NITTANY NOTES: Pressing Questions

As Penn State prepares to face the Buckeyes, more questions circle the squad. Get latest updates on issues concerning personnel and more in another exclusive Nittany Notes.

Penn State, now 8-0 on the year, turns it's attention to Ohio State in Columbus. Get the latest on several questions surrounding the squad right here.

What did the team take away from the Michigan win?

"It definitely woke up the guys — players and coaches," an observer said. "It was good for them. We were starting to see egos grow a bit leading up to [Michigan]. This woke some guys up on both sides (of the ball) and showed them they still have to work to get to where they are talking about going."

"If they learned anything, it's two-fold — first, we really have some impressive leadership. When Michigan hit 17 (points), A.Q. [Shipley] was out there saying 'it starts now.' You had Josh [Gaines] getting on the defensive line to 'dig in.' Last year it would have been a totally different ball game."

"Joe [Paterno] talks continuously about teams needing to face adversity to see what they are made of," another observer said. "Joe was upset with how [the team] played in the first half, but said he was very pleased with how the team overcame the adversity and particularly with how the defense played in the second half."

Despite not addressing the team in person during halftime, Paterno did address the team in the locker room after the game.

What was Monday's practice?

"It was pretty light, no real contact, just fundamental work on some issues picked up in the film," an observer explained.

"The staff isn't going to change up the schedule now as long as it seems to work," another observer told us.

"Tuesday should see more contact and they will have [the players] run 40 or so snaps with noise," an observer said.

The "noise" being referred to is the simulated crowd noise used in practice to prepare the team for the "deafening roar" of Ohio Stadium. State has a CD of crowd noise it will pipe into Holuba Hall.

How are they preparing for Terrelle Pryor?

The defense is working a scheme "to contain" Pryor this week. "They are working similar sets they used against Juice Williams — with a few shifts and wrinkles based on what the film has shown them," an observer said.

As another observer explained, "[Pryor]'s got great ability to break open a play with his feet. They are working in their speed sets to contain him. They played some extra nickel against Michigan, but I expect to see some 4-4 prep as well this week."

Who is playing the role of Pryor?

On Monday, the Scout team saw Pat Mauti and Matt McGloin play the role of Pryor. "I mean, there is no one on the team who can simulate what Pryor can do — they guy is like 6-5 and runs Mach 3. They are working a scheme to contain him. You could put Derrick [Williams] in or [Chaz] Powell or A.J. [Wallace], but they have jobs already," an observer said. "And it's foolish to risk injuring those guys or take away reps from them."

What is the attitude of the team?

The consensus on the squad is they are excited to go to Columbus. "These guys were excited to play Illinois in prime-time, to go to Camp Randall, to play Michigan, and now they are amped to prove something in Columbus."

"There's talk here and there about, I guess you'd call it bulletin board material, but this team doesn't seem to care about that. They're motivated to live up to their abilities. It's not about revenge or records or rankings."

How is the injury situation?

There has been concern about Daryll Clark among fans due to the hits he has taken in the past few games, however he seems fine according to observers, "aside from the standard bumps and bruises that come with football."

Anthony Scirrotto sustained a concussion against U-M. On Monday he was in the red cross jersey for drills. The staff is taking it easy on him to observe how he recovers from the concussion. So his status for OSU remains to be seen. He is slated to be a PSU weekly press conference Tuesday, so stay tuned.

The coaches are also taking it easy on tight ends Andrew Quarless and Mickey Shuler, who both saw action against Michigan, but are both also recovering from ankle injuries. is THE source for exclusive, inside coverage of Penn State football.


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