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Penn State vs. Minnesota
On How He Felt the Team Played
??It was a great start for us. One of our goals was that we wanted to contain, and because of that we moved a lot earlier. Our defensive line set the tone, and did a great job, which was the primary reason we won.??
On How He Feels This Win Impacts the Team as a Whole
??After this game I??d say we??re very confident in all aspects of our game.??
On What Message He Feels PSU??s Results are Sending
??We??re sending the message that Penn State??s back by getting things back to the way they should be.??
On Why He Feels PSU Did Well Today
??I think we did well because of all the hype and everyone got into it. It felt good today. We showed that we can control the clock.??
On What Impact the Team Had on his Playing
??I played more defense in the second half, and it??s the coaches and the team that keep me grounded, and keep me up to speed.??
On Michael Robinson??s Success
??Michael Robinson did great today. He??s great to the program because of his leadership. When you have a leader like that it??s easy to work as a team and get things done.??
On Why He Feels PSU Did Well Today and Necessary Improvements
??Part of the reason why we did well today was because we were able to run the ball and round the clock out. I??m sure there are things we can improve one, but we had about 300 plus yards rushing, and we controlled the ball. Minnesota had some good players on offense and some good players on defense but I feel that we had a good game plan and we got the job done.??
On What He and Team Knew Was Expected of Them
??We knew that we had to come in a do a good job with the two down guys because they??re two big strong guys. We passed when we needed to; we just started together as a team, and we stuck together for the whole game.??
#13 Jay Alford
Q: You won a lot of battles today on first and second downs??
A: ??We thought that if we keep them in long situations they??re going to run the ball. We proved our point.??
Q: What is it like to see your offense control the ball today?
A: ??It??s amazing to see them move the ball. From last year to this year??it??s a totally different game. I am really happy to see it though. They were running the ball, passing the ball, they pretty much did everything they could today.??
#27 Chris Harrell
Q: They won the toss. They came out and they like to take the football. Did you guys take that as a gentleman??s _______?
A: ??Yes, because right away they were going to try and run the ball right down our throats. They thought they were tougher than us, and we took that as a challenge on defense. I think we did a good job trying to rise to that.??
Q: They didn??t get much on first or second downs today. Was that the key to the game defensively?
A: ??We knew they were a big rhythm team. We tried to make sure we got them out of that rhythm where they were getting second and short or third and short. But it could have been in their comfort zone, so it really kept us guessing. We tried to attack early and make them pass which they weren??t really comfortable doing.??
Q: How good does it feel to be 5-0?
A: ??It feels good to be 5-0. It??s been my first time in awhile. It is something we are going to keep building on.??
Q: Does this remind you of the Nebraska game in 2002 where an undefeated, ranked team cam in and got it handed to them?
A: ??I think so. It reminds us of that because of the momentum we needed with a big time team coming in here and giving us a chance to defend what we??re trying to accomplish. It reminds us of that a lot. The crowd was really into it, and it just feels really good to beat a ranked opponent.??
#2 Derrick Williams
Q: How good did that feel?
A: ?? That felt pretty good. When they recruited me they said they might slip me to tailback and receive. At practice, I got a lot of work on that, and we did pretty good.??
Q: Are you happy? Obviously, you want to touch the ball wherever you can, but does it make a difference where?
A: ??It really doesn??t make a difference. And it doesn??t really make a difference if I touch the ball, as long as our team comes off successful. Anything can happen. I love to help the team when I do have the ball, but if I don??t have the ball, I??ll block and give my all.??
Q: After all big plays??long drives. How important is it to establish that against this team?
A: ??IT was really good, because all week we were talking about establishing the run. We established our running game, and now we can see that we can run and pass.??
Q: You freshman came in with so much talk. How good does it feel to live up to that and how much of a challenge is this?
A: ??It feels really good. I didn??t think there was going to be all of this hype. I thought that we we??d just go out there and do what we do. There was no pressure on us though; we just go out there and have fun.??
#26 Tony Hunt
Q: You really dominated with the line and were able to pick up a lot of yards??
A: ??The running game worked out a lot better than we expected it to. We had a lot of holes out there. We were able to run the ball: Mike [Robinson], Me and Derrick [Williams] ran the ball some as well, so it worked out very well.??
Q: How good does 5-0 feel?
A: It feels really good to be 5-0 and beat a ranked opponent.??
Q: Talk about the offensive game today. Were you trying to establish the running game?
A: We ended up just doing what was working, and that ended up working well. We were able to keep our defense off the field for a long time, which we really wanted to do with them having a great back. We did an excellent job with keeping them off the field, and that kept our defense fresh. We were able to slow them down and limit their offensive plays.??
Q: How much did you guys feed off of the crowd?
