Catch Scott Cole's Fast Wrap of Paterno's comments:
1. Talk about your feelings for this senior class.
Joe doesn't put the players in categories. It's a team. The team wouldn't be where it is without senior leadership. He likes all the players. They've been a lot of fun to be around.
Obviously, he'll think about the trials and tribulations these seniors have had during their career. Up to now, he hasn't really thought about it.
2. What kind of impact has Barry Alvarez had on the Big Ten?
He's been a great coach and Joe is sorry to see him get out of coaching. He's a great guy and will be a great athletic director. You hate to see someone like that get out of coaching, but everyone has to make decisions about their life.
Joe will not miss Barry's teams kicking Penn State's ears in.
3. Is there any chance this will be your last home game?
Joe hasn't given any thought to that. Maybe if he can't get away from the big, fat slow linemen during warmups anymore...but no, he hasn't given that the slightest thought.
4. Paul Posluszny said earlier today that he is at least entertaining the notion of turning pro. What are your thoughts?
Joe thinks he should stay. That's the first time he has heard that might be a possibility, so he hasn't really thought about it.
5. Was last year's Wisconsin game one of the most difficult of your coaching career because of the injuries to Zack, Mike and your son-in-law?
It was definitely a very difficult day. Whether it was the toughest day of his life he couldn't say.
6. Talk about Brian Calhoun and how he compares to the other running backs you've faced.
The thing about Wisconsin is that they won't give the game to you. They won't turn over the football. They know what they want to do. They have a great coaching staff. It's going to be a really tough football game. They know how to win. Both teams have a chance to win the Big Ten championship. Penn State will have to play really well to win, probably better than they have played all year.
7. Does the emotion of Senior Day help or hurt you on game day?
Joe hasn't even thought about this Senior Day because they have a really tough football game coming up. Joe is just trying to make sure Penn State is ready to play as well as they can play.
8. Is the pressure that Purdue put on Mike Robinson last week an added concern given the way Wisconsin pressured the quarterback last year when Penn State played in Madison?
Joe hopes the officials will make sure that they watch the hits put on Mike. Last year, the Badgers put a couple of dubious hits on the Penn State quarterbacks.
Penn State has to do its job and protect Mike. Wisconsin is going to come with pressure. Penn State has to be ready to handle that and Joe thinks they will be.
9. Is this an atypical Wisconsin team?
Give credit to Barry Alvarez. They've done what they have to do with the personnel they have. They can run and throw well. They'll do what they have to do to win the football game.
It's a football team and a coaching staff that knows how to win. They kick the ball well. They hang onto the ball. They don't make it easy for you. They're adaptable. That's the sign of a good football team.
10. How much will the success your defense has had stopping the run help against Wisconsin?
Calhoun is one of the best backs Penn State has played in a long time. The thing about him that's different from a lot of backs is that he's a great receiver as well.
When he gets out into the open field, he's really a tough runner.
11. Comment on the play of the defensive line this season.
Joe thinks they have played well across the line this year. Scott Paxson and Matt Rice do not get much ink, but they've both played really well along with Tamba of course.
The down guys have done a good job of keeping linemen occupied and off of the linebackers. The defense as a whole has played well this year.
12. Given the spread offenses you've seen this year, is Wisconsin the last bastion of old time football in the Big Ten?
Wisconsin spreads you out. Their quarterback is very good. They use the bunch formation. Just because they have a talented running back doesn't mean they are one-dimensional. They can pass or run. Calhoun's a big part of their passing game.
13. Talk about what the seniors will take out of the program beyond football.
When Joe gets a chance to sit around with them, they've talked about leaving with some pride and a legacy. They should feel good about that part of it, but the team still has two games to play. Once those are over, then they can sit down and talk.
The seniors have stuck together. They're good people. They've believed in each other. They hung in there every game. Joe hopes they leave with some pride. Things weren't exactly what they wanted them to be for four years, but they can leave on a high note.
14. Talk about Michael Robinson.
Robinson is one of the best players they've ever had at Penn State. He's a great football player and a great person.
15. Do you feel the team has been able to maintain its focus week to week?
So far so good. They have up to this point, but they'll have to do it for two more games.
16. Chris Harrell said earlier the defense would try to force Calhoun towards the linebackers and match their speed against his. Is that a good strategy for a fast back?
You can't do one thing and expect to stop Calhoun. You just have to go play and make tackles when you have the chance. If you miss a tackle on him, he's gone.
The team hasn't done much yet this week in preparation. They'll do some things today and Joe will challenge the team.
17. Michale Robinson said that riding in the front of the bus with you has meant a lot to him. What do you say to the quarterback when he sits next to you in the front seat of the bus on the way to the stadium?
Joe doesn't know how that got started. All he says to Mike is "Let's go." and then he follows Mike out the door. Joe's not surprised that the experience of riding up front means a lot to Mike. When you come out of the bus and the fans see him first and cheer, that's a memorable experience.
18. What would it mean for this team to win the Big Ten championship?
Joe is more interested in seeing the team play well the next two games. If that results in winning the Big Ten, that's great. Joe isn't sure what it would mean. He's just pleased that the team is playing good football.
They've come back from some things, and he hopes they can play a couple of good football games. Before the season, Joe felt his team could beat every team on the schedule and win a national championship.
These games are going to be very tough. Wisconsin is a tough football team and then they have to go to Michigan State.
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