|Another busy weekend, and win for No. 12 Penn St.|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 21 September 2008 12:09|
Oh, and Penn State improved to 4-0, too.
It's never dull in Happy Valley.
Whether the attention is on his contract (it's up after this season), his milestones or his health, Paterno hates it when the spotlight is on him.
``Absolutely!'' he exclaimed when asked if the commotion about his move to the press box bothered him after his Nittany Lions had routed Temple, 45-3, on Saturday for Paterno's 376th career win.
After Florida State lost Saturday night to Wake Forest, 12-3, Paterno stayed ahead of Bobby Bowden .
The Nittany Lions moved up four spots Sunday to No. 12 in the AP poll, leapfrogging Big Ten preseason favorite Ohio State, which fell one spot to No. 14. Wisconsin is the Big Ten's top-ranked team at No. 9.
an onside kick several weeks ago as part of a fun ritual at the end of practice each game week. Paterno has walked more gingerly since after the win over Syracuse on the artificial turf of the Carrier Dome.
``Now if you were a bunch of good-looking girls, I'd feel better,'' the 81-year-old Paterno told a room full of mostly male reporters seeking news about the leg.
JoePa's son and quarterbacks coach, Jay Paterno, said his father didn't mention anything to him about the leg until after the Syracuse game. After monitoring practices from a golf cart, JoePa told his team late last week there was a possibility he might not be on the sideline at all for the Temple game.
``He hasn't really talked about it,'' Jay Paterno said. ``He's not a guy that says, 'Oh, I'm hurting.' He just sucks it up.''
The Paterno watch, though, likely won't go away with JoePa's coaching future still uncertain following this season.
By all accounts, Paterno is overall in great shape, especially for an octogenarian.
Yet the little things that might get dismissed as random aches and pains for most other senior citizens take on added attention when they happen to JoePa.
Like the one-day bout with dehydration earlier this year that sent Paterno to the hospital for several hours. He was back on his feet that night, and resumed his normal schedule the next day, allowing the blue-and-white faithful to breathe easier.
Paterno injured ligaments in his left knee at Wisconsin in 2006 during a nasty sideline collision - similar to the injury sustained by Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis earlier this month. A recovering Paterno was absent from the sidelines for the last three games of that season, though he did coach from the press box for the final two contests, including the Outback Bowl.
Jay Paterno said his stubborn father slacked off on taking his pain medication after that injury.
``He's not made of the same stuff the rest of us are made of, I can tell you that right now,'' Jay Paterno said. ``Whether it's alien or some titanium, I don't know what it is.''
In the end, his whereabouts Saturday likely didn't make a big difference for Penn State against overwhelmed Temple. After a scoreless first quarter, the Nittany Lions erupted for 31 points in the second to take a commanding halftime lead.
Upstairs went Paterno, putting on a headset to monitor the second half next to his assistants. Jay Paterno joked the staff did some last-minute reshuffling of seats to try to position themselves away from Paterno's yelling.
The players on the field noticed a difference, too, with JoePa's absence.
``You don't hear him yelling, that's kind of nice sometimes,'' center A.Q. Shipley quipped.
s fumbled five times.
Odds are that players won't be smiling much in practice this week as they prepare for the Big Ten opener with No. 22 Illinois, Saturday night at Beaver Stadium.