Big 10

Penn State – Georgia State: Penn State Defensive Student-Athletes Postgame Quotes

September 16, 2017

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Sept. 17, 2017

Penn State Football
Vs. Georgia State – Defensive Student-Athletes
September 16, 2017

Marcus Allen | S | SENIOR

Q. Last week walking out of media you said the interception was coming, how does it feel to get finally get one?
MA: You don’t understand. I’ve been watching a lot of film on these guys. I’m just happy, ecstatic. I said to my dad, I promise you I am going to get an interception before I leave Penn State and it came, so I’m really happy. You don’t understand how much work that I have been putting in. Working with the receivers, doing the jug machines, after practice going into the indoor facilities doing post drills it just goes to show you that doing all that work really pays off.

Q. How much is this [the interception] a monkey off your back?
MA: It feels really good to get this off my back. I’ve been working on this for a long time. I always try to just be myself and I know that getting interceptions is something that helps my team. That’s why I work so hard on it. It’s an accomplishment for me and my team. It’s something that helps both the defense and the offense. Just to get the ball back for my offense and get the monkey off my back felt really good.

Q. What do you remember about the celebration on the sideline, it looked like Saquon [Barkley] was the first guy to get there, it looked like he was going pretty crazy?
MA: Saquon is like my brother, anytime we make a big play I know he was hyped. That’s like my blood brother when he does something crazy, I get ecstatic, I go crazy like I just did it. Mark Allen was one of the first guys in there too, he’s my guy. We came up together from the jump.

Q. Can you run us through the play from the pre-snap on?
MA: They lined up and ran stacks. Usually they run screens from stacks but I saw that they didn’t run a screen and I got back into my drop. Usually they either do a rattler or one receiver runs an “in” and one runs an “out”. I was showing blitz and I guess the quarterback saw that, but I got back in my coverage and he threw it right to me.

Troy Apke | S | SENIOR

Q. What’s it going to take to win the Big Ten Championship again, now that you’re into Big Ten play?
TA: Just focus. We’ve got Iowa coming up and we’ve just got to focus on them. Just take it week-by-week and that’s how we do it.

Q. What do you think you guys have learned from doing it last year?
TA: It helps to be there, at the Big Ten Championship so we know that we can make it there and we’re excited for it.

Q. Is there a difference for you guys entering Big Ten play as one of the favorites?
TA: We’re just excited to get to work and get ready for Iowa.

Q. What did you learn about this team in non-conference play?
TA: I think we have a lot of grit to us. Special teams, offense, defense, I think we go out there and we play with pride.

Q. When did you see that happen? Are there examples?
TA: This game, when the threes and fours were out there, the way they played and the way they stopped them. I think they played well.

Shareef Miller | DE | REDSHIRT-SOPHOMORE

Q. What have you learned about this team over the last three games? You guys have outscored opponents 141-14, that’s kind of really ridiculous numbers.
SM: It’s just the standard here, the standard we set. With the great chemistry we’ve got here, we just feed off of each other.

Q. How do you transition from being at home for a whole month, then playing a road night game for your first one?
SM: I heard there’s a hostile environment out there in Iowa, but we’re going to be prepared for it.

Q. Who told you that it was a hostile environment?
SM: I asked some of the trainers. I heard the fans are right behind the bench so they said don’t put your helmet next to the fans or they’re going to take it, so I’m not going to do that.

Q. What did you see from the defense in general? How do you think you guys played?
SM: We played really well, a lot of young guys got some reps and the made the most of their opportunity.

Brandon Smith | LB | SENIOR

Q. Do you think there is more pride in this defense than last year? Pitching two shutouts in three games takes a lot of pride.
BS: Yes, we are happy with what we’ve done so far and obviously still have little things we can improve and get better each week, but that was a really good effort by everybody today and we just have to keep going off of that. The better we can do for our offense; they can score points at any time so we just want to get them the ball as much as we can.

Q. A couple times they started driving, you guys were able to get turnovers, interceptions, things like that. Is that kind of mentality, a “bend but don’t break” kind of thing?
BS: Yes, we’ve had the right mentality in there when they get a few first downs, you can’t give up and guys stepped up. Marcus had an interception, then we had a sack fumble when they were driving at the end of the game, so a lot of guys just stepping up when the opportunity presented itself.

Q. A few guys got first interceptions today, how cool is that to be a part of? To see some of these guys, especially, you mentioned Marcus, coach said he is a “field general” and that he finally got that one was pretty big.
BS: That was awesome for him. Marcus is a big hitter and a lot of times he goes for the breakup and tackle, but he finally found the ball and got an interception. He’s playing at a really high level. I’m very impressed and glad he finally got an interception.