Linebacker Mohamed Barry

The Penn State offense:

“Playmakers. I would say fast players, very confident players. Not scared to risk it all, because they know 9-times-out-of-10 they will reap the reward of risking it all. So, good players, hard workers, some of the best.”

The key to finding confidence:

“Just believing in the process, if you love this game you’ve just got to believe in the process and understand that if you get your game right and you buy into what the plan is and execute the plan, things will get better. You’ve just got to believe that.”

The coaches’ message:

“The message is clear. That (the Minnesota game) was disappointing and they talked about brotherhood and sticking together and that’s what you’ve got to do when times are like this. But, that was disappointing football by our team and by our players so there’s nothing you can say really.”

Sticking together:

“We have a relationship off the field and outside of this complex. We’re friends regardless, but the football aspect, you just have to buy into the plan. You can’t think about what’s going bad because that’s just going to make things worse and I’m not about that and some players are not either.”

The last couple games:

“I’ve learned so much this season that will fuel my fire. With being inexperienced and learning the game while the game is being played is big because we are an inexperienced team. With Tanner (Lee) sitting out a year and coming back, being away from the game and coming back to the game and relearning all the things you can’t learn in practice, that only happen on game days, is a big part of the learning curve for me and maybe for a lot of players. Just learning how to be a better leader, an effective leader and being able to buy in and make sure everyone buys in. If we’re together and everyone buys in, we’re going to be a better team.”

The challenges:

“You forget the challenges of the game when you’re not in the game for a long time in an actual game situation. Things can go good for you and things can go bad for you. Just think about the next play, and don’t dwell on the last play. That’s why the game time experience is so important because of those things. You learn a lot during the game that you can’t learn in practice.”

The mindset going into Penn State:

“You just think about your game. Everyone just has to think that we’re preparing against a good team, we’re going to play a lot of good teams next year and this is an opportunity to gain confidence, to gain something out of that game. We have a chance to gain something out of this game, and if you prepare that way to get your skill sets better and execute the plan then when we play against Penn State, something good is going to happen to a particular person that’s going to help them the next season. That’s the thing, a good play happened that’s going to give him some confidence or next time I’m going to play this play just like that. You learn from bad plays, because you’re like ‘next time, if I’m in this position I’m not going to play this play like that.’ So again, experience. A game to experience and a game to compete. That’s what I’m going to do , and that’s what my teammates are going to do.”

On Chris Weber suggesting he start against Minnesota:

“It meant a lot to me, because I told him I wouldn’t care if he started over me because he’s done so much for the program and has been playing with his hair on fire this season, so I respect him as a player. So, he didn’t have to do that. He earned my respect. It speaks volumes of him as a man to understand that you put in the work, you put in the time and you should be rewarded for that.”

Correcting mistakes:

“I can’t speak for my teammates. I know I have tremendous respect for my teammates and I’m happy with their performance. But for me, I know missing a tackle feels worse, because if you’re in that position, they brought you here to make that tackle. Things like that, that’s the pressure I put on my tackling. Every tackle should be made if you’re in position. And if not, effort by other players should help bring the ball carrier down.”


Offensive lineman Jerald Foster

The player’s response to the game:

“Maybe I’ll be able to answer that a little bit better tomorrow, because we really haven’t talked too much about it as players, as a team. But I still feel like everybody understands with these next two games, we’re still able to go out there and showcase ourselves and be able to play the game. The game that we love, the game that we came here for. So, me speaking on behalf of the team, we’re going to be working this week to be able to beat Penn State. We’re going to be working next week to be able to beat Iowa. We’re not going to change that up. We’re not going to be some new team all of a sudden just because of what our record is.

"We’re still going to be with that drive to be able to push forward and finish off the year right. To add on to that, we’re not only doing this to put ourselves in a good spot for next year, but to do this for our seniors. The guys that are here, the guys that deserve better than to be done after the regular season, they deserve a bowl game. We’re going to work our tails off, I know they’re going to because this is it for them and for the younger guys we’re going to do the same for them.”

