Oct. 7, 2009
Nate Stupar, Sophomore, Linebacker
Q: You had that bad ankle. How's that coming along and are you back to 100 percent?
A: It's doing really well. We have a great training staff. They've been with me for about two weeks now, just working on it and rehabbing. I don't want to saying it's 100 percent yet, probably around 98 or 99. It's getting there.
Q: You were in position where you were starting with (Navorro Bowman) being out. How much of you not starting the past couple weeks has been the ankle or how much of it has been a depth chart issue?
A: I'm really not sure; that's up to the coaches. I was out that one week with my ankle (Iowa) and I'm just getting back to 100 percent. During that time, that was a great opportunity for Bani [Gbadyu] to get some playing time and gain a lot of experience. Here at Penn State, you have a lot of great linebackers and we have a lot of depth. If anyone goes down, we have someone else to fill in.
Q: How is it different going from two Big Ten games back to Eastern Illinois? Is it difficult to get up [for the game]? Is there a different approach that you guys take to prepare for this game?
A: I go in like every other game. You're coming out here to play some football. Anything can happen. Like the Michigan game [vs. Appalachian State in 2007], anyone can beat anyone. That's what's great about college football. Anything can happen. Go out there, play football, play for the fans and play for Penn State. There's nothing better than that.
Q: Everybody references Appalachian State. How much do you think that game specifically changed the whole landscape of college football?
A: I think very greatly, because that's an example of a team just coming out and proving something. Anything can happen in college football, like I said. You've got to be ready to come out and play every play and play to win.
Q: Have you taken many reps against Kevin Newsome? What does he bring to the field?
A: He's a very dynamic player. He can run the ball; he can throw the ball. He's very fast and quick. I have gotten a lot of reps against him. He's a player who can make you miss. I'm excited to see what he can bring in the future.
Q: Have you taken a look at much Eastern Illinois tape? Do you have an opinion on what they can do?
A: We've watched a little bit, not a lot yet. We're just starting to get into the scouting. They have a pretty good football team. They have some big linemen and some players who can make plays.
Q: Everyone says they prepare for a team like this like any other opponent, but is there a point in the game where you realize that you overmatch them so much that you can just go through the motions?
A: I guess that point is at the end of the game and we have the victory. It's not over until it's over. We go through every process knowing that this team could beat us. We prepare as well as we can and go out there and play our game. At the end of the game, if we beat them that badly, that means we were the better team.
Q: Bobby Bowden is under some pressure at Florida State. Does it ever come up on your team that you guys would like Joe Paterno to finish with the wins record? Do you guys ever talk about that?
A: I've never heard that being talked about within the team. That would be a great legacy for Joe to leave. If it happens, it happens. I hope he does.
Q: Could you talk about the play of Eric Latimore up front?
A: He has been doing really well. Watching the game tape, he had a couple tackles and a couple sacks (at Illinois). He brings a lot of effort and a lot of intensity. He's just an overall great player.
Derek Moye, Sophomore, Wide Receiver
Q: You weren't really a receiver at Rochester (High School). How far along do you think you are in your progression towards being a full-fledged wide receiver?
A: I think I'm pretty far along. I'm not there yet. There's always more work to do. I feel like I'm on that path towards being a complete receiver.
Q: The running game got going against Illinois. What does it do to the linebackers and the defensive backs you go up against in the passing game (when the running game is successful)?
A: When the running game is going, it forces the defensive backs to come up and play the run. It will force a lot of teams to play us man-to-man. If we get man-to-man coverage, we feel we can beat anybody when we're covered one-on-one.
Q: On the other side of that, you guys came into the season with a lot of questions at wideout. It seems like you've proved a lot of things so far. Have defenses adjusted to do things differently now that you've proven you can catch a lot of balls?
A: I don't know if they've actually adjusted to us. More so, coming in at the beginning of the year, teams were stacking the box trying to force us to pass. Now, they're playing more of their base defense and not trying to change things to just stop the run and force us to pass.
Q: Do you think your offense is out of the woods yet? You had one good running game, but do you think you guys need to do some more before you find out how good the offense can be?
A: We definitely need to do more. We had a good running game (at Illinois). At the same time, we didn't really need to, but we didn't have a good passing game [against Illinois]. We're just trying to progress throughout the year. Hopefully, through these next few games, we'll have the running game and the passing game on the same page.
Q: What are some areas you feel like you've progressed the most in?
A: One major area I think I've progressed in is blocking. That's a big pet peeve of coach Mike (McQueary). He always says if we're not going to block, we're not going to play. That's a major thing I worked on in the off-season. Just with getting stronger and trying to help out the team any way I can.
Q: And what are one or two areas where you still need some work?
A: I think I've gotten better at blocking, but at the same time, I still need to get even better. There are some times when I've slipped off some blocks and my guy's gotten a tackle. I'm still working on that.
Q: What do you know about Eastern Illinois and what they bring to the table?
A: We haven't really gotten too much into Eastern Illinois yet. We watched the Illinois tape yesterday. We'll get a lot into Eastern Illinois today. For what I know, they run a pretty basic defense. Hopefully, we have a big game against them.
Q: Do you think players would rather have the open date or the bye week? Would it have been nice to have the week to rest or do you want to keep the momentum going and the intensity of playing a game each week?
A: Personally, I would like to keep the momentum going. The bye week kind of throws things off. You wait all throughout the year to play every Saturday. I want to keep playing every Saturday.
Q: Have you taken many reps with Kevin Newsome? What exactly does he bring to the table?
A: Yes, I've taken reps with him throughout the spring and this season. He's a dual threat quarterback. He's a guy who looks to pass first, but can run when he needs to.