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Coach speak with Bill O'Brien: Coach declares, 'I hate Twitter'

October 17, 2012
By Cory Giger ( , The Altoona Mirror

A capsule look at Bill O'Brien's weekly news conference.

Opponent: Iowa (4-2, 2-0 Big Ten)

Last time vs. Penn State: The Lions won at home last year, 13-3.

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Kickoff: Saturday, 8 p.m., Kinnick Stadium

Television: BTN

Line: Iowa is favored by 3; over/under is 42 1/2

Anti-social media: Penn State CB Stephon Morris tweeted Monday night about Iowa, "This is a huge game, we hate them they hate us." Asked about those comments Tuesday, O'Brien said, "Do you know what I hate? I hate Twitter. I think these guys are young guys, and I think, 'tweet this, spacebook that' [referring to Facebook]." O'Brien then went on to add, "We don't have any hatred for Iowa. We respect Iowa."

Dinner reservations: The Lions had a bye last week, but that didn't mean the coaching staff got much time off. The team practiced Monday through Thursday, then the coaches worked on recruiting. "A lot of people ask me about, 'How was your bye week?' and having days off," O'Brien said. "Well, you never have a day off during football season. It's either getting the team ready to play or recruiting or whatever it may be." There was one perk, though, to having the weekend off. "I took my wife out to dinner on Saturday night and had a nice dinner, but that was about it," O'Brien said.

Freedom of speech: RB Curtis Dukes, who's still fourth on the depth chart, told the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times that he wants more playing time. O'Brien was asked if there would be any disciplinary action toward Dukes for speaking out like that, and the coach countered with this classic response: "Nah, it's a free country." Dukes has carried just 26 times for 98 yards and has continued to struggle picking up the offense. "Curtis is working hard, and he's a member of the football team, and just continuing to work hard, and that's all I have to say about that," O'Brien said.

Test time: The players have to take verbal and/or written tests each week to make sure they understand the schemes and game plan. "It's not what you know as a coach, it's what your players know," O'Brien said. He added tests have been given to players everywhere he's been, including with the Patriots. "Giving a test to Tom Brady was a pretty interesting thing because those tests were very, very difficult, but he usually aced them. I couldn't believe it," O'Brien said.

Words of encouragement: Penn State cheerleader Paige Raque is in intensive care at Altoona Regional after falling five stories out of an off-campus building Saturday night. "My heart goes out to Paige and her family, and I feel terrible about that," O'Brien said. "When I get back over [to his office] I'll make some calls and make sure that their family understands. I know her brother is a great gymnast here, and it's a terrible thing."

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