Tag Archives: Daryll Clark

Joe Paterno transcript

Apologies for no press conference update today, had get on the Big Ten call and talk to Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio.

Here’s Joe’s transcript courtesy of ASAPSports (note, as some of you have asked, this is not the “official” one PSU sends out later in the day)

THE MODERATOR: Welcome to our weekly teleconference with Coach Paterno. We’ll start today with questions.

Q. Joe, you said after Saturday’s game you would take a look at your special teams. What did you see and are you planning to make any changes?
COACH PATERNO: Spend a little more time with them. I don’t know if that’s part of the problem or not. We did, we took a good look at them Sunday and yesterday. I think we’re going to make a couple personnel changes. We went out yesterday without pads, so on Mondays it’s tough to evaluate people. But today we’ll go out there and challenge a couple guys a little bit so that we can find out whether we really have it right people in there.

Q. Joe, what is Johnny Troutman’s status for Saturday? Can you evaluate your offensive line play against Ohio State?
COACH PATERNO: Troutman probably won’t play. He didn’t practice yesterday. We didn’t do much, but he didn’t do anything.
You know, obviously we haven’t done the kind of job you got to do, particularly in the second half, against clubs. I think we’ve depended too much on the big play. The offensive line, bumps and bruises, changes people around, has not helped.
We looked as if we were making progress, but when we came against a couple really good defensive seven-up people, we haven’t done a particularly good job.

Q. Joe, would you like to be able to get Kevin Newsome a few series with the first team before the end of the season?
COACH PATERNO: I don’t know where you’re coming from on that.

Q. Just for experience.
COACH PATERNO: Hey, we got a tough football game this week. Obviously, I haven’t spent much time looking at Michigan State, but I’ve looked at Indiana. We got a tough ballgame this week. Indiana has had some awfully tough luck, some of which was based on bad officiating. They had a chance to beat a couple good football teams, and got some bad calls.
I think we got to concentrate on Indiana.

Q. In the losses to Iowa and Ohio State, why do you think your team was handled physically by those two front seven, as you said?
COACH PATERNO: I think both Iowa and Ohio State played better than we did in the second half. Ohio State didn’t turn the ball over. Obviously, we did a poor job covering some punts, turned the game around. Iowa blocked a punt, turned the game around, intercepted a pass.
I think we played hard, but the other guys played pretty darn good.

Q. You talked a little bit about your offensive line. What can you do at this point in the season to help that along for the last couple of weeks and what is the situation at right tackle with who’s going to be playing there?
COACH PATERNO: We got to get better. We just got to keep working at the things that we’ve always done, try to overcome some deficiencies that maybe people have as far as technique or awareness of assignments, those kinds of things.
The right tackle, Poti really has played fairly well. I think he’s had one particularly bad play in the last two weeks where we got sacked. But other than that, I think he’s done fairly well.
Troutman being banged up, in all fairness, Troutman was not playing that well, we’ll probably have to sit around and figure out what we want to do with the left guard spot.

Q. Joe, I was wondering after you watched the film, what was your overall evaluation of Daryll Clark’s performance?
COACH PATERNO: I think Daryll was okay. We’ve gone from one extreme to the other. We started out the season with everybody wanting to take the run away from us, giving us a lot of opportunities in the pass game, because they didn’t think we had the kind of wideouts or quarterback that could scare them. Now we’re in a little different ballgame. People, they’re fighting like the dickens to take the pass game away from us and challenging us to run the football. We haven’t done a particularly good job, I think that’s obvious, running the football.
I think Daryll is doing all right. You know, I’m sure we could have done this, could have done that. You can always figure out something else you could have done. But I think he’s done fine.

Q. Sean Lee had a big game on Saturday. Is he as close as he’s been now to a hundred percent? Is he as close as he’s been since he got hurt?
COACH PATERNO: I think so. You’d probably have to ask him that. But just watching him play Saturday, I would agree with you. He played a good football game. If not as good as he can play, it’s very close. I think he and Bowman both have played really well. And Hull, we take him out on certain situations, but I think those three kids have done a good job.
I think we’ve played fairly well defensively. The big pass hurt us. You know, don’t ask me why it happened. One of the kids decided to guess on something, thought something else was going to happen, so he tried to make a play, left the guy wide open. Obviously that and the punt returns killed us.

