Lions Enter Lockdown Mode

With another major national clash looming, the Nittany Lions have entered their "lockdown" mode this week in preparation for Saturday's showdown with Notre Dame in South Bend. This is the same approach Joe Paterno and his staff used prior to the Ohio State game last year. Why?

For those unaware, Penn State football's "lockdown" mode is when the team essentially adopts an isolationist approach to keep the players fresh and focused, something the coaches see as an essential component to success against the Irish Saturday.

Head coach Joe Paterno said at his Tuesday press conference that it was because this is the first week of classes. Right. If that were the case, there would be no player availability at this time every season, which is NOT the case.

The staff's real motivation is to remove all unnecessary surrounding distractions in an effort to keep the players squarely focused on their roles and the upcoming clash with Notre Dame. As one observer told us, "This game is a media dream. It does nothing but get the players involved in the hype and distracts them from their jobs on the field."

This week, unlike last, no PSU players will be available to the media for interviews to maintain a "laser focus on the game." Even team captains Levi Brown and Paul Posluszny are off limits.

Paterno is also expected to run light practices the rest of this week to "allow for the guys to be rested and stay loose." The team is focusing on areas that need improvement out of the Akron game, including the running game and secondary play, as well as special teams drills like punt coverage, kickoffs and returns. "Special teams could make or break this one. The coaches know it, so they don't want to leave anything to chance," one observer said.


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