A: ??The crowd was excellent. I don??t think I have ever seen a game as packed as that. It was a really big game, and the crowd was into it, which made us into it. Things were going our way, and the crowd kept it going. It was a really good thing.??
Q: How did it feel to be able to get the offense going like you were able to today?
A: ??It felt really good to move the ball as well as we did.??
Q: Minnesota is probably the most physical team that you??ve played. To be able to beat them at their own game, what does that do for you guys?
A: ??It??s a big morale boost, obviously. That??s more fuel for getting ready for next week.??
Q: How diverse is this running game now with (Derrick) Williams and (Michael) Robinson and all kinds of weapons you guys have now?
A: ??It??s very diverse, so that gives us a lot of options and a lot more for the defense to prepare for and to look out for. That will open up some more holes for us.??
Q: Did it feel good as an offense to kind of give the defense a break this week?
A: ??It did feel real good to be out there and have a greater time of possession and give the defense a breather.??
Q: Is this the offensive line??s best game?
A: ??So far, I??d have to say yes. It won??t be the best ??til the season??s over, but it??s the best so far.??
Q: How much confidence did you guys gain as the game went on?
A: ??I think after we scored the first touchdown, we just all got the mentality that they couldn??t stop us and that we were going to try and go out there and push the pace and dominate them the whole game.??
Q: Do you get the sense that you guys are really kind of coming together as a line?
A: ??I think as a whole offense, we??re coming together. Everything is starting to click. Even if somebody misses a pass, we don??t get down because we know that we can get it on the next play. Like before we would get down if we got stopped for a loss or something like that. Now if we get stopped for a loss it??s like ??Hey, that play is over, get on to the next play.????
Q: Did you guys have a chip on your shoulder cause of all the talk about Minnesota??s offensive line?
A: ??Oh, definitely. You know, we just come out here to play football. All that talk, that??s between all of you (the media). We just have to control what we can control.??
Q: Can you talk about the offensive game plan coming in here? Was the idea to keep up, establish the running game, get some sustained drives going to try and keep the defense fresh and keep Minnesota??s offense off the field?
A: ??Something like that. Just to run the ball a little bit more. I don??t think they thought we were going to run the ball for 365 yards, but ya know it worked?? whatever it was.??
Senior Defensive End
Q: Can you talk about the excitement next week??s game against Ohio State?
A: ??Is huge. It??s a good team we??re facing?? a great team, actually. We??ve got to prove that we can be a great football team week in and week out.??
Q: Talk about the difference between the defense??s performance this week and last week vs. Northwestern.
A: ??Well, last week was the opener (of the big Ten season) and we were playing a really good team. I feel we played a really good team. We just had to get past the opener and by God??s grace we did. The whole week Coach Paterno and Coach Johnson were emphasizing the running game and how Maroney had been running for a hundred yards every game, game in and game out. We just had to stop him and try to get them to throw the ball because we didn??t think they could throw the ball really well.??
Q: What??s this win do for Penn State?
A: ??It??s huge. It??s a big win, but we just took it as another game. Coach said it was a big game for them, but it was another game for us. We??ve just got to put this in the back of us right now. All we can focus on is Ohio State.??
Q: Talk about how it feels to bring Penn State back into national prominence.
A: ??It feels good. Now people are recognizing our talent out there and our offense is doing really well. It feels good for people to acknowledge that we??re still at the top of our game.??
Q: You guys didn??t have to be on the field all game. You had a chance to rest a bit. What was it like watching the offense do what they do?
A: ??It was wonderful. It just goes to show you a lot of hard work in the offseason really paid off when it counted. The way that we won today, I feel like that??s the only way to beat Minnesota. To get a comfortable lead in the beginning so they would have to resort to their passing game instead of running the ball, because that??s what they do, and to try and keep their offense off the field as much as possible.??
Q: Talk about the way you guys played to day coming off of last week.
A: I feel like we played a really good game, really disciplined. In order to be successful, you have to be disciplined and that??s what we did out there.??
Q: How did you approach their running game and how big was it to get those three big three and outs to start the game?
A: ??It was a huge momentum builder and at Beaver Stadium, when you get the momentum it seems like everything can go right at that point. Our defensive scheme was simple. We really needed to almost play an umbrella-type defense. Keep everything in front of you. Be smart. Be disciplined. We needed to contain. Whether it??s the quarterback rolling out or whether it??s the running back rolling out, we??ve got to contain them inside and just close in on them and swam to the ball.
Senior Defensive Tackle
Q: How satisfying was it that that first three Minnesota offensive series was three and out?
A: ??It felt good. We??re not really used to it, because our offense was driving a lot. It was sort of like a ??wow?? moment. We didn??t play that many drives in the first quarter. It seemed like the first quarter went quick.??
