Joe Paterno press conference recap
Following is a closer look at Joe Paterno's press conference held Tuesday:
Saturday's game: Penn State (1-0) at Boston College (1-0).
Kickoff/TV: 8 p.m./ABC.
Line: Boston College is a 2-point favorite.
Paterno mood: Not as upbeat as last week.
Available players: G Charles Rush, LB Tim Shaw.
The most newsworthy: There wasn't much. Paterno is reserving judgment on his team through one game following a 48-10 whipping of Akron. "I can't make too many statements. We've played one game, and everything went our way. We had absolutely no adversity, so it's difficult for me to tell you how far along we are."
Inside on Boston College: The Eagles opened by struggling in a 19-11 win at Ball State last Thursday. Senior quarterback Paul Peterson threw for 135 yards and a touchdown. BC suffered a pair of injuries with tailback L.V. Whitworth, who rushed for 129 yards against Ball State, and offensive tackle Jeremy Trueblood both going down. Both are out for this game. The Eagles' best player is defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, the Big East's returning sack leader who had two sacks against Ball State. Paterno: "He's one of the better football players we'll face this year."
Key matchup: Paterno praised OT Andrew Richardson, who will draw Kiwanuka, but said, "he's got a tough matchup this week. We're going to help him in some of the schemes we'll use."
Road woes: Penn State is 1-7 on the road in the last two years and has not won a non-conference game on the road since beating Miami early in the 1999 season. Since, PSU is 0-3 in non-conference games on the road. (This doesn't count neutral-site games; PSU is 1-2 in those during that time). Paterno, though, said he hasn't dwelled on it. "We've lost at home, we've lost on the road. That hasn't come into [thinking]. Maybe it should, but it hasn't."
Fond of Beantown: As a student at Brown, Paterno said he enjoyed going into Boston. "I spent many a time chasing the girls up there. I didn't have much luck, obviously — thank goodness." Paterno said he would go to Fenway Park and watch the Red Sox through Ted Williams' final at bat. "A couple of my old [Brown] teammates have hit me up for tickets already. It will be nice to go back." The Lions haven't played at BC since 1990.
Physical challenge: Last year's loss to BC sent the Lions into a season-long tumble. "I don't think there's any question we didn't measure up physically," Paterno said.
Do it naturally: Paterno said it sometimes takes longer for linemen to become strong enough at Penn State. "Kids come into college, and there's a lot of ways to get them stronger. We've avoided some ways that some other places have done. It takes us a little longer maybe."
Know when to hold 'em: Chris Ganter was replaced as the holder by Zack Mills against Akron, and Paul Cronin was used as the backup holder. Ganter handled the position for the previous two years. "Chris had a couple bad snaps in practice," Paterno said. "We weren't practicing real well so I said to try Zack in there." Paterno said Ganter remains ahead of Anthony Morelli as the team's No. 3 quarterback.
Depth chart report: In addition to being the No. 2 quarterback, Michael Robinson is listed for the first time as the first-string split end.
Participation report glitch: True freshman fullback Dan Lawler was incorrectly listed as having played against Akron. He didn't. The Lions used three true freshmen — Morelli, LB Dan Connor, TE Jordan Lyons.
Injury report: WR/KR Rodney Kinlaw (knee, hamstring) continues to recover but Paterno said he remains behind others at his position.
Tossing bouquets: At fullback/lead blocker Paul Jefferson. "I had a note to make reference about how well Paul did. He's a good, solid player." And he continued to praise Robinson, saying, "Michael goes all out in everything he does, that I think he's showed other kids how to play."
Tossing bricks: At the Lions' receiving corps, and presumably assistant coach Kenny Carter (now at Vanderbilt). Paterno has called last's year corps "terrible," and he kept the criticism up on Tuesday, saying the unit blocked poorly last year. "The blocking of the wide receivers was obviously better, and it was something we talked about after looking again at some of the pathetic efforts last year in some downfield blocking. I think we have some people now who understand how important downfield blocking is."
Compiled by Neil Rudel of the Altoona Mirror.