With Penn State's crucial victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes still fresh in the minds of Nittany Lion fans everywhere, Joe Paterno was wary to celebrate too long. "I'm just thinking about Purdue" Paterno said.
For Penn State, a victory this weekend over Purdue would go a very long way towards continuing to improve not only in the Big Ten standings, but as a team on both sides of the ball. While Purdue is not the most intimidating team on the Nittany Lion's schedule it is still an important game that Penn State's cannot afford to lose.
In terms of the continuing quarterback situation Paterno was again indecisive as to which quarterback would get the starting nod. "I don't know" Paterno said. "I don't have to make that decision. When the time comes and the decision has to be made for the better of the team, all of a sudden we're better off with this guy in the ballgame, then I'll sit down and talk about it with the staff and pick a guy."
When the issue was asked again, Paterno had a similar response. "Who knows? Someday maybe we'll end up with one, but right now we'll do what we're doing with two."
On the injury front Penn State had no additions to report, but Paterno did mention that Beachum and Lynn both who have been out a couple of weeks were back with the team but were not participating in contact drills. Neither Lynn or Beachum are expected to play this weekend against Purdue. Stephon Morris on the other hand could see action.
The Red Zone, an area where Penn State has struggled this season is also a concern for Paterno who was rather open about the issue. "We've just got to do a couple little things better, particularly in the Red Zone. Our Red Zone has got to be better. It probably cost us being in a close ballgame against Alabama. It will hurt us and we'll lose a ballgame we should win if we don't get it in the end zone."
"Obviously we can do a better job. We've made mistakes - fumbles, penalties, play selection - we're going to work a little harder at it. We're going to spend a lot of time this week on the red zone. We have to do it with a little more finesse and a little bit more confidence. There's been a lot of reasons why we haven't done well. We're working at it all the time, we talk about it all the time and hopefully we'll start to get better."
When asked about the offensive line play.
"I said before the season that Quinn and the other kid have a chance to be two of the better tackles around. I have been a little disappointed in them in some early games, but this weekend I think they played up to their potential. They have to keep that up. They looked like they had some fun out there. I may have bragged on them a little bit. I told them they weren't as good as they should be and they're letting the team down. The offensive line is getting better and Quinn is one of the better linemen we have out there."
When it came to the defensive side of the ball, Paterno was pleased with their play so far this season.
"I think that when you start to do some things that you're working at, you start to do better. I'm glad we're getting some turnovers, and it's hard to get the kids to understand just how much turnovers can make a difference. I'm pleased we're doing some things like that well. We've got to get a little better each week in all areas, and turnovers will be a big part of any success from here on in. We were pretty good last year defensively, but they're older, they're stronger. They've all played a lot of football together. We got Crawford back, those things have made a big difference."
And as always, when asked about his future:
"I'm thinking about Purdue, I'm not worrying about anything else than that. Who knows, maybe I'll go 10 more years? That's newspaper talk, media and fans. I feel too good to be talking about that."
*New format for these recaps. Let me know what you think*