Also, here is Scott Cole's Fast Wrap of the PC:
1. Can you discuss your thoughts on Jerome Hayes?
Hes a very determined young man. Hes worked awfully hard. So far, so good. They havent kept him in there for an extended period of time. He has had a good preseason. They are playing him as a stand-up defensive end. Hes ready to play.
2. What has Nick Sukay done to emerge? Are you worried about untested corners going against Akrons receivers?
Sukay has been hurt. He has been around and has always had potential, but hes been hurt. He is smart and physical. His emergence has not been a surprise to the staff. He has had a really good preseason and Joe thinks he will play well.
Joe isnt sure what hell do with AJ. He might play some on Saturday because he got the grades he had to get and has abided by the rules Joe set down for him. Timmons and Lynn will start at corner. Theyve stayed healthy and Joe thinks they will be ok.
They will be challenged because Akron is a very good offensive football team. They have almost everyone back from last year.
3. What type of challenge will Akrons QB bring to the team?
Hes a two-year starter and played very well at the end of last season. Hes a smart kid and is careful with the football. He has his wideouts back. He has an outstanding offensive line that did a great job of protecting him last year. He has a good arm and makes good decisions. Penn State will have their hands full with him.
4. Do you think Quarless has had a different attitude this year?
Hopefully, he has grown up. He has the potential to be a really good tight end. He and Shuler should give the team two good tight ends. Joe is hoping Quarless will have a big year.
5. Are you feeling any better about the offensive line?
Theyve made great strides but until they get into a football game, you just dont know how they will play. The coaches pretty much know how the Akron offense will operate, but on defense, they have a lot of new faces. Theyve had to do a lot of extra practicing because they dont know what defensive scheme Akron will use. They were a 3-4 team last year but might go to a 4-3 this year.
The line has made a lot of progress in their fundamentals and Joe hopes they will have a good week of practice this week.
6. Are any true freshmen going to play this week?
There will be a couple of kids that will play some, but Joe doesnt know how much those kids will play.
7. Talk about the progress of Newsome and McGloin?
Both kids are freshmen. There are a lot of things to learn. One of the problems of an opening game is that you dont know what youre going to get defensively. Once they get a game or two under their belts, the young quarterbacks will make better progress than they have so far. They have been asked to handle too many things right now because they dont know what Akron will do.
8. Are you relieved that there is no attention on your health?
Very relieved. Joe is able to get around on his own at practice. He feels much better about everything. Hopefully, there wont be any reason to look at him this year and the focus can be on the football team.
9. How important is it for Brackett and Zug to step up and be leaders in the WR corps?
There are a couple of guys including Brackett and Zug that have played. Powell has played. Then you have tight ends and running backs that can catch as well, so its not all on the wideouts. They have to be able to get the ball to the wideouts, protect the quarterback, handle blitzes and things like that in order for the passing game to do well.
Joe is concerned about sticking some of the freshmen in there too early such that they cant handle some things. Guys like Brackett and Zug have been in there and know what to do.
10. What are your thoughts on the kicking game and Collin Wagner?
The kicking game will have to be a big part of the teams success. They have to fill the void left by Derrick Williams returning kicks. Wagner will be fine. He may have a stronger leg than Kevin Kelly did, but hell be fine.
11. How important is it to you to adhere to the 20-hour per week practice limit?
They never use the full 20 hours. They only go 17-18 hours per week, so when that rule went into effect, it didnt make any difference to Penn State.
Joe once went to Oklahoma to visit Bud Wilkinson when the Sooners were on that great streak. He spoke with Wilkinson about how short the Oklahoma practices were. Wilkinsons assistants kept a close eye on things and if they felt practices were getting too long, then Wilkinson cut practice short.
Joe cant speak for everybody. The NCAA passes rules that blanket everybody. Joe thinks that kids are here to get an education. If you dont interfere with their opportunity to get an education and do their class work, then the number of hours you spend on football doesnt matter.
12. Are you looking forward to getting back to the sidelines?
It was fun in the booth because he could second-guess his assistants and stick his nose into things, but he is really looking forward to going back to the sideline. People are overestimating how good this team is right now. Theyre going to have to fight for their lives and Joe likes that kind of challenge.
He may not be able to run onto the field, but he is looking forward
13. Who will be returning kicks and punts?
Powell and Green will return kicks. Royster and Astorino will return punts.
14. The hardest part of coaching is to get your best players in the right spots to do the things they can do best. The most rewarding part of coaching is realizing you have put the kids in the right spots.
15. What do you like about Derek Moye?
Hes a lot bigger receiver than Deon Butler and they play the same position. They have about the same speed. The thing Butler had is that he always knew where the ball was going to come down. You never saw him running around out there trying to figure out where the ball is. Moye hasnt had as much experience and Brackett is like that as well.
The potential there is good. Having big kids is a plus.
16. Are you pleased with where the team is heading into the first game?
This has been a good preseason but probably the toughest one he has ever had. The first week of camp, they had kids still taking final exams for the summer session. The coaches had the players for 1 week where the players did not have summer school or fall semester classes. The kids did a great job adjusting and staying with their class work. They had a great summer academically. Every kid is eligible. Overall, they did a good job.
17. How valuable is it to have a proven quarterback while youre breaking in new offensive linemen and wideouts?
Theres no question that having Daryll around has been a plus for the kids who are getting into starting roles. Hes like a coach on the field. The problem is that the backups have never taken a snap. They cant put so much into the offensive package that the backups cant handle it if Clark gets hurt. Clark is a big plus.
18. What kind of impact can Sean Lee have on the back 7?
Lee is a good football player. Hes all business. Hes smart as a whip. He reminds Joe so much of Jack Ham.
19. Are you still working the team as hard physically this week?
They were in shells yesterday. They will have pads on today and tops for the rest of the week. Thats normal for a game week. Joe always worries about saving the players legs for Saturday.
20. How does the injury to Mauti hurt the defense?
Mauti is a big time prospect. Hes in the same category as Bowman and Lee. He didnt even get hit. He was running and turned and his knee went out.
Along those lines, Brandon Ware broke his foot yesterday during a drill when he changed direction.
21. Who might be the nickel back against Akron?
They dont have a nickel back so far. Theyre hopeful that they wont have to get out of the base defense much. If the linebackers can play the way the coaches think, they might not use the nickel. They think the linebackers are capable of playing pass defense. They hope to get by without getting into the nickel.
22. How long will Ware be out?
Dr. Sebastianelli said it will probably be 3-4 weeks.
23. Would you use Royster and Green in the same backfield?
Joe doesnt want to give everything away. They have a lot of backs that can play the game. Beachum and Suhey may not test well in combine events, but they have football speed and can play the game. Both of those kids are on 3 specialty teams because they pick things up quickly and can adjust to things. They have a lot of different possibilities combination-wise.
24. Do you assess how nervous your freshmen are playing for the first time?
If theyre not nervous, Joe is nervous. Coaches and players are always nervous before a football game. If youre not on edge, youre not ready to play. Joe isnt worried about it. As soon as the players get hit, the nervousness will go away.
25. How has Chris Colasantis role changed since the injury to Mauti? There was talk he would redshirt this year.
The coaches have not decided who to redshirt yet. Colasantis role hasnt changed much.