Nov. 27, 2010
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Joe Paterno POSTGAME QUOTES
Q: Is it safe to say that penalties and mental mistakes cost you the game?
A: Well I don't know if they cost us a game but they shouldn't have had an impact on it. But every time you complain about something like that you take something else away from the other guy. Michigan State is a good, solid football team. They didn't have a real significant penalty until almost the end of the game. They got that one on the second down when they were coming down the field, but I think they overcame that. They played a good game. You have to give Michigan State credit. Yea, sure the penalties hurt us, but having said that, you want to look at one or two of them. But I don't want to take anything away from Michigan State. They are a good, solid football team and I don't want to take anything away from the Penn State football team because I think the kids hung in there all year, had their downs, but I think you saw a great football team today. You have seen good football teams most of the year, so that's the way it is.
Q: How tough was Michigan State's balanced offense?
A: They were good. (Kirk) Cousins is good. Their wide outs were good. They have a solid offensive line. I think they are good. They have a solid kicking game; they didn't make any mistakes in the kicking game. As you mentioned, they got some breaks. Well you can call them breaks, but they got help from some penalties we had.
Q: You talked about the opportunity for your young team to get a big win against a ranked team. Is there any disappointment of where you guys were at this year?
A: I don't know if there is any disappointment. I thought going into the season to be very frank with you, I thought we had a shot at being 8-4. We had some tough games that included three tough teams on the road. I thought we would probably be better than we were on that stage. We lost one game at home that I thought we would win before the season. So we were one win away record-wise of what I thought our expectation should have been with this football team. I think at the end of the year we became a good team. I thought the young kids had some chances to be in the tough games. There were some games that they were behind and they were able to come back. You had one game where we had a chance to have a very significant victory and we couldn't handle that. I think it was an up and down year. I think we had to expect the team to be a little up and down. I think we turned out to be the way I wanted, even though I thought we could've had another win or two. I think we played decent football most of the time.
Q: Can you talk about why you went for two after the last touchdown?
A: Two points would've put us within a touchdown still and not a field goal. Again, we were trying to get some momentum. I know we had to go for the onside kick. It didn't make much difference in what we did. If we would've made it, it still would've taken a touchdown to win it. We would've had to get the onside kick and score a touchdown.
Q: I know your record was similar to what you thought it would be. But did you see any progress in your team?
A: Yea, I think I tried to say that I thought maybe we did make a little more progress than I thought we would. To be frank with you, there were a couple teams that I thought would not be as good as they were. We had our ups and downs. We had troubles with those people. There were two teams that I thought would be better than they really were. There were maybe three that had their ups and downs but still played pretty good football.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about your senior class?
A: I'm going to miss them obviously. There are a couple of guys that are talking about getting into the NFL. I'm not sure whether they should or shouldn't. But I think overall it was a tough year for them and they were able to hang in there. There weren't enough of them that showed the type of senior leadership you would expect out of your senior class. We introduced, 15, 16 kids today. I don't know how many of them were walk-ons. We probably had more walk-ons who played and made contributions that we've had on any other team that I've coached in a long time.
PENN STATE PLAYER GAME QUOTES
#34 Nate Stupar
Q: Just assess the play of the defense today.
A: I think we beat ourselves today. There were a lot of opportunities and a lot of penalties that we had on ourselves. Third down stops where we had them and then let them keep driving. Overall I think we just beat ourselves.
Q: How bad did it hurt to just let them come down the field on the last drive?
A: It hurt. We had them stopped and once again we beat ourselves with that penalty. That's another seven points we could have taken away from them, and from this standpoint those seven points would have won us the game. We had a lot of opportunities that we didn't successfully take advantage of.
Q: Does it matter to you what bowl you guys end up in?
A: We'll be happy with any bowl. Anywhere we go will be fantastic. I'm glad our team worked really hard to have the opportunity to go to a bowl.
#6 Derek Moye
Sr./Jr. Wide Receiver
Q: Talk about the last drive and how everything came together for you.
