Joe Paterno

Paterno: Lions need to improve across the board

UNIVERSITY PARK -- The way Joe Paterno sees it, everything going on with his Penn State team right now -- good and bad -- is connected. Graham Zug's lack of receptions is connected to a lack of experience at tight end, offensive line and quarterback. Evan Royster's yards will come once the offense can sustain some drives. The lack of turnovers -- the Nittany Lions haven't forced one in two games -- is both the result of some disjointed linebacking and a lack of big plays by the defensive backs.

As the Nittany Lions get more experience in one area, said Paterno, they'll get better as a team.

"One thing will help the other," Paterno said during his news conference in Beaver Stadium on Tuesday.

Paterno described his team's performance in a 24-3 loss at Alabama as "tentative" but wasn't anywhere near as upset Tuesday as he was in the moments after the game, and said so. The Nittany Lions need to improve their tackling and force more turnovers, the coach said, but he liked the effort he saw in Monday's practice.

"I came out there with a bunch of kids who wanted to get better," he said.

Paterno also addressed injuries to linebacker Gerald Hodges and corner Stephon Morris, a possible lineup change on the offensive line and more. Saturday's opponent, Kent State, was rarely addressed.

See Wednesday's CDT for full coverage of his news conference.