Q. Joe, Evan Royster wasn’t on the injury report this week. Is he feeling a lot better now at this point?
COACH PATERNO: Actually, he played the ballgame. It was kind of a funny situation. Before the game, I guess he ran into a couple of people, couple of the kids that were dressed but they’re not going to play, so they don’t really get involved in the warmup. We dressed 112 kids last week. That’s probably as many as we ever dressed. I figured, big game, the kids had done a good job getting us ready. But he played the whole football game.
I didn’t see anything there where he was limping or anything like that. There was no problem with the medical people. He practiced yesterday. As I said earlier, we didn’t practice very hard yesterday, which is typical of a Monday. But he seems fine.

Q. Joe, Indiana’s running this pistol offense. I was wondering how different it is from what they’ve tried to do in the past?
COACH PATERNO: Oh, boy. What they’ve tried to do in the past? Well, what they’re doing is what we’ve seen a lot of people do now with the really good running quarterback. It’s a version of the old triple option from the shotgun.
They’re doing a good job with their offense. As I started out the conversation, they’ve had some tough, tough breaks. They have really moved the football most of the time against some pretty good football teams. They can move the football. Quarterback is tough. He may not have quite the speed Pryor has, but he’s very clever.
Honest to goodness, I can’t remember just how much I’ve seen them do with what they’re doing right now. But right now they’re running what you call a triple option, whatever you want to call it, and they’re doing it very well.

Q. Joe, I know every year the goal is to try to go undefeated, win the conference, BCS Bowl game, win the national championship. You get a chance to go 10-2, go to a decent New Year’s Bowl in Florida. If somebody said before the season with this bunch, with as many questions as there were, 10-2, a New Year’s Day Bowl game, would you have considered that a successful season?
COACH PATERNO: Right now we’re only 8-2. We got a tough game this week. I’ll think about it at the end if that happens.
I think maybe we’ve got to be a little bit more realistic each year when you look at a lot of things that go into it, our graduation rate, the type of kids we’re recruiting, the type of effort we’ve got out of kids, the great job that the staff does. I think maybe if we end up 10-2, that’s a pretty darn good year – if we end up 10-2.

Q. At one point you had one guy, seemed like you had the responsibility of special teams as one coach.
COACH PATERNO: That’s not true. We haven’t had that years and years and years, if ever. I can’t remember. We’ve always had one guy coaches this, one guy coaches that. Everybody helps out. But we never had where we had a specialty teams coach. Now, your memory plays tricks on you after you’ve been around as long as I have, but I don’t believe that.

Q. Do you think the process that you’re using now is working?
COACH PATERNO: I know where you’re coming from. No, it’s working. We just got to do a little better job, get some better people in there. That’s my problem, all right? I’ve got to make sure we get guys in there that can get the job done.
It’s not the scheme, it’s not the coaching, it’s a question of whether I’m giving them enough time or I’ve emphasized it enough and the whole bit.

Q. When you come out of a game like that, big picture, more cause for reflection going forward with personnel the rest of this year and beyond?
COACH PATERNO: Well, I don’t know ‘beyond’. I think you always evaluate personnel, even when you win. I think the first question I do every Sunday when we meet after a football game, win or lose, is say, Okay, let’s go down personnel. Anything we should change? Anybody we got out of place? Is there a better kid that we have overlooked? We do that every week, regardless. Obviously it becomes more dramatic when you lose because there’s always things such as questions you’re asking.
But, no, you know, Ohio State played a good football game. We lot licked by them. You hate to lose at home. But they played well. Didn’t put the ball on the ground. You know, we kicked the ball 10 times. We punted 10 times. We didn’t do a good job. We didn’t make a couple first downs so we wouldn’t have to kick.
You know, you just got to make sure you don’t overreact, that’s all, as a staff. I don’t think we’re gonna overreact.

Q. Senior Day. Can you talk about Sean Lee and then talk about what you tell your team, kind of reflect on this senior class, the contributions they brought to the table for you?
COACH PATERNO: Haven’t done it yet. I think a little later in the week as I watch practice, you know, we’ll sit around and talk a little bit about some of those intangible things that you’re talking about.
Right now I think we’ve got to focus on getting to be a little better football team, regardless of whether it involves seniors or involves kids. If I had to second guess myself a little bit on personnel, it might be that we decided to redshirt some kids who are pretty darn good athletes early because we didn’t think — because I didn’t want to play them 18, 20, 30 plays, tie up a year. So I have not really thought much about it, what I want to tell the seniors, because we got another game after this one.
I know where you’re coming from. I think it’s a good point. But I really can’t honestly tell you I’ve thought about it. I haven’t. Not yet. I will later in the week.

