Empty Netter Assists - Off to Detroit - 09-24-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


The Penguins announced their lineup for tonight's preseason game in Detroit:

Forwards -- Beau Bennett, Patric Hornqvist, Tom Kuhnhackl, Evgeni Malkin, Kael Mouillierat, Sergei Plotnikov, Kevin Porter, Bryan Rust, Tom Sestito, Conor Sheary, Dominik Simon, Oskar Sundqvist, Dominik Uher.

Defenseman -- Niclas Andersen, Sergei Gonchar, Ben Lovejoy, Reid McNeill, Will O’Neill, Derrick Pouliot, Rob Scuderi.

Goaltenders -- Tristan Jarry, Matt Murray.

-Can left winger Chris Kunitz reclaim his spot on the top line?

-Right winger Beau Bennett has shed his kneed braces

-Defenseman Adam Clendening knows he can score. He also knows defense will get him a regular job in the NHL.

-Happy 34th birthday to former Penguins forward Tomas Surovy. A fourth-round pick in 2001, Surovy spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 2002-03, Surovy appeared in 26 games and scored 11 points. He followed that up in 2003-04 by playing in 47 games and scoring 23 points. Following the 2004-05 lockout, Surovy set career highs in games (53) and points (23) in 2005-06. He joined Lulea in Sweden in the 2006 offseason. In 126 games with the Penguins, Surovy scored 59 points. He is currently a member of HC Slovan Bratislava of Russia's KHL.

-After the Jump: A bizarre twist in the Patrick Kane investigation.

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Capable of scoring, Clendening focusing on defense - 09-23-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


Defenseman Adam Clendening played his first preseason game with the Penguins in last night's 7-3 home win against the Hurricanes. Teamed primarily with Ian Cole, Clendening had 18:30 of ice time on 25 shifts including 2:11 of short-handed ice time.

Clendening ripped up the American Hockey League in 2013-14 by leading all defenseman in scoring with 59 points in 74 games while playing for the Rockford IceHogs. At the risk of stating the obvious, Clendening noted, "I could score points."

His numbers took a steep tumble in 2014-15 as he only scored 15 points in 55 contests.

While Clendening acknowledges being recalled to the NHL a handful of times last season as well as a mid-season trade from Chicago to Vancouver limited his playing time at the AHL level, he says the reason for the drop in offense was simple. He was told to concentrate on defense.

“It kind of came down from Chicago [management],” said Clendening. “I had a good rookie year in the [AHL]. Looking to make the jump, they obviously tell you what you need to work on. That was probably the first thing that came down from them was that. They liked the rest of my game, the puck moving, the skating, making plays offensively and when I have the puck in my own end, getting the puck out clean making a good first pass. That was all good for them. It was more just being able to be good around my net and get the puck back quicker.”

Clendening, who the Penguins acquired in an offseason trade with the Canucks, said there are number of details in playing defense.

“Just good body positioning. I'm not the biggest guy. Having body position and being good around my net. Boxing guys out as best as I can. Getting sticks. Trying not to give guys second opportunities, third opportunities. Just using my body better. Just because I'm not the biggest guy doesn't mean you can't do it.”

Chicago's veteran defensemen were helpful in teaching those skills to Clendening (6-foot-0, 190 pounds).

“I learned a lot playing with those guys like [Duncan Keith]. He's not the biggest guy but he does a really good job of it. [Niklas] Hjalmarsson too. He's probably the most underrated at that. Watching a lot of video and getting to play with them really helped. As I went to [Vancouver], I thought I was better at it.

Coming here and doing some of the drills here, I thought I was going to be rusty but I felt really, really good. Had some good body position on a couple of guys. It's not like the one-on-one game is part of it. It's more just being good around my net and using my body. That's probably the biggest thing."

(Photo: Elsa/Getty Images)


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Empty Netter Assists - Recapping Penguins - Hurricanes - 09-23-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Right winger Phil Kessel (above, with his new center) scored twice for the Penguins in a 7-3 rout of the Hurricanes.


-Coach Mike Johnston speaks:

-“I love to play. I’ve always loved to play. I still love to play the game. It’s the best thing in the world. For me, that’s always fun.” - Kessel.

-Right winger Pascal Dupuis is ready to be hit ... just not in the face.

-The Penguins assigned right winger Tom Kostopoulos to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and right winger Jaden Lindo to Owen Sound of the OHL. Kostopoulos is signed to an AHL contract while Lindo is a former sixth-round pick in 2014 who is unsigned.

