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Post Game Quotes: Penn State

Nov. 4, 2017

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 1  |  Photo Gallery 2 

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio

Opening statement....
First of all, I just want to thank Spartan Nation, thank our fans for coming back out there. That was amazing. It was very loud, exciting atmosphere. I know it wasn't packed, after the three and a half hour intermission. They came back and they were passionate so I want to thank them all out there and tell them `Go Green.'

Unbelievable football game. It took seven hours to get our seventh win so I felt there were some great, great performances out there. Penn State's got an outstanding football team. I think the key defensively was that we did shut down the run, so it made it difficult for them to run the football. McSorley creates, as you can see, very difficult to stop so you hold your breath every series they got the ball. We were up to task, I thought, played pretty well, especially the first half and that second, I'm just going to call it the intermission. After the intermission, played very well that seven minutes. Offensively, Lewerke has another big day. It was tough sledding in there running the football. We knew that coming into the game, Penn State's run defense. I thought we threw the ball very effectively. Just a big win for us. I can't say enough about our football team.

Coghlin makes the kick at the end. He was set. He was not nervous at all when he went out there, and he was set. We got it down to four, and overtime here we go. Big win. Big big win.

On what the team did during the weather delay...
I saw a guy come out of the shower. I looked at him, he was like - `I just gotta be fresh coach.' So you know, that was uncharted territory. We had guys laying down, putting games on, college football in the locker rooms, they were watching college football. Some took a nap. We ordered some food. I think the biggest thing we did was we let everybody relax, then we got our energy going again. We just said `hey it's going to be an hour' and then we said `it's going to be two and a half hours', and it was actually 3:22, all inclusive, but I thought we did a good job adjusting. We talk about that all the time, just assess the situation and adjust to it and then let's go. Our guys just did that.

On keeping the edge during a break...
I didn't ask them to keep an edge for three hours. I said we'll get the edge back when we're ready to go. We knew at one point that we'd have a half hour to get ready and then 13 minutes to warm-up, so that's when we went back in there and said `Okay this is what we've got to do.' Periodically, coaches would go in and check on their guys. You know, it was abnormal. We just tried to make it as normal as we could, like the beginning of a game again, with meetings and things like that prior to the game. We went out and played with a lot of emotion, a lot of energy though.

On the up-rhythm tempo...
I think first of all Coach Warner did an outstanding job calling the game. You're not running the ball effectively or you're not getting there. It's long yardage, we just turned and passed a little bit, I guess. He did an outstanding job and really, Lewerke was on. He was on from the beginning. He was throwing darts, I guess I'd say. They catch the ball very effectively. Really, look at the guys - Hunter Rison has a couple big, big catches in that touchdown drive. Felton (Davis) has 12 catches, I guess. We were 10-out-of-18 on third-down. Cody White has a big catch. I could keep naming them. We got hurt by penalties again which is very frustrating. We won the turnover margin 3-1 which is very promising, which is one thing we had to do so we're plus two in the turnover ratio so I think when that happens you can hang around in a football game. That's sort of what we did. We played well enough defensively. We hang in there, and you know we did some really good things defensively. They create a lot of different components that we have to defend. I just thought it was an outstanding football game, a great crowd. Unique game. Big win against a ranked opponent. Again, goes back to what I talked about before. November is really for contenders, and we put ourselves in position to at least be called a contender, and that's what we want to do. We'll play one at a time.

On what the prayer card he gave to Coghlin before his game-winning kick said...
Yeah, I can tell you that. Seven years ago, I said, `Anybody know what Psalm 91 says?' Kirk Cousins, seven years ago beating Penn State for the championship, said `Yeah I know, Coach.' It said, `Tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion.' And that's what it said.

On what he was keeping the card for...
That's my big moment. That's in my pocket. I just gave it to him and said `Take it easy. Don't worry about it, if you miss it. I didn't say anything about missing. I said `Don't worry about it. No stress. Kick the ball through. Back through.'

