November 20, 2012 at 1:32 PM
Bill O'Brien addressed the media Tuesday ahead of Penn State's matchup with Wisconsin. Here's what he had to say:
- O'Brien raved about how the senior class has handled everything thrown at them in the past year, from the death of Joe Paterno to the NCAA sanctions. "At the age of 21, 22, 23 years old, that's pretty heavy stuff," O'Brien said.
- O'Brien added the senior class really helped him along with his transition and the transition of the program since he took over. The seniors helped in this sense, especially with the underclassmen.
- O'Brien said he knew of Stephon Morris since he first got here because Morris was a sociable guy. He said he improved since the beginning of the season.
- Bill Belton has improved his practice habits quite a bit. O'Brien said Zach Zwinak had the hot hand after Belton got injured, and it was hard to take Zwinak out the way he was playing. "One comes in there and takes advantage of his opportunity, it's hard to take him off the field [...] We still see a very bright future for Billy."
- "I'm not a mind reader. I know what I see. I see a bunch of guys who enjoy playing football for Penn State. [...] I believe everybody will be back who is eligible to be back next year. But I don't have a crystal ball and I'm not a genie," O'Brien on the status of underclassmen returning to Penn State next year.
- O'Brien declined to get into the details of Michael Mauti's injury. On Hull: "It's going to be fun to watch [Mike Hull] play Saturday."
- "I think it's fantastic. It's funny, it 's not the Big Ten anymore. It's the Big 14 or something." - O'Brien on Maryland and Rutgers joining the Big Ten. He added that coached some good players during his time at Maryland.
- O'Brien said it's too early to talk about a potential sixth year for Michael Mauti, who could apply for a medical redshirt for his injury last year.
- "My advice is to let you play football as long they let you play football. Go get a real job? Go play as long as you can." - O'Brien on Matt McGloin playing football after Penn State
- O'Brien said he'll try to attack Wisconsin's defense with balanced attack. He heard it might snow. "Wouldn't that be great?" he said, with no sarcasm whatsoever.
- "When the students started chanting Mauti's name, that was pretty cool." He said he loves the student body, among other things at Penn State/State College. "I like a couple of restaurants too."
- O'Brien said freshman quarterback Steven Bench has started to get more reps in practice, as after McGloin graduates, Bench will be the only quarterback on Penn State's roster.