Texas head coach Mack Brown talked to reporters today about the upcoming matchup with No. 7 Texas Tech on Saturday.
Brown, as you may or may not know, has a pretty good relationship with Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, to the point that Paterno went down to honor Brown at a dinner earlier this year, just a day after the 81-year old Paterno was treated for dehydration and taken to the hospital.
I jumped on the call (hey, it’s a bye week for PSU, I need something to write about, so why not parachute in on Mack during another hectic week for him) to ask Brown about the relationship with JoePa.
“I love Joe to death, he’s a great friend,” Brown said. “He and Sue are great friends of mine and (wife) Sally. And like (former Texas) coach (Daryl) Royal he’s a true rolemodel for all the guys my age and younger. Just his energy, his knowledge, his ability to win, the classy way in which he’s done it, I just think it’s the best.”
“I really admire the fact (Joe is hanging around). He’s got more energy at 81 than I have at 57 so it makes me mad every time I get around him and he wears me out. He wants to move, wants to do this and I’m tired. I think it’s a great message not only to coaches about having energy and fighting through adversity, but it’s also a great message to everybody else in America. For a guy that’s won more games than anybody he and (Florida State) coach (Bobby) Bowden, people wanted him fired a couple of years ago and he didn’t even care, he just went back to work and it was not an issue to him at all and I’m really, really happy for him and he’s got another great team and looks like he’s got a team this year that’s just as good as anybody.”
I then asked about Paterno reinventing himself this year with the spread offense.
“I think you can teach an old smart dog new tricks.”
Brown also said that despite the hell that’s been the last four weeks (Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State and now Tech), he is actually telling his kids the four-game stretch to end the season is the most crucial stretch of all, calling Saturday’s game “the first of a tough four game stretch to end the season.”
Take note, after Saturday’s clash in Lubbock, Texas has Kansas, Baylor and Texas A&M…note that Baylor’s defensive coordinator is former Penn State defensive backs coach Brian Norwood. Karma anyone?
IOWA TIME, NETWORK SET
According to the Des Moines Register the November 8th game between Penn State and Iowa is a 3:30 p.m., kickoff and ABC will televise.
MORE HONORS FOR LIONS
The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) has honored PSU as it’s Fiesta Bowl team of the week for the 13-6 tractor pull with the Buckeyes. From the home office in Dallas, Texas.
DALLAS (FWAA) – With their 13-6 win at 9th-ranked Ohio State, the Penn State Nittany Lions (9-0) are the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week for games of the weekend of Oct. 25.
Reserve quarterback Pat Devlin came off the bench and led the Nittany Lions to 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. His one-yard run capped off a 38-yard drive that gave Penn State the lead for good.
Penn State had not won in Columbus since joining the Big Ten and the win was their first at Ohio State since 1978. It came in front of a record crowd of 105,711.
Other Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Bowl National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Oct. 25 included:
· Minnesota (7-1): The Golden Gophers forced four turnovers and recorded five sacks in a 17-6 win at Purdue, their first win in West Lafayette since 1990.
· Rutgers (3-5): Mike Teel threw a school-record six touchdown passes in a 54-34 rout at Pittsburgh.
The FWAA has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season. This is the fifth season that the award has been sponsored by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Members of the FWAA board of directors and All-America committee decide the weekly honor. Each Monday during the 2008 college football season, the FWAA will name the Tostitos Bowl National Team of the Week through Dec. 1.
Since 1971, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl has hosted six games that have decided the college football national championship, including three Bowl Championship Series title games. This season the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl game will be played on Jan. 5, 2009 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and the Insight Bowl will be played on Dec. 31, 2008 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
For more information on the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week, go to footballwriters.com or fiestabowl.org.
CLARK A SEMIFINALIST
Even more good news for PSU today.
Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark has been named one of 13 semifinalists for the coveted Davey O’Brien award. The list will be trimed down to three finalists on Nov. 24th, then awarded to the winner as part of ESPN’s College Football Awards show on Dec. 11 in Orlando.
Both Todd Blackledge and Kerry Collins have won the award, Michael Robinson was a semifinalist in 2005.