On Lewerke's rhythm with his receivers as only a sophomore...
Yeah you know, think about this. Here's a stat for you, all you stat people. I think we had (20) receptions coming back, returning receptions, guys who had caught (20) passes total last year coming in. Felton Davis got 12 today. When you talk about the returners that we have coming back, we're going to have a lot of guys with a lot of catches and a quarterback with a lot of yards. We should become even more proficient and experienced as we go forward because we made some mistakes. I think those things are great for the future. We've been saying that all along, you know, we're building. In college football you're constantly building, because you're not going to keep your guys for eight years. Sometimes it seems like, for some people you're playing against, namely the guy next week. You've got to constantly evaluate, bring people along, change the guard, bring young players in with their experiences and things of that nature. I'm excited about the future. I have been. We have a young football team that is very energetic, very much team oriented, and starting to become very sure of themself and that's positive.

On the team's history in bad weather against top teams...
I don't know. We'll see if the weather holds next week. We're just playing, you know, everybody's playing through things, just paying through adverse situations. We play in good weather games, too.

On rebounding from the past season...
I don't know. I don't want to get too philosophical for you, but I think mankind in general responds to adversity. When they see something happens to them negatively, you can either go in the hole and bury yourself or you can fight your way out of the hole a little bit. You can go back to work. Really from the day, at the end of the season last year, the Penn State game at the end of the season, we went back to work as a coaching staff, and then as players and coaches, workouts, spring ball all of it, with the intent that we were going to win football games, knowing that it would be difficult and challenging, because that's this conference that we have. You look around this conference, anyone can win. There are excellent coaches and dynamic players. We knew we had a chance, we lined up and played hard. That's what we're doing.

On adjusting to the situation...
Operations guys Tim Allen and Brad Lunsford - they got things going. He was constantly going to meet with our administration and the two teams, giving information back to us, letting us know what the weather was how bad the it was, what the timeframe was, all those different things. Our players, we go through a lot of different change around here. There's a lot of things we talk about and we have to change up on the run to try and create a problem for them. We just always have to say, keep saying adjust, adjust, adjust. Assess, adjust. Get yourself ready to go and come full force again. I think our players did that. I'm sure Penn State players came out live, too. You sit around for three hours, you're sort of ready to go. You sort of regenerate things.

On if Felton Davis is the go-to guy...
No, I wouldn't say he's the go-to guy. (Darrell Stewart) caught 12 last week I think, or 11. Quarterback spreads it around, between the tight ends, some between the back, some between our wide receivers. If you look at the number of catches, I don't care who catches the ball, get open and it's going to get thrown to you, and that's pretty much the message that gets sent out there. Get open and it'll be thrown to you. He spreads it around. I don't think he goes to one particular guy. Sometimes there are plays that are designed to go to a specific person, but not too often.

On what's ahead...
No I don't have time to think about what's ahead. I'll think about that tomorrow. I just want to enjoy this. I found out about it when I came up. Mark Hollis told me, as I was coming off or going into the locker room. We're just going to focus on the moment, enjoy that moment, and then when the next game comes, we'll have to be ready and do our very, very best.

Penn State Head Coach James Franklin

Opening statement...
First of all, you've got to give Michigan State, Coach Dantonio credit.  They did a hell of a job today, handled some things better than we handled. But make sure everybody's clear, and don't misinterpret this at the end of the game that I was running off the field, I would never do that. I saw a few of our players running off the field, not going to shake hands, and we're going to win with class and we are going to lose with class, and we are going to shake people's hands and give them credit because they deserved it.

The weather situation is something, I've been doing this for 23 years, I've never been a part of, 3-hours and 22-minute delay. I probably don't need to talk about it any more than that because it's an excuse. We didn't win the field position battle, we didn't win the turnover battle, and that to me is the story of the game. Turn the ball over three times, you only get one, especially on the road, you're going to have a hard day, you're going to have a long day since the beginning of time.

