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Jason Cabinda | Linebacker | Sr./Sr.
Q. What are your immediate thoughts about the Chad Johnson interaction on Twitter? What does wearing that neck roll mean to you?
JC: That was pretty cool. I've known him for a long time and he was one of my favorite players in the league. That was pretty funny.
In terms of the neck roll, I've been wearing it pretty much since I got to Penn State. It kind of just works for me...The fans are really into it. It's an older style neck roll. The other ones I didn't really like. It's kind of the only one I really liked and it has worked for me.
Q. Who is your FIFA team and why can you beat Chad Johnson?
JC: Manchester City and because of Guerrero.
Q. Talk about the players meeting on Sunday, what was said?
JC: We just felt like there were just some things we had to get off our chest. Making sure the mentality of the team was the same. Be sure that we were [all] still taking the same approach. Knowing there's a ton of football left and a lot still left to be accomplished. We kind of just reiterating those things really.
Q. Who called it? How do you decide?
JC: Trace and I texted back and forth and we felt like we needed to have one, and Saquon, too. We kind of made that happen.
Q. What's the difference you see on Michigan State's offense this year compared?
JC: I think their offensive line is really gelling right now. It is the same style of football. They're running the football. Very Michigan-type. I would say they're similar to the Michigan offense. I think their quarterback right now is playing better. I think this is his first year starting and he's having a good year. We're definitely going to have to watch out for him, make sure we're disguised and play with a ton of personnel. We will see if we can't peg his presnap, too.
Q. Obviously after losing Ryan Buchholz, James talked about how a lot of younger guys got in on the defensive line. How do you think they played?
JC: I think they played well. I mean, it's obviously tough any time you lose a veteran guy or guys are out for even a series or two. It's tough.
Those guys prepared really well. They came in and played hard. They did what we were asking them to do. I think as a defense in general we made too many mistakes. Mistakes that we don't normally make. That is kind of the disappointing part about it.
We're going to get better. We watched the film and made corrections. It's time to move on to Michigan State. That's kind of what we're doing right now.
Q. Coach Franklin said you struggled with sudden momentum shifts this year, coming back on the field after a turnover or whatever. Why do you think that is?
JC: Those situations, sudden change, whether it's an interception, a blocked kick, some type of turnover on downs or any unfortunate situation. A lot of times you're put in bad field position and are asked to make a stand. We need to make that stand. It’s as simple as that.
It's really a mentality, a mindset. We have to get in our heads right to get the momentum right back.
It's obviously tough playing in an away stadium and having a sudden change, because the crowd gets involved, which can increases that momentum shift, I'd say.
To us it's all about composure really. It's composure, it's mentality, it's staying on track and executing at a crucial time. We haven't been able to do that very well this season.
Q. As one of the leaders of this team, you mentioned the players-only meeting. How did your perception change after the meeting about this group compared to when you walked into that meeting?
JC: Obviously I didn't really expect anyone to have any type of a head-down mentality. That's just not who we are as players. It's not what this team is.
Not seeing that mentality wasn't very surprising to me. I know the kind of kids we have, the kind of guys we have in that locker room. It was really to reiterate and make sure the mentality was set. Get anyone who was doubting that and make sure we are all pulling the rope in the same direction, which we are.
To me it was really how little convincing it took to everyone to make sure we're in the same direction, because we are. I was very pleased knowing that.
Q. Franklin described the Land Grant Trophy as one of the most beautiful in college football. What is your opinion on it?
JC: I think it's cool playing for a trophy, adding a little something to the game, maybe a little more of an incentive.
For me, it's all about getting a [win]. I could care less about getting the trophy. Winning is all I care about, to be completely honest.
It's about a win. We want the trophy to stay here. That's how we want it to be. It's really as simple as that, it's about winning. That's what we're going to get done.
Q. Talk about being on the road two weeks in a row, what you are doing to prepare for that.
JC: Obviously being on the road you want to prepare for crowd noise and those kinds of things. The approach really isn't that much different. It doesn't matter where we play. Playing in Beaver Stadium is quite special. It's quite the advantage for us. In terms of preparation, the way we approach games, stuff like that, whether we're playing home or away, it doesn't change.
It's really all about execution, doing your job and knowing the opponent. Executing, that's really what it's about. Although, playing in places like the Big House, you're preparing for crowd noise. Besides that there's not really much of a difference.
Q. You talked about keeping that mentality after a loss like you faced. From your experience being on this team, what is the biggest learning lesson you've had to keep a team from not losing confidence after a game like that?
JC: I think the best thing about this team is we're very aware of what we're capable of. We're very aware of our potential and how good we can be. I think that's the reason we're not really losing any confidence. I think it's more feeling as though we just didn't play our best football. It's more disappointing really than anything.
I wouldn't say our confidence has gone anywhere or anything like that. We're very, very aware of just how dangerous and how good of a team that we are. In terms of confidence, I don't think anything's really changed after that loss.
Q. You've seen over the course of this year there's been moments when you've had a pretty good idea what the offense was going to run against you and you check into that counter. As a defensive player, when you know what's coming next, what's different in terms of how you play that?
JC: You can anticipate. I think when you're playing defense and you're able to anticipate what's coming, that's when big plays happen. You jump a route and get a pick. You knew how the offensive line was going to set, so you're able to beat them for a sack. When you study your opponents really well, you get a hang of what formations or tendencies they have. When you're on the field, you're starting to see those formations and tendencies, then you start to jump on them. I think that's when big negative-yardage plays happen, interceptions, sacks, TFLs. Those type of plays happen when you play anticipatory defense. It's important. That's really where film study comes in and things like that. That's when you're able to recognize those things.
Q. When you look at Kevin Givens, you can deploy him in many ways. What is the most freakish thing you've seen him do?
JC: He's probably one of the strongest guys on the team pound-for-pound. He's freakish in the weight room and on the field.
To me, it's his leverage. If I had to compare him to a player, he is kind of like an Aaron Donald. He just plays with leverage. He gets low, he's strong and twitchy. He comes off the ball and drives people back. He lives in the backfield. He's always in the backfield, creating a new line of scrimmage. That's why he's so effective both inside and outside.
In terms of freakish, I mean, we use him a lot in our loops. He's just very good at bending the corner, getting around, getting his hips back squared against the quarterback. He's very good at that.