't think so. Everyone is saying that there might have been a hangover. We just came to play. That Iowa game is behind us. We still have a game in front of us and a tough game against Michigan State.
Q: It's been said that you and Justin (King) coming here kind of helped rebuild the program a little bit. How do you feel about that notoriety that you and Justin felt as top recruits here?
A: For me personally, that was something that I was looking forward to. I wasn't recruiting, I was trying to go out there and put out big numbers with stats. I was just trying to help the team out and leave my presence on the team. It just wasn't me and Justin. It was guys like A.Q. Shipley, Tyrell Sales, and everybody else like that who's been through the program that was ready for a change.
Q: Can you believe next week is going to be your last game?
A: It's hard to believe because I feel like I just came here. It's been a great experience. If we win next week, that's going to be 40 games in four seasons. That's incredible. There's not too many teams that can say that. I think there might be six teams in the country (who have done that). Everything that I set out to do, I've accomplished with the help of my teammates and it's been a great time.
#64 Rich Ohrnberger
Sr. /Sr., G
Q: Did you guys feel a need to come out here today to put some points up considering last week's loss?
A: Absolutely. Our goal in the first half was obviously to score more points than we did. But you know, we play offensive line and our focus is to set the tone physically and I think we did that. We came out and we were taking any shots we could have to be as physical as possible with these guys. I think it helped because we wore them down a bit. They're a good front seven and we came out with bad intentions today.
Q: What was Daryll's (Clark) mindset in the huddle after some of those incompletions and turnovers?
A: You know either he's a great actor or he is really that poised because he seems unaffected. He'll throw an interception or throw an incompletion and he's back in the huddle with the same energy, the same leadership as he was the play before. He does a great job with that and he continues to be a huge asset in our offense.
Q: Next week you're playing for a Big Ten title and a shot at the Rose Bowl. It's also Senior Day. Can you reflect on what that means to you?
A: It didn't really strike me until the bus ride over today that this was going to be one of the last times I do this. It's one of those things that I don't know how I'm going to react to it. I know that everything's on the line and I know it's my last time, and I'm going to anything I can personally and I know my team feels the same way. I'll let you know after the game.
#34 Nathan Stupar
Q: Could you feel the energy change on the sidelines?
A: Definitely, the offense came out and after that things started to pick up. The defense started to pick up and the ball just started to roll
Q: Was a game like this due to the confidence of your specialty teams?
ö= A: Special teams are a crucial and important part of football. If you don't have a good special teams you really won't do that well. Having a good special teams boosts our team every which way because it gives the offense good field position and also just gets the crowd and us into it.
Q: Nate, as a team are you almost glad to get this one out of the way and now have Michigan State and knowing what's on the line there?
A: We take each game at a time. This game was a big game for us. We stuck it to them in the second half, but every game is big to us and I think we're even more excited now for Michigan State coming to our house and we'll see what happens. This could be a big game because it's for the Big Ten Championship.
#43 Josh Hull
Q: After the frustration of Iowa driving in for the winning score last week, what's the mindset coming in today and how do you feel like you performed today?
A: We just had to get back to playing Penn State defense. Everyone has to play their own assignment and not worry about if someone else is making mistakes and I think we really did that today. Defensive line really did a great job keeping the offensive line off the linebackers; we were able to flow free the whole game and make a lot of tackles.
Q: Comes down to one game now, how big will that game be next week?
A: It's huge. Our whole season is resting on this game next week. We're going to spend the next seven days preparing and we're going to come out and give them the best Penn State football team that they can face. We're really looking forward to it.
Q: Is that the type of defensive performance you guys wanted to bounce back with?
A: Absolutely, we got our swagger back today. First half I feel like everyone was sitting around waiting for somebody else to make a big play. In the second half we came out and got our swagger back and everyone was doing what they needed to do.
Q: How tough was it coming into this game coming off that loss at Iowa and getting refocused and still playing for what's ahead of you guys?
A: I mean I don't think it was that difficult. A national championship is obviously where we wanted to be. The Rose Bowl is nothing short of what we wanted; we can still play for the Rose Bowl. We have one more game to take care of and we're going to bring everything that happened into next week.
#59 Aaron Maybin
Jr./So. Defensive End
Q: How important was it to come out and make a statement win like today after the events of last week?
A: Well I think it's definitely important to come out and make sure we played a fundamentally sound game. We came out and tried our best to eliminate mistakes that we made in the week before and played with a lot of poise and just played our game
Q: With Josh Gaines being as limited as he was, what did that do for the responsibilities for the rest of the guys on the line?