Explosive plays, we won that just by one, 14-to-13, so that wasn't enough to make up for the turnovers. Penalty battle was a wash. We lost the turnover battle, we lost the field position battle, explosive plays were a wash, so that's the story of the game. It's pretty much that simple. Made some mistakes early in the game.  Defensively we're blitzing, someone's supposed to peal at the back - whether it's a defensive end or linebacker - we go nobody pealing and we got a guy running down the field clean. We got to get that cleaned up, got some moving parts, some guys injured, some other guys in there and we didn't consistently execute the way we should've.

Offensively, we've got to be able to get a running game going, magnified on a day like today. We have got to get a running game going. But at the end of the day, give Michigan State credit, give Coach Dantonio credit. We got a lot of work to do, one of the things that we are going to is make sure any gray area whatsoever, with our coaches and with our players and with anybody else, we're going to get back to what got us here, which is focusing on being 1-and-0, not worrying about anything else whatsoever. You focus on being 1-and-0, you achieve that each week, everything else will take care of itself, and I'm going to make sure that everybody in our building is crystal clear on that, because I would call us a young program in terms of the conversations that we've been a part of for the last six-to-nine months, maybe a year, I guess you could call it. We're not mature enough to handle that, and I don't know if anybody is to be honest with you, so we're going to get back to what I know works, our formula, and we're not talking about anything else than about handling our business, about being 1-and-0, about respecting our opponent, and getting better every single day at practice, and not worrying about anything else besides that.
 
On keeping his players ready during the long delay...
Well, first of all, I want to give Michigan State credit that they were great, obviously not an ideal situation in a visiting locker room, I think this is the room that they cleared out for us, so we had some guys come in here, we had guys get out of pads, we sent our ops guys over to Chic-fil-a to get sandwiches. I've never been a part of something like that before and for me to sit here, and I like to say that we have a plan for whatever may come, I didn't have anything in my head coaching manual about how to handle a three-hour and 22-minute delay, but I guarantee you I will have one moving forward. I'll talk to sports scientists, I'll talk to other coaches, I'll go through every detail what happened today, we will make sure that we have the best plan possible to put our kids in a position to be successful. We were not prepared for a three-hour and 22-[minute] delay. But again, (Michigan State) had the same delay as we did.

On how the weather conditions impacted the passing game...
I think we're a fast team, I don't think there's a doubt about it, we play a fast style on offense. I think it took us a little bit to get our feet under us, a quarter or so. We didn't have the explosive plays and shots that we'd normally do and then we got them going after that. But obviously we were both playing in the same field and conditions, again so I don't want to say that as an excuse.
 
On the conditions causing turnovers...
I think it affected it a little bit, you had guys slipping and falling. On the one interception, the guy's going right there to catch the ball and slips and falls down and then [the ball] goes into the safety's hands. So for me to sit here and say [the conditions] didn't have an affect, it did, but [Michigan State is] playing in the same conditions we are, so I don't want to sit here and say those things. They played in the same conditions we did, they handled it better than we did at the end of the day.

Michigan State Co-Offensive Coordinator Dave Warner

On the tempo after the weather delay...
Penn State is a great defense, we knew that coming in. I think our pass game has been picking up. I think (Brian) Lewerke has been throwing the ball exceptionally well. That was successful for us in the first half. Going into the game it wasn't necessarily, let's go throw it all over the field. That was not our game plan. We had a good run game planned but as we got going, pass game was working and it's easy to stick with it.
 
On the crowd's energy after the delay...
There was more people that came back than I expected, to be honest with you. As Tressel said, they were very loud and they had an impact so we appreciate that.
 
On Brian Lewerke and the success of the passing game...
I think it's a full-team effort. Obviously he has grown as the season has gone on but so has our offensive line and so has our receivers. I think it's for sure Brian has been doing a great job throwing the ball around, been very accurate but I think he's had pretty good protection for the most part. Nothing's ever perfect. I think our receivers are... Again our receivers are growing as well. They're running good routes, getting open, they're getting on the same page. I think it's everybody involved in the offense.
 
