Friday, July 11, 2014

O'Brien stops Ohio State talk

February 19. 2013 3:01PM
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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.

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

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 home loss to their rivals from Ohio, but there are 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' big defensive line. The Boilermakers, likewise, feature two very strong 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. The scheme, the blocking, the return guys, the coaching.

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 the past two days because of the weather, but O'Brien said the intensity did not slip.

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

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

Penn State listed Carter as probable on its official injury report, but O'Brien said he likely wouldn't know until the end of the week how much Carter would be able to do in game situations. Teammates said Wednesday that Carter has been practicing on a limited basis this week.

O'Brien also revealed that kicker Sam Ficken has been dealing with a quadricep injury in recent weeks. It hasn't prevented the Lions from still using him on kickoffs and field goals, but his workload in practice has decreased and he is being monitored.

The Lions face the slumping Boilermakers at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in West Lafayette, Ind., with ESPNU carrying the broadcast.

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