Joe Paterno

Paterno preparing 'young' team for Alabama

UNIVERSITY PARK — Joe Paterno said he expects his freshman quarterback to get "knocked around." He's worried about not only Julio Jones but Alabama's entire offense.

But he's excited to take his team — one he called the youngest he's ever had -- down to Tuscaloosa this weekend to take on the top-ranked Crimson Tide because, if nothing else, it should be a learning experience.

"I think it’s a good game for us," Paterno said Tuesday during his news conference in Beaver Stadium. "Even though I feel like we’re out-manned for this one."

Paterno has coached in 12 of Penn State's previous 13 meetings against the Crimson Tide -- this is its first since 1990 -- but reluctantly discussed the 1979 Sugar Bowl loss and turned down several attempts to discuss his relationship with former Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.

"I think that's not fair to the kids playing the game today," Paterno said.

There weren't many updates on personnel Tuesday. Paterno said tailback Evan Royster's weight was no longer an issue, discussed how the Crimson Tide rotated on and then off the schedule a few years ago and touched on some things the Big Ten is doing to close the gap between itself and the SEC.

For a full report from Paterno's news conference, see Wednesday's CDT.