Paterno’s understanding of IU sorta sketchy

Just got a look at the transcripts from Joe Paterno’s press conference earlier in the day. Indiana fans will like a couple of his comments, but one doesn’t make any sense.

On the positive side, Paterno sympathizes with the Hoosiers on some of their tough breaks this season, and cited the officiating. As he typically does no matter the opponent, he says the Nittany Lions could have their hands full.

“We got a tough ballgame this week,” Paterno said. “Indiana has had some awfully tough luck, some of which was based on bad officiating. They had a chance to beat a couple good football teams, and got some bad calls. I think we’ve got to concentrate on Indiana.”

Paterno also said he’s concerned with Jammie Kirlew and Greg Middleton.

“They’re two of the best ends we’re going to play against,” he said. “Big, quick kids. Obviously, with the tackle situation what it is, most of the time you have to pass protect them. We’re very, very concerned about them. I’m concerned about the whole Indiana football team. I think their defense is playing maybe not as dramatically as well as a club like Iowa or Ohio State, but those two kids, they’re tough. I think their whole scheme is good. They’re well coached. They hustle all the time. So we’ve got our hands full. Those two guys are obviously the guys that create most of the problems.”

Paterno doesn’t, however, seem to have a great grasp of what Indiana does on offense. He was asked about how much different the pistol is from what else IU has been running.

“Well, what they’re doing is what we’ve seen a lot of people do now with the really good running quarterback,” Paterno said. “It’s a version of the old triple option from the shotgun. They’re doing a good job with their offense. As I started out the conversation, they’ve had some tough, tough breaks. They have really moved the football most of the time against some pretty good football teams. They can move the football…quarterback is tough. He may not have quite the speed (Terrelle) Pryor has, but he’s very clever. Honest to goodness, I can’t remember just how much I’ve seen them do with what they’re doing right now. But right now they’re running what you call a triple option, whatever you want to call it, and they’re doing it very well.”

It’s uncertain from that quote whether he realizes that Ben Chappell and Mitchell Evans are different people or if he is simply referring to the Wildcat package. Even in that, the Hoosiers run the triple option — which you could call the plays when Tandon Doss comes from a wingback position to take a pitch — what. two, three times a game tops? But then again, the man’s 82 and has more wins than anybody in Division I-A. Who am I to argue?


  1. Is it too much to point out that it really doesn’t matter that he doesn’t know who our quarterbacks are or what offense we run? His assistants will ave PSU ready to eat our lunch.

  2. I hate to pick on the age thing, but Bobby Bowden does the same thing. He’s all the time calling someone by the wrong name or talking about something the other team does well that they really don’t do at all. Just like Paterno, it doesn’t really matter because he’s not really doing the coaching anymore anyway.

  3. Osterman, I’m fairly certain this week’s IU gameplan and that Darrel Royal Texas gameplan just got mixed up in a drawer of his desk. At least he didn’t accidentally pull out the gameplan for the Rutgers-Princeton game from the 1865, in which (as everyone knows) JoePa was a budding young assistant coach with a lot of potential.

    And hey…I don’t mind if he thinks the triple option is our one and only good play. I hope he plans the defense to completely destroy that play, and only that play.

  4. I think this just goes to show how little involvement JoePa has in actual coaching any more. He’s really nothing more than a figure head and motivational speaker

  5. From all accounts, though, that’s totally false. Paterno has actually been criticized for not delegating nearly enough. He’s usually on the ball with this sort of thing. But on this particular issue…way off.

  6. First ESPN can’t even get the name of our coach correct. The called him Bill, then Bob and on Sports Center they called him Jim.

    Now Joe Pa has such little concern for what this team does on the field, he doesn’t even know what offense we are running.

    The issue here isn’t Joe Pa’s age. The issue here is how little relevance IU Football has in the college football world and against their own opponents.

    Dustin, Don’t let Korman forget my ice cream this time!

  7. After all the collective griping that has gone on this year, most of it justifiably so, a “big win” this weekend would fix everything. And I mean everything.

    True “programs on the rise” are able to put everything together once or twice during their ascent to mediocrity/greatness, even if they are unable to sustain it for an entire season.

    If we are really to believe that Lynch is the man for this job, he needs to prove it by showing us he is capable of the high-pressure win. You can “stay close” every game and still end up like the Detroit Lions. You also can’t expect to hold any momentum in recruiting by arguing that you are “a few bad calls away from 8-2,” or whatever it is that Fred “Sports Illustrated” Glass said.

    A 5 win season looks a lot more promising if it includes a big upset. Time for Lynch to do what he has never done: take down a giant.

    The refs are probably well aware of our luck so far this year, and will be less likely to continue to call the close ones against us. No excuses. Let’s do it, Hoosiers.

