Nov. 3, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; -
5 - Graham Zug, Senior, Wide Receiver
Q: What are some differences between Matt McGloin and Rob Bolden?
A: They are very similar. Matt showed he could run in the game on Saturday, but Rob has done the same thing. They both compete; they both are leaders in the huddle, so actually they are very similar.
Q: The Illinois game was a low point for the team; it's been seemingly all uphill since then. What's been the biggest difference?
A: I think we just realized that we couldn't have games like we played against Illinois. We have to come out, we have to be ready to play, we have to play our best and we especially have to practice hard throughout the week.
Q: How about you personally? You were reinvigorated on Saturday, how much does that change your outlook on the season?
A: I've been motivated this whole season. Whether or not I was getting the ball, that doesn't matter to me. I just try to do my best to help the team win. Whether it's just being a leader out there or making sure guys are motivated, that's just what I have to do.
Q: How do you put something like 400 wins in perspective?
A: That's pretty unbelievable for Coach Paterno. Hopefully we can come out this Saturday and it would be great to get it at home, in front of the home crowd, the home fans that have been here cheering him on and cheering the team on. That's just got to be a great accomplishment for him.
Q: What has McGloin done to earn an opportunity after being third on the depth chart? Can you describe some of the things he has done in practice throughout the season to get this shot?
A: He's done everything he has been asked. He hasn't been late to meetings and he hasn't been late to check-in at breakfast. He has always competed. As a walk-on you can only compete. You have to work hard because you have to climb the depth chart. He's done that just like all the other quarterbacks have done.
Q: Joe did say that he thought Bolden was playing better and was progressing (prior to being injured). If that job was taken away from Rob, with no fault to his own, how will he respond to that? You're around him at practice, how will he handle that?
A: I'm not sure who will take over this week's quarterback job. I think they both realize that they can compete and help the team win and ultimately that's what is most important.
Q: You said after the game that McGloin was a former walk-on like you, McGloin is the first guy to ever start as a walk-on. Why is it so much harder for a quarterback to make it as a walk-on?
A: I think it's a lot harder as a quarterback because they are involved in every play on offense. The ball is in their hand every single play and ultimately they have to make the right choice of who to throw the ball to. They have to be the most important leader on the offense and I think that's what he has done. Coming in as a walk-on you can only climb the depth chart, you can never go back down and you just have to work your hardest.
Q: This week when you're practicing between both quarterbacks, does that throw you off at all in concerns with the timing for you personally?
A: No it doesn't. We have worked a lot with both of them. We went through camp with all the quarterbacks competing. We know what to expect from each one and that won't set us back at all.
Q: Brett Brackett had a really tough year last season, but obviously he has made some big improvements for this year. What changes have you seen in him?
A: He has always been motivated. As a captain, he has to show that he can be there to make plays and that he can help the offense move the ball and get first downs and touchdowns. He has done that this year. Last year, we had a more experienced quarterback who wasn't afraid to throw it deep. I think the new quarterbacks want to take what the defense gives them, and not risk the ball as much and turn the ball over.
Q: When Matt McGloin showed up a few years ago as a walk-on, could you get the sense that this kid might be a little bit different than some of the typical walk-on quarterbacks who come through the program, that this guy might have some potential and could help out in the future?
A: Definitely. From what I heard, Matt was close to breaking a lot of Pat Devlin's records in high school. You heard a lot about him, he threw the ball around a ton in high school. He was similar to my offense in high school, we threw the ball around a lot. You always hear about the quarterback, not so much the receivers or the running backs.
Q: Can you give us your impressions of Northwestern defensively?
A: They're a great defense. They surround the ball and show a lot of two spoke coverages, and they make sure they get to the ball. They're always around it, there are multiple guys around it. We have to make sure we catch the ball and secure it and try and move the chains.
71 - Devon Still, Junior, Defensive Tackle
Q: How much does it help having seen Dan Persa last year in the second half of the football game?
A: It helps a great deal, it helps with our game plan for this week. I would say that he is like Denard Robinson. He is looking to make plays with his feet first but he can also make plays with his arm. Going against him last year was a big help.
