See the recap here:
1. Why did you mention the losing streak to Michigan right after the Wisconsin game?
Joe wanted to get the players thinking and focused. He wanted to make sure the players didn't have their heads in the clouds.
2. What are the differences between this Michigan team and Lloyd Carr's teams?
You have to be careful looking at the Toledo tape. When you look at the Notre Dame and Wisconsin tapes, they look like a totally different football team. They're struggling a little bit at some key positions, but they have some kids that are going to be really good. Joe just hopes they don't pick this week to get really good.
3. Can it be a mental thing when you lose 9 in a row to one team?
No, it's not a mental thing. They've had some tough games against Michigan. It has more to do with the players they have had than any psychological thing. It would be the same way if Lloyd Carr was still coaching at Michigan. You have to prepare for the players who play for Michigan now, not worry about what happened in the past.
4. Are you considering coaching from the press box for the rest of the season?
Joe is playing it day-by-day. He's not sure what he's going to do this week. Some days, it feels really good. Others, it's sore. He will take it day by day
5. How much has Aaron Maybin improved from last year to this?
Aaron has always been a talented player. He was a little flighty and sometimes played his own defense at times, but now he has focused and is playing within the system. He's a little lighter than he needs to be. He's about 246 pounds and he needs to be 255 pounds. He needs to get a little stronger but he's becoming a really good football player.
6. What have you seen from Michigan's defense this year and how will it affect what you do on offense?
They show two different schemes. They have one look in basic situations and on passing downs, they use three down linemen and add an extra linebacker and defensive back. This is a typical Michigan team. They are good football players. They hit you hard and get to the ball quickly.
The interception that Toledo returned 100 yards for a touchdown set the tone of that game. They have some inexperienced players at key positions who are going to be pretty good football players.
7. Has Jay and Galen Hall convinced you to do anything differently on offense recently?
Joe hopes that all of the assistants have had an impact on him at some point. They have good ideas and Joe keeps in mind that just because they didn't do things a certain way 10 years ago doesn't mean they can't do something that way now.
It also comes down to the personnel they want to do things with. This offensive team has a lot of experienced skilled players and they can handle a lot of different things. You have to give Bill Kenney, Dick Anderson and Mike McQueary some credit too. Kenney and Anderson have been with Joe a long time and know exactly how to get the players prepared in practice. The entire staff is good. Joe listens to all of his assistants and watches all of them.
8. What does it say about the linemen that they can transition from being light-hearted off the field to being one of the better lines the program has had on the field?
One of the hardest things about coaching is being able to recognize when to rein things in and when to let things go. The chemistry that the offensive line has is great. They know when to go to work. They're all business on the field, but they still have a laugh with Joe from time to time. It's a good group of kids that are working hard together.
9. Did you expect this team to be able to maintain its focus from game to game as well as it has?
Joe thought they would be this way, but you don't know for sure until the games start. They have good leadership on this team. Good leadership starts by showing that you don't win a game by talking about it, reading the newspapers or watching tv. They have a lot of mature kids that keep everyone in line. After a big win like Wisconsin, you have to make sure that no one gets out of line. Joe doesn't know if the team is focused the way they need to be just yet, but he thinks they'll be fine.
10. What's the status of Brett Brackett and Brent Carter?
Carter is going to undergo knee surgery for a torn ACL. Brackett had a pretty good concussion and probably won't play this weekend.
11. Are you surprised at how well Daryll Clark has picked up every part of being a quarterback?
He started to do that last year. They put him in there against Texas A&M and he handled things well. Joe noticed that he was hanging out with his receivers in the winter and thought that was a good sign. He came into the season ready to be a big time quarterback. Joe thought he and Devlin would both be good and they are.
Joe likes to stick Pat Devlin in the game because he's in the same boat as Clark.
12. Do you feel vindicated that the program is doing so well? Do you enjoy silencing the critics now and then?
Joe doesn't know what he needs to feel vindicated about. PSU has probably won more games over the last three plus years than anyone in the country. All Joe has wanted to do is get the kids to go out and play hard and with a little class.
13. Are you subject to the HIPAA rules when talking about your specific injury?
Joe doesn't know what it is for sure. It's probably the hip, but Joe will wait until the end of the season to have it looked at.
14. How good do you feel that the 5th year seniors endured the 2004 season and have now helped the program get back?
They didn't have enough players to make big plays in 2004. It took time to get that straightened out. Joe never doubted the fact that they would become a good football team. They are players with a lot of pride and they have great assistant coaches helping them to develop.
15. Is your defense playing faster now than they did earlier in the season?
A lot of it comes with experience. Joe can line a guy up right and he'll make plays in practice that he won't make on Saturday because he'll take a second to make sure he sees what he thinks he's seeing. That's a step too slow. They are playing faster now because the young guys are gaining that experience you need to be sure of yourself.
16. Does Daryll Clark deserve to be mentioned in Heisman Trophy contention?
Joe doesn't think about that stuff. He doesn't get to see the other guys. He doesn't have the luxury of sitting there and listening to the pundits talk about who is great. Daryll Clark is a great football player right now. He just has to stay focused on what he has to do each week and everything else will take care of itself.
17. Is wanting an undefeated team this decade something that's still in the back of your mind?
Missing out a couple of years ago was a disappointment. Certaintly, you'd like to be able to say you had an undefeated team in x number of decades, but he doesn't think about it like that. If it does happen, Joe will probably go in and ask for a raise. (laughs)
18. Does it surprise you that you've only had one Heisman winner?
Joe thought Lydell Mitchell should have won it. Blair Thomas was on his way to winning one and had a shot. Joe can't do anything about it, so it doesn't surprise or bother him. It would have been nice to have it happen for a couple kids so that they and their families could have that recognition, but it just didn't work out.
19. How fearful are you that Michigan could put it all together and beat you thios weekend?
Yes, they are a good football team and go out there and beat anybody. They have some kids that could feel good about themselves and suddenly start making big plays. Throw the Toledo game out. They didn't play very well there at all. But other games, they have looked very good.
20. Steven Threet is questionable this weekend. Is it difficult to prepare for two quarterbacks?
They both played half the game so the coaches have seen both on tape. They're similar players. One's a better runner. One's a better passer. Both those kids are good athletes. They're not going to change their offense because one guy is in there instead of another. You have to get ready to play against what you've seen. They're a spread offense. They'll change the tempo on you and exploit things you
21. Early in your career, would you have ever thought you'd field an offense like this?
They did play this kind of offense in 1959 with Richie Lucas under center, two tailbacks and two wideouts. You play a scheme that fits your players. Joe knows it's a fun offense to watch but they can run it because they have the talent and experience to do so. If the quarterbacks were not able to handle some of the things they do, it wouldn't look as pretty.
22. Are you happy with the depth that you're developing?
Yes, Joe is happy about that. Joe really likes the young kids. They have a lot of kids they haven't played that will be very good. Young Mauti and Stupar are starting to play. The wideouts are playing well with Zug and Moye. Beachum will have to play this weekend now that Carter is out. Joe thinks one or two offensive and defensive linemen have to come to the front, but other than that, the program's depth is in good shape.
23. Have you consulted with doctors about your options after the season? Is your ultimate goal to return to the sidelines this season?
Joe is only worried about beating Michigan. He doesn't have time to think about his own situation.