Published Tuesday, November 6, 2012 AT 12:39 PM / Updated at 12:39 PM
Lions to look for ways to slow NU pace
Rich Kaipust Omaha World-Herald

Penn State has some ideas on how to defend against a no-huddle and up-tempo offense, helped by the fact that the PSU defense goes against a Nittany Lion offense that practices some form of it every day.

“So hopefully our players will be ready for that tempo,” Penn State coach Bill O’Brien said Tuesday.

Then O’Brien hinted that the Nittany Lions might have some other available methods for going against Nebraska on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

“There’s different things that we do to try to slow the tempo down a little bit, but I’ll keep that between myself and my coaches,” O’Brien said. “But there are some tricks of the trade for how you can do that.”

Some other O’Brien nuggets from his weekly press conference and his spot on the Big Ten teleconference:

>> The playing status of injured defensive tackle Jordan Hill and tight end Kyle Carter won’t be known until later in the week. O’Brien said both have been able to do some limited work so far this week.

>> Asked to compare NU quarterback Taylor Martinez and Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, O’Brien said: “There’s obviously some similarities, and there’s some differences. I believe that both guys are tremendous athletes. They both have excellent speed. And I believe that both of those guys have worked on their throwing mechanics and improved how they throw the football.”

O’Brien also said that both are well-coached, have great command of their offenses and know what they want to do and how they want to attack a defense. Also called Martinez a “unique talent.”

>> O’Brien said he has not been to Memorial Stadium, so wasn’t sure how to compare what he might see Saturday to his other Big Ten stops so far: “I would expect that this atmosphere will be very loud, very intense. From what I hear, they have very respectful fans. They’re very loud, they cheer for their team, and they appreciate an opponent that plays hard and plays clean.”

>> Nebraska is playing for a possible trip to the Big Ten championship game and potential Rose Bowl bid. Penn State is not eligible for either. So what are the Nittany Lions playing for? O’Brien rattled off things such as history, tradition, senior class, student body, university, former players, etc.

“One thing that’s impressed me about this football team is they come out to practice every single day,” he said.

About Rich Kaipust

Rich Kaipust is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and covers Nebraska football. You can follow Rich on Twitter (@RKaipustOWH) or email him at