By Tim Owen
For The Daily Item
STATE COLLEGE -- At his weekly press conference Tuesday, Penn State head football coach Bill O'Brien admitted that he was particularly frustrated after Saturday's 24-10 loss at Minnesota. But he said his team responded with a good day of practice Monday, and the Nittany Lions will be looking to avoid that feeling this week.
"I was just frustrated because of how that game went," said O'Brien. "I just felt like our defense came out and played well, and we drove the ball. I'm just very frustrated when we don't score touchdowns. That was my frustration."
Although the Nittany Lions dropped to 5-4 (2-3 Big Ten), O'Brien added that his team is not discouraged. They showed up "ready to go" for their 2:45 p.m. meeting Monday and he specifically pointed out how freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who threw for 163 yards and a season-first zero touchdowns, had his best practice of the season. O'Brien added that his players' resiliency -- their ability to bounce back after a demoralizing loss -- is a reflection of their roots.
"It's just the way these kids are built, how they were brought up," O'Brien said. "It's Penn State. People question what is there to play for. There's a lot to play for."
Penn State hosts Purdue on Saturday for a noon kickoff, and if there was ever a team to rebound against, it's the Boilermakers.
They are 1-8 on the season and their only win came against Indiana State, a program from the Football Championship Series. In fact, over the past six weeks, Purdue has scored a total of only 21 points. That stretch includes two bye weeks, but it also includes shutout losses to Ohio State and Michigan State, the two best teams in the Big Ten.