-EN Says: There's not much to think about with these moves. Neither player was ever going to make this roster. Kostopoulos was brought to camp primarily as a courtesy for his service to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He's an institution with that team. Lindo is a very raw power forward who plays well near the cage. 

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins signed defenseman Evan Wardley.

-After the Jump: Erik Johnson gets paid.

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Hurricanes at Penguins - Postgame - 09-22-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

The story of this game will clearly be Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby hooking up on a handful of goals. Arguably the biggest offseason acquisition in the entire NHL, everyone was eager to see how Kessel would mesh with his new superstar center. They clearly did as evidenced by the three goals they combined for.

But Chris Kunitz played just as large of a role for the Penguins' top line in what proved to be a 7-3 stomping of the Hurricanes at Consol Energy Center. Kunitz ended up with two assists and displayed a touch with the puck which he simply didn't have most of last season. 

Almost immediately, Kunitz made an impact. Approximately 15 seconds into the game, he backhanded a centering pass off the right wing wall to Crosby and sprung him on a breakaway. Crosby couldn't score but was able to draw a holding penalty against Hurricanes center Elias Lindholm.

Kunitz's soft touch with the puck really paid off on a bing-bang-boom passing play with only 12 seconds left in the first period. Crosby fed a pass from above the right circle to Kunitz. Kunitz one-touched it from the left circle it to Kessel in the slot. Kessel was able to one-hand the puck by the glove of sprawling Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward.  Take a look at this piece of artistry:


That's simply a play Kunitz didn't make that many times last season. He struggled during much of 2014-15 to make simple plays with the puck. Yet tonight, he looked like he could have played on a line with the 1984 Soviet national team.

Kunitz was asked if puck handling was something he worked on in the summer:

"It's the puck possession, the analytics. I think everyone kind of works on that individual skill of puck protection. You want to make sure you hang on to it. You don't want to turn it over when you come into a zone and you turn up. Systems have changed since I started. You used to chip it in to go get it. Now you want to carry it in and hang on to it and delay and give it to a guy. Put pucks on net and things will happen. You want to work on individual skill always in the summer."

Plenty of amateur general managers wondered if Kunitz was a candidate for a buyout this summer after his poor 2014-15 season. While it was just a preseason game, he showed he's fully capable of still playing with superstar talent.

Kunitz also showed off some edge he hasn't had since earlier in his career. In the second period, a few shifts after pain-in-the-butt winger Nathan Gerbe bulled Brian Dumoulin into the Penguins' net, Kunitz got tangled up with Gerbe and slugged him with a few punches. Both players drew roughing minors for the skirmish. 

The Kunitz-Crosby-Kessel line just looked dangerous. The speed and finesse they played with seemed to overhwelm a Hurricanes team which admittedly had a ton of AHL players in the lineup. It's hard to see the Penguins putting up a touchdown most nights, but for one night at least, they looked like the NHL's most dangerous line.

This game also marked the debut of the Kris Letang-Olli Maatta defensive pairing. They looked really smooth together. They looked like they had been playing together for half a decade. To date, they have only been paired together sparingly during their brief time as teammates. Imagine how they'll look once they do truly get acclimated with one another.

Each player scored a goal by being aggressive. The Penguins took a 1-0 lead 4:14 into the game when center Evgeni Malkin was able to corral a puck in the Hurricanes' left wing corner and snapped a pass to Letang in the right circle. Letang fired a wrister by the left leg of Ward.

Malkin also set up Maatta for his goal. At 6:03 of the first, the Penguins regained a 2-1 lead. Malkin pushed play up the right wing, pulled up and dealt a centering pass to Maatta trailing in the slot. Maatta fired a slapper by the blocker of Ward.

Malkin had a solid game playing between two new wingers in Patric Hornqvist and Sergei Plotnikov. He finished with two assists. 

Plotnikov was okay. He didn't seem overwhelmed by playing on a North American rink for the first time. Aside from a pretty blatant interference penalty he took in the first period, he used his body well to shield defenders from the puck. Mike Johnston gave him a rousing endorsement:

"Sergei, a guy who comes over and doesn't speak the language, first time on smaller rinks … I don't know how it looked from up top [in the press box] but I thought he had a very good game. I though the was physical. I thought he went to open ice well. He's a big-bodied guy. If he can play a give-and-go game – sometimes he hangs onto the puck in practice too much – but if he can play that give-and-go game that he did tonight, that's when he's most effective. But he can skate, he's got some size, good puck protection. Where he'll play in our lineup? I'm thinking he can play in a lot of slots. But I like what I've seen so far. He's got a good attitude. He's taking lessons. Feels good every day in English. I think he's starting to learn how we want him to play but for the first game, that was a good one for him."

