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Virginia vs. Penn State

Sept. 8, 2012

Penn State Head Coach Bill O’Brien Quotes
On final field goal attempt:
“Percentages say you have a better chance making a kick from the middle of the field than you do from the hash. Just center the ball, something we work on all the time. We did a really good job on that drive so we just need to finish that drive. We work on two-minute offense all the time. I am really proud of these kids and how hard they fought. I think if there were five or 10 more seconds I would have tried to get it closer but it is what it was.”
On losing second straight in such a close fashion:
“We just have to get back to work on Monday and keep working hard. These kids left it all out there today, there’s no question about that, and I really appreciate their effort. We’ll break through. We just have to do a better job in the red area offensively and stop people on third and long and we have to keep fighting. The sun will come up tomorrow.”
On Matt McGloin’s first half injury:
“I think he hit his elbow and bruised his funny bone. He’s a tough kid and came back. I wasn’t sure he was going to be able to play, but he just told us when we were coming out for the second half that he was ready to come back.”
More on final field goal:
“It was the distance. From my angle I wasn’t sure of the distance. If it was any longer, I would have probably gone for it there. I wasn’t sure about the distance but when they said it was about 30 I put him back out there. I think the snap was low, I’ll have to see the tape again, but I think it was a little low and a tough grab for Keiser. Again we have to work on that, the whole operation. It’s never always about the kicker, the kicker is always the one to get blamed, but it’s the whole operation: the snap, the hold, the kick. We have to take a look at that. There is no substitute for hard work. We’ll have to go back as a staff and talk about it but Sam (Ficken) is our kicker. We need to see what things we can do to help Sam get better. Again, it’s not all on the kicker; we had some plays in the red area we could have called better, I could have called better plays, we could have executed better, so it’s never always on the kicker. It’s a team sport and we have to figure out other ways to improve.”
On performance of the defense:
“I thought they played their tails off and they did a lot of things really well. They got a bunch of turnovers, a couple third and longs here and there, butthey played very well. We spend a lot of time with turnovers in practice. Coach Ruth and the defensive staff there do a great job of emphasizing getting the ball out, batting the ball down, and they practice it every day. I think a lot of it has to do with those kids and good practice habits. We need to look at the tape and see how Virginia attacked us, but we’ll have to study it. I think Virginia made some plays. They have a good coaching staff over there and some good players and they made the play. We just have to coach it better and study the tape.”
On going with Bench over Jones at backup QB
“Bench was the number two quarterback. Jones is going to play some F-tight end for us and he’ll still play quarterback. We do that at practice and next week keep playing Paul at both positions. He is doing a heck of a job and that’s why I went with Bench as the No. 2 quarterback. I thought he did some good things, especially at the end of the first half. He’s never really ever run atwo-minute drive before, he’s done a couple in practice, and overall I think he did a heck of a job. We tried to kick a last second field goal there and time kind of ran out on us, but I think he did a decent job for his first time playing.”
On large contingent of PSU fans there
“Yeah, it’s a great fan base and we’re really appreciative of all those people being here. I wish we could have given them a victory.”
On progress from last week to this week
“I thought there were some things we did better, again I’d have to look at the tape to really answer that, but I thought we fought very, very hard in the game. It is a tough environment here in Virginia, but it is definitely nice to be on the road and have your 70 guys and your coaching staff and your trainers and your doctors and your support staff and just have that inner circle working. I thought that was good and the road trip went well in terms of the operation for our first road trip. It went well; we just have to find a way to get a win. I think there are some things to build on. I think there are a lot of positives. I think these kids play extremely hard and I’m very proud to be associated with them and I really appreciate their effort. They really emptied the tank today.”
On how to improve
“You show them things, you show them things they did well, you show them things they need to improve on, you don’t talk to them a lot, you just show them. You show them how close they were on this play and how they can improve, how this is a great play, how they can improve on these plays because we have a good Navyteam coming in here (next week). So, we have a lot of work to do, but we try to show them on film and be very positive about it.”
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