A: Obviously some key players had to step up and contribute and make some big plays in key situations. I think a lot of our guys were able to do that. Some of the younger guys played a little earlier than they usually would play in the games but I think everybody did a great job of stepping up and doing what they had to do and playing hard.
Q: How much emphasis was there to close out on third down and get off the field?
A: It was very important for us. That was one of our problems last week; we let them convert entirely too many third downs. So, we wanted to make sure on third down we were on top of our stuff. That we put adequate pressure on the quarterback and forced them to make some decisions and got them off the field.
Q: Joe thought the Michigan State might be the best team in the Big Ten, have you seen much of them at all?ó
A: I've watched a few of their games and they're very talented. They're definitely a team with a lot of talent and a lot of guys that play hard, that hustle. You can tell they have a good work ethic, never give up on a game so it's going to be a tough game for us but we look forward to that kind of stuff.
#24 Jordan Norwood
Sr./Sr., Wide Receiver
Q: How do you prepare for an important Big Ten game against Michigan State next week?
A: Doing the same thing we do every week. We watch a lot of film, and we remain focused all week, just because there is a lot at stake. We will go into it the same way we do every week and we will work hard this week.
Q: Can you reflect on next week being your last home game at Beaver Stadium?
A: It's kind of unfortunate. It's a sad to have this come to an end. It has been great for myself. I have met a lot of great guys. I have known a lot of guys these last four years. It will be a great way to end it.
Q: Can you talk about the way you and Clark connected well today?
A: It was just the reads he took in my direction. But as a receiving core, we had a pretty good game I thought. He completed passes to a lot of us. That is just the way the game went and fortunately we were able to get the win.
Q: What are your thoughts on Clark's performance?
A: I think he played very well. We will watch the film and see what we need to improve on. There are things he can do different and things I can do different so we will both have to correct those things.
#17 Darryl Clark
Q: Did it take a little bit longer today to get last week out of your system?
A: Yes it did a little bit, because last week really stunk, it really hurt. But, like I said last week, we have a lot of leadership and confidence. We didn't start of fast today, but we still got the job done.
Q: How well do you think you threw the ball today?
A: Some of my passes came out of my hands bad. The ball was a little wet today, but at certain times when we needed to throw the ball, we were able to make some completions and I was able to handle the ball. But, I'm still not very happy with my performance today. I had three turnovers today. That cannot happen. I just get upset and I get very frustrated with the turnovers because I work very hard to make sure we do things the right way. I want to help, not hurt this team. But you have to have a short memory, get out there and make some plays.
Q: Do you have a short memory?
A: Yes. Yes.
Q: Are you 100 percent?
A: Yep. I am fine.
Q: Did the wetness of the ball have any effect on your fumbles?
A: The first fumble, I thought I had it tucked, but one of the defenders got a hold of it and ripped it out. The second one, I had both hands on it, but I never really hand a hand under it. So a defender came up and slapped it out. So it can't happen. I am really upset about that. All we needed to do today was win though, and that's what we did. Now we just have to be ready for next week.
Q: The loss last week stung. Do you worry that the guys may have stopped believing?
A: No. That's where the leadership steps in. Each and every person on this team has worked hard for what we have been doing as a team. It's all about bouncing back. This game was important for us as well as next week.
#9 Mark Rubin
Q: You guys didn't play your best today, so how do you stay focused next week?
A: We need a crisp practice every day next week. I feel like we know we definitely made a lot of mistakes. At the same time as a team, we played well as team. So we need to fix those mistakes, and we will this week.
Q: Can you guys talk about the opportunity you have for Pasadena?
A: We are tremendously ready and excited for it. If you would have told us at the beginning of the season that we were playing for the Big Ten title next week, then that is pretty much everything we could have asked for. We just have to have a great week of practice. Michigan State knows they have an opportunity as well for the Rose Bowl, so this is what Big Ten football is all about.
Q: Can you talk about how you guys have to stay focused?
A: Well today was a good win for us. There is still a lot more football. We have one more game in the regular season. So we will soak this one in today and tomorrow, and then get ready for Michigan State.
Indiana Head Coach Bill Lynch
Opening Statement: Well I thought our kids gave a great effort against a very good football team. The first half we really battled them and we battled some tough field position and it was 7-10 at half. We just couldn't get anything going offensively in the second half. That is one thing that, and we knew it coming into today, you think of Penn State and you think about their great offense and all of their weapons, but their defense is a great defense. We just couldn't get anything going against it. I certainly do think that our kids gave a great effort across the board so I am proud of them.
Q: Struggling in the second half has been a theme this season, do you see anything occurring there?