-Plotnikov had 14:25 of ice time on 25 shifts, including 1:43 on the power play and 1:19 on the penalty kill.

-Hornqvist was typical Hornqvist. He went to net and was a pain in the butt. He mixed it up with several of Carolina's defenseman and even goaded James Wisniewski into a selfish cross checking minor during the third period.

-Pascal Dupuis was on a third line most of the night with prospects Jean-Sebastien Dea and Daniel Sprong. Dupuis had a quiet night but was effective as a penalty killer. His skating was sharp and he was more than willing to throw his body around.

-Sprong, the team's top pick in this year's draft, scored a strange goal. He made a strong move towards the cage from the left wall and appeared to lose the puck for a moment. He recovered the puck and snapped it through Ward's five hole. We wonder if Ward was jammed up a bit when Sprong lost the puck.

-Just watching Sprong in practice and warmups, something looks different when the puck leaves his stick on a shot. It just zips off it at a different velocity than most players. The dude is a shooter. If he ever figures out the complete game at the NHL level, he'll be a dangerous goal-scorer.

-Kevin Porter centered a fourth-line with Tyler Biggs and Dominik Uher as his wings. Porter looked competent as a penalty killer as he led the team in short-handed ice time with 3:08. Biggs looked more than willing to throw his big body around and even got into an unremarkable fight with Brendon Woods. Like Hornqvist, he went straight to the opposing crease and tried to make life tough for Carolina's goaltenders. Uher gave an honest effort but was difficult to notice. 

-The Penguins' second defensive pairing of Ian Cole and Adam Clendening were mostly inert. They were clean with the puck and got it up ice to the forwards. Otherwise, they played an unremarkable game.

-The third defensive pairing of Sergei Gonchar and Brian Dumolin had a rough night. They were on the ice for a handful of goals. Gonchar looked flatfooted at times, particularly on a rebound goal by Jeff Skinner in the second period. Gonchar did have one nice play to break up a tap-in shot by Rask in the third circle. Beyond that, Gonchar wasn't particularly strong around his cage. He also seemed to get shaken up in the second period on a sideways hit into the Penguins' left wing boards by Woods. His head appeared to glance off the glass and he seemed shaken up for a moment but he stayed on the ice for the rest of his shift.

-That said, Gonchar looked splendid on the power play. Just 1:16 into the second period, Kunitz won a faceoff in the right circle. Sprong pushed a pass to Maatta at the right point. Maatta slid a pass to defenseman Sergei Gonchar above the left circle. Gonchar moved into the left circle and cranked a slapper by the glove hand of Ward. Overall, anytime Gonchar had the puck on the power play, he looked as comfortable as a pig in slop.

-Gonchar's skating seemed fine by his standards. It's really difficult to tell the difference between the 41-year-old Sergei Gonchar and the 31-year-old Sergei Gonchar when it comes to skating. He was always efficient in his skating. Never a burner. 

-If Gonchar hopes to makes this roster, he needs to provide a stronger game in his zone. We can't see the Penguins keeping him around as a power-play specialist the same way some college football teams have "long" field goal kickers.

-Marc-Andre Fleury was okay. He had a few iffy goals. But it's preseason. He had 22 saves on 25 shots.

-Matt Murray replaced him by design for the third period and looked fine on the meager workload he faced. Murray stopped all six shots he faced. 

-The Penguins went 2 for 6 on the power play but each goal was scored by the J.V. power play. The "Playstation" power play of Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Hornqvist and Letang looked like a work in progress.

-The Penguins' penalty kill was perfect going 4 for 4. It seemed like the workload was spread around quite a bit. The only skaters who did not see any short-handed ice time tonight were Sprong, Hornqvist and Kessel. Malkin (1:11) and Crosby (1:01) each got a fair amount of short-handed ice time.

-Maybe it was the Swiss cheese defense in front of him but Cam Ward looked very ordinary tonight. He was getting beaten cleanly at times. But again, it's preseason.

-Shots on net were tied, 31-31.