Q: Coach Paterno said you guys didn??t do anything special to stop their zone blocking?
A: ??We watched a lot of film. The scout team did great this week. They showed us good form. We knew they were going to be very quick with zones. That??s what they??re really known for. We didn??t really do anything special, we were just trying to work hard at what we do.??
Q: What??s your opinion about that Minnesota offensive line that you heard so much about all week?
A: ??They??ve got a great scheme. They??ve got some good guys up there. I battled against a guy, No. 68. I know that his ankle was bothering him and I know that that was slowing him down. He??s a big puller, too, and today he didn??t pull much at all. I know that takes away from some of their gameplan.??
Q: Do you remember a game where your offensive line dominated it the way that they did today?
A: ??No. It was a great sight. I hope there??s more to come of that.??
Q: Was there a point in the game when Maroney looked at all frustrated that he couldn??t get his usual cutback lanes?
A: ??I just know that our goal was that everyone run to the ball. If he gets his five yards and everyone hit him and everyone got in a good lick, so if he was going to run the ball 44 times, our goal was to make him not as quick as he was in the fourth quarter as he was in the first. We wanted him to be a step or two slower.??
On Minnesota Defense
??I told them today, ??Maybe that??s the best running team in the history of football, but not today. Today, we are the best defense in the country.????
On Team Effort
??There??s a great combination effort with a bunch of guys that I??m watching in there. In certain parts of the game, you see plays being made by people and it gets you really excited. We tackled well today.??
On Calvin Lowry
??Calvin played a heck of a football game today. Watching him come up and hit people, we hadn??t spent as much time on those bubbles this week in practice, but we??ve had a lot of those in the past. They played those pretty well.??
On Offensive Drives
??Those were great drives. They did a great job today. The second half was key, in those first couple drives, to go down and do what they did was special??We didn??t have any turnovers and didn??t make any mistakes. We won the battle of the turnovers.??
On Receiving Game
??Tony [Hunt] was running the ball hard today. They had to make the choice on whether or not they wanted to fall back and let us pass all the way down the field or did they want to come up and stop the running. I think we had a great balance today. We being able to catch the ball are going to be key throughout the rest of the season to basically open up Tony. Tony is going to be instrumental and help open up the passing game. Him and Mike together run against the defenses when they want to fall back and just play real soft zones. And if they are going to run like that, then teams are going to have to make up their mind with what they want to do.??
On Elimination of Turnovers
??We??ve been working on it. The turnovers before, they just happened to be errors, just simple mistakes. As the season goes on, we are just concentrating more on the little things. Today, we came out and played a great game pretty much as well as we could play it. We??ve been doing drills all week on handling the ball. I think people are just focusing more on the little things.??
On QB Michael Robinson
??He is definitely our leader. We definitely look up to him each time we get into the huddle. He is always so calm and says, ??Hey guys, we are going to drive this many yards. We are about to score.?? When you get into a huddle with a guy like Mike, he puts so much confidence into you. If you are a little tired and a little achy, you forget all about it because you know he is taking hits on every play and he is still able to come in the huddle and be so upbeat like that.??
On the Fans
??They are basically the twelfth man on the field. With the student section jumping and being loud and rowdy, we love it. We love the attitude of the game.??
On Coach Paterno
??He has seen a lot of football players. He??s seen how great I can be. Hopefully, we??ll keep on doing great things.??
On Beating Minnesota
??It means a lot and I think that is a tribute to our strength and conditioning coaches. They do a lot of things in the off-season to get us ready for games like this - the big, physical games.??
On Eliminating Turnovers
??It feels pretty good. But there is still a process I need to keep working on, like not being careless about the ball. In practice, Coach Paterno told me everyday, ??Mike, keep the ball close. Pull the ball into you.?? And that??s what I try to do.??
??Hopefully we can cut down on the turnovers and the result can be like this. When you have turnovers, it really puts the team at a disadvantage. That??s just one thing we wanted to work on this week ?C just taking care of the ball, being efficient, and not making mistakes.??
On Next Weeks Match vs. Ohio State
??Hopefully it gave us some confidence. Hopefully we made a little bit of a statement. It??s really a question for the Ohio State people. They are a great football team. We definitely have to bring our A game. I think it??s going to be exciting. It??s a great atmosphere.??
??We have to be all about business. They are a great football team. They are one of the best teams in the country and we are going to have to bring our A game to play with them. Hopefully things can go our way. If we can have no turnovers, and play smart football ?C play Penn State football.??
On the Freshmen Players
??I??m really not worried about the younger guys. Those guys are really mature beyond their years. They are doing a great job holding up in big atmospheres and in big time football games. Right now, I??m not worried about the freshmen. Right now, we don??t have any freshmen.??
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