It’s Penn State Week, which means the coach has the players focused on the game and they are once again not available to us. At least until after the game. I seem to be one of the very few local media members not hacked off about this or consider it childish. But I get what Coach Narduzzi is trying to do. This is an important game for them and he is trying to emphasize it.
Initial Notes: Quinton Wirginis was out for a suspension initially, but will be out for the season for a non football injury and they will be seeking a redshirt. He also threw in that Wirginis is set to graduate this December. As for Wirginis’s fill in, Saleem Brightwell, Coach was “happy” with his play on Saturday.
Coach pointed out the great thing about getting the first game out of the way is to see what we’ve got and what needs worked on.
A great quote from the beginning of his talk today went something like this. “It’s a big game. It’s an instate rivalry… At least for us.” He was asked 3 or 4 times if he thinks Penn State considers this game a rivalry. He repeated several times, “you need to ask them.” Something else the local media is fixated on is making this game out to be bigger for one team than it is another. I think it is clear what Narduzzi thinks, and what is also clear is how he feels if the other doesn’t.
As for his thoughts on the last game, he said once he reviewed the tape, it was what he thought it was. The second half was full of missed assignments, and a “lack of focus.” He stated they could may have been a bit full of themselves at half. He also mentioned after the game that YSU made some adjustments.
Coach mentioned keeping the players emotions in check and focused is on he and his staff. I do no believe the question was asked about bland or dry play calling in the second half. Though, When asked if there are other packages on the shelf for a game like this with Penn State, he stated they have lots of packages on the shelf. They pick and choose what will work best for the opponent for that week.
As for Penn State the team, Coach Narduzzi said they are a “great team.” When asked specifically about Barkley and he stated that he is “stronger” this year than last and if we are going to stop him we need to work in our gaps and we “Better be sound.” He said he is a “heck of a football player.” Stated the same about Penn State quarterback McSorley.
Coach stated the obvious and said that Penn State looked “dominant” against Akron, “Nasty on Defense”, and “Explosive” on offense.
He was asked about perception outside the room as to what his team is thinking. He said he and his players don’t care about what is said outside these walls. He knows the “Odds are against us. It’s okay. Nice to be an underdog.” He also made a point to say that “they were last year also.”
He was asked about his quarterback Max Browne and he said he wished he would have made a few more plays and ran a little more when opportunities were available. When asked specifically about his all american running back/returner and his play at wide receiver position, he said that they as a team did not throw down field all that much. They need to target him more.