September 28, 2010

Joe Paterno Press Conference Recap:
Iowa Week

Joe Paterno pregame [5]
Joe knows Iowa all too well, and what the
Hawkeyes have done to Penn State...
Joe Paterno and Penn State are getting ready for Iowa. Here's the highlights from JoePa's weekly press conference.
  • Penn State can do better in the red zone, but that shouldn't take away from what Temple was able to do defensively. But the play calling could be a bit better, maybe throwing on earlier downs, stuff like that.
  • Iowa is a well-coached football team that will jump on any opportunity you give it to win. Kirk Ferentz is a Pennsylvania guy, who's father-in-law was Joe Paterno's high school teammate. So the connections are there to make the game a bit more personal. 
  • Iowa is still one of the best teams in the country. The Arizona loss was so unlike the Hawkeyes, with lots of mistakes. The Big Ten overall is greatly improved, and very, very tough this year all around.
  • Chima Okoli was a former defensive lineman that was moved to the offense this off-season. He's more suited to play offense, because he's not great at getting under blocks and stuff. It's going to be tough for him at Iowa, going up against Adrian Clayborn, but it hasn't been easy for any team.
  • The emphasis on special teams has obviously paid off this season. The spread punt was partly a move made to accommodate the personnel on this team (much faster players), and partly because of what happened last year against Iowa and Ohio State. 
  • Chaz Powell will stay at wide receiver, and not move back to cornerback, where he was this past spring. He's going to be a good football player. Right now, he's more suited to play offense.
  • Rob Bolden is a really fine young quarterback, with great maturity. He's a quiet leader who does pretty much anything asked of him. He just needs more experience.
  • If you had told Joe that Penn State would play just one quarterback against Temple, he would have been surprised. In other words, Joe didn't expect it to be that close of a game. Penn State may use two quarterbacks against Iowa. Remember, Penn State did that with Derrick Williams in 2008, and it worked to some degree. 
  • The late 96-yard drive was important for Bolden, and the team as a whole. But that was at home, not in a place like Kinnick Stadium.
  • Ricki Stanzi is a good, scrappy quarterback who makes plays, is fearless. 
  • Shawney Kersey missed practice last week, but is back now. No more details than that.
  • The defense is really good, but just needs to see more games. You can prepare for some things, but not get them from the other team. Temple showed a lot of empty backfield sets in its first three games, but it didn't do that once against Penn State. The defense starting games a bit sluggishly is partly due to those kinds of things. The only really bad half Penn State played defensively was the first half against Alabama. Joe was pretty pissed off about the tackling, which we all kind of knew already.
  • Joe specifically challenged Nick Sukay before the Temple game to play the ball, not the man. What resulted were two interceptions by Sukay, the first two all season by Temple. It will take a whole defense full of that kind of stuff to stop Iowa, though. 
  • Talking about going away in front of a big stage at night: 
"You know who the guy is, he's the guy with the different colored jersey over there, but I don't think it never meant anything to me when I played. Whether it means something to these kids now because there's so much more hoopla that goes around than when I played when I played, we'd go down to Yale Bowl. What's the Yale Bowl? Somebody said to me, "Hey, you're going to play in the Yale Bowl." I said, "Where do you flush it?" being a smart aleck from Brooklyn."
  • Joe knows this Iowa team inside and out. The loss of Jewel Hampton to an ACL. Backup Adam Robinson stepping in pretty well. Even the backup quarterback, who played the end of last season when Stanzi was hurt, is pretty darn good. 
Full transcript, via

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