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Sept. 15, 2007
Q: Comment on the personnel on the halfback pass...
A: Well, we were trying to change the personnel. We mixed up on the personnel. But, it was great for Mario (Henry) to get the play because he knows what is going on in that situation. As he threw the football, it probably wasn't a good decision because he was covered, but he trusted his receiver Ernest Jackson. Ernest went up and made a play. That is one thing we talk about all the time with our player. We emphasize trust.
Q: How encouraged are you after today's game?
A: We are making progress. I am still never going to pat myself on the back. There are some good things there. We are going to take the positive things from this football game, and we are going to try to improve. I am more proud of the effort. That is something that we talk about. You can always control the effort. We did some good things offensively and defensively, and that is what we are going to focus on. We will then critique the things we didn't do well, and try not to let them happen again.
Q: Can you comment on the offense?
A: I just have to talk about the effort from the guys. Our guys are focusing on what they have to get done. They were not focusing on the scoreboard. They are just going out there and getting the things done that they have to. I give credit to our guys, but they are still a very good team defensively. Early in the game, they did some things that we couldn't handle. At halftime, we made some adjustments in our protection. We made some plays in the second half. Our receivers and quarterback executed. Also, the offensive line improved in the second half with protection.
Q: Can you talk about the defensive effort?
A: They did a great job. They came out and played hard in the first half and created turnovers. That was huge. It was unfortunate for us offensively that we were not able to capitalize, but the defense and coach Jimmy Williams and his staff did a great job to get our players to play with confidence. The staff is doing a great job to get the football team to play well from the first play to the last play. Now, it is carrying over from the practice field to the game field.
Q: How did you handle the blitzing today from Penn State?
A: They blitzed more than I expected. I think part of it was our protection, but we had to make some adjustments. But they did blitz more than expected. When you blitz, you are going to have some good plays and they are going to have some good plays. I think that is kind of what happened in the first half. They made a few more plays than we did in the first half.
Q: What did you see from Penn State's pass defense before the game?
A: Well, they play a three-deep coverage. That is their main coverage. We had some plays that we thought would be good against that kind of coverage. It was a matter of time to see if we could get the protection to get those plays off. Again, I think it has to go off of Drew (Willy) and the offensive line. They executed the plays well, and that is the bottom line.
Q: Comment on Penn State...
A: It was great for our players and staff to play here. Joe Paterno and his staff do a great job. It was just a great place for us to play.
Q: What adjustments were made at halftime?
A: We talked about protection. We just wanted to protect with a little more time so we could throw the ball down the field.
Q: Does this give you more confidence defensively?
A: When you have cover corners, you are able to do a few more things defensively. When we are bale to do things well out there, we are able to build a little more confidence defensively. It does give you more options when you have corners who can cover the pass and the run.
Q: What does Andrew Quarless bring to Penn State?
A: I think it is the obvious. It is size. You throw the ball up, and he is able to make some plays on the ball. It gives them an advantage. He made plays. That is what they put him in the game for. We just have to make sure that we respond, and that we are able to make plays.