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Coach speak with Bill O'Brien: 'We have moved on from Ohio State'

November 1, 2012
By Cory Giger (cgiger@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

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

Opponent: Purdue (3-5, 0-4 Big Ten)

Last time vs. Penn State: The Lions won at home last year, 23-18.

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Kickoff: Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Ross-Ade Stadium

Television: ESPNU

Line: PSU is a 3 1/2-point favorite; over/under is 51 1/2

Looking forward, not back: The first question for O'Brien was about PSU's nine penalties in the loss to Ohio State, and the coach immediately made it clear he didn't want to talk about that game. "We have moved on from Ohio State and moved on to Purdue," O'Brien said. "Hopefully we have corrected the mistakes from that game in practice and will continue to do that over the next three days here, but we have a big challenge for us at Purdue, and we've turned the page."

Hey there, Charlie Brown: O'Brien has a good sense of humor, which fans already have seen during his public speaking appearances. He had a good line during his teleconference after having trouble hearing some garbled questions from the speakerphone. "We've got to get a better speaker here. That's like Charlie Brown's teacher," he said. A few seconds later, he even did the comical voice effect of the teacher, saying, "Wah wah wah wah."

Zebra talk: O'Brien chose his words carefully when asked about officiating, coming on the heels of some questionable calls going against PSU and some things not getting called (such as a blatant hold on Michael Mauti when Braxton Miller scored his acrobatic 1-yard TD). He said he will have questions for the Big Ten after the season about its policies and procedures. "I want things defined, 'What is this, what is that, what are we looking for, here?'" he said. The school submits things to the Big Ten if it has a question about a call. "That will be one of my questions: OK, what happens when we send 'em in? We get a response, but what's done about that?" the coach said. "Do we try to fix the problem, do we just, OK, that was the answer, all right, next game? So those will be things I will try to address after the season."

Zebra talk, part 2: O'Brien added this about his talks with officials during games: "I'm sure they haven't had a lot of fun with me, certain crews haven't had a lot of fun with me, and I'm going to fight for my staff and for Penn State."

Challenging times: O'Brien inherited a difficult situation and was asked what his toughest challenges have been through eight games. He said it would take all day to discuss all of them. "There are challenges every day, whether it's administrative challenges or maybe players come to you and they have personal issues," he said. His goal every day is to "work extremely hard and be organized in my work." His bottom line is honesty. "[What] I've tried to do is be open, honest with our staff, with our players, and to make sure that everybody has an idea every single day of where they stand," he said.

Always trying to improve: O'Brien made several decisions that didn't work against Ohio State and was critical of himself. He acknowledged that he tries to critique himself every day so that he's "making sure I'm doing the best I can for these players and this university," he said. "That's every single day, whether we win or lose. I'm always trying to figure out what I could do better than the day before or the practice before or the game before. That will never change."

-- Compiled by Cory Giger

 
 

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