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Coach speak with Bill O'Brien: Coach says McGloin 'can say what he wants'

November 14, 2012
By Cory Giger (cgiger@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

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

Opponent: Indiana (4-6, 2-4 Big Ten)

Last time vs. Penn State: The Lions have won all 15 meetings against the Hoosiers, including last year at home, 16-10.

Kickoff: Saturday, noon, Beaver Stadium

Television: BTN

Line: Penn State is an 18 1/2-point favorite, up from an opening line of 14; over/under is 56.

Freedom of speech: Quarterback Matt McGloin stirred controversy with his comments after Saturday's game at Nebraska about PSU not getting calls from officials. O'Brien was asked if he likes his players speaking their minds and said, "We try to talk to our guys about, just overall at the beginning of the season and then weekly, about making sure that they understand what their media obligations are and things like that. At the end of the day, it's a free country, and Matt can say what he wants, and that's what he did. He's an emotional kid."

No freedom of speech: For the first time this season, McGloin will not be available to speak to the media this week. He usually takes part in a conference call on Wednesdays, but that won't be the case. That didn't come as a surprise to many in the media given McGloin's controversial comments, but O'Brien didn't let on that those had anything to do with him not talking this week. "I choose what players to talk to the media every week, and I just chose for him to not be on that list," O'Brien said.

Appeal to students: O'Brien might be fighting a losing battle when it comes to trying to get students to stick around campus for Saturday's game. Thanksgiving break begins after classes Friday, so students can go home until the following Sunday. The dorms are staying open so they can stick around for Saturday, but given the less-than-desirable opponent, it's not the kind of game that will fire up a lot of students. Tickets are going for only $11 on PSU's student-ticket exchange. "I'm not going to beg anybody to come to the game, but I'm going to tell them this: This is a team that has been through unprecedented situations," O'Brien said. "This is a football team led by a senior class that has had the choice ... whether to stay at Penn State or to leave Penn State, and they chose to stay. So as fans, as students, can we not choose to support them in their last two games?"

Bring out the band: O'Brien was asked his halftime routine and made a funny comparison. "One of the things that is interesting in college football is the halftime is a lot longer than in the NFL, so it took me a while to get used to that," he said. "In the NFL it's bang, bang, bang. There are no bands. When you're playing the Jets, there are no bands. And that's not a shot at the band; I love the band."

Oh yeah, what about Indiana?: It took 25 minutes into the press conference before anyone asked about Indiana, which is coming off a 62-14 thumping in its biggest game in years against Wisconsin. "To me, they're a good football team," O'Brien said. "I think Kevin [Wilson] has done a really good job there. ... Offensively they run a very, very fast tempo, I mean ultra-fast, and they try and run between 90 and 100 plays in a game. So that's a huge challenge for our defense this week and special teams."

 
 

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