What to fall back on:

“You have to understand what we put in during the offseason. If you don’t believe in yourself throughout the season, no matter what the record is, I don’t know why you’re going to be playing, why you’ll be out there. I believe in my team, and I believe my team believes in each other and we’re going to be prepare really hard for this Penn State game. It’s going to be really fun to go down there and experience the whole scene of their whole stripe game and stuff. It’s going to be fun to be able to play top-caliber guys like that. It’s also a good thing for our seniors and guys that are playing just to be able to see ourselves against other really good athletes.”

On Patrick O’Brien:

“He’s someone that’s motivated to do everything he can for the team, just like Tanner (Lee). They both are going to give it everything they have. Patrick, he surprised me a little bit with his running, I didn’t see that coming. But, he was doing it well and I was happy that he was doing it. It was good to see that he’s comfortable enough to take off when he needs to and then throw the balls that he was throwing. Throughout this week, don’t know exactly what is going to happen but I’m comfortable with either one of our quarterbacks.”

On different quarterback styles:

“I would say last year it was a bigger adjustment, just because of Tommy (Armstrong Jr.) being the runner he is to Ryker (Fyfe) staying in the pocket. Both POB (Patrick O’Brien) and Tanner (Lee), they’re both guys that are going to be more in the pocket. Adding on to what I said before, Patrick bringing his feet and doing the runs that he was doing, I was happy to see that. If that’s a part of his game, then we’ll be ready for it. It worked out well when he was doing it, so good decision making on his part. I’m excited to see what comes to with him. So, hopefully both him and tanner will be able to play in the game.”

On differences with O’Brien vs. Tanner Lee:

“Well, I don’t really notice too much of a difference from my position. So, I can’t really talk as the whole offensive line for what they feel. As a tackle, maybe he sits back farther in the pocket or he’s closer to the center. I don’t know for them, but at least my position I feel like it was about the same. If there is problems like that, we’re going to figure them out throughout this week in the sense of where we need to understand where he needs to be in the pocket. We all know that comes with time, just being able to feel where the guy is going to be and for him to know what kind of blocks we’re used to in the sense of throwing them up field or trying to stone them all the time. So, we’ll get used to it throughout this week of working, trying to be ready to be play a good Penn State team.”

On Penn State:

“Penn State is a really good program, it’s another one of those programs that people always remember as always being a really good team in general with good coaching. I really am excited for it, it’s going to be a whole lot of fun to be able to go against the stars that they have on the D-line and their linebackers. I’ll be excited for it, I hope all of the other O-linemen will be too because it gives you a chance to see that much more talent and really put yourself in a ‘how good am I?’ aspect. So, when we get to play them I’m going to be excited and ready to go.”

Fixing weaknesses:

“In the broad aspect, I would say inconsistency of our run game. I felt like we started off the game against Minnesota running it really well, and just not being able to keep that throughout the whole game and being able to finish when we needed to on the 4th-and-1’s that we had. Just not being able to get what we needed from those, that just goes back to consistency, just the push that we give. As an offensive line, I think we’re going to be working on just being able to get our blocks down and anything else, I don’t know exactly.

"I haven’t even watched film with our coaches, I’ve watched it by myself I haven’t watched it with our coaches yet. So, what they say and what they feel we need to do is what we’re going to go with. I guess we’ll see here in a little bit. When I’m talking about weaknesses, obviously we didn’t play like we can and there are weaknesses that were shown and through this next week we’ll figure it out. We’ll figure out our problems and we’ll go forward with that. That’s the only way you can play the game of football. I feel like Alabama and other big football schools like that, they’re doing the exact same thing. I’m not saying anything new, but we’ll definitely figure it out soon.”

Reach the writer at crobus@journalstar.com or 402-473-2646. On Twitter @ClintRobus.

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