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Oct. 15, 2011

Penn State vs. Purdue
October 15, 2011

Q: How did the special teams play and what impact did they have on the game?
A: Obviously big. I thought that (Anthony) Fera kicked off well except for the one return (Purdue) had, which they did a good job. They picked up the way we were covering. We've improved. Fera is getting better. We still have a ways to go but we're getting a little better there.

Q: Did you get an explanation for the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after Chaz Powell's kick return?
A: I didn't get the explanation but I know what he called. Powell threw the ball up over his head. You're supposed to hand the ball off. You're not supposed to call attention to yourself. It's a tough call, but theoretically it's one they're supposed to call.

Q: What can you say about the effort of your defense at the end of the game after stepping up against Temple and Indiana already this season?
A: I thought the defense played well. I thought Purdue was a good offensive football team coming in. The only game really I thought that they didn't do much offensively was maybe the Notre Dame game. But, Notre Dame played a heck of a game against them that day. I thought it was a good, tough football game. They're all going to be tough. They're not easy. The league is well-balanced. Maybe there are one or two teams that are a little bit better than everybody else. I don't know yet. We've got to play one or two of them and we'll see what happens. Next week we've got to go to Chicago and play against a team that's extremely well coached. We've just got to keep trying to get better and be able to make some plays in the clutch, which I think our defense has done not only this one but in a couple of games.



Q: What has been the difference in winning the close games this year?
A: The score. We were in it and we made it tough for ourselves. We've got to eliminate some penalties. We've got to do a couple of things. I think the kids work hard. They practice hard. They're a good bunch of kids. They want to win. I think that they have enough poise. Again, I think you've got to give the assistant coaches some credit for staying with the game and keeping us in the game and then calling some plays defensively and offensively that have made it possible for us to win a couple close ones.

Q: How much did the loss of wide receiver Derek Moye affect your offense?
A: That's a tough question. I just don't know. Everything affects it. You get out there and Purdue comes in. They played well. I thought Purdue played really well. If I had a criticism, I didn't know whether we tackled as well as we've been tackling. We may have emphasized the pass too much. I don't know. I just don't have the answers until I get a good look at some things.

Q: Do you think you're fortunate to be 6-1 at this point in the season?
A: Any time you win a game I feel fortunate. But, I think that would be taking away from the kids. I don't think I can say if I think I'm fortunate or they're fortunate. I think that we have a bunch of kids, as I said, that have worked hard. They've worked hard since we came back from Florida. When we got that good licking from the University of Florida, we came back and we had a little player meeting. The kids had a good winter, had a good spring practice. Most of them stayed up here all summer to work out. We had a good preseason. So, fortunate? Yeah, fortunate that we got a couple bounces and unfortunate that we made couple of games closer than they should have been because we made some mistakes. I just want to enjoy this one. Then, we've got to worry about going out to Chicago next week.

Q: How was the passing game and how did the receivers do without Derek Moye in the lineup?
A: I thought the receivers did a good job. I think, again, you've got to give Purdue credit. I didn't think our passing game was great, but (Purdue) had taken a lot of things away from us and then we finally started to throw the ball over to the fullback and a couple of things. We've been trying hard; really hard to make sure we can run the football when we get in a tough ballgame. We did that fairly well today. Again, I hate to take anything away from the other guy because they really came after us defensively. Their scheme was tough.

Q: What went into your decision to coach from the booth today?
A: Last week, in the first half kids, were trying to save me from getting run over and in the process they would grab me. It's almost like all over again. My leg hurts and my hip. Nothing serious, it's just that I'm getting to be a sissy in my old age. I can't handle it and I'm fighting a cold. I just thought it would be better. If I can't move around down there, I get in the way. Everybody's worrying, 'Where is Paterno? Where's coach?' That's not fair. So anyway, I decided I was going to stay upstairs for this one. I think next week I'll be back on the sideline, hopefully.

Q: What are your thoughts on going for it on fourth and one at the end of the game?
A: Even if we kicked a field goal, that only put us eight points ahead. A touchdown and a two point (conversion) ties the game. If we make that much, the game is over because they didn't have any timeouts left. If it hadn't gone for it, you guys would be killing me. The field goal, at that stage, would not have won it. It would have just put us eight ahead, which would have put pressure on them obviously. But, they could have scored and they could have gone for two and tied it and then we're in overtime.

Q: Why do you think your team might not get as much respect as other 6-1 teams across the country might get?
A: You guys would have to answer that question. What happens, I think, and again I'm not sure I know what I'm talking about on this thing, is that these people start out voting for certain guys. I've never liked that. I don't vote for the Coaches Poll. I haven't voted in the last six or seven years. The year I thought Auburn should have been one or two, I voted for them one or two. The Coaches Poll, they all got upset with me. The head of the American Football Coaches Association said, 'You've got to vote for one or the other.' I forget the two or three teams, and I voted for two or three teams as No. 1 because I said, 'How do I know who is No. 1?' That was before we had the BCS. So, I think it starts off with where you start and you go from there. There's plenty of time. We've got plenty of opportunities to find out how good we are and whether we ought to be ranked higher.


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