Here are some impressions from Joe Paterno's weekly press conference.
First of all, nice to see all football questions this week. No questions about Jay's birthday or who came over for dinner on Sunday afternoon.
There were a few questions about comparing this Wisconsin team to ones of years past now that they have a new coach. Joe basically said they are the same old Wisconsin. Run the ball. Run well. Good defense. Nothing exotic just smash mouth football.
Somebody asked Joe about the poor performance of the wideouts this season. Joe basically blamed it on playing great defenses. He blamed some of the dropped passes against Purdue on the heavy winds.
When asked about their poor performance in the redzone Joe pretty much said they plan to stay the course. He said they are practicing more redzone situations in practice which is good. But he said he likes the playcalling. I take issue with that. It was ok against Purdue, but it has been a little too conservative for my taste this year. I would like to see them take a shot at the endzone from the 15 or 20 yardline sometime. But we seem to keep pounding away.
Joe said the offensive line had their best week of practice last week and blamed the poor performance against Illinois on dead legs again.
No word on any injuries or anything. That's a good thing.
When asked about Chris Bell not seeing playing time Joe pretty much ducked the question. Message board rumor has it Bell and Odrick landed in the dog house a few weeks ago for cussing at a lunch lady. It takes a long time to get out of Joe's doghouse. Even longer if you are a freshman. Neither player saw playing time against Illinois. Both saw the field against Purdue, but not much.
Joe commented that A.J. Wallace is mostly used on defense now.
Wisconsin wanted to play the game this weekend at night. Paterno was given the option to veto since Wisconsin wanted to change it after the season started. Joe said no. I love it. We'll play our big home games at night but we're not going to play in your house at night.
Joe says Austin Scott is doing well on the scout team and is making the defense better.
Some reporter asked Joe if he has called his buddy Bobby Bowden since BB is under fire in Talahassee. Joe said he hasn't but he's been thinking about it. No doubt to rub it in that he should retake the record next year if Bobby retires or doesn't get his program turned around. Joe is only 3 games behind Bowden now for the all time wins record.
Finally, your Classic Joe moment of the interview. They saved the best for last.
You guys would know more about that than I do. I only look at this game. This Wisconsin team and this Penn State team playing this Saturday. I couldn't tell you who won more games or lost more games. I couldn't tell you the score last year. I know we won, but I couldn't give you the score. I haven't got time for that. I can't seem to get that across to you. What does it mean to me? Nothing. It doesn't mean a darn thing to me. It depends on how we play on Saturday. If we play real well and they don't, maybe we will win. Does that mean it is up there? Does it mean that it is Saturday night? No. It is a football game. We have to get ready for it. I know that sounds like I am being a smart alec, but I am just trying to be honest with you.
Give 'em hell, Joe.