On the play of young receivers like Felton (Davis) and Hunter (Rison)...
I think those guys have matured. I think there's a confidence level between quarterback and wide receiver that's always very important for those guys being on the same page. I think, hopefully we're at that point now, where those guys are on the same page. It doesn't just happen overnight and I think we're hopefully getting there. Those guys have made big plays and they've made big plays throughout the season. To make those plays in a big game like this is a feather in their head.
 
On talking strategy during the delay...
No, there's only so much you can do with players out there. Really, we didn't offensively, we didn't change a whole lot. We just talked about what we've done up to that point, what's been successful, what direction we needed to go, which was basically continue with our game plan. Again, no real changes there. Now they adjusted a little bit of their blitz packages that we adjusted to a little bit but as far as the plays and our game plan it was just moving along. That took... I don't know however long we were down there, a half-hour maybe. Then all of a sudden we get the word that it was a two-hour delay minimum so then pads come off and everybody just sort of scatters and relaxes.

On what the coaches did during the delay...
Same. Scatter and relax. Watch whatever was on, watch the Iowa game I guess a little bit.

Michigan State Co-Defensive Coordinator Mike Tressel

On the crowd's energy after the delay...
I know it fired our guys up. When they came out, it wasn't huge but they were loud. Our guys when they ran out of the tunnel, not knowing if there was going to be a single fan there, there was a loud group of fans there and it did fire our kids up. You don't know what type of energy is going to happen after, what was it, a three-hour delay. It brought extra juice and we appreciate it.
 
On the defense fighting through and getting it done in the end...
The biggest thing and probably thing we're most proud of is we know we'll face adversity and obviously that's a big piece of adversity right there and the guys responded. There was no hanging of heads on the sidelines. You know what, we gave up a lot of passing yards but we did hold Saquon (Barkley) down a little bit in his total yardage and three sacks and three interceptions. I think the completion percentage went down the second-half. Still gave them yards but we made some big plays too; We made some big plays when they were passing.
 
On the game plan for stopping Saquon (Barkley)...
It's always stop the run for us so we feel like we just needed to swarm. He's a guy that can make somebody miss. Honestly, last week we missed a couple tackles in the second, fourth, fifth hit and weren't there like they needed to be. We had a real swarm mentality. There wasn't a big game plan change in terms of stop the run, that's what we do. We just knew as the passing happened and we needed to slow down a little bit and make some big plays in the passing game, even if they're gaining yards.
 
On how big this win was...
Well at this moment it feels like the biggest and it should right after the game. The bottom line is you want to be in position in the month of November to be in the race. You say November is for contenders and we knew we held the cards in our hands and this is the first one. It feels good right now. We know we have another huge one next week but four for the month of November, that's where we're at. This one's huge.

Michigan State redshirt freshman kicker Matt Coghlin

 
On kicking the winning field goal...
Just pure happiness on a win and just being able to get it done for my brothers is just an awesome feeling.
 
On his celebration...
I didn't think about the celebration. I was just thinking about making the kick and then running away from everyone.
 
On his moment with Dantonio before the kick...
I've just been dreaming of this moment. He (Coach Dantonio) gave me a little prayer card, Psalm 91 you will trample upon lions. So just giving me confidence, and that's all that I had for the kick.
 
On bouncing back from Northwestern...
Just starting over and preparing to go 1-0 every week and trying to keep everything the same. I think we did that. We had a great week of practice then just came out and performed even with some difficult circumstances.
 
On his preparation before the kick...
For the first part, I was just thinking about trusting myself. I've done that kick a million times. The offense set it up great right in the middle where I wanted it. Then trusting myself to do the same exact thing I've done a million times. Just keep my head down and ankle up, that's what I was telling myself back there. Just having the perfect snap, the perfect hold, and then I wasn't really thinking about the celebration. I was just kind of running away because I didn't want to get trampled then just dove on the ground.
 
