Joe Paterno

Paterno patient with red-zone struggles

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State coach Joe Paterno wasn't thrilled when his team came away with just one touchdown in five red-zone tries in last week's 22-13 win over Temple.

But he wasn't ready to panic, even as the Nittany Lions prepare to meet Iowa and the Big Ten's top red-zone defense this Saturday.

"I’m reluctant to be critical of our team when the other guys are playing as well and doing as well as they have," Paterno said Tuesday during his weekly news conference in Beaver Stadium. "Temple was a good red-zone football team against the three teams we had seen them against this year."

Part of Penn State's red-zone success will depend on its ability to protect quarterback Rob Bolden. With Lou Eliades out for the season with an ACL injury, the right tackle job falls to Chima Okoli, a converted defensive tackle. Okoli will have his work cut out for him against Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn and the rest of the Hawkeyes' veteran front.

"This may be as good a four down guys as we’re going to play against," Paterno said. "Our tackles are going to have their hands full in pass protection."

Paterno also discussed the status of wide receiver Shawney Kersey, his thoughts on Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi and more. For a full report from the news conference, see Wednesday's CDT.

WATCH: Paterno talks up Iowa as game approaches.

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