A: I think we felt the pressure and knew we had to score. I wish we could have played like that the whole game. We just gave it our all and tried to get some points on the board.
Q: What was it holding the offense back for the first three quarters?
A: Honestly I couldn't tell you. I think we would have learned our lesson by now about coming out flat, but obviously we didn't. It killed us today.
Q: Was it disappointing not being able to send the seniors out with a win?
A: Yeah definitely. You want to win every game, but this game holds extra weight because it's the last time the seniors get to play in Beaver Stadium. It hurts to send them out with a loss.
#61 Stefen Wisniewski
Sr./Sr. Offensive Lineman
Q: Can you describe the run of emotions today.
A: Yeah it was really emotional. Really sad to be leaving and we're sorry about the game too. We really thought we had it coming back there and we just ran out of time.
Q: Describe how you felt when you were introduced and then how you felt when you were walking off the field.
A: It was a combination of being sad and being excited about what's coming next. But I love this place. It's been a blast and I'm sure going to miss it.
Q: The other day you said you were going to dread seeing Michigan State celebrate. You said that would be motivation to win today. Did you catch any of their celebration?
A: I saw some confetti go up. That was about all I had to see. I really thought we had a chance if we could score with at least a minute left. We didn't get the bounce we needed, but the whole team didn't quit, and you have to love that fight in us.
#11 Matt McGloin
Q: How do you feel about where the team is at now, being so close at the end of games with so many teams?
A: We are right there. Obviously today, things started off slow for us. That is an 11-1 team we played today so that shows just how close we are. Even at Ohio State, in how we played in the first half. We need to learn how to finish games and complete games.
Q: What is it about these topped-ranked teams against you guys?
A: It is nothing physical, we can play with anybody. Today is just another example of how close we are to pull out a game like this. Obviously, this is another learning experience for us and hopefully we don't forget about the season. We have a bowl game coming up and we have a lot of work left to do.
Q: How close do you guys think you are? (In winning a big game against a ranked team).
A: Well obviously we are real close to being that team. Just in bits and parts of games- the end of this game and the beginning of Ohio State. Hopefully, throughout this next month before the bowl game we can learn to play a complete game. If we can do that, we will come out victorious against whomever we are playing in the bowl game.
#19 Justin Brown
So./So., Wide Receiver
Q: Can you sum up your day today- five catches, 102 yards?
A: I guess I did pretty good. In the beginning, I was down on myself. I made a couple mistakes, but I guess that is a pretty good game.
Q: There were a lot of penalties today can you talk about that?
A: Penalties are going to hurt us in any game. In any game that we have a lot of penalties it isn't good. That did hurt us today.
Q: How to you assess this season?
A: I don't think that it is right to the seniors, to go out 7-5 compared to what we did last year. We just have to keep fighting and get ready for a bowl game.
#19 Brett Brackett
Gr./Sr., Wide Receiver
Q: What was running through your mind during Senior Day today from start to finish?
A: It went by fast, everything, from career to season to the game, everything.
Q: You guys were fighting until the end. When they recovered the on-side kick what went through your mind in the last minute of your time playing in Beaver Stadium?
A: I was in doubt. During the game I thought there was some kind of magic in the air. I thought we were going to pull it off the whole time. There was disappointment when we didn't pull it off.
Q: How do you feel the game went even with the loss?
A: I feel like we fought and we played hard. As a team, we played really well, trying to make something of something that really wasn't there. I just feel bad. I feel bad, like I let guys down and didn't make enough plays. At the end with a game so close, one play could have made the big difference. I am just disappointed that that was the last chance I had.
Q: Talk about the offensive play today.
A: It was up and down. I think we missed some opportunities in the third quarter and the end of the second quarter. We could have done a better job of managing the game - us as well as what was happening on the field. I think that is where the separation occurred when they got ahead of us. If we could have kept within range I think we would have been alright.
Q: Was it their defense or was it something else?
A: We missed some guys today and it was windy out there so it was trickier throwing today than it has been. We missed a couple open guys and they made a couple plays. You have to give them credit. They played well and did a good job against us. They are a good football team. We knew they were a good football team.