On high career moments...
It's up there. I mean I think back to my sophomore year in high school kicking a game winner against Saint Xavier. That was pretty special, but I still haven't had that much time to take in this moment. It is definitely up there, and I'm just extremely blessed and happy right now.
 
On preparing himself to close out the game...
I saw we had the ball back with about four minutes left, and I knew the game's tied I got to be ready for anything. Hopefully the offense can jut score a touchdown and put it away, but I was definitely ready. The closer we got, we were saying anything inside the 50 and then we got a little closer and got into the middle, and I was just able to get it done.
 
On his missed field goal against Northwestern...
I already pretty much forgot about it, and I just go week to week. A new start to a fresh week even after today I have to start next week and just start with a new week. Now that I think about it obviously it stings, but it a good bounce back week this week.

Sophomore quarterback Brian Lewerke
 
On the crowd after the delay...
Yeah, they're awesome. It's hard to come back after a three-hour rain delay. May upset a lot of people just because they didn't want to do that, but very happy for the guys that stayed. They obviously were very loud and they did a great job cheering us on.
 
On knowing the offense was clicking...
I felt great. I felt good throwing the ball. Their defense had a good amount of holes in it. They run exotic defenses, they blitz a lot, brought a lot of guys. It left a lot of holes down field and I was able to take advantage of it.
 
On what he did during the long delay to stay focused and relaxed...
We just sat in the locker room, had some food. We actually had our post-game meal, that was supposed to be after the game, we had it during break. Guys just tried to relax, listen to headphones, close our eyes a little bit and just try to get a little rest for the rest of the game when it finally started up.
 
On the third-down play where he got hit...
We called the same play that we had before the time out. They brought both safeties, one strike cover zero. I knew Cody (White) was on kind of a man type of route, that would get him open. I stayed in the pocket as long as I could, delivered a strike and luckily the guy kind of hit me low, they called a penalty to help us get into field goal range. Things work out.
 
On the mentality switch when the game comes down to the stretch...
No, it's the same things. We just do the same things we've been doing. Defense was awesome. Held a very powerful Penn State team to only 24 points which I think is very good. It sets us up, we were able to score more. We don't try to do anything crazy, anything special on those last drives. We just try to do what we do.
 
On the confidence coming off of a 3-9 season...
Coming off a 3-9 season, we have the guys we want here, we have a lot of confidence in each other. Knowing that each and every one of the people on the field can make plays and can contribute, even the guys on the sidelines can make noise and pump all the other guys up. It's just a confidence thing. We just believe in each other.
 
On his confidence today compared to previous games...
Kind of started with Northwestern when we were airing it out. I was able to... I just focused on seeing the defense. We were running a lot of good route plays; Coach Warner calls them awesome plays. Just seeing the defense is kind of something that comes with play. I think I said, as every game goes on you see it better and I think that's kind of what's happened with my case.

Michigan State sophomore linebacker Joe Bachie
 
On the crowd after the weather delay...
It was awesome to see some of the fans still there, but we knew we had to wake that stadium back up and gets some momentum. That 3-and-out by us was huge. You know our offense was clicking a little bit when we came out there. Our mindset is we have to finish this game. You know we're here for four hours waiting around; we have to finish. We're here to win, and I'm just glad we got that momentum going on our side.
 
On shutting down Penn State offense...
Every week, we go against great players and great offenses in the Big Ten, but you go get someone like Saquon you know he can make you miss in so many ways. He's such a dynamic player, and we talk about rallying and swarming the ball. We feel like we didn't do a great job of that last week at Northwestern, so that's something I was tremendously proud of. On our defense, we are staying fresh and rotating guys in. In our D-line, we have people that haven't been out there all year. They know it's exciting, and they have a little chip on their shoulders.
 
