PSU Week: A.J. Edds Q&A

Penn State is ranked #3 in the nation in advance of their visit to Iowa City. A.J. Edds dreams of playing against teams like this in games like this; it's put up or shut up time for Iowa, according to Edds...

Q: How frustrating is it to be so close to being 9-0?

A.J. Edds: It's not so much frustrating that it is motivating, because if we had those extra plays who knows where we would be. If we keep pushing and make the plays, who knows what is out there for us. We know there is something we can do about it. If it were things out of our control, it would be frustrating. But these are things we can control, it is motivating to keep working.

Q: You said that it's frustrating yet motivating. How do you resist making big changes?

Edds: You have to prepare to a good baseball hitter that is in a slump. Every good player will go into a slump, and you don't see guys making changes. They stick to what they know, and things turn around. That is what we are in right now. We know we have to stick to our guns and do what we do and things will turn out if we keep pushing. We have to keep getting better in practice and make more plays. But we are close, it's not like we are getting killed out there. We have to clean up some stuff on both sides of the ball and special teams and hopefully some of the breaks go down our way.

Q: If you are able to win Saturday you would be bowl eligible, you'd have a big win against a Top 3 team. What would that mean to the program?

Edds: It would mean a lot, but we will be here next week talking about Purdue. This isn't the last game of the season, win, lose or draw. We will have to be ready next week for a new team. It's one week at a time, we will put in our game plan, the same practice schedule and know we will have to bring extra to the table this week.

Q: You talked about the mental challenge. How hard is that?

Edds: The big thing is that you have to know that you can get it done, and we do. We have the talent to do that. There is no one on the field that is incapable of what the coaches are asking of us. We need guys doing their job a little bit extra, and if you do that you will see improvement. Everyone is staying focused on what we can control.

Q: Penn State wants to come in here and win by four touchdowns, not just win 21-20.

Edds: They are probably mad. We know they want to make a statement. We know they are #3 for a reason; they have played great football and have been dominant. We know if we don't play very well, it could get ugly quick. We know that.

Q: Is it fun to get a shot at a ranked team?

Edds: Yeah. This is all you can hope for. It's a measuring stuck to see if we are as close as we think we are, or if we are a .500 club. I think we will respond well. It will be a home game, national television and all of that. That is all you can ask for. It's a great team and hopefully things will work out for us.

Q: Is this the kind of game where one or two plays can make the difference?

Edds: I think so. I think anytime you get into a physical Big Ten game, you can always come back to one or two plays that really do decide the game. Watching the OSU-PSU game, it came down to that fumble. That said, if they get a first down there is no assurance they could score there, either. The tables turn pretty quickly. It comes down to a couple plays down the end. That has happened to us the last few weeks. A few have come our way against Wisconsin, and last week things didn't go our way. That is on our shoulders, you make your own luck. If we want to see success, we have to keep pushing and make it happen.

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