Q: You made a lot of penalties that did not fit you today.
A: I am going to defer to what Joe [Paterno] said because I agree with him. That is one of those things we will look at on tape. We still missed some opportunities that could have won the game. Normally, we are one of the least penalized teams in the league and I think we came up with eight or nine today. We got two or three holding calls that we usually do not get, but there are other factors that contributed and not just penalties.
#48 Chris Colasanti
Q: As a senior with your final game in Beaver Stadium, can you just talk about the emotion of the day?
A: It has been a good day. We came out and we played hard. We made mistakes and I think the penalties really hurt us. Two personal fouls kind of tore us down a little bit and we came up short.
Q: The penalties were uncharacteristic of this team. Was there a lack of focus or were they tough calls?
A: I think we were just going out there and trying to be aggressive and it ended up being too aggressive and we got personal fouls. We were ready for this game and they were not doing anything spectacular. On the reverse, we have to hold the edge and we made mistakes. This is not how any of us wanted it to end.
Q: At 7-5, how do you assess the season?
A: We played hard. We had some injuries and we faced adversities. We grew as a team and as a family. We are just going to keep getting better and that is what we look for. We want to keep getting better and growing.
#22 Evan Royster
Q: Talk about your emotions as the day went through.
A: It does not feel like it [the end]. I feel like I am going to be back here next week. It is sad thinking about it; that I am never going to play in Beaver Stadium again. I have gotten used to it, being that it has been five years.
Q: What were you thinking as that last minute ticked off the clock?
A: I was just thinking that we ran out of time. We had the momentum and we were doing things right. We just played too little too late.
Q: Talk about the up and down season this team had.
A: They were 11-1 and we played right with them. It is tough finishing with a 7-5 season. It hurts, but it just shows that we are close. What this team does in the future will be good.
Q: Was it frustrating seeing as the five good teams you played you could not get any wins?
A: You cannot put it on anything, but those other teams we played were good. We just did not bring it those days. It is tough to think about it now, but like I said, this team has a lot of promise for the future and I am looking forward to coming back to watch.
Q: Does Michigan State have one of the most balanced offenses in the Big Ten?
A: Yeah, I think so. They did a good job today mixing the run and the pass. We got off to a bad start. We got the personal foul penalty. We could have got that thing going off the right way and then just couldn't come up with a big stop there in the second half. We had some personal foul penalties that hurt us.
Q: Are the personal foul penalties what bother you as a coach?
A: Yeah. We had a personal foul. We roughed the punter. We [hit him] out of bounds. Those are three things you can't have happen against a good football team.
Q: Do you guys need to get stronger up the middle, as evidenced by the first play of the game?
A: We actually slanted right into that. I don't know how they split that one. I'll have to look at the tape. I hate to say that because that sounds like a cliché, but I don't know how that split because we were pirating into where he cut back. I thought we were in a pretty sound defense. There was a couple times where I was disappointed because I thought we were in good shape on some plays and we were just not tackling and not being aggressive. It hurts you. You've got to make plays.
Q: Did you think coming into this season that you would have this much trouble stopping the run?
A: No, I didn't anticipate that. I think so much has to do with so many changes we've had, so many guys in and out. What have we had, 21 different starters or something? We've just got to get stout against the run. Everything starts with that. We've got to be able to do it without constantly moving and slanting. We've got to be able to play straight up a little bit more than we probably do.
Q: Did you see seven wins and five losses before the season started?
A: No, we would never say that. I think early on we knew we were going to have a new quarterback, had to break in some guys. It's been a long year for us fighting all the time with moving guys and there's a million things coming up. But no, I don't think that way. We have a good, young group of guys. We just have to figure out a way to get them better.
#5 Graham Zug
Sr./Sr., Wide Receiver
Q: What are the emotions you feel right now?
A: Disappointed, upset but at the same time happy. It was with a great group of guys, us seniors. We came a long way. We bonded together. We had a great season and a great four or five years here and that's what most important.
Q: Are you disappointed that you came close to winning the game but couldn't quite do it?
