Nov. 1, 2012
Penn State Football Press Conference
October 31, 2012
No. 11 - Matt McGloin, Senior, Quarterback
Q: Purdue's corners are capable of making big plays. How aware do you have to be of where they are at all times?
A: I think in any game you need to be very aware of where the corners are. They definitely have talented players. We are definitely aware that they are a good football team. They have been playing pretty well this season. Just like every other game, we have been watching film and preparing each and every day. We are trying to find tendencies that they have.
Q: Talk about Kyle Carter. He has been a reliable target in this offense for you.
A: In an offense where tight ends play a major role in how we perform on the field, he has really stepped up and been the go-to guy in that tight end position. He has one of the best sets of hands on the team. He is a very instinctive football player. He has a knack for getting open. As young as he is, you can trust him and know that he is going to do his job well.
Q: Purdue gave Ohio State and Notre Dame tough games, but they are 0-4 in the league. How do you prepare for a team that you don't know what to expect from them?
A: You have to prepare as hard as you can each and every week. You have to have the mindset that it is going to be a tough game and that they will do things you won't expect to see. We know it will be a tough environment but we are going to have to be ready to go out there and play. Like you said, they have played some teams very well this season. They could easily have a few more wins than they do. They are a dangerous team and we will continue to move forward, focus all of our attention on them. We will match their intensity on Saturday.
Q: As the quarterback, when you see a pass rush, what can you do to try to overcome that?
A: Nothing. As a quarterback, it is not your job to worry about whether or not a defender is closing in on you, who is blocking one guy or another. In terms of pass rushing, you have to have trust in your linemen and understand that they have a job to do and believe that they are going to get it done. I definitely believe that my linemen and I are capable of blocking anybody they face. For the most part, they did a great job against Ohio State on Saturday. There are always things you can work on so we need to keep improving. We will keep communicating with each other and I think we will have some time to throw the ball on Saturday.
Q: If Kyle Carter can't go, which other tight end is more geared to step up into his position? Talk about Matt Lehman, Garry Gilliam and Jesse James.
A: They all have their strengths. Matt has a great set of hands, Garry is a great blocker and Jesse can do a little bit of both. It's only Wednesday, hopefully Carter can get healthy for Saturday. If he cannot go, I have no doubt that one of those guys will step up and fill that position. Being a tight end here, you need to know all the routes, the blocking assignments. They are definitely prepared for it and if called upon, I have no doubt that they will be able to step up and get it done.
Q: John Urschel mentioned this earlier and you have before as well. There needs to be improved communication between the quarterback position and the linemen, as well as between the linemen themselves. How do you work on that in practice?
A: We practice with a lot of music and a lot of noise. (Last) Saturday, this was probably the only place in the country where at home we had to use a silent cadence. That does not happen all too often. We were not expecting that because we never have in the past. We want to communicate better, so we practice with music very loud so we can practice focusing on what the call is and what the protection is and not worry about the noises around us.
Q: In film, have you noticed Feichter, their safety who has had four or five interceptions?
A: He is a great player. He has a lot of range and we are definitely aware of that. He makes some good plays and is a great safety to have back there. Our gameplan will not change because of him but we will have to be very aware of him at all times and still take our shots as necessary.
Q: How has the weather impacted preparations and how has it impacted your family in Scranton?
A: My family is fine and there's nothing to worry about. In terms of football, we have not been able to practice outside which is tough because at Purdue it will probably be cold and rainy. Hopefully, we will get to go outside for a little today. Any type of practice inside is not that great because you cannot get comfortable with the atmosphere. We will adjust Saturday.
Q: You have four games left. Have you thought about that and have you talked with other seniors about that?
A: For sure. We are definitely aware that we only have four more games at Penn State. There is no December for us. I believe November 24th is our last day as a Penn State football player. We are aware of it but at the same time we are staying focused on Purdue. We will prepare as if Purdue is our last game and that is the mindset we will have for the rest of the season.
Q: We didn't see the NASCAR offense as much on Saturday. Is there an explanation for that? Was there something Ohio State was doing or a communication issue with crowd noise?
A: I'm not too sure. I guess it wasn't a big part of our gameplan for Saturday's game. They were very well-prepared for us. As expected, we knew they were going to be prepared. We can't focus too much on Ohio State. That game is in the past. Like I said, we have four games left to keep pushing on here and now it's on to Purdue.
