Here are your bullet points from Joe Paterno's weekly press conference.
- Joe thinks they are a pretty good football team. He wouldn't say if they're as good as they thought he would be at this point. He's not pleased with the block punts, but considering the things they had to overcome with injuries and inexperience, he thinks they're doing a good job.
- Joe called Navorro Bowman "one of the better linebackers in the country". But he also knocked him a bit on his conditioning.
- He remembered Pat Fitzgerald when he was a linebacker at Northwestern. Called him "aheckuvaplayer". Also noted that Ron Vanderlinden was his coach at Northwestern. That was when he first noticed Ron and why Joe went after him after he got let go at Maryland.
- Joe called the Iowa block a "fluke" because it was a blown assignment by a blocker. But the block against Michigan should not have happened. He called out Boone for being too long in his steps. He's scared about Northwestern because they blocked a punt against Indiana last week. They are going to spend a lot of time on the punting game this week.
- Joe doesn't think they will get caught looking past Northwestern.
- Joe is impressed with the job Fitzgerald has done at Northwestern considering the circumstances in which he inherited the job.
- He had a lot of praise for Odrick saying he's not getting the credit he deserves. In fact, Joe spent a lot of this press conference talking up his players and team. If I didn't know better, I would say Joe is lobbying for a better ranking and recognition.
Your last trip to Northwestern, you had the big drive at the end with Smolko on fourth down and the touchdown to Derrick Williams. That was early in that season. How much of a turning point do you think winning the game the way you did late helped turn around that season and maybe, even larger perspective, the 2005 season?
I don't even know what you're talking about.
You had fourth down and Michael Robinson hit Smolko.
Was that at Northwestern?
Yes, then you had the late touchdown.
I'm glad Smolko caught it. I probably didn't know he was in the game.
It was early in the season.
Geez, you guys, when I write my book I'll put all that stuff in it. I don't know. That's 100 years ago to me. I don't go to bed thinking about what we did 20 years ago. I go to bed thinking what we've got to do this Saturday. All right. Hope it doesn't come down to the fourth. But it might. It might come down we're just trying to hang on for our lives.