Q. Can you just explain the philosophy behind splitting up the special teams coaching? What are some of the benefits to that?
COACH PATERNO: Because that’s the way I like to do it. We’ve always done that. I grew up with that when I played in college. I grew up with it when I came here as an assistant coach.
I think if a guy is a linebacker coach, he’s got responsibilities there. You know, I think when they limit you to nine full-time coaches, you got to be careful you don’t take one out of the mix and doing nothing but working with specialty teams. You try to coordinate it so that you do have it.
You know, we haven’t been bad on special teams through the years. Let’s don’t get carried away, guys. I’m not about to change. I think we’re doing fine. I think the coaches are doing fine. As I mentioned earlier, if there’s anything that I would question, it’s whether we may not have the best people in there. That partly is because I decided that I didn’t want to use some young, good athletes early in the year because I didn’t want to just put them on a couple special teams. It had to be my decision, and that’s the one I made, and it may not be right.

Q. Indiana has two defensive ends who have been all-conference. How concerned are you about those guys?
COACH PATERNO: Very concerned. They’re two of the best ends we’re going to play against. Big, quick kids. Obviously, with the tackle situation what it is, most of the time you have to pass protect them. We’re very, very concerned about them.
I’m concerned about the whole Indiana football team. I mean, I think their defense is playing maybe not as dramatically as well as a club like Iowa or Ohio State, but those two kids, they’re tough. I think their whole scheme is good. They’re well-coached. They hustle all the time. So we’ve got our hands full. Those two guys are obviously the guys that create most of the problems.

Q. How would you evaluate your wide receivers, with the routes they were running? Looked like they were getting jammed at the line of scrimmage Saturday. Did they do a good job getting off of their coverage?
COACH PATERNO: Again, I’d be reluctant to be critical of those guys. I think they did all right. I’m not so sure I did a great job in some areas. But, you know, they’re young. Every once in a while they get in a new situation they have to adapt to, and they learn from it.
If I were to evaluate that game, I would say Ohio State just were quicker than we were. That may have been ’cause we may have been too emotional in our practices, what have you. I don’t know. But they looked quicker than we were Saturday. Whether they’re quicker than we are, you know, I’m not sure, but they were Saturday. I think that’s part of the reason the wideouts had their problems.

Q. You have two games left. How do you deal with letdown because there was so much hype from a week ago? You have two tough games remaining. How do you deal with it?
COACH PATERNO: You go out and practice, try to get better. You know, 8-2 isn’t a disaster. That’s where we are, all right? Now, you know, obviously when you lose to a couple good football teams at home, you don’t score a point in the second half against either one of ’em, you got some concerns. I got some concerns about that.
But I still think we have a bunch of kids that want to go out there and do well. For me to go out there and do anything but encourage them, that’s just not my style. I think we’ll go out there, we’ll practice hard this week, and we’ll see how good we are. We may not be good enough for Indiana, but we’ll find out.
But I’m not going to get into anything about what expectations people have, that so-and-so thought we were going to do this or that. I think that’s up to you guys. You guys can speculate all you want.

Q. Sean Lee and some of the other seniors in this class are probably some of the last players from that ’05 freshman class. Do you have any special affinity to those guys? Can you reflect on what they’ve done for the program?
COACH PATERNO: Sure I do. But, you know, I don’t have the luxury to sit around and say, Boy, I love so-and-so. We got a tough job ahead of us this week. We’ve got to concentrate on the job we’ve got to get done.
Yeah, you know, every time some of the kids come back into the locker room, we’re out in Chicago, Northwestern, there’s good eight, nine guys on the sideline, four of five I haven’t seen in years. I mean, you know, they brought back some memories of a lot of different situations. Every time Matt Millen comes up here to do a game, we get shooting the bull a little bit, You remember when so-and-so did this, so-and-so did that, all those kind of things.
Right now I don’t got time for that. We got to get our football team ready to play a little better than we’ve played all year ’cause it’s going to take a little better performance to beat Indiana. I don’t know how to explain it any other way but that.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, coach.

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Clark and the Heisman; Big Ten Picks

“My mother always told me, ‘Those who are patient will benefit in the end.’ The time is now.” – Daryll Clark, July 11, 2008

That’s a quote from the massive feature I wrote on Clark headed into last season. I’m pleased to brag I was on his bandwagon before anyone on the beat was.

Now I want to head up the campaign to get Clark to the Heisman Trophy ceremony this season.

Why you ask?

Well, if you’ve heard me talk about Clark, you know I love the kid. I love what he stands for as a hard worker, I love the fact he’s been able to overcome hardships growing up. I love his charisma and his bravado.

