Joe Paterno took questions from the media yesterday afternoon. You can read the whole transcript online, or just check out our select snippets below. As you would expect, Joe praised Ohio State up and down, was pretty evenhanded about the QB situtation, and thinks the team is improving.
On the quality of this Penn State team:
We're getting to be where we're a pretty good football team. Pretty good. We have a long ways to go before we can go around thinking we're better than pretty good.
On the quarterback situation (McGloin is listed first on the depth chart):
I think both kids (Rob Bolden, Matt McGloin) are doing a good job, practicing and working hard. They've both been effective up to a point. And, in all fairness to Bolden, he was in there when we were having more troubles holding on to the ball, running the football and all those kinds of things.
We were working with an inexperienced offensive line. So, I don't want to take anything away from him. But obviously the other kid's come in there in a couple of football games and made some big plays. But I'm hoping that Bolden will be ready to play. In fact, I had Bolden all set to play just before the end of the first half. Told him to get ready and (then) we made that drive. Obviously, McGloin had a hot hand and I wasn't about to change at that stage.
McGloin has benefited from the fact that the offensive line is a little bit more consistent, has a little bit more confidence in the timing, the backs have a little bit more confidence in what they're doing. We're catching the ball a little better.
I thought last week it was a good experience for [the team]. They realize that you can get behind and you can stick together and everybody tends to their knittin' and a lot of good things can happen. And hopefully that will be a carry-over and we can keep building on that.
As you've heard me say a thousand times, our job is to get better each week, to just keep working on the little things and understand we've got a young bunch of kids that haven't played a lot, haven't been in a lot of - you know, haven't been in situations as they were at halftime against Northwestern. So I think the leadership is slowly developing.
On Terrelle Pryor:
He's older. He's more mature. He's more polished. And so all those little things that you would expect an athlete as good as he is and as conscientious as he is, you'd expect him to get better and that's what Pryor's done. It's really done ....and he's a good kid. He really handles himself well.
He's all business. He's not out there trying to out-do anybody. He's just out there trying to get his football team to win. He's the kind of guy a coach likes to see have success. I don't want him to have too much this week, but he's, I think he's been good. He's done well. He's done very well. And he's getting better all the time.
On Ohio State's running attack:
They've got a couple of running backs (Dan Herron, Brandon Saine) that can run it down your throat. The one kid was the Ohio State sprint champion, 100 meters in high school. Now he's 195, 200 pounds at that time. He's now a 215-20-pounder and the other big kid, the other kid who is a real good blocker. So you've got to have a balanced defense, I guess that's the best way to put it.
On Ohio State's defense:
They're very well-disciplined. They're very well-coached. They have four or five kids that can play for anybody, four or five guys, that could go right into pro football. Very good athletes. They have a couple linebackers. Don't ask me their names...But just looking at them, they run well to the ball. They play with a lot of pride. They had the one bad game. But after that they got together, and I'll tell you they played really well the last couple of ball games.
On 400 wins:
I'm hoping we can get to 401, for crying out loud.
On ESPN personalities:
Herbie's a big boy....I like Herbie. I think he's a heck of a guy. And I think he does a good job. I think Matt Millen does a great job.
On conversations with McGloin:
I don't go to him and say, "hey, how do you feel? The newspaper guys are asking me how you feel?"
On Ohio State as a Rival:
I don't think there's any question it's a big rival for us. They're adjacent
states. We recruit, I mean, we work awfully hard to try to recruit some people that they do. We've had some good football games with them. Lately they've obviously had the upper hand.
Now all of a sudden Nebraska is going to be the team we're going to play every year and so forth. So things have changed. But it's certainly a big game. It's a big game for us. I don't know whether it's as big a game for Ohio State as it is for us, because they're always in the back of their heads it's Michigan there. But it's a big game for us, no question about that.
It will be tough.