A: Yeah, absolutely. Nobody enjoys losing. If you enjoy losing then something's wrong with you. Unfortunately, we couldn't get the win. Things like that happen and you have to learn to overcome it.
Q: Were you surprised that it took so long to get the offense going?
A: A little bit because that's unlike us. Normally, we can get things going but we've been struggling to keep things going the whole game. Like I said, things happen and you just have to learn to overcome it and learn from it to continue to play well.
Q: What were your experiences here as a walk-on?
A: If you just go all out, give it your all and believe in yourself, great things can happen. For me, that's what happened. I came in as a walk-on and I proved myself to the coaches and the team and I enjoyed my time here. I wouldn't have it any other way.
#85 Ollie Ogbu
Sr./Sr., Defensive Tackle
Q: How much did the penalties set you guys back today?
A: That hurt us a lot. We're a team that prides ourselves on not being penalized. Whenever we get a drive going, defensively or offensively, it seems that we had a costly penalty. That's always going to hurt you no matter how good you are. We have to get better from that. We have one game left, so we have to limit those mistakes.
Q: Was Michigan State's run game different than you prepared for?
A: It was exactly what we thought it would be: smash-mouth, downhill. We just have to get off blocks and make plays. At times we did and at times we didn't and it cost us big gains. We just couldn't consistently corral them and get to them.
Q: Does it weigh on you guys that you haven't beaten a ranked team this season?
A: Yeah, it does. We played a lot of top 10 teams this year. It's a struggle. We didn't give our A-game, not until the last 10 minutes of the game. For us to beat a team like that we have to be consistent all four quarters and that's what we've been preaching all year.
Q: Did you ever expect to be 7-5 at this point in the season?
A: No, I couldn't predict that. We had some areas where we weren't certain about but as a senior leader you always think you've guys can go out and fight the world. Guys did well, we didn't quit. That's what I think we can take from this. We didn't quit defensively and offensively. We fought on both sides of the ball and we made the game close and we made it interesting.
Q: Can you believe this is your last game at Beaver Stadium?
A: Yeah, I can believe it. I've sat back and thought about this day for a while and it felt good and it felt right. We just didn't have it go our way. Like I said, I'm not sitting here sad. I'm a little disappointed, but we fought. I truly believe our team fought today and for that, you can't fault them. Before our bowl game, I think we need to realize where our strengths and weaknesses are and how not to have penalties and just go on from there.
Michigan State Head Coach
Q: What does it mean for the program to finally clear an obstacle that was 20 years in the making?
A: We've tried to build a foundation. We've been to four straight bowl games, and in '08 we came here and failed miserably on the same type of quest. This year we had 35 guys who've been in this situation before. We had guys who were much more confident and much more aware of their surroundings. Experience breeds success, and because we had been in this situation in '08, it gave us an upside in terms of taking the next step and winning the championship.
Q: When you came here from Cincinnati, did it seem like a harder job than you had expected?
A: I'm a part of the culture. I was here for six years as an assistant coach from 1995-2000. We went to four bowl games at that point. There's great tradition at Michigan State. Now, we haven't won the championship in 20 years, but we've had good, solid football teams that were at bowls and played at a high level. What we wanted to do was try and develop consistency, and we wanted to continue to build a foundation. There was no concern on my part when I came here in '07 that we'd be successful. It was just a matter of time.
Q: You've achieved the goal of a championship, do you believe you're deserving of a BCS berth?
A: I do think that. I think right now we're one of the top eight or nine teams in the nation. I know only two teams can come from the Big Ten, but you certainly have to throw our hat in the ring. We're the only football team that's beaten Wisconsin, and I might add that we did it convincingly. I'll say it twice, we did it convincingly. They're up there at six or seven, and we should be right there with them. Our goal is to win the championship. That's our number one goal. Where people place us from there, we'll still go to whatever bowl we go to as Big Ten champs.
Q: What pleased you most about the way you attacked Penn State?
