September 7, 2010

Joe Paterno Press Conference Recap:
Alabama Week

Joe Paterno Post-Game [1]
Joe Paterno took questions from the media today,
as Penn State prepares to travel for its game
against the Alabama Crimson Tide, 2009 national champions.
Here's the long and short of what happened today at Joe Paterno's Alabama game week press conference. Let's just say, Joe is grounded going into this one...

Quick hits:

  • Alabama won the national championship last season, and crushed a weak opponent last week. What do you want Joe to say about it? They're a great, great football team.
  • Penn State must first stop the run game, no matter if Mark Ingram plays. If the Tide can run the ball this week, Greg McElroy and Julio Jones will kill you quickly.
  • Nick Saban was a good coach when he was at Michigan State ('95-'99, beat PSU in '97 & '99), but has even better talent at Alabama. 
  • Penn State couldn't run the ball well against Youngstown State, so how the hell could they expect to run the ball against a team like Alabama? This is one of the youngest teams Joe has ever coached.
  • The offensive line has to get better, obviously. But the entire left 3/5 of the line hasn't really played a lot of football. The offensive line needs a dominant leader, which seems to be still missing.
  • Joe doesn't sound too optimistic about pulling a "miracle" down in Tuscaloosa, but games like this one are why you want to play big-time college football. The team will come back, win or loss, better than it went into the game. 
  • I was surprised it took until the seventh question for Bear Bryant to come up. Joe skirted talking about Bryant, telling the media to come back with that in the spring. Right now, it's about Penn State and Alabama. This isn't unexpected, as we heard the same stuff before the 2006 Orange Bowl, when Joe and Bobby Bowden squared off.
  • Evan Royster is down to 218 lbs, so he's not overweight, as Joe was concerned about earlier this summer. Royster needs more running room, and works better out of formations where the QB is under center. Plus, the pass game can use him more as the year goes on.
  • If you didn't already know, Penn State was supposed to play Alabama in 2004 and 2005, but the Bama athletic director asked that the game be rescheduled. Bama was going through NCAA sanctions at the time, and wanted to face PSU when it was better off. 
  • Joe has always like the Alabama series. It has had its bumps along the way, but overall Joe thinks it's good for college football to have games like this.
  • Pretty much no comment on the 1979 Sugar Bowl. 
  • Rob Bolden will get knocked around at Alabama. This isn't the Youngstown State defense. He's a very mature young man, and should be able to learn a ton from this game.
  • Bolden can't win this game on his own. But as long has he doesn't do stupid things, he should be fine. Kevin Newsome and Matt McGloin can step in any time, and Joe will feel alright about it.
  • '79 Sugar Bowl, again... stop askin'. 
  • Johnnie Troutman and DeOn'tae Pannell may rotate again, may not.
  • The SEC is still ahead of everyone else because they are very media-savy. Meanwhile, the Big Ten is still catching up. The Big Ten has done a very good job, with Nebraska coming on and all, but still not on the level of the SEC. Playing a championship game will help, and adding an eastern team to the conference in the next round of expansion.
  • Alabama is not scary because of one player. Bama is scary because they have a bunch of players that, together, can kick the crap out of your team.
  • Stop asking about Bryant. 
  • John Shaffer (PSU QB '85-'86) was a good quarterback, but can't really be compared to Bama's McElroy. 
  • Losing Marcel Dareus won't make a difference in how PSU prepares. It will make a difference in how Bama prepares, so go ask Saban about that. But PSU has to prepare for all the players Bama will throw out there. Trent Richardson (Bama TB) had a heck of a game in the title game last year against Texas, and he was a backup.
  • If Joe and Bowden were going to meet up (Bowden was invited by Bama to the game), he wouldn't talk about it here.
Here's the full press conference, courtesy of

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  1. Sometimes I think Joe would tell us St. Mary's of the Blind would be a really tough contest for PSU because those kids can hear better and smell better than the Lions. We all know that 'Bama is gonna be tough, but I love seeing Joe lament and put out the doom and gloom. It's telling to me that he chose the Miami game to compare to. I think Joe thinks PSU has a pretty good shot at winning this thing and calling out the Miami game was Joe code for, "Watch out, 'Bama!"

  2. Joe always says [insert current opponent here] is a really good football team that is really well coached. He said it about YSU and then turns around and says stuff like "did not run the ball well enough against Youngstown to think that we could have any kind of success against a team that plays as tough and as completely on defense as Alabama does." Didn't you just get done saying YSU was good? LOL