  8. Why would it be a “high-pressure” win? Hasn’t the season pretty much been flushed?

    The pressure game was the contest against Virginia…a pivotal point in the season after a heartbreaking loss at Michigan and the typical butt-kick from OSU….Other than a chance to put a different variable into the Penn State bowl equation, this game means zilch. Penn State will pounce and trounce…It’s all over but for the consolation prize of Oaken Bucket…Same old, same old…It can’t end fast enough.

  9. Flush it,

    It WOULD be a high-pressure win, given the fact that our bowl eligibility hinges on this weekend’s game. No win, no bowl. And if you in fact do believe we’ll take home the Oaken Bucket, then those two victories combined would equal a likely trip to a bowl game for IU this year.

    You kind of answered your own question with your comments.

  10. Bowl game is still in discussion?..Wow…College football has become that pathetic? A 3-5 record in the conference(6-6 overall) and we can go to a bowl game? Shows you how much I’ve been following along…I guess the pressure really is on…I apologize, Casey..Let’s go out there and “win one for the Gipper”…

    I didn’t realize that college football had decided to strip the last vestiges of legitimacy away from the game…What are their now, 50 friggin’ bowl games!?…If the list gets any longer it will rival a Chinese take-out menu….Astonishing..There might even be more college bowls than there are balls in a bowling alley…just the right poundage and finger hole size for every school…Everybody’s a winner in college football…IU can play in the bumper lanes…go grab the pink kiddy ball… the little eight-pounder feels just right to me….”Now use both hands Little Billy….Try to get a big old strike for your Hoosier daddy….” You can be coach for five more years if proof our gridiron gladiators can roll that pink ball…just knock down a couple pins….Take your time…You can do it..better spit your gum out first…wouldn’t want to choke on such a big important ball to lead to bowl”

    What a marvelous thing to hang our football hats on…What a great measure of our success…the near bottom of the Big 10 barrel gets to go bowling…I should be ashamed…Saturday is gargantuan.

    And to think we had nothing to play for…I stand corrected.

  11. Billy,

    The phrase “high pressure” game was not mine. I simply quoted.

    I completely agree — the number of bowl games available to college teams is laughable. And it lessens the impact of making a bowl game.

    But here at IU, we’re forced to focus on baby steps and marginal improvement. For a team that has only made ONE in the last 14 years, it’s a big deal — that’s all. For a team that almost never pulls out key wins against big time opponents, a victory over Penn State would be huge. Do I think it’ll happen? No. Do I think it would be a big deal if it did? Yes.

  12. Hold your ground, Casey..You give more easily than a Hoosier second-half defense…Just kidding…Could we not argue it to be a “big deal” if Indiana ever wins single road game in a season? Although this game seems primed for upset(Indiana can play loose with another season concluding in a few nothing-to-lose games…Penn State has already let the important wins slip away that have cost them ‘prestige’ bowl chances), I still don’t see it happening…It will be pounce and trounce…Indiana is out of gas(too many heartbreaks..too shell-shocked from corrupted whistles and game-changing calls)..there’s nothing left in the tank..In my humble opinion, any claim that this game proves anything plus or minus for Lynch’s resume is completely bogus…A Hoosier win would be nothing more than freak upset..It’s a Cubs team not making playoffs beating the Yankees in final hmoe series after another miserable year..It’s the Clippers stealing one from the Lakers just before All-Star break…. “Big deal” games are the victories amassed during the season that prove you belong in “big deal” bowl games(not that I wholeheartedly believe there is such a thing anymore)..This would not be a big deal…It would just be a freak upset…They happen all the time. As I said before…the important games are out the door…the important guests have departed our what-could-have-been party …they won’t be home putting sprinkles on sugar cookies….our chestnuts be roasting since the Virginia game…That game was a big deal. Unfortunately, this one does not fit the same billing..

    I still do love freaky upsets…Of course, they’re even more delightful when they happen in big, high pressure games..I’d love nothing more than to see Paterno have sideline fits and fill his Depends protective undergarment…That could be a big deal…At least it has the potential to smell as one…If you seen him standing lonely ..???

    Go Hoosiers!

  13. Casey- I’m with you on this one. This game would be a huge win, because people around here think that getting to bowl game, even if it’s the Motown City Bowl played on a frozen field down 8 Mile Road in Detroit, is a big deal.

    If you remember, people like Aruss and Jimmy (where have those two gone these days?), as recently as a year ago, were still calling our 7-6 season in 2007 “magical.” Only a (certain kind of) quaint little Hoosier could see “magic” in season with only 3 Big 10 wins capped by another classic Lynch underprepared showing in a blowout bowl game. This is the type of Hoosier who sees “trying hard” and “honoring contracts” as the ultimate end of IU sports.