Q: Saturday night it looked like Kyle Carter failed to come up with a play or two and it looked like you went back to him a couple plays later. Is that something you make a point to do after a receiver doesn't make a catch or did he just happen to be open?
A: I mean, he was open, so I don't really care if a guy catches it or drops it or runs the wrong route. It's not my job to not go back to him. If he's a part of the read and he's open, I don't care if he's dropped 10 balls before or caught 10 balls, I'm going to throw him the ball if he's open and does his job. That's the way I approach the game, that's the way I play the game. It's not my job to catch it or make plays. It's just my job to throw it to the guy that's open.
Q: Could you talk about what you've seen out of Steven Bench?
A: Steve's really coming along. As a young guy, he's definitely going to make those mistakes, but he's taking notes each and every day. He's learning as much as he can from Coach Fisher and Coach O'Brien. I've been trying to do my best to keep him focused and let him know I've been there through the ups and downs and he's going to cross them. Anything I can do for him, I've been trying to do and he knows anything he needs from me, I'll give him an honest answer.
Q: How has your course of major (journalism) helped you understand the media and working with the media and developing a thick skin? Has it helped?
A: Definitely. I know you guys pretend to be friends with me and everything (laughter). I'm just kidding. I'm definitely aware of how it works. At the end of the day, I know you guys have a job to do and you need to write what you see and what you feel. I feel it's a part of my job to help you write those stories and give you what you need. I feel as if I've done that in the past and given you some honest answers and told you the truth. Having that degree and dealing with you guys on a weekly basis, I definitely understand.
Q: This week coming up, you guys have gotten off to fast starts every game, except for last week. With them being 3-5, tell me about the importance of getting off to another fast start against Purdue this week.
A: It'll be at Purdue and any time you're playing on the road in the Big Ten it's going to be tough. I've never played there, but it's going to be a tough environment. They're probably going to be jacked up for the game, so like we did at Iowa, hopefully we'll get out to an early lead and take their fans out of it. Hopefully we'll continue to push and put up some big numbers Saturday.
Q: Allen Robinson said this morning he's been working up on his deep routes. What are the keys to hooking up on those passes between 30 and 40 yards between the quarterback and wide receiver?
A: One key thing is getting the ball out on time. The longer you hold the ball, the less air gets put on it. You take your nice drop and get in a rhythm. You trust that he's open, you see that he's open and put a nice ball with some air under it so he can run under it. It's all about timing and landmarks. Like I said, the longer you hold onto it, the less air you get and you tend to force it and throw it harder and it has a higher chance of getting picked off.
Q: With everything that's happened here, do you think with what you've shown on the field this year, being a 5-3 team, do you think people on the outside look at Penn State and think about the football team first as opposed to all the other stuff?
A: Obviously, I know the feeling we have is `this is our football team, they think of the football team first.' Everything else in the past is trying to get pushed out of the way and that's what we're trying to do. We're just trying to play our football game and do the best we could do to keep this program where it should be and let it rise to the top. For us seniors, we understand we only have four games left and we're trying to leave this place on a high note and keep it where it belongs. We know the support will be there week-in and week-out and that's all we could ask for.
No. 4 - Adrian Amos, Sophomore, Cornerback
Q: What are your thoughts about the speed Purdue has at the skill positions, and have you played a team this year that has as much speed maybe at wide receiver and running back as this team does?
A: All-around, they probably will be the fastest team we play. Ohio State had fast receivers, also. Purdue, from a skill position standpoint, is one of the most athletic teams we are going to play.
Q: How do you view a team like that, that obviously gave Notre Dame a tough game, gave Ohio State a tough game, but yet they're 0-4 in the league. How do you look at a team like that and not take them too lightly because of their record?
A: You're not supposed to take any team lightly. As you see in college football you can lose to anybody. Purdue is a very athletic team that can make a lot of plays; a lot of big plays. They can catch and take it 60 yards if you're not disciplined.
Q: Does it help at all that they recently played Ohio State and you recently played Ohio State? I know it's hard to compare one game versus another, but within the past two weeks do you look at that game film and see what they did against Ohio State because you know what you guys did?
