Get a recap here:
1. Is it a big adjustment going from playing a finesse team like Purdue to a physical team like Wisconsin?
It's a different game obviously. You expect some different things. But, you have to line up properly, you have to tackle and get to the football. Wisconsin gives you so many different looks with two or three tight ends in there. It's football. You just have to go out and play.
2. Update the health of Norwood, Shuler and Quarless,.
Norwood is going to be OK. Shuler and Quarless worked a little bit yesterday but Joe had them take it easy. He'll know more about their availability later in the week. Norwood should play unless he has a setback this week.
3. Is your leg feeling any better?
It's up and down. Joe will have this for a while. He'll see by the end of the week whether he'll coach from the sideline or the press box. It's not a big concern for the players because they have such a great coaching staff. Joe wil have to live with this for a few weeks.
4. Is the hamstring all that kept A.J. Wallace out of the starting lineup prior to Purdue?
Yes, they felt he was one of three good corners they had on the roster. They also planned to use him on offense as a backup to Derrick Williams. Sargeant, Davis and Wallace are all good corners and all will play. Astorino has been a nice surprise because he gives them another guy who can play safety, so they have three good players at those spots, too.
5. Talk about Navorro Bowman's performance.
Bowman played well Saturday despite being a little banged up.
6. Can the spread offense be successful in Camp Randall Stadium?
It can be successful anywhere if you have the right people in the right place at the right time. It all depends on what their coaching staff wants them to do. Wisconsin doesn't do things in the spread right now. (Editorial note: Joe answered this question as though it was asked about Wisconsin's offense, when I think the question was asking about the Penn State offense.)
7. Will Powell continue to return kicks?
Joe hopes to see more of Chaz as the season goes on. He's not been a really confident kid because of the position switch from defense to offense. They originally planned to use A.J. Wallace in the role that Powell now holds (behind Derrick Williams). He's potentially a very good football player. He needs more confidence but they're asking him to do a lot of things.
8. What are the advantages of coaching in the press box?
As far as making a significant contribution from a tactical and strategic perspective, you're better off upstairs because you can see everything. The disadvantage is that you want to be on the field to talk to players and keep them focused in case something goes wrong. However, the coaching staff is very sensitive to the things that Joe is sensitive to so they know how to react on the sideline. So there's not much of a disadvantage being upstairs.
9. Are you impressed with how the defensive line has performed and will Wisconsin be its biggest test so far?
This will be a real physical test for the line, no question. Wisconsin's offensive line is big, strong, well organized and precise. They have a dynamic running back, three great backs really.
10. What did you think of the way that the Wisconsin linebackers neutralized Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor?
Their linebackers can run. They have fine outside guys and their inside backer is a tough son of a gun. They let Michigan and Ohio State off the hook and should have won both of those games. Pryor made a couple of plays for Ohio State to help them win that.
11. What's your instinct about what kind of emotional state Wisconsin will have?
You're not playing people who aren't used to winning. You're not playing people with no pride. You're talking about good football players representing a great school and a great tradition. Joe expects Wisconsin to come out with a lot of intensity and play hard. It's up to Penn State to play its best and see if that's good enough to win.
12. Did you notice poor footing on the field at Purdue? Some of the players blamed footing for failed third-down attempts.
They had an assistant named Frank Patrick who used to coach the backs and would always tell them not to cut on the inside foot. Sometimes backs get a little cocky and think they can make that cut and then slip and fall. Joe couldn't tell if the turf was bad from the game tape.
13. Talk about Travis Beckum and the challenge he presents.
Joe thinks they use Beckum well. He can lead block, has great hands, is a rangy kid and can run when he catches it. He's not a guy who you can play with a 175-180 pound corner on him. He's too big for that. It forces you to do some different things to cover him.
14. How did the broken leg suffered at Wisconsin two years ago change your life?
It hasn't changed his life. He can't do some things that he used to do, but that's not because of the broken leg. The left leg is fine. It's the right leg that's the problem and that was Joe's fault because he overexerted himself.
15. What was most attractive about Evan Royster's lacrosse background?
Joe knows what it takes to be a good lacrosse player and Evan was the best lacrosse player in Virginia as a senior. He's bright, a good student. He's got great quickness and vision. If he hadn't been a good running back, Evan could have been a good corner.
16. Would you let Royster play lacrosse for Penn State?
It depends on how his grades are and where his development as a football player is. They've had other kids play lacrosse, baseball, track, etc. in the past. That kind of decision is handled on a case-by-case basis.
17. Have your leg problems made you think about your future after this season?
No, it really hasn't.
18. Does this team remind you of the 2005 team?
They have to play a couple more tough games before making that comparison. They can do a lot of things that the '05 team could do. That team was two seconds away from playing for the national championship.
19. How much do you miss walking through the players in the pregame and what do you do to replace that?
He spends more time with the players in the locker room. He does get around faster now at practice in the golf cart. He misses being out on the field, but there are worse things that can happen.
20. Assess the progress of your defense.
They're playing good, solid defense, considering the injuries up front. Joe thinks they have done very well. Purdue played a heck of a game against them. No penalties, no turnovers. The big pass play late, the kid made a great catch on it. Koroma and Evans will help in a game like this one coming up because you need to substitute or you'll be worn down. They're in a little different situation this week and it will be interesting to see how the defense handles it.
21. Any areas for improvement?
Joe thinks all areas can improve. He wishes they could force a few more turnovers.
22. How does having thoughtful, intelligent players make your job easier?
There comes a sense of pride with guys like that. They want to do well. They feel an obligation to their teammates. It's easy to sit them down and talk to them about how they can affect other people and improve their lives. Some kids are only interested in what is going to happen to them. They like being big shots. This group is not like that. It's a good group of guys to be around. Joe has enjoyed coaching this team.
23. How much trust do you have in the offensive line to handle adjustments in the offensive scheme from game to game and be in the right spot and execute?
Joe trusts the linemenn and also trusts their position coaches to get them prepared to handle stunts and things like that. They're a good line right now.
24. What does Wisconsin's front seven do well?
They come off the ball and knock your jock off. They don't make mistakes. They have five seniors and two juniors in the front seven who are strong guys, athletes, agile.
25. Will this be the offensive line's toughest test?
Joe thinks so. They put eight guys in the box. They'll stop your run game. It will be a test for the offense to move the ball.
26. Do you enjoy traveling to Madison to play there?
It's a great place to play a football game. There are two good football teams that will go out there before a great crowd and play. If you don't like that, why would you come to a place like Penn State? It should be fun for the players to go out there against good players on national television at night.
27. Are you just trying to get the best players on the defensive line when you move Gaines inside?
You can't do that to rush the passer effectively and handle going against 300-plus pounders all game long. You need three to four DTs and three to four DEs to be effective.
28. If Shuler can't play, will Szczerba take his place?
Yes, Szczerba will play if Shuler can't go.