When he’s on the field, you have to feel something good will happen. And if you are a fan of Penn State, you have that feeling that you can’t lose with him, don’t you?

But here’s what else I love about Clark.

In 2006, just before the Outback Bowl, I stood on the beach in Tampa talking to players like Jordan Norwood and Tony Hunt with Matt Herb from Fight On State magazine and he was looking for a story.

I spotted Clark and assured Matt that he was a great quote and would be worth the ink…this after having talked to him a grand total of once, and it was media day that season.

Clark opened up to both of us that day, admittedly Matt stayed longer because, as one of the premiere writers covering Penn State, he digs. And digs, and digs. And digs.

Clark told both of us he was going to be the starting quarterback in 2007. That Anthony Morelli was on notice that he was coming for the job.

He had never taken a snap in a meaningful spot for Penn State’s team to that point.

That’s why Daryll Clark could lead my team any day of the week.

If I had a vote for the Heisman now, I’d go 1) Clausen; 2) McCoy; 3) Ingram; 4) Clark; 5) is a toss up between Tebow, Keenum, Moore. And Tebow is only there because there is no clear cut run away.

Think about those words Clark repeated from his mother. “‘Those who are patient will benefit in the end.’ The time is now.”

Clark’s time is now. It’s Saturday afternoon at 3:30 in a game that will go to about 70-percent of the country. It’s time for Galen Hall and Jay Paterno to let it all hang out with Clark. Give him the plays, cut any remaining puppet strings and let him go.

There is no high risk, high reward with Clark. 99.9% of his tenure as the starter has been all reward. He has more fight than any other quarterback that’s played for PSU outside of Mike Robinson. He is the poster child for what Penn State football is all about. Blue collar. No name on the jersey. Die for the guys you are in the huddle with.

It’s time he got his just do and the way he gets it is with his most memorable performance as a starter. Let him steal the spotlight, let him post video game numbers. Let Daryll be Daryll.

If the coaches are willing to do that, he just may end up sitting along side three or four other players for college football’s highest honor.

He should be there.

BIG TEN PICKS

Last week: 4-2. Did not see Illinois and Minnesota doing what they did.

On The Season: 51-16

THE UNDERCARD

WMU at MICHIGAN STATE, Noon, Big Ten Network

Sparty needs a boost after two brutally tough losses to Iowa and last week to Minnesota. Michigan State needs to win here and at least go 1-1 in the remaining two games to secure a bowl berth, any loss and it’s more or less over.

I think Tim Hiller, WMU quarterback will cause a problem or two. But Sparty is safe.

The Pick: Michigan State 27, WMU 20

ILLINOIS at MINNESOTA, Noon, Big Ten Network

All of a sudden the Illini shows life. It’s still too late though. And how about Minnesota with a banged up Eric Decker, who is out for the year, they get it done. That speaks to resolve.

The Pick: Minnesota 30, Illinois 19

PURDUE at MICHIGAN, Noon, Big Ten Network

I love how scrappy Purdue has been all season. But Michigan right now is ahead of them. I think the Wolverines are already looking ahead to 2010, and I mean that in a very good way.

The Pick: Michigan 28, Purdue 10

WISCONSIN at INDIANA, Noon, Big Ten Network

It has to happen somewhere for Indiana, doesn’t it? Wisconsin presents too physical a challenge for the Hoosiers and if I am Indiana, I need to run the ball more. The pistol is fun to run and watch, but it’s too one dimensional and they are paying for it late in games.

The Pick: Wisconsin 30, Indiana 20

NORTHWESTERN at IOWA, Noon, ESPN

I really want to believe that this is the week where Iowa runs out of nine lives. I really, honestly, truly want to believe that. But the problem is I have to sell myself on that idea and I can’t.

Ricky Stanzi is due for a big day on Saturday. Northwestern’s secondary can be carved up. Plus the onus is on Stanzi since the running game is in shambles.

Iowa doesn’t wow you, they don’t have a flashy offense, they just do all of the small things a team needs to do in order to, well stay perfect in this case. They will play it safe this week, get out of here with a win and prepare for what will be a chance to sew up the Big Ten title and Rose Bowl berth (more on that in a second).

The Pick: Iowa 28, Northwestern 13

THE MAIN EVENT

OHIO STATE at PENN STATE, 3:30, ABC

Well, here we are again. A massive game at the massive of massive college football cathedrals.

It’s going to be a perfect late fall afternoon for hitting. A perfect late fall afternoon for two rivals, the second best in the Big Ten behind Ohio State-Michigan. It’s a homecoming of sorts for one young Buckeyes quarterback and perhaps a showcase for a building legacy for another.

