Read the recap here:
1. What was your reaction to Texas Tech moving ahead of Penn State in the BCS and how do you keep it from being a distraction?
PSU has to play Iowa. They're a good football team. Year in and year out, they're as tough a football team as Penn State plays. They can't do anything about the rest of it.
2. Is it too early for the BCS rankings to be out?
They do what they're going to do. Joe is only concerned about Iowa. Period. Joe has no opinion about what's going on. He watched the Texas Tech-Texas game and it was a great football game. Penn State has to take care of its own business.
3. Will Daryll Clark play this week?
Yes. He worked yesterday. He was wearing the green cross on his jersey so he wouldn't be hit. The doctors are very conscientious about whether he gets hit or not. He'll be able to do everything in practice today.
4. How has his mood been since the Ohio State game?
He's been fine. He's anxious to get back in there. He's having a great year and is one of the leaders on this team. You don't want to be on the sideline when you think you can do something to help the football team. He was out there yesterday and practiced well.
5. How well did the team practice after the week off and how is their mood?
Very good. They came out with a lot of bounce and feeling good about themselves. Joe's worried about Iowa. People don't realize how good they are. They started slow and were not a particularly good football team early. Having played them through the years and knowing Kirk Ferentz well, Joe knows it will be a tough football game.
Today, the players will put the pads on and have a tougher practice than they did yesterday.
6. What did the doctors tell you about your leg?
Joe has a problem with the leg and the doctors can fix it when there is time to do so. There's no concern that it can't be fixed up. It bothers Joe to be hobbling around a bit because he's been fortunate to have good health for so long. Nobody has to be concerned about Joe's health.
7. Has this been one of the best jobs that Tom Bradley has done as defensive coordinator?
Tom has always done a great job, but this is one of his best. Joe doesn't want to single out Tom alone though. Larry Johnson has done a great job as has Ron Vanderlinden. Kermit Buggs had to come in and take over for a great secondary coach in Brian Norwood.
8. What is the media not seeing or appreciating about the Big Ten?
Joe thinks there are a lot of good football teams in this league. When Ohio State had problems with Southern Cal and Michigan had some problems…The Big Ten has been a two-team conference for a long time. The Big Ten teams are playing good football. Outside of the Southern Cal game, the conference teams have been very competitive. Joe knows the athletes in the league and it's a tough league. Is it tougher than the Big 12 or SEC? Who knows?
Penn State has played three tough opponents in bowls recently and beaten them all. When Penn State does go outside the league, they play fairly well.
9. How important is having senior leadership on the offensive line especially later in the season?
It's more important earlier in the year to have guys who have been around the block to show others how to practice and prepare. You have to have that leadership. People do a lot of things on defense now, clever things. You have to have a couple of guys with poise who can recognize what is being done by the defense and can communicate that to their teammates.
10. You had trouble throwing down the field against Ohio State. What did you learn from that and what will Iowa's coaches learn?
You have to remember field position. The situation with Ohio State, Penn State had good field position. When the offense had the ball, the score necessitated that they not take dumb chances. Having saif that, Ohio State is a very sound defensive football team. They got in trouble against Southern Cal because of turnovers and things like that.
Penn State is going to play its game. Iowa has a great kicking game. They won't turn the ball over much. That dictates a style of play you have to adopt. The only thing they learned from Ohio State was that the kids held onto the ball, showed good poise and won a tough football game.
They're going to play their game against Iowa as Iowa will. They will have to be smart to win that game.
11. Is there any concern that a low scoring game followed by a bye week could stem the momentum that the offense had built?
Joe doesn't know what the media is talking about. They played a good, tough football game against Ohio State and they'll have to do the same against Iowa. Whether it takes 13 points, 20 points, 27 points, who cares? They played solid, steady, didn't turn the ball over…Joe doesn't look back and worry about how many points the offense scored.
12. You've had 5 undefeated teams that didn't get to play for the national championship. How disappointing will it be if it happens again this year?
Joe hasn't thought about it. If they win the next three games and win a bowl game against a good opponent and don't get recognized, he would be disappointed for the kids who worked hard and did everything that was asked of them. But what can Joe do? They will play football as well as they know how to play it and hopefully things will turn out all right.
13. How would you feel about a 1-loss team bumping an undefeated Penn State team out of the national championship game?
If there's anything that Joe has been able to do, it's being able to stay focused on what he has to do. Joe doesn't have time to worry about that. He hasn't given any thought to it. All Joe wants to do is beat Iowa. He wants to get his team as ready as it can be in practice and go from there.
Three weeks from now, Joe may jump off Rec Hall, who knows? (laughs)
14. Does Shonn Greene remind you of other backs you've faced?
He reminds Joe of Lydell Mitchell. He takes a good tackle and doesn't get knocked down. He is always going forward and he seems to know where the next tackler is all the time. Joe thinks he's a heck of a football player. The guy that no one is talking about who has really come on, but
15. What does a presidential election mean for you?
Joe is delighted that there are so many interested in the political process. It would bother him if there was not enthusiasm for electing a new president. Joe has mixed emotions about it. Both are good men. Joe brought his five kids up to question things and debate issues.
It's a very important part of our history. What kind of government we're going to have, how we're going to respond to the challenges ahead of us. It's great that 200,000,000 people are going to vote because it's our country. It's not my country. It's not your country. It's not the country of the big cats that spend a lot of money to have influence. It's our country. We're a very dynamic, very excit9ing place to be. It's a very challenging thing for leadership because you have such diverse groups.
Can 200,000,000 people make a better decision than 100,000,000 people? If you don't believe that, you don't believe ij democracy. It's a very telling time for our country.
16. Are you pleased with the job the secondary has done?
The kids have played well. Joe has said from day one that the players have been fun to coach. They were fortunate to be able to take a safety over to corner to replace Justin King and they have Astorino to come in and play well. They've done a good job.
17. Do you have any reaction to the coaching climate where people get fired midseason?
Joe is troubled. He's coached against Phil Fulmer twice in bowl games. You hate to see someone who has done so much for Tennessee get forced out. As coaches, they have to be careful. They get paid so much money. They don't get anything for free. Joe knows Fulmer is a heck of a football coach. If he's out of coaching, it's a loss to the profession.
Joe feels the same way about losing Joe Tiller and Tommy Bowden. They're great people who have done a great job with the people they have been around.
18. Do you think that surgery is in your future?
The doctors want to do something. Two or three days in the hospital maybe. Joe has no sense for what sort of procedure will be done. He doesn't ask too many questions. When it comes time, they'll stick him in the hospital and get it done. Whatever the doctors do, they do.
19. How good is Iowa's defensive line?
Really good. Mitch King is as good as anyone they play. Don't look at Iowa's first three games. Look at what they've done recently. They're a really good football team. If Penn State isn't ready to play a tough football game, they're going to get licked. Kirk Ferentz is a good solid coach. They don't do anything fancy, but they're effective.
It's a long trip for the players. A tough trip. You gotta handle it by looking Iowa in the eye and saying "We know you're tough. We hope we're tough enough to beat you."
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