Q: How much respect do you have for what Chima (Okoli) has done, moving over from defense and being able to pick up offensive tackle?
A: I have a lot of respect for Chima. He worked hard on the defense, but unfortunately it did not work out for him and they thought it was best for him to move to the tackle. Since he has been starting he has been performing well.
Q: Can you compare Persa and Robinson and the way you prepare for them?
A: We started yesterday preparing the same way we did for Michigan, just getting our scout team quarterbacks to try and make plays with their feet before they look to throw the ball. We learned from Michigan that we need to be more disciplined in our assignments and our lanes because we know that the quarterback runs so much. The secondary is quick to come up and help with the scramble, which is easy for the quarterback to lob the ball and throw it overtop their heads. This week we're just working on being disciplined.
Q: Persa has completed 74 percent of his passes. You guys haven't had a lot of pressure on the quarterbacks all season. How important is it that you get up and put some pressure on him?
A: It is important that you said he has completed 74 percent of his passes, because that means he is an accurate quarterback. If we can get in his face then we can disrupt him, and have him think more than he has been thinking all season.
Q: Has Jack Crawford done anything yet in practice?
A: He started yesterday a little bit, but is waiting to see how his foot is going to hold up.
Q: What would a healthy Crawford do to this defensive run?
A: He could cause a lot of double teams for himself. Jack is an explosive player, so teams have to look out for his pass rush. That helps the rest of us out on the defensive line and the one on ones.
Q: Teams like Michigan and Northwestern don't go in the huddle, they play rapid fire offense. When you play a team like that how important is it to be in good shape and play several plays in a row without coming off like you normally do?
A: It is important. I think Northwestern is looking to come off about 85 plays per game, so it is a lot of no huddle. Coach Johnson can't substitute that much because the game is going at such a rapid pace that he doesn't have time to get subs in. By us running around in practice in getting in shape will help us out a lot on Saturday.
Q: How much does the win over Michigan help to turn around the season? There was a lot of negativity going into that game, that you might not win six games. Do you think you can do that now?
A: I think it boosted our confidence a lot. That was a big win for us. I am seeing a lot of different things going around the team. People have energy at practice and we're more confident in ourselves, so hopefully that will help us during the rest of the season.
Q: How about Paterno going for his 400th win? You have probably been around for about 40 of them, so how crazy is that?
A: It is a special moment. Coach Paterno downplays it. He is worried about us just focusing on Northwestern so we can get a win and better our record, not so much getting his 400th win.
Q: How incredible is it to get that many wins?
A: It is incredible, and we're looking to go out there and get him that 400h win this weekend.
Q: What does Ollie Ogbu mean to this team as a player and a person?
A: He means a lot. He is a vocal person inside the huddle and the locker room. Just having his presence around is going to fire up the defense and fire up the offense to go out there and play their best.
Q: With the defensive line this year, has he (Ogbu) talked to you guys more specifically? There has been a lot of injuries and rotating guys through. Has he tried to motivate you guys more so this year?
A: Yeah, this is his fifth year so he has been around longer than anybody else has. He has more experience on how to deal with injuries and playing against other teams. He has been a lot of help with the people who have been injured, and working on the game plan against other teams.
Q: You guys have nine sacks this year. Is that a key part, that you have to get pressure? Why is there no pressure this year?
A: I am not sure. In previous years the defensive line has had a lot of sacks, and production has lowered this year. I am not sure why that is, but we're trying to find out and work on that so that we can get production up.
Q: You guys obviously set a lot of goals before the season. Is getting to six wins for bowl eligibility the first goal you want to achieve?
A: Our first goal is to be in the National Championship game, that's how we start off the season. We got a couple of losses and we got out of the National Championship running, so we were going to work on winning the Big Ten. We struggled in the Big Ten, so therefore we just want to get as many wins as we can and turn our negative season into a positive season.
Q: You are from Delaware, not exactly a big time football state. Do you and other guys on the team represent Delaware and have Delaware pride?
A: We have a big chip on our shoulder. When we came up here, a lot of teammates joked that we didn't have too many athletes come out of Delaware and that we couldn't play football. We feel as though we have to go out there and just prove ourselves to everybody.