-Kessel, Hornqvist, Maatta and Nathan Gerbe each led the game with four shots.

-Justin Faulk led all skaters with 25:44 of ice time on 31 shifts.

-Letang led all Penguins with 21:54 of ice time on 25 shifts.

-The Penguins had a 37-36 edge in faceoffs (51 percent).

-Crosby was 11 for 23 (48 percent).

-Rask was 14 for 23 (61 percent).

-Jaccob Slavin led the game with three blocked shots.

-Maatta and Plotnikov each led the Penguins with two blocked shots.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.


(Photo: Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)

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Dana Holgorsen's weekly press conference (Sept. 22)

Written by Craig Meyer on .

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- As he does every Tuesday during the season, Dana Holgorsen met with members of the media to discuss the most recent happenings with his West Virginia team.

This week, he discussed the importance of the Mountaineers' rivalry with Maryland and what he'd like to see with it moving forward (it's taking a four-year hiatus before returning in 2020), the health of Jared Barber and he informed an inquiring writer that his "I haven't spoken with him since he got to campus" comment about kicker Josh Lambert after last year's Maryland game was a joke (OK, it was me who asked; I'm new on the beat, cut me a break).

Below is a video and transcript of the press conference.



Opening Statement

It seems to be pretty lively in here. It must be game week. It must be Maryland, and hopefully, it is as exciting for you all as it for us. We’re pretty eager to get going, finish our preparation and head into an electric weekend here in Morgantown. It seems like forever since we had the Terps over here. We’ve been at Maryland for the last couple of years. Since I’ve been here, we played over there three times and over here once, so I am excited about them coming over. Our team is excited about them coming over, and I know our fans are excited about them coming over. It is one of the few regional rivals that we have on the schedule. I don’t think it is a mistake that this game sold out fairly quick. I know it means a lot to our fan base, and WVU. It is the same for their program as well. It’s going to be fun. Saturday is going to be fun. I know it’s going to be an electric crowd. It is going to be a live atmosphere. Every seat is going to be taken, and it is going to be something that will fire them up as well. I know we’re going to be pretty excited.

A good Maryland team is coming. They are very well coached. Coach (Randy) Edsall has been there for as long as I’ve been here. They are very well coached, and they have a lot of depth. Their sound in what they do on all three sides of the ball. They have been doing the same thing offensively for a while now with coach (Mike) Locksley. Coach (Randy) Edsall has a hand in what the team is doing defensively. He’s a defensive guy. There are some similarities (in the defense), but the (defensive) coordinator (Keith Dudzinski) has changed and, and their scheme is a little different. It’s simpler, so I know it makes sense to them, because they are never out of position. They are in position to make plays every time they snap the ball.

Special teams is very sound as well, and we know we have a challenge with that. I’ll start with the special teams’ aspect of it. We have another battle of two good kickers. Hopefully, we win this one just like we did the last one. (Senior kicker) Brad (Craddock) is coming over. He is a (2014) Lou Groza Award Winner. He was an all-American. We feel like we have a pretty good kicker with (redshirt sophomore kicker) Josh (Lambert), but he’s a weapon for them (Maryland). He has a strong leg, and he does some good things for them. Then there is the return game with (junior defensive back William) Likely that I made reference to last week. We have to do a great job at covering kicks. It’s going to be a challenge, but we better get used to it, because there is going to be a lot of good returners in the Big 12. They are fantastic at it.

It looks like they settled on their quarterback with (redshirt junior quarterback) Caleb Rowe. He came in and threw for a bunch of yards last week. They have been moving the ball offensively pretty well now. They are averaging almost 500-yards a game, and they are putting up some points. Having some familiarity in the quarterback and settling with (redshirt junior quarterback Caleb) Rowe has given them a little bit more of a comfort level. It starts up front for them. They are big and physical. They protect the quarterback as good as anybody. They have three or four backs that they don’t mind handing the ball, too. The one thing with the new guy is that, they don’t run the ball as much as they used to in the last couple of years with the old guy as well as the (junior quarterback Perry) Hills kid. They are going to put the ball in other people hands, which is why they are throwing the ball a lot more.