On the fourth and three stop....
On that fourth and three, they saw our blitz come. I was trying to check out of it a little bit because I knew that they were going to run that replace route to the field. So, I was trying to get our outside linebacker to sit out there and he ended up coming. You know like Chris said it was loud in there, for the few people that were in there it was loud, but we brought pressure still. Andrew Dowell came off the edge and got in his face and forced a high throw, but we saw that and we figured that is what they were going to go to because they were able to pick some yards up on that earlier in the game.

Michigan State junior wide receiver Felton Davis III

On this win comparing to MSU's 2015 win over Ohio State...
Definitely the same feelings, you know, it's one of those feelings like `ah man, it's on him, it's on his leg,' but that's what he came here to do and kick the ball.
 
On catching the hard-to-reach passes...
It's just me trying to make a play on the ball, and then Brian, I'm going to try to find him for him to get it to me.
 
On feeding off the energy of the crowd towards the end of the game...
Yeah, that's amazing right there, the people who had stayed throughout that whole delay, you know staying with us throughout that game.

Michigan State cornerback Josiah Scott

On finding out Ohio State lost to Iowa...
During the fourth quarter somebody said, 'Ohio State is losing.' After the game we thought maybe they would've came back, but we found out they lost 55-24 or something like that, so it's huge. We were excited about that and we were excited about the win today.

On Coghlin's winning kick and if he would want to be in that position...
If I've been kicking for my whole life, doing that same thing, repetitive, each and everyday, I would feel comfortable being in that situation too. He was very comfortable in that situation. We practice that every single day. Kicking those field goals last minute, those last second deals. He came through for us, I'm proud of him.
    
On the defensive performance...
I feel like we adjusted real well the second half. The first half we kind of played and then we had the delay. We adjusted really well during halftime. We were able to get adjustments done because they were picking apart some of the defenses we were in. We were adjusting on the sideline to be able to get that in and play it tougher on the pass, so I feel like that was good.

Michigan State wide receiver Hunter Rison

On what he did during the delay...
We had a few snacks just to keep the fuel going. I owe that to our coaches and our staff and everything. They kept us fueled, they kept us right. It was really just relaxing getting off our feet.

On when it came time to go back out after the delay...
I remember they gave us a 30 minute warning. Coach Mannie came in there and said, '30 minute warning,' and I won't kid you, everybody just got up and started screaming. Everybody just got hyped up. That's the team we have. We're itching just to go out there and prove our point. So once they gave us the 30 minute warning we started stretching and getting our pads back on. We just went out there and played.

On his back-to-back big plays...
I always say I prepare myself like a starter. We all do. When that opportunity presents itself I have to be ready for it. Regardless of the play, the situation, if its first quarter or fourth quarter, I've got to be ready for it. So when the ball is in the air, I just have to go get it.

Michigan State cornerback Justin Layne

On what he did during the delay...
I put some headphones and played with my phone, that's it for the most part.

On Coghlin's winning field goal after an "unlucky" week...
I mean it was great. In football you have to have a short-term memory, and he had that. So he did his thing.

On being in a positon where they may have the chance to compete for Big 10 Championship...
It feels great knowing that we came from a 3-9 season, especially us, because we've never experienced it. It feels great knowing we have a chance to compete for that.

On playing conditions after the delay...
It was very slippery, so you had to take choppy steps, you had to really dig in. You couldn't really try to move so sudden. You had to take your time with everything and be patient.

On how much they emphasize tackling in practice after the Northwestern game...
A lot. Since last week we had a bad week of tackling, Coach really emphasized it a lot this week. So we were doing a lot of tackling and leverage drills the whole week. It's actually perfect timing because it helped us this week with Saquon (Barkley).

Michigan State freshman wide receiver Cody White

On what it's like to have the team looking to him to be a leader on the field...
Yeah just looking to me, it's been fun though. Everything is just slowing down and it's been more fun playing out there being able to get more reps and being in the right positions.

On if there's competition between White and Hunter Rison for who gets the most catches...
It's a close receivers group so anybody who makes catches, it's good for us.