I am going to go ahead and assume this will be the loudest crowd Terrelle Pyror ever faces, even if the Gestapo swooped in and cut off the sales of the “Cryer” t-shirt. Pryor has never faced an animal like this unforgiving, vocally charged home turf in University Park. Not even in Ann Arbor will he ever get this type of treatment. The crowd alone wants to ruin this moment for him.

What makes this so much more intriguing is that this is the season for both teams. This, with all forgiveness to Michael Jackson, is it. A win and one stays alive for the conference crown and the BCS. A loss, hello Orlando and an overrated SEC team.

So what happens?

Well, if it’s half as good as last season’s drama and theatre (yeah I spelled it the British way, so what)…then this will be a classic.

I see punch, counter punch and I see a little more offense than others are predicting. Joe is right whichever team turns it over the least will win.

I see big games from Pyror and Clark, I see an emotionally charged defense on Penn State’s side, and here’s something else I see. Someone is going to have a huge game that you don’t expect. It could be a Stephon Morris pick, an interception return for a TD by AJ Wallace, something like that.

My money is on Jerome Hayes. No one talks about him, but he, like Clark, is the epitome of Penn State football too. Hard work. Determination. Class. Busted body parts, but pushing forward. Hayes will be your game changer.

The Pick: Penn State 24, Ohio State 20

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Tuesday Cup of Joe: Buckeyes for everyone

The Big News: Joe says if Sean Lee isn’t 100-percent, he’s very close. His stamina is getting better and gaining confidence in how hard he can go.

The Big News II: Stephfon Green practiced yesterday and Joe is eager to see how his ankle responds today in practice.

Highlights:

  • Pryor has been red hot the last couple of weeks after starting slow.
  • If you can’t slow Pryor down, you can’t be in the football game.
  • “They’ve very very good defensive football team. We’ve got to be precise. Mix up things. We can’t have foolish penalties,” says Joe about the Ohio State defense.
  • You have to look at the punters PSU has played against. Joe was again asked by YDR’s Frankie “BoJangles” Bodani about the punt return unit, which still stinks.
  • More love for Jared Odrick. “He reminds me a lot of the good ones we’ve had,”….Odrick is compared to Matt Millen, Mike Reid, Steve Smear, according to Joe.
  • Wide receiver Derek Moye is getting better all the time.
  • Joe is asked about DC and the Heisman. Joe says DC has been an outstanding performer. But Joe said he hasn’t seen enough of the other guys playing to decide on the Heisman. “Daryll Clark is one heckuva football player,” says Joe. Again he said Clark isn’t getting the attention he deserves, like Odrick.
  • Ogbu has become a surprise for Joe. He said Crawford and Bowman have been good but they knew that going into the season.
  • Joe said he watched a little IU-Iowa on Saturday and he tries to not let what else is going on in the conference become a distraction for his team or him personally.
  • Brandon Beachum has been solid in place of Stephfon Green
  • The secondary is better with Astorino at strong safety because they can get him involved in the defense more. “He can be involved in more plays and have more leadership impact.”
  • Comparing styles with Jim Tressel, Joe doesn’t want to.
  • Joe is aware of the situation if they lose to Ohio State, but he is more worried about doing the best they can vs. Ohio State.
  • Royster is “certainly a big league tailback,” says Joe.
  • Joe likes hanging with Matt Millen when he comes back to do games for ABC. Joe says that Millen has two daughters at PSU and they looked at his son in recruiting but he opted for Army.
  • Doesn’t know if this will be like last year’s game vs. Ohio State.
  • Adversity at NW helps? “Hopefully we learned from that, but I don’t know, I really don’t. I would think every game you play you learn something.”
  • Joe was asked if he should still vote, but said he was told he’s not allowed to because he voted Auburn No. 1 in 2004 and they told him he couldn’t.
  • Crawford has been a surprise because of his lack of playing time. Joe says he’s been mature, handled problems well, he’s learning and has become a very good football player.

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Nittany Lion Hotline recap

Nittany Lion hotline is done for another week. A recap.

Your Host: The always joyful Steve Jones, who by the way I had the chance to catch a few minutes of on the way to meet another beat writer last Saturday to watch the game. He and Jack were really good in the first quarter. But I cannot stand hearing “We” when Jack speaks. Just saying. Hammer, if you read this, please don’t hurt me.

