Monthly Archives: September 2008

Joe-Speak and other notes

Joe Paterno wrapped up both his weekly teleconference and also the Big Ten call moments ago.

Among the items discussed.

  • Jordan Norwood should be “OK,” but Joe made it clear to not hold him to that. He is going to try to get Norwood some reps in practice today, he did not practice Monday.
  • Joe doesn’t know why the team has problems on the road.
  • Joe is surprised at how well Evan Royster is running the rock right now.
  • He feels Josh Hull has played well, and was kinda of in denial about the critical comments floating around about Hull.
  • Mark Rubin is playing really well too. A lot more aggressive than he has in the past.
  • Joe Tiller is a good guy and he will miss Tiller the person, but not coaching against him.
  • Joe wouldn’t flat out say that the team has better leadership and confidence than they did a year ago…more on this later.
  • His leg is Ok.

On the Big Ten call Joe joked about the 1997 arrival of Tiller and the spread offense to the confernece joking that it won’t work. Tiller said he once told Paterno “Coach, today we’re going to play sissy ball.”

Tiller said that he watched the Alamo Bowl and told his coaches “Guys, that’s going to be Penn State’s quarterback next year,” when seeing Daryll Clark. Tiller also said that he felt Paterno made the right call in sticking with Anthony Morelli last year adding that Morelli’s age and experience was a major key in the decision.

Paterno doesn’t think his team is carrying the conference banner right now.

On a totally unrealted note, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) has tabbed Oregon State as it’s team of the week.

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Norwood/Ogbu update

Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark said during his teleconference this morning that wide receiver Jordan Norwood is “expected” to give it a try this weekend at Purdue.

Clark said Norwood jogged lightly in practice and ran some light sprints, Clark also added that he thought Norwood “tweaked the hamstring pretty good,” when he injured it.

Jared Odrick also said that defensive tackle Ollie Ogbu should be alright to go. He practiced Monday according to Odrick and looked alright.

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Depth chart, injury report

Penn State rleased its info for the Purdue trip tonight.

Among the notable items in the packet.

WIde receiver Jordan Norwood is listed as “probable” on the injury report.

On the depth chart, Abe Koroma is listed as the back up to Jared Odrick and Maurice Evans is listed as Aaron Maybin’s backup at left end. The only news there is that both are again listed on the depth chart. They weren’t last week.

For those screaming to replace Josh Hull at the middle linebacker spot, he is still listed as the starter.

One other note, it’s going to be interesting to see how this Devon Still situation pans out. He is still out for this week’s game, but it’s been talked about that Michigan is a possible return date. That’s in three weeks. It will be interesting to see if there is any update on his progress and whether or not he does indeed return.

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Lions land New Jersey athlete

Southern Regional high school running back and linebacker Glenn Carson has verbally committed to Penn State according to the Press of Atlantic City.

Carson was in State College this weekend to take in the Nittany Lions 38-24 victory over Illinois. Carson had 19 scholarship offers including Notre Dame, Rutgers, Boston College, Stanford, Virginia and Syracuse.

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Boilermakers hope to ‘blackout’ PSU

It didn’t work that well for UGA this past weekend, but Purdue is hoping they can use the stadium “blackout” to its advantage Saturday when they host No. 6 Penn State.

The school is selling game specific t-shirts with the PSU and Purdue helmets on them and they are donating proceeds from the sales to the United Way. Nice touch.

But the blackout? Just a thought, wouldn’t a whiteout work better considering PSU wears white unis on the road? Just my $0.02.

Here’s some reading material for the rest of your day as well.

I wrote about Joe Paterno’s willingness to allow his players to play in Saturday’s game against Illinois.

From the Purdue corner: BOILERS ON BRINK OF LONG SEASONSHEETS SHOULD BE FINE | DEFENSE NEEDS HELP | 1-2 PUNCH AWAITS

From the national corner: MIKE LOPRESTI’S TAKE | NYT: UPSETS HAVE BEGUN

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Williams honored by Big Ten

Penn State’s Derrick Williams was named the conference special teams Player of the Week today after his 241 all-purpose performance in PSU’s 38-24 win over Illinois Saturday night.

Williams flat out played the best game he’s had as a Nittany Lion…you probably have to go back to the 2005 Ohio State game to find one as close as this one in terms of clutch plays, big plays, game changing plays. But he was sensational Saturday night.

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In game blog — Third quarter

UNIVERSITY PARK — Illinois field goal….and the perfect answer. Derrick Williams 94-yards to the house. Wow. Finally a D-Will kick return against a QUALITY team.