A: You watch everything. The coaches watch different games like that and tell us what we should be looking at more because they obviously know more about what we should be focusing on. It did kind of help, in a way, watching what they did against Ohio State. We watch based on what coverages we run versus Purdue between other teams and what coverages they run.
Q: You guys have been playing better on the road as the season has progressed what do you think is behind it, especially the Big Ten road games?
A: We are just close as a team. It helps being at home with 110,000 fans, but for us to be motivated we just need ourselves, our coaches and our teammates.
Q: What do you like best about Coach O'Brien?
A: His attitude about the game. He's competitive and a winner like we are. He wants to win, even when we're down against a team like Ohio State, he is still fighting and trying to score. He is still motivating us that we still have a chance.
Q: Do you just get that through the things that he says, like the way he acts? How can you tell?
A: You can tell he's genuine by what he says and what he does. The emotion he shows during practice. He just cares a lot about the little things to win a game.
Q: From the beginning of the year until now, what has improved in the secondary the most?
A: Experience. This is our first full season playing (together). I could say experience helps out a lot with knowing the speed of the game, the speed of receivers, and knowing what to do in certain situations in college football.
Q: Could you talk about the challenges practicing inside? Matt (McGloin) was saying earlier he doesn't really feel as in sync when he's practicing inside, and even the challenges of practicing outside when it's wet like you might be doing today?
A: Practicing outside when it's wet, it helps the defense get a feel for when maybe you have to keep your legs underneath you coming downhill breaking on balls. It does help. Practicing inside in Holuba, it gets hot and humid in there, but that's really it. It's nothing really to me that I see wrong with it.
Q: Adrian, those 15 bowl practices you had last year, how big of a factor do you think that was in your development?
A: Bowl practices last year you got a lot of one-on-one with receivers working on my technique. Getting used to playing more football, getting more reps in practice. During bowl week practice you get a lot more reps and experience.
Q: Coach O'Brien said Deion Barnes is a guy with a lot of character; can you just talk about what kind of guy he is?
A: I owe Deion a lot. Deion is a great guy. He's from Philadelphia and I've known him from before we came to high school. Deion is a good all-around person. He loves to compete. He's very competitive. He is basically my roommate he's always over.
Q: I don't know if you are aware of Purdue's situations, but they're coming off a couple of losses and they're in a pretty desperate situation for a win if they're going to make a bowl game. Is there any doubt that you guys won't be able to match their intensity on Saturday?
A: We have to come with intensity every game. You can't go into a game thinking you just take any team for granted. They're a real good team. We better match that intensity or we can get beat.
Q: Your interception the other day, were you tripped up, slipped, what happened on that play? Did you look at that on film and think you could have gotten a longer return?
A: I watched it and I was confused. I don't know why I just didn't stay on my feet. I can't remember exactly what happened at the time.
Q: Coach said that different guys may be looked at to return kicks this week. You have been back there a couple of times. Are you a candidate?
A: We'll see Saturday. I always practice returning kicks or go catch the ball to stay used to the catching returning kicks. Anytime they call my name that's when I go return.
Q: Being one of the younger guys in the secondary, can you talk about what it's been like to play with guys like Malcolm (Willis) and Stephon (Morris). What specific things they have taught you technique-wise or things they do to help you out throughout the season?
A: Stephon has taught me to be a competitor on every play. He's probably the most fiery person in the secondary. He gets after it and competes on every play, runs to the ball. Malcolm, when I was back-and-forth between safety and corner, he was helping me learn the safety, what they do in certain situations, the different plays and techniques.
Q: You guys seem really focused when you go on the road. What are some the reasons for that focus?
A: We have a lot of leadership on this team with (Michael) Mauti and (Gerald) Hodges. Players like that keep us focused on the road. We know we have a task and we just have to stay focused. The coaches are really strict about being focused for the game. Different things like the way our day is planned out on the road it helps us to stay focused and not wander off.
Q: Is it easier to focus on the road than it is at home?
A: Probably. It might be easier to focus away than home. You don't have the distractions of people actually knowing you. You don't know anybody but your teammates when you travel. It is easier.
Q: You were saying you are sometimes back there returning kicks, about how many guys are usually returning kicks and catching them like that during practice?
A: I can't really give you a number but a lot of skill positions are back there returning (kicks). The returners you see and a couple others that go back there and try to return some.