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O??Brien eager to move on from loss to OSU


February 19. 2013 3:06PM
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It took just one question for Bill O'Brien to make his point.


Asked about the nine penalties his team committed in a loss to Ohio State on Saturday, the Penn State coach made his stance clear.


Really, to be frank with you, we've moved on from Ohio State and moved on to Purdue, O'Brien said Wednesday at his weekly press conference, which was pushed back a day because of Hurricane Sandy. With the media session coming further into a game week than usual, O'Brien was not eager to rehash things from Saturday.


Hopefully we've corrected the mistakes from that game in practice, and we'll continue to do that over the next three days here. But we have a big challenge for us at Purdue, and we turned the page on Monday.


But it's a fine line for O'Brien and the Nittany Lions heading into Saturday's game at Purdue. The Lions understandably don't want to dwell on the 35-23 loss to their rivals, but there are still lessons to be learned from it.


Penn State gave up a season-high four sacks and the team's up-tempo offense was regularly disrupted by the Buckeyes' talented defensive line. The Boilermakers, likewise, feature two prominent defensive tackles, starting with All-America candidate Kawann Short.


O'Brien has also been particularly hard on his kickoff return team this week, calling the unit's performance terrible on Tuesday before saying Wednesday that the coaching staff will be looking at different personnel.


It's a little bit of everything, O'Brien said. It's the blockers, it's the scheme – gotta do a better job with the scheme. It's the return guys. It's 11 guys working together. We've got to coach it better.


We've really worked on it this week and hopefully you'll see improvement in it this weekend.


What O'Brien was pleased with was the attitude of his players coming off the loss. The Lions were forced to hold some rare indoor practices these past three days because of the weather, but O'Brien said the intensity did not slip.


(Tuesday's) practice, the pads were poppin' and that was really good to see, O'Brien said.


Infirmary report

O'Brien said tight end Kyle Carter remains day-to-day with a foot injury suffered at the end of the Ohio State game.


The redshirt freshman sported a heavy wrap around his left foot and ankle at practice on Wednesday, according to reporters in State College. Teammates said that Carter had been a limited participant in practice on Monday and Tuesday.


Penn State listed Carter as probable on its official injury report, but O'Brien said he likely wouldn't know until today or Friday how much Carter would be able to do in game situations.


We'll have to monitor him at the end of the week and see how he can cut and do certain things in the passing game to determine whether he can play or not, O'Brien said. I know he wants to play, so he's working hard to get back on the field.


Matt Lehman would likely get more snaps at the F-tight end spot if Carter can't play, but the workload would be split with Lehman, Garry Gilliam and Jesse James all having a bigger role.


But, wideout Allen Robinson said, I honestly don't think that's going to be the case, because he expects Carter to play.


O'Brien also revealed that kicker Sam Ficken has been dealing with a quadriceps injury in recent weeks. It hasn't prevented the Lions from still using him on kickoffs and field goals, but his reps during the week have decreased.


We've been monitoring that and not kicking him as much in practice, O'Brien said. And we have confidence in Sam's ability, but we have had to monitor his leg over the last couple of weeks. So that's what we're trying to do here leading into this game, too. Hopefully by the end of the week we'll have a better idea of what his range can be.


Safe from Sandy

Penn State has seven players from New Jersey, 15 from Maryland and two from Delaware. Starting safety Stephen Obeng-Agyapong hails from the Bronx.


But O'Brien said there were no issues with players who still have family living in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.


I think right now all of our players' families are doing OK, O'Brien said. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those folks in New Jersey and everywhere that you're seeing on the news. It's a brutal deal, but I think our players haven't been necessarily affected by it.


UP NEXT


PSU at Purdue




TV: 3:30 p.m., Saturday,


ESPNU



Where: Ross-Ade Stadium



Last Meeting: PSU won 23-18 in 2011 (vacated)



 


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