A: I think we had a very workman-like attitude. We ran the ball effectively. We passed the ball when we needed to. We came up with trick plays. I thought Coach Treadwell called a great game as did Coach Narduzzi. We got off the field. They made a couple plays against us which made it interesting, but things happen. They have a good football team. They have great players here who make plays. I thought we played very fundamentally sound for the most part. I thought we were in charge for pretty much the whole football game.
Q: Can you look at the guys who've been here for years and see the satisfaction in their eyes?
A: You see a lot of satisfaction. To get to where we are right now, a lot of work had to be done. Collectively as a group, whether it's workouts or learning defenses or offenses, when you stop and think about the time spent preparing for a football game, a football championship, a football season, it's an incredible amount of time. There are so many people invested in it.
Q: What's going through your mind, with everything you've been through this season, to have a championship cap on your head?
A: I'm extremely content. That's the way I feel. I don't feel like I'm going to go run down the hall with my hair on fire or anything like that. I'm just very, very content. I feel very blessed with my health and how our football team has rallied around each other and responded in the face of adversity throughout the season. There's a lot of faith in that locker room...faith on the field and off the field. They go hand-in-hand, and I think that helps with our success ratio.
#43 Eric Gordon
Q: This football team is in a much better position than when you arrived, can you talk about leaving a legacy?
A: I came here in 2006 and went through the whole coaching change. When I first stepped foot on Michigan State's soil, I wanted to win a Big Ten Championship. Ever since then, every year, we've gone for it. We've played for the Big Ten Championship and lost. And finally, my senior year, everything came together. I'm glad to leave a legacy and to leave here as a senior knowing that I helped win a Big Ten Championship.
MICHIGAN STATE PLAYER QUOTES
#08 Kirk Cousins
Q: This is what you play for, to win a Big Ten Championship, can you describe it?
A: We're Big Ten Champions and no one can ever take that away from the walls of our stadium. We always talk about being champions, and we did it. It's a special moment, and you don't even know how much being a champion is stressed in our building, what championship teams do and what we need to do to be a championship team, and here we are with a championship on our resume, which no one can ever take away from us.
Q: After the celebration in the end zone with all the fans, you ran to the other corner to celebrate, were those your family and what was that feeling like?
A: Yes, those were family and friends, the people I am closest to and I wanted to celebrate with them. It was an extremely special feeling I can't even put into words.
Q: Did the tough loss here two years ago when you had a chance to win the Big Ten Championship come to mind today after you walked away with a significant victory this time?
A: The biggest word here is experience. We talked at the beginning of the year about having a strong football team because of the experience we had coming back. We could never underestimate the value of having been there before does. In 2008 we hadn't had a single guy on the team play for a Big Ten Championship before and we came out here today with 30 to 35 guys who traveled to that game and experienced that and I think that helped us today. This team has come a long way and I credit Penn State because in 2008 that was a very special football team with a lot of guys playing in the NFL now. Experience was the biggest reason why we got it done today and all season.
Q: How much was made of winning here at Penn State?
A: I don't know if we have ever won here since they joined the Big Ten. A win here is special and it's another one of our demons we killed this season.
#53 Greg Jones
Q: How does this win feel?
A: All of our games so far this season have lead up to this and it is a truly amazing feeling right now. It's something we can enjoy forever.
Q: You have been here through the years where Michigan State found a way to screw up during the season, but it seems there has been a culture change under Coach Dantonio, is that correct?
A: The culture change started back when I was recruited. The first thing he talked about was winning and what it was going to be like. Now we don't find ways to lose and people have to realize that this is a different Michigan State. Coach D motivates us and makes us want to win.
Q: How does he do it?
A: Every day in practice, he stresses why we practice and our endurance in tough times. We run even when doing well, we run extra and he explains that it is so we can win. He puts it in our minds, what we need to do to win.
Q: You had a pretty tough team to play on the road, which you couldn't beat on the road two years ago, did that come to mind today?
A: We played on the road, which is pretty hard, especially with the crowd here. The important thing was that we stayed focused and the offense responded very well. The defense just tried to put together a stop. When we stay focused and determined, there isn't anything we can't do, whether that's at home or away.