SCOTT COLE'S QUICKCAP
1. Was the Indiana game in 2004 the turning point for your program? What do you remember from that game?
Everybody wants to be smart. At thjis point, this happened. At this point, that happened. Some people who were closer to the situation knew the team was on the verge of being a pretty good football team. Joe doesn't remember much from that game except the goal line stand.
2. How big a loss is Jerome Hayes for the defensive front?
It's a big loss. Hayes was playing really really well. The way he got hurt...Joe was watching the play when he went down and thought he had the wind knocked out of him. He was starting to get really good and they will have to adjust.
3. Talk about the progress of the offense.
Joe thought the offense played well against Iowa. They've been pretty good offensively except for turning the ball over on the road. If you look at the stats like yards per play and points scored...the two games that they didn't have impressive statistics were played against two really good teams that held the ball and gave Penn State poor field position. Joe has been defending Morelli and the offense week in and week out because he felt the offense was performing well.
4. Will Chris Bell and Phil Taylor play this weekend?
It depends on how well they practice.
5. Do you know Bill Lynch very well and how he has handled the Indiana situation?
Joe talked with Ron Vanderlinden because he worked with Lynch to get an idea of what his coaching style is like. He met Lynch at the Big Ten preseason meetings. He's a very bright coach. Indiana is in the same situation as Penn State at 5-2, 2-2 in the Big Ten. This is a critical game for both teams. Joe doesn't know Bill Lynch, but he can see that he's doing a good job. His team is playing well.
6. What is Andrew Quarless' playing status? How is John Shaw recovering?
Shaw got hurt and fell behind. He's one of those kids that has to practice. Physically, he's good, but he has to be exposed to different situations in practice mentally. He's second team now and whether he stays there or not depends on how he practices.
Quarless has to practice better. Joe wasn't upset with the dropped pass. He was more upset with the block Quarless missed the play before the drop. He told Bill Kenney to talk to Quarless about his blocking. Then, he dropped the pass and Joe pulled him. Quarless practiced really well yesterday, so they'll see how things go this week before deciding how much he will play. Shuler has been practicing well all season, so Quarless shouldn't think he has the tight end job locked down. Nobody should think they have their position locked down.
7. Do you think you still need a road win before being able to say how good the team is?
They had a tough situation at Michigan with the officiating, but Joe thinks they have played well on the road. Both teams that beat the Lions played great games and didn't turn the ball over. They didn't play well enough to win because they made the mistakes Joe was afraid they would make like turning the ball over. Joe is pleased with his football team. They're not great, but they're good and getting better.
8. Will Indiana's offense be the biggest challenge of the season for the secondary?
Indiana does a number of things very well and you have to start with their quarterback. Joe is concerned about going on the road. Can his team avoid turning the ball over, show poise and handle adversity? Indiana has a lot going for them. They only had the ball 37 plays against Michigan State and still scored 27 points. It's going to be a challenge obviously, but that's what the game is all about.
9. It's human nature to not treat every game equally. How do you address the idea of not looking ahead to Ohio State?
You make assumptions that it's human nature to not treat every game equally. PSU is playing Indiana and they will be a tough football game. Indiana can beat PSU. They have to go on the road, protect the football better than they have been and see if they can play well enough to win. Joe goes one week at a time. He can't worry about what is coming down the road.
10. Is taking the team on the road more difficult preparation-wise?
They don't do anything different in practice. Fridays are totally different obviously. They have to get everyone on the bus and get to the airport, check in, go through security and the whole bit. When you have a good, mature football team with good leadership, it shouldn't matter much.
11. Has the offensive line been one of the most pleasant surprises?
Most of the year, they have been pretty good. They lost a couple of kids physically that hurt. They lost Elijah Robinson who Joe thought would be a first-stringer. Dick Anderson and Bill Kenney have done a good job. The linemen have played better as they have been exposed to more situations. The coaches made some adjustments and the kids started anticipating things happening which comes with experience. They're getting better all the time. Hopefully, they'll hold up.
