September 4, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Coach Bill O'Brien addressed the media for his weekly press conference today, discussing topics ranging from injuries, to the Virginia scouting report and the state of the team.
-O'Brien said Bill Belton and Stephon Morris are both suffering from day-to-day ankle issues, which "are not serious." He said they will have to practice Thursday and Friday in order to play in the game on Saturday, but until then, he won't know their official status for the Virginia game.
-O'Brien said he has the ability to change over from offense to defense to special teams, saying he's always on the same headset communicator and can override their calls if he deems it appropriate.
"Ted Roof makes the defensive calls, but I'm right there with the headset and I have the ability to change over," O'Brien said.
-O'Brien said freshman running back Akeel Lynch may play this season but, unless he would play a significant amount, will probably hold off.
"If you're going to play them, you'd better make sure you play them."
-When asked about the away game atmosphere, O'Brien said he's coached in countless loud environments while in the NFL, playing in chaotic stadiums such as in Oakland.
-O'Brien said the difference in the game came down to turnovers and third-down conversions, areas in which Ohio succeeded and Penn State did not.
-QB Matt McGloin, who was 27-48 for 260 yards on Saturday, is still O'Brien's guy, and Paul Jones will still continue to man the sidelines, O'Brien said.
-The coach said he knows the walk-on program is going to be an important part of the team in the seasons moving forward.
"We call them run-ons now. We don't call em walk-ons," O'Brien said.
-O'Brien admitted he needs to do a better job with play calling on offense, considering the team threw the ball 48 times compared to just 22 runs. He said he hopes the attack will be more balanced in the future.
-Penn State's punt game, which averaged 35.8 yards per punt on Saturday, has to get better, O'Brien said. He added there is more than one option on the roster at this position, and Alex Butterworth is not untouchable at this position.
-When asked about his scouting report for Virginia, O'Brien said the squad uses big athletes and a physical style of play. He said the Virginia defensive line offers a challenge for the Penn State offense because of their strength and said their running back position is also a position to look out for.
-O'Brien rejected the idea that the team ran out of energy in the second half and said it was more a matter of missed plays.
-He said Hodges will not be returning punts this weekend and he accepts responsibility for the call to try him at this position.
-O'Brien said he isn't worried about his running back corps if Belton is unable to play on Saturday.
"We've got good depth at running depth and....if Bill can't go, we got plenty of guys that can go at running back."