Oct. 6, 2012
PENN STATE ASSISTANT COACH POSTGAME QUOTES
Penn State vs. Northwestern
October 6, 2012
Running Backs Coach
Q: Did identify Zach Zwinak as a starter early on?
A: Going into the season, he was probably fourth on the depth chart but he just kept working and he just kept getting better and just waited for his opportunity to come. We always talked to him that 'when your opportunity comes, you need to take advantage of it.' About three weeks ago, he had an opportunity and he never looked back. We have to get him the football.
Q: What did Zach Zwinak work on, what made him get so much better? How are he and [Michael] Zordich different?
A: He is just more comfortable in the offense. He worked hard over the summer to learn the offense and he's always asking questions. He is playing with confidence. They both know what kind of runners they are. They are similar in style. Zach [Zwinak] might be a little bit faster.
Q: is Belton trusting his ankle?
A: Bill [Belton] is coming along fine. He didn't play football for about a month. He is still getting over that ankle injury. He is still a big part of our group, he is a big part of the room and we are still going to depend on him. He did start today and in two weeks against Iowa I'm sure he will be a big part as well.
Q: How do you balance the playing time with all the backs on the team?
A: We talk to the guys about knowing your role. Everyone has a role and everyone should know their role. You are part of a group and a team and we are going to play as a team.
Q: After the punt return they didn't have a first down when the game still mattered. What changed for your defense?
A: I think we had guys who were making plays. We didn't really do anything a lot different. Initially we had some problems getting off blocks and we talked about going back to fundamentals with pressing people, not staying blocked, and throwing a fit to get off of a block. I felt they did a better job. We got a better rush and it all kind of goes together.
Q: After that go-ahead touchdown when you guys took the lead you put Mike Hull in for Glenn Carson. Was that adjustment because they were spreading you guys out?
A: It was just the right time to do that. Glenn's been getting better each week but it was Mike Hull's chance and Mike Hull's turn so we put Mike in there to do it. He did a good job and it is certainly no bad reflection on anybody. It is just that we have a role to keep those guys fresh because it is a long season and the line backers have several jobs on a lot of those coverages. We have to keep being cognizant of how many reps guys are playing and I thought both of them played well.
Q: How much of your focus this week went to realizing where Kain Colter would be on every play and dialing in the defense to slowing him down?
A: We certainly had to be aware of him on every single play. There was a big awareness on where he was and on third down because he's been their go-to guy. I thought there was a lot of awareness and our kids played good and were aware of that and I thought that it paid off.
Q: What are some of the keys to that comeback?
A: The keys are our offense scores and our defense stops them. That's easier said than done in football. We outscored them 22-0 in the fourth quarter. When they go up by 11, then we drive down and score, get the 2-point conversion, 3-and-out, get the ball back, score, and then stop them. They had 704 yards last week and we held them to 247. It's because our players understand the value of getting a stop, whether it's 3-and-out or whether it's an interception takeaway. We had to stop them and that's what we did to keep it rolling.
Q: What does a win like this with a week off mean for the staff? To keep you guys moving and to see the results you guys have had?
A: Billy [O'Brien] hired a staff that I don't think whether we win or lose, we're not going to coach any better or recruit any better. But it helps publicly to get a win. We're going to go on the road recruiting Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We're going to go out and see games and see kids and basically spread the message, "Where would you rather play college football than here?" Anybody that says anything otherwise has never been to a game here.