Penn State Players' Weekly Press Conference 11/12/19
COURTESY OF PENN STATE ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
Jake Pinegar | K | So./So.
Q. What have you seen from this program in the last 48 hours? We saw some very emotional guys in postgame media sessions. Have you seen people digest things a bit more?
JP: I think right after the game, there was a lot of raw emotion and stuff like that and then I think the next day, Sunday practice, everybody moved on. We shifted to Indiana, kind of using that as fuel, really determined and stuff like that. What happened is in the past and we're just moving forward right now.
Q. [Sean] Clifford is a guy that is going to help drive the team forward. How has he specifically picked things up? We heard Coach [James] Franklin pointed out Sean after the game to try to take some of the load off his shoulders. How is he handling it and why do you think that was important for Franklin to do after the game?
JP: I think Sean, just like everyone else, has moved on from it. One loss is on everybody on the team. It's not just one person. Everybody picks everybody up in the locker room and stuff like that. I think Sean's determined and he's hungry to get back out there on the practice field today.
Q. In terms of special teams, Coach Franklin today pointed out that penalties are an issue. How has Joe Lorig, over the course of these first nine games, tried to tighten you guys up? How would you evaluate the entire unit through those nine games?
JP: Yeah, we have two goals, own the ball and no penalties. So those penalties are a huge emphasis. But you know, when we do that, good things happen. That's just a consistent emphasis that he puts on us is to own the ball and have no penalties. We try to be the best we can each week and clean it up.
Q. Can you describe what might be some of the difficulties that go into your whole operation when things get colder?
JP: Yeah, obviously the ball doesn't fly as much and it doesn't jump off your foot as much but really it's not a huge deal. For me, Blake [Blake] and Chris [Stoll], we try not to think about it that much. Just go out there and take it like any other kick. It's not a huge deal.
Q. In the few weeks before the Minnesota game, you didn't have too much repetitions when it comes to in-game field goals. Was it any sort of adjustment or tough at all, stepping right back?
JP: I was excited to get back out there and do that, but we do it each and every day in practice and stuff like that, so you know, I've just got to be ready when my number's called.
Q. We had Blake Gillikin on the practice field last week and spoke about basically being a leader and also being someone who is very studious and all that stuff. What does he do for this locker room in terms of who he is on the field, off the field, being a fourth-year player? Can you describe his presence, not just in the special teams unit, but kind of across the roster?
JP: Yeah, you know, he's a huge leader on our team and on special teams, of course, and he's a great role model for younger guys on and off the field. I think he's been a huge part of our success. He's been a huge part of that, pinning people deep, making it so that they have to go 90-95 yards on our defense, which is hard. So he's been a huge part to our success and off the field he's helping everybody with anything they need to do, so he's a great leader and a role model.
Q. Do you listen or watch the Pat McAfee Show at all?
JP: I follow him on Twitter, but I don't really watch his shows that much. Bits and pieces. Not really, though.
Q. So you have a guy who has created a career for himself who was a college kicker and NFL punter. Do you feel like he's giving a voice to segment of football that really hasn't had too many people speak up for them? What is that total experience like being in college, a kicker, hearing someone talk about stuff you have to go through?
JP: I think he's really funny and entertaining, and people like that and buy into him. Stuff with punting and kicking is not as glamorous as other positions but he brings a funnier side of things and kind of puts a highlight on it in a funny and different way, which kind of gives light to it, which has been awesome. I think that's awesome.