A: Honestly, I think it was Penn State today, I really do. I think as we went through the week in preparation looking at them they are statistically that way. You have to do more than we did and there is no question about that. I think they are a great defensive team. I think the biggest thing offensively is again, we just haven't had the continuity week by week and practice by practice to progress offensively the way that we would have hoped. I think when you play a great defensive team like that it catches up with you and I think that is what happened today. Even though we had some guys back, they hadn't practiced a lot.
Q: Was Ben Chappell a precaution?
A: Yeah, we were smart there. Kellen (Lewis) I think threw it well, though he tweaked it at the end of the first half, but he was good enough to go the second half. We were not going to put him in danger, but at the end we wanted Mitch to get a few reps. It wasn't that Kellen got hurt worse, but we went into it with the idea that we were not going to play Ben.
Q: Can you talk about what went right in the first half?
A: I just think that they came in here and they got after them and they weren't intimidated by the environment. Obviously great respect for Penn State, they came in here and played the game. I thought the defense flew around. The offense got enough first downs in the first half and we tried to slow the game down a little bit and use the clock and we did that. We didn't score a lot of points, but we were able to get that one big play and we were hoping to get another big play or two in the second half and we didn't. I think we started inside our five, maybe four times in the first half. If you would have told me that here with it 10-7 at half I would have thought our kids played pretty hard and I think that is kind of what happened.
Q: What do you think are the biggest differences between this year's Penn State defense and last year?
A: I don't know. I mean obviously we studied that last year too. We made some plays on them last year. Kellen got loose and made some long runs. They are awfully good and they were good last year, but this group this year, their defense really plays on a mission. No one really has scored too many point on them throughout the year. They are really good up front. Physically they are big, strong, fast, and well coached. They always have big linebackers and their secondary is solid.
Q: Can you talk about the progress your younger guys have made, such as Chris Adkins and Jones?
A: Well I think we made progress today. I think it starts with the effort that they play with. I thought our defense up front played well. A week ago we couldn't stop the run. I don't know what the numbers are today, I know they got a lot on that reverse at the end, but we really played well upfront against the run. I thought our linebackers were very active. I thought we tackled better. Then our secondary, they hung in there. Mosley and Kleinsmith are kids that are beat up, but they are playing. Kleinsmith hadn't been able to practice a lot during the week either, but they hung in there. I thought the young corners played well. I know Chris (Adkins) got beat on the one in the first half, but against a team like that with those weapons you know they are going to make some plays on you. So overall I thought they played well.
Q: For the younger guys, how important is it to play a team like Penn State?
A: I think each week you gain and you learn and you try to get better. Obviously playing a great team like Penn State in this environment and leave and feel like you competed is progress which you can certainly build on. I am not excited about the final score, and shoot, you come in with visions of a win. I do like the effort and the way we battled today.
Q: You guys are coming in here next year, can you imagine Joe Paterno not coaching this team?
A: No, I really can't. I can't imagine that. They are Penn State. I grew up watching Penn State football and coach Paterno and some great teams and they are still a great, great team on both sides of the ball. They have the whole package.
Q: What was said at halftime? What were the guy's reactions?
A: I thought the energy was good at half time. We just couldn't move the ball on offense and get any first downs to keep their offense off the field. When we got a turnover we couldn't take advantage of it.
Q: Will Ben Chappell be available your next game?
A: I hope so. I feel pretty good that he will.
Indiana Player Quotes
#76 Rodger Saffold
Q: Rodger, things have seemed to change so much in the second half this year, what do you attribute to that?
A: Basically we just have to go out there and finish our games. We have good game plans, we execute well in the first half. So we just have to continue to execute and continue to work hard in the second half.
Q: Was the defense doing anything differently to slow you guys down?
A: Penn State is a very good defensive team. They have a lot of different things that can hold you up. But I thought we were able to hold them. But basically what it comes down to is execution.
Q: You were only down three points at halftime, what were the halftime adjustments?
A: We just wanted to go out there and continue with our previous game plan. We have to score some points, and that is what we tried to do.
Q: It seemed like you guys were trying to run the ball to shorten the game, was that something you guys tried to do?
A: It was raining pretty badly outside. We have had a lot of problems, the ball was squirting everywhere. All types of turnovers, so in that type of a game you want to run the ball more.
#57 Jamie Kirlew
Sr./Jr., Defensive End
Q: Why is this team unable to score in the second half?
A: I don't know, I thought we had a great first half. During half time we were psyched about the way the game was going. Like you said, something in that third quarter, we just do not capitalize on our opportunities.
Q: Why is this a common theme in the second half?
A: We came in psyched and we were ready to play strong, but there were a couple of calls that didn't go our way, but we can't control what we can't control. We didn't capitalize on the opportunities.