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JoePa Speaks

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Scout.com managed to land impromptu interview with Joe Paterno as the team was leaving practice. It's encrypted in Paternese as usual. But as I've mentioned before you all are lucky that I happen to speak Paternese.

When asked about the unspecified injuries sustained by running back Austin Scott and Rodney Kinlaw, he simply said, "Kinlaw had been hurt a little bit; he's  fine. Scott's been running. Scott missed a couple of days. I think we're OK."

This is good news. I'll sleep a little better tonight.

When asked about the five-man race for the second-team quarterback job behind starter Anthony Morelli, he said, "I think all of those kids are doing well."

Translation: There is no clear backup right now, but we could put anyone back there and do well because Derrick Williams and Deon Butler are that good.

When talk of the Nittany Lion defense playing a 3-4 came up, Paterno did his best to shoot that down. "Where do you guys get this idea we had the 3-4? I don't know where you got that idea. Yeah, we line up in something that looks like a 3-4 on passing downs, putting the nickel in and the whole thing..." Then, without finishing the sentence, he shifted gears and said the team is trying to zero in on Akron.

Translation: Are you guys crazy? Why don't I just save you the time and FedEx our playbook to Notre Dame and Ohio State? Of course we're going to play some 3-4, but I'm not going to tell YOU that.

Earlier, he was asked which true freshmen were making an impact, to which he replied, "I would not answer that with a 100-foot pole."

Translation: Was I the only one at the 2002 Nebraska game? Remember we put in a freshman named Michael Robinson at running back. He had four carries for 56 yards and two touchdowns. Nobody saw it coming. You think I'm going to tell you which players Notre Dame and Ohio State should be on the lookout for?

From the program's perspective, however, no news is usually good news at this time of year. As is the end of two-a-days.

"Once we get through this week, it'll be OK," Paterno said. "When you have a game to look forward to, and you can start to zero in, it's different."

Translation: I'm pumped for this season. I like my team. We're going to shock more than a few people this year.