Presenting sponsor: Sinus Buster Nasal Spray

Player Guest: Cornerback A.J. Wallace

Joe arrives at..: See “The Big News”

The Big News: Joe was absent tonight. It was Tom Bradley and Galen Hall in his place. The humor factor went into the can once that was announced. Bradley is awesome, but Joe is just funny even when he doesn’t say a word.

The Big News II: Toward the end of the show, offensive coordinator Galen Hall that Stephfon Green is “not healthy”…and uses the phrase “if he comes back healthy”….hmmmmmm.

A.J. is up:

  • A.J. didn’t want Minnesota’s Eric Decker to get any clean releases and he tried to play as physical as possible against Decker.
  • A.J. gives props to Jerome Hayes and Navorro Bowman for that fantastic goal line stand vs. Minnesota two weeks ago.
  • Game has slowed down for AJ. “Everything was moving so fast. Now it seems that everything slowed down. I think it comes with patience,” says Wallace.
  • A.J. Was a running back in high school, he says he got bored playing running back because he scored too much or had too many yards and the conversion to cornerback was hard because he had to play so physical.
  • He calls Beaver Stadium an “un-compairable” stadium in college football.
  • He wants to do non-profit work when he is done with college.
  • A.J. wears No. 1 because he wore it in HS, and he wanted No. 5, but he had to take No. 12 so he waited until No. 1 came open. (No. 1 is to the PSU corner what it is to the Michigan wide receiver. The marquee corner, aside from Zemitas in ’05, wears it now. Anwar Phillips had it, Justin King took it, then A.J.)

Wallace exits stage left. Scrap is due up after the break.

It’s 6:18 in the east, 3:18 in the west and just after midnight in London, and we welcome defensive coordinator Tom “Scrap” Bradley into the program.

  • Caller on I-80, who hits a dead spot on the road asks something. Bradley says the defense is playing well because the offense is playing so much better and shortening the game for the D.
  • The side judge signaled for the clock stoppage on Saturday at Michigan, so says Scrap. Jones adds in there, in a hilarious deadpan moment “and Penn State won 35-10.”…ahhhhh Steven.
  • Northwestern’s pass patterns are different than Michigan’s spread attack. They are working on a new-front four rotation.
  • Doug from Wellsboro asks for Scrap to essentially give up the gameplan for the defense this week. Scrap declines. (And then Paterno sends a hitman to Doug’s house to make sure he don’t call da show no more. “Doug? Oh we won’t heah from him no more.” )
  • Scrap compares Kakfa to Tebow. Neil Geoghegan from Journal Register thinks C.J. Bacher is better than both of them. Mike Gross would laugh at Neil and tell him Kakfa is better than Bacher and that Bacher stinks and he doesn’t like him.  (inside joke)

Back from the commercial, Scrap is kind enough to stick around. Apparently he isn’t trick or treating tonight. Hey, you know what, I bet that’s what Joe is doing and I bet he is going as George Paterno. (I dearly miss George and Franny in the booth on Saturday’s. Franny is one of my idols.)

  • Henry from Steelton calls in. I am starting to think Henry in Steelton is Henry Hill of Goodfellas fame. Love the Steelton. Steelton and Carbondale is where my people are from.
  • Caller wants to know Scrap’s stance on a playoff system. Bradley wants it. “I think it can be done. Tie it in with the bowl games if you want.” Hey NCAA, when Scrap speaks, you best listen or he will tear your $&*#^!%**#& head off.
  • Bradley repeats his notion that Jared Odrick is the best 3-technique guy in the country. (Agreed)
  • The belief is that Josh Hull is vastly underrated. (Y’all will laugh, but I agree. Dude has been unbelievable this season)
  • They are pimping Astorino and his accomplishments.

Bradley exits stage left to root for the Pirates tonight. Wait, what? Oh the Pirates and their awfully cheap, overly sensitive ownership isn’t in the World Series? Sorry, my bad.

Galen Hall joins the show at 6:41 pm in the east, 3:41 pm in the west and about the time for last call over the pond….who am I kidding…they don’t stop drinking in the mother land.

Galen says he’s glad to be here. Sure sounds like it.

  • Caller asks how he can get some autograph pictures of Joe. That’s your question? Really? You can ask anything of the OC, or Jonesy….and you ask how you can get a JoePa autograph? CHILD PLEASE!
  • Legit question: What happens on a road trip Friday. They meet at 1:15 pm, fly out at 4:15, takes about an hour and change on the charter, they grub, go to bed, and they mix in a few meetings, then head on over to the stadium.
  • Caller from Chi-town asks who the biggest surprise on O has been and which player hasn’t been fully utilized yet? Galen says the surprise, really there is none. The players are playing the way they all thought they would.
  • Royster has made progress has come in making more decisive cuts behind the zone blocking scheme. He has to get more comfortable with the offensive line. Galen says he is picking up the blitzes better.

