Paterno still way behind college football wins leader Gagliardi
• Penn State’s Joe Paterno won his 400th game this past weekend, but he still failed to make up ground on the all-time winningest coach in college football. John Gagliardi of Division III St. John’s (Minn.) University led his team to a 42-17 victory at St. Olaf College for his 477th victory. St. John’s (6-3) has mirrored the Nittany Lions (6-3) this season, winning three of their first four, losing two in a row and now working on a three-game winning streak. Gagliardi said he isn’t bothered when people refer to Paterno as No. 1. “I guess they figure Division III doesn’t exist,” he said. “I am surprised they ignore (Grambling’s) Eddie Robinson (who has 408). I don’t think they would do that if he was still alive, poor guy.” Gagliardi said he hasn’t called to congratulate Paterno, but he said he might do so after the season “when things calm down.”
• Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said he doesn’t know why quarterback Terrelle Pryor recently tweeted that he wants to play basketball for the Buckeyes. “Maybe he is referring to our team basketball tournament in February,” Tressel said, adding the two haven’t discussed such a possibility “for years.” Pryor led Jeannette to the PIAA Class AA basketball championship in 2008.
• An update of players with local ties in this week’s matchup against Ohio State: Buckeyes junior linebacker Andrew Sweat of Trinity is fifth on the team with 29 tackles, with one interception and one forced fumble. Backup linebacker Dorian Bell of Gateway is expected to play Saturday against Penn State after missing four of the first nine games with a concussion. Ohio State return man Jordan Hall of Jeannette leads the team in punt returns, averaging 9.7 yards with a long of 70.
On developing leaders after not having an excessive number of players step up early in the season:
“We have to get into a couple of tough games on the road. This week (at Ohio State) will be a challenge for us. Whether some kids come to the front or not will be interesting. (In the Northwestern victory), you realized you can get behind and stick together and if everyone sticks to their knitting, good things will happen. Our leadership is slowly developing. Whether it has made a big difference, we will find out in the next three games.”
On his memories of former Ohio State coach Woody Hayes:
“Woody is one of the great people I have ever known in coaching. I don’t think we have enough time for me to tell you all the great things about him. He was such a fierce competitor, no fanciness.”
On how Ohio State stacks up against other top teams:
“Ohio State is one of the three or four best teams in the country. They are well-coached, well-disciplined, great balance. There isn’t anything they can’t do well. We are not in Ohio State’s league, not this year. We will be as we go down the line. We are a fairly young team.”
On linebacker Michael Mauti, the Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Week after a career-high 11 tackles against Northwestern:
“He doesn’t tackle as consistently as I would like it, but he is getting better and he had a good game against Northwestern.”
On Penn State’s meager sack total. The Lions have 13 in nine games, including four against Northwestern:
“That’s the one thing we are not doing a good job of, defensively. And we have spent an awful lot of time on it.”