Note that updates are going to be light in the second half because of deadlines and the late time here.

Bend but don’t break….Penn State’s defense yields yards, but doesn’t give up any points as Illinois misses a field goal after Juice Williams under throws Regis Benn in the endzone.

By the way we checked with Illinois SID Cassie Arner (who has been very, very helpful this week) about why Arrelious’ nickname is Regis, she has no idea. It’s something that Benn’s mom started calling him as a kid and just stuck.

SECOND QUARTER UPDATES

Penn State’s offense desperately needs to go up two scores, Clark throws over the middle and just misses Derrick Williams.

With the ball inside the Illini 40, Penn State opts to go for it, Stephfon Green is stuffed….and this is with double-tights and Dan Lawlor in the game. Bad call. Right decision to go for it, bad call to give it to Stephf. Give it to Lawlor or run play-action to a tight end.

ABC/ESPN, I got your Pontiac Game Changer right here….Anthony Scirrotto, over the middle, diving interception.

PSU’s defense desperately needed a turnover or a stop of the Illini offense, they get it. Now if they capitalize offensively, this baby is theirs to lose.

Clark though, just over throws Williams on a bomb.

Question…if you are Illinois’ defense, how in the world is Deon Butler THAT wide open?? Again, here is the good thing about PSU in this contest, they continue to play their game. They aren’t clamming up, they aren’t going to run, run, run…and it appears things are indeed bouncing thier way. Clark just had a snap go over his head and recovered to turn it into a positive gain (of one yard, but hell, it wasn’t a loss, was it now?)

By the way, this game is really fun to watch….like watching a video game.

Oh man….perfect defensive stand by the Nittany Lions, they force a punt, Derrick Williams fumbles.

Penalty by Illini for “illegal touching”….what the heck is illegal touching in college football? OK, the explanation, the punt actually hits Illinois’ Martez Wilson, the ball is downed there, Williams gets a MAJOR break.

FIRST QUARTER UPDATES

Clark makes the Illini pay for the penalty with a beautiful fake to Willaims and a flawless throw to  Williams in stride. We are knotted at 14-14 with 0:22 to go in the first quarter. If you took the over, you are good shape.

The horse collar is a major no-no in college football boys…

Now PSU gets their review. Clark, clearly down on a fumble, play reviewed, fumble overturned.

The key here is that Penn State is playing their game. Down a score, they aren’t going to that conservative approach that has killed them so many times in the past. They are spreading the ball out…but the sense here is that Illinois is very much well rested and, is there a better coach in American than the Zooker against ranked teams?

 

Illinois benefits from the first review of the game. Upon review it appeared that he dragged his feet with the ball in possession on a 33-yard pass initially ruled incomplete. Bravo to the officiating crew, it’s the right call. Benn appeared to lift his heels when catching the ball but dragged his toes to maintain the possession.

14-7 Illini.

Daryll Clark answers with a 1-yard run. He also helps himself on the drive with a beautiful 15 yard misdirection.

Penn State has burned a time out, seemingly confused on their sidelines after a Derrick Williams 4-yard run that looked much more exciting than it was. Williams was thatclose to breaking it down the sideline and taking it to the house to tie it up.

Penn State appears to be playing awfully tight right now…

Mo and Abe have appeared in goal line defense after the Illini move the ball with total ease to score the game’s first touchdown, a 1-yard run by Daniel Dufrene. Those are the first points PSU has allowed in the first quarter all season long.

We are four plays in and still no sign of Jordan Norwood….Graham Zug was the third wide receiver when they went to that set. Brett Brackett also saw action on the first series.

First offensive series, PSU comes out a tad tight…Butler drops a sure catch on third and nine.

PREGAME UPDATE

A bit of breaking news, it was confirmed by PSU SID Jeff Nelson that wide receiver Jordan Norwood tweaked his hamstring in practice this week. He did not do much in warmups tonight.

Though he is dressed.

How about the day in college football? Wisconsin, Florida. Plus there has to be a loser between Georgia and Alabama. That coupled with USC’s shocking loss to Oregon State Thursday makes it this simple for the Nittany Lions…win, and do so comfortably they could possibly be a top five team.

Take care of biz first and it’ll be OK.

And I think it’s also time to take Michigan State seriously as a Big Ten title contender.

Purdue, not so much.

By the way, the’White House,’ outside of the top of the student section looks ridiculous.

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