Final segment with Galen Hall

  • Caller stumbles around his question saying he used to see Galen play pinball at a local bar. OK, creep. He asks how many plays Sean Lee was in on last week. (Jones slips in, “35 give or take). Galen doesn’t think the injury bug will tag Sean Lee.
  • They pimp Daryll Clark…which is good, but I doubt anyone from ESPN is listening and I doubt that any Heisman voters out of state heard it. But this is what PSU needs to do, they need to pimp their own players better. We can’t write feel-good stories just because we like someone in our jobs, we have to be down the middle and write the facts (even though it does come out every once in a while we like a guy, like I said the other day)…so keep this up and these guys will get recognized.

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Midweek rumblings

Since when did anyone say Daryll Clark isn’t the right guy for Penn State, or isn’t a good quarterback?

All of a sudden there’s this “Daryll isn’t getting as much credit” push from Penn State.

Again, I ask, since when?

 

Daryll Clark

No one doubts that Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark is among the best quarterbacks in the country/Morning Call Photo

He’s been the face of the football team since his first collegiate start in 2008. The only time anyone on the beat ever doubted Clark was back when he was battling Pat Devlin…and that’s only because no one had any idea what was in store for either going into 2008.

 

We all found out quickly.

Still, some feel it’s necessary to state the obvious when it comes to Clark and make it out as if those on the beat have shunned him all the while yet someone is now championing his cause.

Please, we haven’t shunned him.

Anyone who’s read beat writers such as myself, Rich Scarcella, Jeff Rice, Cory Giger or (now Philly Inq Eagles writer) Jeff McLane, just to name a few over the last two years, knows we love the kid.

Dare I say some of us (me included in this argument) root for him to do well, which is supposed to be a no-no in our profession, but I will fully admit to being a fan of DC and maybe that’s come through in my work over the last two years and maybe it hasn’t. Either way I don’t care. He’s a good story, a better kid, and a great leader and we’ve all noticed.

Some just need to open their eyes and read a little more.

That doesn’t mean he is immune from stating the other obvious though. Penn State may end up two games away from back-to-back perfect seasons, both losses to Iowa in which Clark does share some of the blame. He probably still takes too much of it for this year’s loss. But he did not produce in last year’s loss, and outside of two drives, the offense stalled against them this year.

Those are facts. As tough as they are to digest, there is good and bad with everyone and everything. And those who get paid to be objective are supposed to point those out.

FIVE THINGS I THINK I THINK GOING INTO WEEK 9

1. Iowa cannot survive without Adam Robinson: Or can they? Is there a team that is better suited to handle adversity than the Hawkeyes right now? Let’s see, go on the road and win at Penn State. Check. Win at Wisconsin, check. Win in the final seconds on the road at Michigan State? Check. Is there a more charmed life in the Big Ten? I’m going against the grain here and will say they survive and win out.

2. Northwestern is not a trap game for Penn State: Sure it’s sandwiched in between Michigan and Ohio State, but because the Nittany Lions won at the ‘Shoe last year, there is no pressure to look ahead. If either team does, it will be Ohio State, but they will not come close to struggling with New Mexico State.

3. Speaking of the Buckeyes… Jim Tressel is feeling the heat when it comes to Terrelle Pryor, whether he wants to admit it or not. Tressel got a touch snippy with me on the Big Ten call yesterday and you can tell he is sick and tired of answering questions about Pryor’s development and confidence. They are, however, fair questions.

4. Going to East Lansing? Yeah, good luck. Especially with the season winding down. I’d say two teams in the conference, if they got do-overs for some tough losses would rip through those opponents now. One of them is Penn State, the other is Michigan State.

5. If you can’t run, you won’t win: More obvious than anything here. But two teams in the conference, Northwestern and Ohio State, have used their quarterbacks as primary rushers the last couple of weeks. Memo to both teams, stop. Yeah, Terrelle Pryor needs to run because he is a freak and it’s part of his arsenal, so I almost give Ohio State a pass there, but Mike Kafka? Hey Coach Fitz, are you trying to get him killed?

STILL ALIVE

No, not about the Big Ten, but my prediction of Oregon to the Rose Bowl is still very much alive and well, and while I love watching USC and would root for them if I wasn’t such a Miami nut or bandwagon-driving Notre Dame apologist now, I have to pull for the Ducks on Saturday night because being right and saying I told you so is better than, well anything else sometimes.