Defensively, a lot of the same bodies and same names that I have seen. It starts with their front. They get after the quarterback as good as anybody. They have great rush guys. Their interior d-linemen are big, thick people that get to the quarterback as well. They have active linebackers, and they have a secondary that can cover. They have the two best corners that we have seen to date, with (junior defensive back William) Likely and (senior defensive back Sean) Davis. They have veteran guys that have played a lot. I’m sure that they are going to get in our younger guys faces and challenge them. I’m pretty fired up to see how our young guys respond to that, because I expect them to play against anybody.

Overall, I know it’s going to be a test. It should be a very, very live atmosphere in Morgantown. We have the West Virginia University Hall of Fame as well. Congratulations to coach (Bobby) Bowden, Ken Herock and Amos Zereoue for coming back into the Hall of Fame. I know that is going to mean a lot to them and the program as well. I can’t tell you how excited we are for the upcoming game. Other than that, I would like to open it up for some questions.

On the progress the team has made from the 37-0 defeat at Maryland two years ago

I’ve reminded my team with what happened two years ago. It’s not something that I can hide from, or run from. It’s the worst defeat that I have ever taken, but we weren’t in a good place. We played a couple of different quarterbacks that game, and we played one with a torn pec. It is hard to throw the ball with a torn pec. I didn’t know about it. We turned the ball over six times. They outplayed us. They strained harder. Their effort was better. Everything that could’ve went wrong, went wrong. It motivated us, and I think we improved a whole bunch going into the game a year later. We fixed a lot of those problems. There were snap issues. There were quarterback problems. Clint (Trickett) played really well against them last year. Offensively, we played really well against them last year. We played a lot faster. We played up-tempo. We took care of the ball. We made plays downfield. We ran the ball effectively. I think we are as good right now, as we were back then.

On how the guys responded to Sunday’s practice with a couple days off

They were energetic. I think they were bored for one, potentially, two weeks. They were ready to get back to work. We had a pretty high spirited practice on Sunday night, under the lights, and I anticipate that being the same here today and tomorrow.

On if Maryland did anything differently against South Florida that he didn’t prepare for

No, not much. It looked like it was the same stuff on all three sides of the ball. Other than the fact that they are probably going to throw the ball a little bit more with (redshirt junior quarterback) Caleb Rowe. They don’t run him as much. He’s had two season ending knee surgeries. He scrambled a little bit and had a first down or two last week, but they are not going to do a ton of zone read or quarterback draws with him like they did with (junior quarterback Perry) Hills or the guy from last year.

On if redshirt senior linebacker Jared Barber is ready to go

Yes. I think we talked about this. He was pretty close to being good to go two weeks ago. With Jared being an old guy like me, we obviously want to be careful with him. Coach Barber. When we have opportunities to be careful with him then we want to be able to be careful with him. He played a lot last week, and he is good to go.

On if patience is the key to coach Randy Edsall’s defense

It depends. I don’t know. We will have to get into the game and see. There is always going to be that little guessing game going into a game that you don’t really know what their plan is going to be until you get into it. They have shown that they are going to play off like Liberty, on normal downs, and then they are going to get after it a little bit on critical downs. That is more along the lines of what Georgia Southern did for the entire game. We will have to see if they are going to change that, but we have to anticipate both, and I hope we can get to a point where we are good enough to attack both of them. We have to be patience and put the ball in play where we need too as well as be able to handle pressure and defeat man coverage, which is what they’ve shown on critical downs.

On the Maryland game being the worst defeat that he ever been a part of

We lost 37-0. We turned the ball over six times. We didn’t play very well. The weather was bad. I joked around and said that it poured every time we had the ball, and it didn’t pour when they had the ball. That’s what it felt like. They just played much better than we did.

On the punt game plan

We will probably just kick it sideways right out of bounds. You can’t play like that. I can’t tell you what our plan is, but you can’t play scared. You can’t play the game of football scared. I give him (junior defensive back William Likely) all the credit and respect in the world. He (junior defensive back William Likely) is as good as I seen, but we are going to face some pretty good ones all year long. It is a big week for (senior punter) Nick (O’Toole). He has to place the ball where we want him to place the ball, and I can’t emphasis enough the importance of the front seven guys to be able to get off their blocks. They do as good a job holding people at the line of scrimmage than I have seen. It creates space. I said this a lot, if you want to be have a good punt returner, you have to give him some time to catch the punt. That’s step one. We have to get downfield and be able to get in position to make plays.

On his comment last year about redshirt sophomore kicker Josh Lambert

You know that was a joke, right? It was a joke. I thought everybody got the joke.