On what he did during the rain delay...
I just laid by my locker and relaxed, listened to music and kept communicating with my teammates and just kept us ready.

On if he's ever experienced a delay like today's delay...
Not in my football career, but I grew up playing baseball and we had a bunch of delays in baseball, so I'm kind of used to it.

On the play of Matt Coghlin...
It just shows that he's got confidence in himself and we've got confidence in him as well. When we put him out there we know he's going to make the kick so it's just having confidence in him.

Penn State redshirt junior quarterback Trace McSorley

 
On outside distractions...
We know it's out there.  I think, clearly, right now we thought we had a good handle on it, but I think it's affecting us a little more than we initially thought it was.  We just have to get back to focusing on what we can do during the week and go 1-0 for that week and nothing else matters.
 
On being affected by last week's Ohio State game...
As Coach (Franklin) said and as I'll reiterate, we just have to focus on doing everything we can to win the next game.
 
On avoiding outside distractions...
You can't just completely avoid it.  That's where the maturity needs to step up. You have to be a mature enough  team to be able to handle that.  The same kind of process that got us to the position where all that noise was happening, we just gotta get back to that.
 
On practice this week...
I don't think we had a lack of focus in practice.  I thought we actually had a really good practice coming off of a loss.  We just had to come out and execute better today.  Whatever it was, we needed more.
 
On the delay...
I'm not going to sit here and make an excuse for the delay.  Those are things you have to be able to play under any circumstance, whether it's rain, snow, 130 degrees out, minus 20, it doesn't matter.  If they're putting that ball in play, you have to come out produce.
 
On deciding factor in the game...
Turnovers.  That's the glaring number.  I have do better for our team.  I did a very bad job today.
 
On turnovers and the weather affecting turnovers...
It wasn't necessarily that.  Each one is kind of different. I don't know off the top of my head, but we'll go back and look at them.  Decision-making, you probably can't force down the field as much on the first one going into a tight window on the run.  The next two, you just have to throw a better ball.

Penn State junior running back Saquon Barkley

How difficult was it to stay focused during the weather delay....
Obviously, it's difficult because you go from playing a game to relaxing; it's not a excuse as to why we lost. Michigan State is a great team, a well coached team; the game came down to the wire, with a game winning field goal, we just need to find a way to finish the game off.

How do you approach these final three games...
By the standard Coach Franklin sets for this program which is to come out 1-0 and not worry about outside factors and play our game, we still have a lot of things to fix and work on. We still have three regular-season games, we have to finish it off.

On if the Ohio State loss last week had an impact on today's performance....
I believe we handle adversity pretty well, the way we practiced this week was really good. At the end of the day it's football, you have to give credit where credit is due, Michigan State is a great team and have the chance a great chance to finish out the season strong too. We have to focus on Penn State football, both offensively and defensively and get it right, getting back to our standard and mentality.

What was Michigan State defense doing well to defend the run...
It's Michigan State. I think they are the No. 1 rush defense team in the Big Ten and haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher all season. Michigan State is well coached, hard nosed and tackled really well. We started off slow in our run in the first half. In the second half, we started getting going. The offensive line got movement.  I was able to take what the defense was giving me. In the running game, we have to find ways to make plays. It was a good game, but we came up short.

Was the game plan just to throw the ball...
The game plan wasn't to throw the ball; we are a balanced team. You have take what the defense gives you.  Michigan State defense does a good job at scheming, getting an extra defender in the box. At the end of the day we need to find a way to finish.

On classifying this game as a "Championship Game" after Ohio State losing...
Obviously, you see what the game was and the score it was just a normal just a normal Big Ten game for us. You never know what can happen still a long season with three games left. We have to get back to who we're, what got us to this point. What got us to this point is playing together, playing as family. When we're 2-2 last year, we weren't even talked about, we're getting talked a lot now. We have to find a way to get back to, who we really are. 


 

 

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