Joe Paterno has wrapped up his weekly teleconfernece for the final time in 2009. Here’s the news you need to know headed into the finale against Michigan State where the Nittany Lions could cap a 10-2 season and possibly wrap up a BCS at-large berth.
THE BIG NEWS: Wide receiver Chaz Powell is unlikely to play this weekend with his sprained AC joint suffered against Indiana.
THE BIG NEWS II: DeOn’Tae Pannell will remain at guard for the finale and also the bowl game.
THE BIG NEWS III: Freshman wide receiver Devon Smith hasn’t been seen much because he’s been cutting classes. Paterno said “He’s decided he’s here to get an education,” and added that “He’s OK, he’s got a long way to go to grow up.”
- Joe is pleased with tight end Andrew Quarless and they should get him the ball more.
- The staff has been trying to get Kevin Newsome in more during the season, but it just hasn’t worked out much. “You hate to get out of style, and the Wildcat is the style now,” per Joe. “I just want to be stylish and we stick the Wildcat in there once in a while.”
- Opposing defenses vs. the PSU wideouts has been good, “it’s a question of what they’re doing and giving us more of a chance to run the football.”
- Joe likes Cousins running the offense at Michigan State. Said he’s a good quarterback and it’s an interesting question stacking him up against the other QBs.
- Joe thinks the kicking game will determine how this game shakes out. Says that Michigan State has “excellent” special teams.
- Rivalry with MSU: “We got an hour and a half of this press conference to answer that,” Joe remarks. Joe says it depends on the year how the rivalry between the two of them is. Joe says that there are other rivalries in the Big Ten that are better, but he thinks this could turn into a good one in due time. He kind of hints here that PSU still isn’t welcome in the Big Ten
- No changes to punt return team.
- Joe isn’t sure who will replace Beachum on special teams.
- Joe did not talk to the team about a possible BCS bowl berth.
- There have been no discussions between Paterno and linebacker Navorro Bowman about Bowman possibly leaving for the NFL.
- Royster is a good all around back according to Joe…says he was on Royster for not playing with as much fire as he had before earlier in the season.
- Joe says now there are more responsibilities for the admin to consider, namely 29 teams they have to find money to take care of expenses for. “I think the University is doing the best it can. What exactly are specifics, I don’t know. All I’ve ever said to Curley is “you’re doing one heck of a job.” Joe says compared to other schools PSU is probably charging less than some of the Big Ten schools ticket wise. He said: “They’ve got to do something, or we’ve got to cut back sports, and we don’t want to do that.”
- Michigan State is better than its 6-5 record indicates according to Joe and they are on the verge of being a really good football team but he hopes they are 10 days away from becoming such.
- Joe things the team is playing consistent football but adds he wishes they would have won another game or two.