Young DBs Learn From ND

An old sports adage has been delivered by many coaches in many fashions. But the gist of it is this: Getting knocked down is not a sin; not getting up is. And that's where Penn State safety Anthony Scirrotto and his teammates find themselves this week.

Coming off a 41-17 road loss at Notre Dame last Saturday, the Nittany Lions are in bounce-back mode this week as they prepare to face Division I-AA Youngstown State at Beaver Stadium. Strong safety Anthony Scirrotto, one of 14 new PSU starters this year, says the key to rebounding is learning from the lopsided defeat.

“The best thing to you can do is let it go and get over it,” Scirrotto said. “Even throughout the game, when mistakes do occur, coaches tell us to move on to the next play, you can't sit on it and dwell on it. It's in the past, what happened happened and you can't change it. All you can do is get better and learn from what you did wrong.”

The Penn State secondary, with four new starters, had its share of issues against Notre Dame. Scirrotto and nickel back Nolan McCready both dropped potential interceptions in the first half. That allowed Irish standout quarterback Brady Quinn to settle into a rhythm, and after a shaky start the Heisman Trophy favorite went on to complete 25 of 36 passes for 287 yards and three scores.

“Brady Quinn is a great quarterback and they're a great team,” Scirrotto said. “We made a few little mistakes, [things] we have to take advantage of as a young team. When you're playing a team like that with a bunch of veterans, you can't let those little things go by.”

The sophomore added that the athleticism of the Irish receivers was not an issue, because he and the other new starters in the PSU secondary face Derrick Williams, Deon Butler and Jordan Norwood in practice all the time. Rather, the problems in the game were more a matter of technique.

He sensed the defensive backs did not stay in their backpedal long enough, didn't read pass/run quickly enough, didn't “bust to the ball” as well as they should have and did not focus completely “on just taking care of your own responsibility out there.”

When asked about the one greatest lesson he learned from the Notre Dame game, Scirrotto fell back on another coaching cliche.

“Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves,” he said. “We felt we let some of those little things go and were careless in that sense. But we've moved on from that point. We learned as a unit what we need to do and how we need to work to get better and not let those things happen again.”

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