NOTRE DAME BANDWAGON FACTOR

Yes, I still believe they will win out and go to the BCS. Call the Bandwagon factor +9 right now.

Enjoy the rest of your week, Yankees in six.

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Tuesday Cup of Joe: Chi-town edition

Penn State head coach Joe Paterno has concluded his weekly chit-chat with beat reporters. Here’s the info you need.

THE BIG NEWS: Running back Stephfon Green is “probably” out again this week against Northwestern.

THE BIG NEWS II: Joe says he is somewhat worried about the leadership of older players because they have had so few “big games”…but Joe says when he sees the interaction at practice and the prep for the week he thinks they can be really good sometimes. He said he felt that way going into Michigan.

THE BIG NEWS PART III: “Each game I am more worried about the kicking game,” says Joe. That coming after another punt was blocked this past weekend.

THE BIG NEWS PART IV: It’s McCormick and Poti for the RT spot, meanwhile DeOn’Tae Pannell has been moved over to LT to back up Dennis Landolt. Joe said Pannell is getting healthier and McCormick will be OK.

JOE-SPEAK: Joe said it’s a question of “IF” they can beat Northwestern, not who they have the week after. OK, sir.

JOE SPEAK II: “Haven’t got the slightest idea,” about the Northwestern defense.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Joe says Navorro Bowman is fine.
  • The team is getting to where it needs to be for the stretch run (they are getting very, very warm right now. Very warm)
  • Joe noticed Ron Vanderlinden when he was Pat Fitzgerald’s linebacker coach at Northwestern. “I wondered who was coaching the linebackers” Joe said referring to the way Fitz played.
  • Joe doesn’t think that Daryll Clark has gotten as much credit as he deserves, and he says the same for Jared Odrick and Navorro Bowman. (Isn’t it the school’s responsibility to pimp its players? There has been plenty written about all three of those guys the last two years. Put out some promotional work…trust me, everyone on the team understands there are players who are better than they are.)
  • Northwestern is somewhat of a trap game. Joe says they are totally focused on the Wildcats and not thinking of anyone else at this point.
  • About JC transfers, Joe says they look for kids who will go to class and do well there, he said both Poti and McCormick have done that, and he cited Rich Mauti as a good example of how JC transfers work.
  • Quarless was spoiled, but he is turning the corner.
  • Joe says that Zug has gotten more opportunities and has done well. Said that people are “scared to death” of Powell and Moye, leaving Zug open.
  • Mike Kafka “knows what the game is all about,” says Joe, adding he’s been there for a while.
  • Brandon Beachum understands his role and the running game. Joe added he was a great linebacker in HS. Don’t get any wise ideas old man.
  • You’ve got to be careful with back-to-back road trips. Joe said the two previous ones haven’t been as long…note that last week, the flight from State College to Detroit is very easy. Takes maybe an hour and fifteen. From here in Harrisburg its a very short trip. This is a very good point made by Joe.
  • Joe said the weather plays a role in how they assess the team they are playing and what they can do in whatever weather. (I don’t think weather played a role last week, PSU is just better)

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Clark picks up conference honor

From the Big Ten home office in Chicago, Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark is your offensive player of the week.

OFFENSE:
Daryll Clark, Penn State
SR, QB, Youngstown, Ohio/Ursuline
Clark led Penn State to its first win in Ann Arbor since 1996, connecting on 16-of-27 attempts for 230 yards and matching a career high with four touchdown passes in a 35-10 victory at Michigan. The senior quarterback completed 59.3 percent of his passes with no interceptions to help the Nittany Lions post 396 yards of total offense and their most points ever at Michigan Stadium. After the Wolverines took an early 7-0 lead, Clark led PSU on a four-play, 63-yard scoring drive, capped by a 10-yard toss to Graham Zug to knot the score at 7-7. He added a 60-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Quarless in the second quarter. After the hosts pulled within 19-10 at the half, Clark hit Zug for two more touchdowns in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. The Ohio native’s four scoring strikes equal a career best set against Michigan State to end the 2008 regular season. He now has 17 touchdown passes this season to lead the Big Ten and rank third among all signal callers nationally. Clark garners his fourth career weekly accolade after being honored after the season opener on Sept. 6 and twice last season, on Oct. 13 and Nov. 24, 2008.
LAST PSU OFFENSIVE POW: QB Daryll Clark on Sept. 6, 2009

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