It's been kind of up and down. Both games we lost, we were right there, regardless of the situation. We were a play or two from winning each game. Each game now, the stakes get higher, especially because we lost. Win or lose, the game gets bigger and bigger as the year goes on. Penn State is a great team, highly ranked, and coming in here for another big game. I think it's hard not to put your focus on a game like this.
It seems like they don't have any weaknesses on offense and that they have skill all over. Is that a fair assessment?
Yeah. They've got athletes and strong offensive linemen. They are a great team all the way around. I haven't see the defense but they are a heck of a team on offense. They have playmakers all over.
Could this be the best offensive line that you have faced so far?
Thus far it looks like it. We want to create a physical game again. We can't back down. They have a tough team up front. We just have to play their game.
What are your impressions of their quarterback?
His numbers are good, he's a big, physical guy, especially playing quarterback. A big, strong guy can make plays with his legs and his arms.
Is there quarterback-running back combination a lot like the Ohio State combination of Pryor and Wells?
Not really. They both have a good quarterback and a good back but from the schemes are a little different that allow them to do different things.
What does PSU's tailback bring that makes them a little different from Ohio State and some of the other backs you have seen?
He's just a quick guy that finds the gap and makes a play. They have got a great scheme, a great offense that highlights his abilities.
Coming off last season when the seniors on this team talked about letting another game beat you, is it a point where you have to put on the breaks? Where is this team mentally this week?
I don't we are putting on the breaks because we have to get things rolling. We can't slow up and slow down because of a little adversity. That makes us stronger and a better team. We just have to overcome this hump in the road and focus on Penn State.
As a defense, you guys are better than you were a year ago?
I think we are. Just from looking at some of the numbers through this far of this season, we are just facing tougher competition against teams are playing a little better. We just have to make a couple more plays and we're right there.
Does senior leadership come to the forefront in times like that?
Yeah, it falls on our shoulders. Guys have been playing and been around the program for awhile to keep this things together. It's easy for guys to get their hopes down from whatever preseason goals they had after two big losses starting the Big Ten, but I think we have great seniors, great leadership to get guys focused and get things rolling for this week.
It's been a theme on the field and meetings to just finish and focus on Penn State. That's been our big thing the past two weeks was not finishing. As practice goes on, you get beat down and warn out and you want to be sharper at the end, which is just like the fourth quarter in the game.
Overall the way the defense has played, do you guys deserve a better fate than 0-2 in the Big Ten?
You can't say what you deserve. I think we played hard and played good. Honestly, we gave a couple things to some teams and that capitalized on them. No excuses. They won the game and took it from us.
Is this game more of a ‘must win' than last week?
The further you go in the season, the games get bigger and bigger, regardless of who you are playing. If we are playing a 0-8 team down the line, that games counts as much as this game this week does.
Can you play the role of spoiler this week against a team that has Big Ten Championship expectations?
We are not looking at the probabilities or anything like that. We need to come out and play our game and get a win this week. We are not looking at the Big Ten race. We're looking at getting things going in the right direction and it starts with Penn State.