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Oct. 6, 2012
PENN STATE POSTGAME OFFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
Penn State vs. Northwestern
October 6, 2012
#28 Zach Zwinak
Jr./So., Running Back
Q: Can you talk about this Nascar-type of offense you're running and how comfortable you guys are getting with it?
A: I think we're getting pretty comfortable. You can see we're moving the ball down the field - it's tiring. It's not my favorite pace but it gets the job done. Coach [O'Brien] thinks we do a good job communicating and Matt [McGloin] does a good job getting the receivers where they have to go and the lineman where they have to go. Everyone is on the same page.
Q: Did it take a while for the offense to get used to going for it on fourth down so often? Is it an adjustment for you guys to think you have four downs instead of three?
A: Well it is a lot different than previously. Not every coach goes on fourth down, but [Coach Bill O'Brien] likes to go for it and if he thinks we can get it we can get it. It comes down to when we talk to each other in the huddle and we're like "we can get this, just push hard." The guys come out and we make a play.
Q: Do you guys go into the huddle when it's first down and say "Hey, we have four downs"?
A: No, I think we take it down by down. You can't think ahead. You have to think of that play and do everything you can on that play. If it comes to fourth down, we know we have to get it. But the rest of the time, it's just play by play.
#9 Michael Zordich
Q: How much does going for the fourth down galvanize you guys out there?
A: We love it. It is an attitude kind of play. We want touchdowns. That is what this offense is about. If we need to go for it, if we are in the right field position, that is what we are going to do. We love it because it gets your mind right.
Q: This was the first time the team has won coming from behind, what did you learn about the guys that maybe you didn't already know?
A: We already knew it, but it was good to see it that we were going to keep fighting and that we are not going to give up. A lot of things went their way in the third quarter, but it was good to see that nobody put their head down and pouted and we just kept moving forward and kept going. That's what this team does well, moving forward and keep fighting.
Q: What was the big change for the offense in the fourth quarter?
A: I don't think there was a big change. We were calling the same plays, doing the same things, but they were starting to break. They started to open up and the quarterback started to get time. That is what offense does to defense. You keep moving and in the fourth quarter, hopefully you can wear them down.
Q: In your opinion, what is it about Matt McGloin that allows him to thrive in the fourth down scenarios?
A: It's what he does during the week. He is in the film room, he is in his playbook and he is controlling the offense during practice. He worked very hard during the week and he knows what he needs to do and he is able to transfer that onto the field.
#8 Allen Robinson
So./So., Wide Receiver
Q: Having this comeback win, what do you think it does for the confidence of the team going into the bye week?
A: it builds a lot of confidence. We knew we were playing a good team coming in here. We have played some good teams this year, but we thought this was our toughest challenge. We knew this was the game that we needed to get, and we did.
Q: Going into the fourth downs, what's the feeling like in the huddle? And what does that make you guys feel like when Coach O'Brien tells you to go for the fourth down?
A: As an offense, we were confident. We knew coming into this game, we had a good scheme going and we knew as an offense that we could have a big day. Coach [O'Brien] preached all week about keeping plays going and putting drives together and put some points on the board. We knew as an offense we needed to put points on the board the win this game. And it's definitely good. Coach [O'Brien] shows that he has confidence in us and we have confidence in him. That definitely brings a lot to the table for the offense. We look at the fourth down as a 'redeem' play. If we do not get a lot on the first down, or the second down, then we can make it up on the fourth down if Coach chooses to go for it.
Q: What was the difference between the first half and the second half? And do you think this was a statement game?
A: I think a lot was just not capitalizing on the first half. We stalled on a lot of drives when we were in great field position. I think that was the biggest thing. At halftime we went into the locker room and made some adjustments. Our defense did a great job in the first half keeping Northwestern on its heels. We knew that Northwestern was going to put points on the board and we knew that as an offense we needed to put some points on the board to win this game. In a way, it was a statement game. They were an undefeated team, good offense coming in, good defense. We knew coming in it was going to be a challenge for us and we were excited as a team to have that challenge of them coming in as an undefeated team. It builds confidence for us as a team going into Big Ten play.
Q: Can you talk about your touchdown play on the fourth down?
A: I had an in route, and Matt [McGloin] had a lot of time in the pocket and there was no one in the middle of the field so he was able to give me a good ball.
#54 Matt Stankiewitch
Q: What does it mean to get this win going into a bye week, to be 4-2 and still have your momentum as opposed to losing this and having a week to think about it?
A: It is huge because you never want to go into a bye week with a loss. You don't want to be thinking about it. You don't want to be thinking 'If I did this or did that we could have had the W'. So at least we had the W today going into the bye week with our Big Ten schedule preceding us. We're going into the middle of it and we have to go in with confidence.
Q: Was there any point where the offense didn't think you guys would be able to score enough points to come back to win.
A: No. When we were down by 11 there of course we all looked at each other but we rose. We rose from when we were down. Coach O'Brien got us all back together mentally, physically and we knew our job and we took it play by play. We kept chopping away and when we got closer and scored, we kept chopping away and we knew we had to score again. The credit goes to Coach O'Brien for keeping that attitude up.
Q: First two games of the season the offensive line played a little suspect. The last four games being four wins the offensive line seems to be gelling.
A: The offensive line is definitely gelling. Of course the first couple of games of any team with a brand new offensive line is going to have a little bit of non-cohesiveness there but it is definitely gelling now. The more practice we have, the more opportunities we have to look at film and what we could do to get better, the better we're going to get. As an offensive line we see progress every week and we want to keep seeing that.
#11 Matt McGloin
Q: Why was there not any panic?
A: We had a full quarter to play. We've scored more than 11 points in a quarter before and we knew we were capable of doing it. We had been able to move the ball on them all day; we had just stopped ourselves a few times. The crowd was still into it, and we were still into it, so we knew we had to make something happen.
Q: In the last drive, the go-ahead drive, (Coach O'Brien) gives you the ball, no-huddle on fourth down. Did that surprise you?
A: Not at all. We're going to do what's best for the offense and what's best for the team at that time. And if that's going no-huddle or running it or passing it or doing whatever, then we're going to do it and we're going to do it successfully.
Q: Is that no-huddle better for you?
I feel very comfortable with no-huddle. The whole offense does. We've run it very well and it's due to Coach Fitzgerald and the staff. What we did throughout camp, what we did throughout the summer and what we still do during the weeks, we're in better shape than every team we play. So they get tired over there and we continue to push.
Q: If you were nervous during that deficit, what emotions were running through your head at that time?
A: We just told the guys in the huddle, "We have to do something. We have to make a play and keep fighting." What got everyone going is what the crowd was doing. They were still into it, which we just fed off of. And if we can continue to have that, which I know we will throughout the rest of the season at Beaver Stadium, we're going to be pretty successful.