Illinois: Paterno PC

The coach didn't have much to say following Penn State's ugly afternoon in Memorial Stadium. But you can see what he did address by clicking this story.

To give the most accurate account of press conferences possible, we usually offer audio or video recaps of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno's post-game meetings with the media.

But since the interview situation in Memorial Stadium following Penn State's loss to Illinois Saturday was so poor, we are instead doing a verbatim transcript this week. While you don't get all of the flavor you do in an audio or video file, this is -- to the best of our transcription ability -- what Paterno said.

Q: Where does this leave your team right now?

Paterno: We just gotta go home and regroup. Take a look at everything.

Q: Is it time to start thinking about another quarterback?

Paterno: As I said, I'm not gonna answer anything about what I may do, should do, will not do. I'm just gonna wait until we get home, look at the tape, spend a little time with the staff, spend a little time with some kids on the team.

Q: Did you make a conscience effort to come out more wide-open?

Paterno: Basically, it's what we've been trying to do all along. These guys play the pass a little differently than some people.

Q: How did you come up with the decision to start Rodney Kinlaw?

Paterno: I thought it was better to give Austin [Scott] a chance to not have to go out there and start right away. I thought it would be good if Kinlaw started. We had planned to put Scott in.

Q: Were you pleased with how Rodney handled that today?

Paterno: I wasn't really very pleased with anything.

Q: Was there a point in the third quarter where if you punched it in you could get something going [overall].

Paterno: We had chances, that's the [hard part] of it … we just didn't take advantage of some chances.

Q: Do you feel the offense tightened up in the red zone?

Paterno: No. No. To be frank with you, I really don't know what it is. I really don't. Obviously, we weren't very effective down there today. We threw an interception, that kind of stuff. But we have to address it.

Q: You had three interceptions and a fumble on your last four possessions.

Paterno: We've got to play better than that. There's no question about it.

Q: Can talk about some of Illinois' offensive players?

Paterno: We knew going in that they had a good offense. We knew the quarterback was good and we knew we were going to face a little different offense than we've seen in a while, with the option. I thought once we settled down, we did a pretty job. Not a great job. We weren't very good early, obviously.

Q: What kind of adjustments were made defensively?

Paterno: It's hard to practice some of that stuff if you don't have a kid who can do some of the things that quarterback can do. So when you get into a game like this, it takes a little longer just to get adjusted. Then when the second quarterback came in there, he had fresh legs and the whole bit. He's a kid who had the biggest run of the ball game. It's just a question of knowing what to do. But that speed and pace, it's hard to create in practice unless you have those kinds of people [at quarterback].

Q: What did you feel about your week of practice? Was it a good week?

Paterno: Yeah, I thought it went pretty well. But I did know a lot of people didn't realize how good Illinois was. Illinois is a good football team.

Q: Are they faster than your team?

Paterno: I don't think they were faster. Early in the game they got us in some positions where we were handicapped because we weren't adjusting quite as quickly as we should have.

Q: Even though it was early, how much did that kick return get the crowd into it?

Paterno: It obviously got the crowd into it. But there again, if you're a really good football team, those things happen to you… We had every opportunity to win that ball game. You have to give Illinois credit. Illinois made plays in the clutch and we didn't, simple as that.

Q: Can you talk specifically about Anthony's performance?

Paterno: You know, I'm not gonna talk about anyone's performance. I just said that. I have to look at the tapes. I have to look at a lot of things. We just didn't so some thing we had to do to in order to beat a good football team. Simple as that. Now I'm not going to get into the things we didn't do or what we could have done differently, all that kind of stuff. I don't want to get into it.

Q: How concerned are you about the team's morale now?

Paterno: We'll have to see.


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