Press Conference Transcript (11-11-03)
November 11, 2003
Head Coach Gerry DiNardo:
GD: "Penn State is a young, talented team. They lost some players from last year, but they're really talented. I think this is one of the great venues in college athletics to play at Beaver Stadium at Penn State. It's a great place to play and it's exciting to play there. We're looking forward to it. They're a pretty talented team. They just don't have the experience they had a year ago."
On the team's mood coming off the Illinois victory:
GD: "It's about what you would expect. Our guys have been fairly resilient to not winning games. It's certainly better."
Will Glenn Johnson play on Saturday?:
GD: "Yes, Glenn will play."
On what stood out in the Illinois victory:
GD: "The way we finished the game defensively. We finished with three three-and-outs and a four-and-out their last four drives. That was significant. Also, the winning drive on offense. Other than that, it's about what I thought after the game before I watched the tape."
On whether it was in the game plan to let Matt LoVecchio scramble:
GD: "No. We changed some of the actions and some of the routes putting him on the perimeter more. The design wasn't as much about the run game as it was about the pass game. What happened was he ended up running the ball more, but that wasn't the intent of the design."
On Penn State's strengths:
GD: "Their defensive line has good depth, it just doesn't have the experience it had a year ago. I think their receivers are really talented and yet they don't have the experience perhaps a veteran team does. Those are the two positions that jump out at me. Zack (Mills) has played a lot of football and is an experienced quarterback. Those are the things that jump out at me."
On who will start at tailback:
GD: "It doesn't look like Brian Lewis will be back. I'm not sure what we will do at the starting position. It will depend on the week of practice. It will depend on how BenJarvus (Green-Ellis) and Chris Taylor practice. We won't know until tomorrow."
On the attitude of the team:
GD: "Our guys have really been pretty good. The atmosphere is better. The difference is everyone is a little more relaxed. Everything is definitely better. It's about what you would expect. You feel good about yourself. There's nothing like a win. It's pretty typical."
On Joe Paterno's current status at Penn State:
GD: "He has earned the right to leave on his terms. You have people who admire what he has done at Penn State, and I would include myself in that group. To me, it is important that when he does decide to leave it is in the style and grace he has always had, much like when Ara Parsegian and Bo Schembechler left. You can count on one hand the coaches that have had great, great coaching careers and have left on top. It's hard to do. I go back and think about Ara and think about Bo and then who else? John Wooden. When is not important to me, but how is important to me. When thinking of great coaches, it's hard to get past five or six."
On preparing the team for a game:
GD: "I do everything I can for my kids. That's all I think about going into a game. Everything I think about is what's the best way I can get my guys ready to win the game. Other than that, I don't really get into any other thoughts."
On Penn State's playing better at home than on the road:
GD: "I have not played there (Beaver Stadium). I was part of the CBS broadcast when Joe broke the coaching record two years ago and that's really the only time I've been in that stadium. I haven't been in the Big Ten long enough to answer that. I really don't know."
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