On if his coaching relationship has changed with redshirt sophomore kicker Josh Lambert since last season

Absolutely not. I don’t mess with him one bit. That part of it is true. Luckily, we have a guy like (assistant coach/special teams/safeties) Joe DeForest that has coached more than one Lou Groza Award winner, so we have a guy that knows how to handle kickers on a day-to-day basis. I’m not going to meddle with that. All joking aside, there is a psychological aspect to kickers, punters, deep snappers and holders that I don’t know what I’m talking about, therefore, it is everyone’s best interest that I leave it alone. I know they are handled, and I have a guy that knows how to handle them, and we are going to just leave it at that.

On Texas Tech’s game vs. Arkansas helping the Big 12 Conference

It certainly doesn’t hurt. We are going to think of West Virginia first, and we are going to try to get to 3-0 in non-conference. That was our first goal of this season with our team. That is first and foremost. We talked scheduling in here, and we are going to continue to schedule power five opponents. When you have them on your schedule, you need to do everything you can to win. I know this game means a lot based on history. The one thing with the Big 12 is that we don’t have a huge history with a lot of these teams. Starting with Oliver (Luck) and whole heartedly supported by Shane (Lyons), is that they want to continue to have regional opponents play in the non-conference schedule. That means something. That trumps what they are saying in Dallas at the Big 12 office right now. At the Big 12 office, they are talking about all games against power five opponents being able to state our case for being the best conference out there.

On what he tells his wide receiver going against an experienced defensive back

Get used to it. There are a lot of good corners out there. There are a lot of good corners in the Big 12. Are you a guy that is pretending, or are you a real guy? This is a pretty good opportunity to show that you are a real guy, whoever it is. We have more than just (freshman wide receiver) Jovon (Durante) and (redshirt sophomore wide receiver) Shelton (Gibson). (Freshman wide receiver) Gary Jennings has practiced his tail off every day. (Redshirt sophomore wide receiver) Ka’Raun White is practicing his tail off, and he is getting better every day. We have more than just two young guys. We have those other guys, and we are going to continue to add to that as well.

On Maryland’s in-state recruiting efforts

It is a pretty fertile recruiting ground. We try to dabble into that a little bit as well. I’m sorry. Did that answer your question?

On playing up-tempo against Maryland last year

We were successful with playing fast last year because we got first downs. If you get first downs then you can keep pressing the pedal down and keep going. You have to execute in order to do that. If you go back and look at the offensive performances over the last two years, we had zero success two years ago, because we were bad. Last year, we were on the verge of getting pretty good, and we had success. That’s what allows you to continue to go fast. Don’t hurry up and screw it up.

On if he had enough snaps this year

Yes, and we are going to continue to get better at it.

On the importance of Saturday’s game with the heavy schedule coming up in October

I don’t know what you’re talking about.

On October’s schedule with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and Baylor

Who? I know what’s ahead, but we are not worried about it. I am going to focus on this one. It is our goal to get to 3-0. We haven’t even talked about the Big 12 yet. It is our goal to get to 3-0, and we are giving everything that we have to win this game. After that, we will figure out who is next on the schedule.

On if he sees the Maryland series continuing after the four-year break

Is it four years? We have to spread it around. I think they are going to want to spread it around as well. Having a couple of games every couple of years is probably about right. It doesn’t have to disappear. It means too much to everybody, but where are you going to stick it? We just penned in a four game schedule with Pitt from 2022-25. Scheduling is hard, but I definitely support it. I know it has to continue in some type of fashion.

On Maryland’s offensive line not allowing a sack this season

I think they have played good teams. They are pretty good up front. They are big. They average around 305-pounds. They have three returning starters. They have been doing the same scheme for quite some time, and they have coached up the quarterbacks to get the ball out of their hands. It’s going to be a challenge to get there, and we have to figure out a way to get there. That’s something I have been talking about for quite some time because we need to get to the quarterback. I am looking forward to getting out there today and work on it.

On if he notices penalty habits when he scouts other teams

I really don’t. We coach our guys, and we pay attention to our guys. We talk about technique, and that they have to play smart. We tell them not to put the team in a bad situation. We do that with our team a lot, but I never done that with an opponent. Is that what you’re asking? I’ve always taken the approach to ignore referees. That has always been my approach. If you obsess over them, then you are costing yourself time. You are costing yourself work. You can probably lose your mind out there on the sidelines, more than I intend too. I try to ignore all that and play the next play.


Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG


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