This week's presser started with music, and for a second I thought Guido D'Elia might have made a triumphant return:
Rollin' down the street,
Sippin' on gin and juice....
I missed the symbolism at first. I'm not afraid to admit that. Old school Snoop? I didn't make the connection. But what came next cleared it all up for me. Michael Mauti riding shotgun - literally, carrying a sawed off shotgun - and Michael Zordich in the back, strapped with an AK.rolled into the press conference in a six-fo Impala, hit a switch, and made the ass drop. With him was
"What up, fools?!", was how Coach O'Brien kicked off this presser. And that's when I finally got it: "O.B." is actually an "O.G." Do not mess with an O.G. He will BREAK. YOUR. PUNK. ASS, Tim Beckman. The rest of y'all - Pat Fitzgerald, Urban Meyer, Danny Hope? Y'all been put on notice, suckaz.
Don't believe me? Well, I asked him myself: "Coach, I notice you're always wearing blue...."
"Flying the flag, lil' homie. Straight Crippin'. Buh-lee dat", was how Coach O'Brien responded. As if to drive the point home, Mauti chambered a round in his pump action sawed off, and Zordich snapped the charging handle on his AK. Message received, fellas. I just hope Northwestern is listening, for their own good.
It was a great press conference, though. O-B the O.G. really put on a show. By the end, even Bob Flounders was bobbing his head.
So Get Your Lazy Asses Outta Bed and Into the Stadium
Q. I know you're not the most Twitter‑savvy guy by there's a student whiteout being organized for the game; have they been talking been talking about that and how fired up do you think that gets them for the game?
COACH O'BRIEN: Well, I know, this, I don't know about the student whiteout but I do know this for the students. I'm asking the students to‑‑ this is a noon kickoff, and it is by far the biggest game for us this year to this point this year. We are playing a 5‑0 Northwestern team. We feel like we are doing some good things. We need all those students in the stands at noon for that kickoff.
These guys, they feed off of that. You know, the crowd noise, the student section, these guys feed off of that. So whether it's white out, this out, that out, I don't know; I just need them in, in the stands at noon going nuts for this football team, because you know, we have got to have a great home‑field advantage, and these guys really feed off of that.
Boatload of Recruits, and NFL Draft Rounds 4 - 7 Now To Include Penn Staters
Q. I know you have limitations talking about recruiting, but how difficult do you anticipate recruiting will be in the next couple of years with the sanctions and how nice is it that you have some guys still in that class to help out future classes?
COACH O'BRIEN: Say that last part again.
Q. How nice that you're able to retain some of the bigger recruits from your current class.
COACH O'BRIEN: So that's an interesting question. I will tell you that when the sanctions happen, I know that everybody said, uh‑oh, here we go, what's going to happen to Penn State.
We have had a certain amount of home games. Let me give you a couple of examples. At every home game we've had between 40 and 50 prospects here, okay. So, you know, what are we talking about here. To me, we have been on national TV in every single game, and people enjoy watching these guys play, because they love to play football. And they are great kids.
So now, we are on national TV, we have got a heck of a football coaching staff. You know, the biggest‑‑ we have got one of the biggest stadiums in the country, people are talking about, we only had 95,000 at a game the other day. Name me a school and a country that had 95,000 at their game the other day, I don't know, there's a handful, I'm not sure, Michigan if they played at home I guess, whatever. But I'm just saying this place is a very special place.
This is a place where you can play great football with great kids, as teammates, and get a fantastic degree. You can play in front of a 100,000 people. You can play on national TV. You can play where you're going to be at practice‑‑ every NFL team has been in here to scout our players already this year. So you're going to have exposure to that. You are going to play for a coaching staff that has NFL experience, National Championship experience.
So you know, who is to say? Okay, the numbers, the numbers are not equal to the other teams out there. We understand that. As a staff we have to do a great job of understanding that. But at the end of the day, you know, I've been very, very.
Impressed with the fact that people really, really enjoy being recruited by us, coming to the games here. I'm talking about prospects, coming to the games here, watching us play. And being around these guys, when they come down the locker room after the game.
So is it going to be hard? Yeah. Recruiting's hard. Recruiting's hard. But at the end of the day, I think there's a lot of good stuff.
Mo' Defense, Mo' Problems. No, Wait. Less. Less Problems.
Q. The defense has done a better job on third downs the past few weeks; how much of that is personality, getting Mike Hull on the field and moving Amos back, and how much is that execution?
COACH O'BRIEN: Really when you look at the whole year, the defense has played pretty well. I would say if you look at the first two games, if the offense had either kept drives alive by converting on third down or scoring more points, I would say all five games, the defense has played very well.
There's a lot of guys on this defense that really understand their role and are fun to be around. And you know, Mike Hull is a guy that really understands what his role is on the team as a backup linebacker. He's basically a semi‑starter because he plays such a big role on defense and on special teams. He's a fun guy to have around.
Who was the other guy you asked about?
Q. Third downs, moving Amos back to safety, how much of a difference has that made on third down?
COACH O'BRIEN: Obviously we have concentrated a lot on third down in practice. We work on third down every single day in practice so we make our players very aware of the sticks and the yardage on both sides of the ball. I think our team has improved in that respect.
Amos is a guy that is an excellent young player who can move around a lot. He's a big guy. He's a physical guy. He's got good ball skills. He's instinctive. You know, he's just done a nice job overall for us this year.
Injuries, Injuries, Injuries
Q. Any chance we see Pete Massaro this weekend and is Stephen Obeng healthy?
COACH O'BRIEN: Yeah, both those guys, they will be good to go, I mean, unless something happens. I mean, it's Tuesday, you know what I'm saying. Like you guys ‑‑ we have got like Tuesday, full‑pad practice today. Wednesday, shoulder pads ‑‑ Thursday, you know what I'm saying? So really we should have this press conference on Friday. So they seem like they are good to go for this week.
And West Virginia Just Scored Agai- And Now Baylor Just Scored
Q. A number of games across the country that producing basketball scores; are offenses that much ahead of defenses now in college football, and if so, why?
COACH O'BRIEN: I believe it's somewhat trendy. I have a great friend out at Oregon, Chip Kelly, who I've known for a lot of years. He's just put up incredible offensive numbers out there.
Really what it's about is what you believe in. You know, and those guys really have a strong belief in spread offenses, and making it a track meet in the sense that you're going to play very fast, you're going to try to run 90 plays a game and things like that and that's what they believe in and that's what football is all about. You have to stick with what you believe in.
So you know, I don't know if it's the fact that defenses are not as good and things like that. I just think you've got a lot of good athletes on both sides of the ball and when you spread teams out and you have a really athletic quarterback like West Virginia has, I didn't happen to see the game, but just reading about it, and listening to the commentators and things like that talk about the game. Well, you can tell that that was an up‑and‑down football game, fun to watch. But not a lot of defense.
So I just think it's two spread teams that went at it and put up good numbers on the board. Again, every year, the trend might be a little bit different.
Spin It, Terminator X. And credit Lehigh Valley's Morning Call transcribers.
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