    This in mind, 6-6 and a bad bowl game is a big deal.

    There is another factor at play, though. In football, since the schedules are much, much shorter, there are no “garbage time wins”. Downing doesn’t understand football enough to realize this. His comment about this being similar to an end-of-the-season baseball game serves witness, and draws a “you gotta be kidding?” reaction. The stakes are always higher in football, especially college, where one game can easily be the barometer for a program’s direction and overall health. What is more, even if there were no bowl game at stake here, Fred Glass would be peering over this game with his eagle eye, Sports Illustrated in hand, itching to prove that Lynch has exceeded all expectations this year. A win would vindicate him yet again, and also make him happy in the sense that he could continue to save money on the cheapest coach in the Big 10.

  14. There you go with another arrogant remark…Though the claim of my inferior football knowledge may be true, the gained feeling of supremacy that envelopes such pompous attitude is nothing more than a quick coating of new car sheen over old rust..You’re the Earl Scheib of Hoosier Scoop…All too soon the painted on truth eats away and breaks through the false polish..I’m not so ashamed to hide my rust just to achieve a used car lot short-lived opinion…I have a feeling my understanding of football is thorough enough to know pathetic results don’t deserve any type of national recognition…Go ahead and turtle wax your rusty noggin…If you can’t see truth that aint my problem. Maybe too much blinding sun bouncing off your freshly painted hood.

    The Penn State game gives no barometer to the health of IU football…I’m surprised you could make such an outlandish statement. Penn St. has lopsided losses to both Iowa and OSU at home..Penn St. doesn’t deserve to be called “healthy” in their own right with two pronounced losses on their turf. Yes, it’s a spectacular achievement for IU to win a road game…Yes, it’s an even greater achievement to beat Penn St(home or road)..A Penn St. team that couldn’t secure a victory against Iowa on their home field…And is that the same Hawkeye team that just lost to Northwestern at Iowa?…Is there more balance in the Big 10? Maybe true..Could also be a ton of mediocrity under one somewhat vibrant team-OSU…Iowa at OSU this weekend should reaffirm Iowa does not belong(we don’t even need to go into the stolen game against IU).
    And come bowling alley time, we’ll once again see the overall health of the Big 10 when the elite team in the standings(OSU) plays in the one relevant bowl game…Prediction: Ohio State will do what the Big 10 representative most frequently accomplishes in the “big” bowl contests…They’ll embarrass the hell out of college football from the Midwest “powerhouse”(chuckle..chuckle)conference..the conference IU battles at bottom.

    Point After: Weren’t you just making an argument recently(a barometer sign?)that IU football was not very healthy under Lynch because a big-time recruit was just lost to Cinci? My god, Tom…You are all over the place with your opinions..Can you at least find some consistency..Lynch stay?..Lynch go?…Healthier?…Unhealthy?…Your opinion plays to the Scoopster audience..It’s not anchored in any supreme knowledge of the game…It’s the same old Earl Scheib cheap paint job over a crappy Ford Pinto……Same description for IU football…A polished and healthy puddle-jumper over a bucket of rusty unreliableness.

    BEARS vs 49ers… TONIGHT! Must win. Go Forte!

  15. Yes, Go Forte. That guy has been a major flop this year so far, except for a predictable good game against bottom-feeder Cleveland.

    On another note, you can talk Pintos and turtle wax all you want, but in the end, your “take the contrary at every possible opportunity” blog style is just as flimsy, transparent, and inconsistent as my “jumping all over the board.”

    If someone says tomato, Downing says tomAHto.

    If someone says right, Downing says left.

    If you say Crean, he says Kelvin.

    If you say Bill Sucks!, he says Bill is Great.

    If you say Obama, he says NoBama.

    If you say something is important, Downing says No it’s Not.

    If you say something is trivial, Downing says it’s meaningful.

    It’s a strategy that reminds me of backseat brotherly quarrels, in that it is not at all linked to any supreme ‘conviction’ that requires one to ‘hold their ground’.

    In short, your tacks back and forth are just as silly as whatever it is you accuse me of. I haven’t forgot that you are Bloggin Cochran. You stay employed by defending whatever cause or standpoint is unpopular. It’s your livelihood; it gives you pleasure. I can accept that. But let’s stop pretending to act like you derive your comments from some saintly, consistent moral conviction and inspiration.

  16. We all live with bitterness scarred thy imperfections of affections… How else could we detest a world that could never be perfect as our own self-image?

    You aint heavy, Tom.

  17. I’ve let this settle for a while…You’re right, Tom…

    The beginnings of such repugnance must be so deeply seated into my Psyche I rarely get a look at how detestable a thing I am.

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