12. How important was it for Morelli to havbe the kind of performance he did against Wisconsin?
Morelli has been pretty good for the past two years. The games he has lost have been close, tough football games. At times, the offensive line hasn't done as good a job of pass protection as they would have liked. Sometimes, they've been behind and had to force the ball like they did at Ohio State last year. Joe thinks he's a good football player. Last year, they had Tony Hunt to carry the team. Now, as Kinlaw and Royster get a little better in pass protection, it gets easier for Morelli to read the coverage. Joe has a hard time being critical of him.
13. Contrast how Tom Bradley has coached the defense as opposed to what Jerry Sandusky did.
It's not fair to compare Tom with Jerry. Tom's a good football coach. Joe doesn't want to take away from the great contributons Jerry made, but Tom's his own man. There are times that Joe disagrees with him, but that's as it should be. Joe keeps coming back to what a good coaching staff he has. Tom is one of their better coaches.
14. Talk about Terrell Golden.
He's one of those guys that Joe has always had a great deal of empathy for. He's paid his dues. He's never had a lot of opportunities. They've done some things with the offense to adapt to Golden's talents. Both he and Kinlaw have been great. Nobody knew who they were. Both of them have worked hard and waited for their chance. Now they're taking advantage of it. People don't realize how many plays Golden plays. He's on the kicking teams. He's like a tight end as well with the way he blocks. He's a really good football player.
15. How difficult is it to prepare for an athletic quarterback like Kellen Lewis?
It's hard. He's very careful with the football. He's a heck of an athlete. Having said that, he's got that great big wideout who looks like he's about 8 feet 10. They're scared to death of him and the option play. Their quarterback is their leader and he's only a sophoimore. They're going to be tough for a while.
16. Talk about the progress of the defensive line and who will replace Hayes in the standup DE role?
Hayes will be difficult to replace. They went with Maybin at times to give Hayes a rest. Maybin is learning but he just doesn't gave the feel for things that Hayes does yet. He's got the same athletic ability and is going to be a good football player though.
Odrick broke a couple of bones in his hand and will be limited. Thank God they got Koroma back.
17. How have the off-field issues affected you personalluy and how have you addressed them with the team?
Joe isn't going to get into that. The team is fine.
18. Talk about Rich Ohrnberger and how he has overcome the tendency to make mental mistakes earlier in his career.
Ohrnberger was doing great until yesterday when he moved before the snap on a fielgd goal attempt on practice yesterday. Joe pulled him off the field and asked Rich how dumb a dumb Dutchman can be. (laughs) He's a good kid. The mistakes he makes are because he's so intense. He's a tough competitior who hasn't gotten his due. They've moved him right and left in order to get him on the best guy on the other team's defensive line. He hasn't had any easy games and he's done very well. He's a really good football player.
19. Indiana leads the nation in sacks. What have they done well?
They have two kids up front that are really quick and that's going to be a problem for PSU. However, you can't spend so much time worrying about the pass rush that you forget about the pass patterns. They run some blitzes that are really difficult to handle. They have a linebacker that is really good as well.
20. Was it tough to decide to play Colasanti?
They had to play Colasanti because Bowman was hurt. They had Josh Hull learning both outside positions. Connor and Lee play a lot of football, a lot of plays. They play on kicking teams. Joe has been concerned about giving them a rest in practice. Ron Vanderlinden said Colasanti was ready to play and Joe went with that. He's practicing at inside linebacker and will play.
21. How has Brent Carter handled the switch back to running back?
Carter's a good football player. Originally, he was a running back. Joe thought he might not get to play much so they moved him to safety. He's a good athlete. When they needed a running back, they had to make up their minds whether to play Carter or Green. Carter wasn't playing that much on defense, so they stuck him in there. Jason Ganter is a good back up safety, so that move made sense.
22. What kind of potential do you think Maurice Evans has?
Being from Brooklyn, he's smart. He's disciplined. He can handle smartasses (laughs). He's going to be a pretty good football player. He's a good athlete.