PSU veterans say team lacks desire
College Football Videos
If you think the situation at Penn State (3-3) can't get any worse, you're wrong. In fact, it's happening every day, right in front of the coaches' eyes.
With an 0-3 record against the best teams on the schedule, the season is spiraling out of control. Worse, the problem may have grown roots at one of the most important venues in football - the practice field.
To hear seniors Stefen Wisniewski and Evan Royster tell the story, the Nittany Lions lack intensity during the week.
"I think we have to practice better," said Wisniewski, a right guard from Central Catholic. "We have to go at it with an attitude that we are going to work our butts off every day and not be complacent with how good we are."
Added Royster, a running back who is 93 yards shy of setting the school career rushing record: "It is kind of like a lifestyle. You have to get it in your head before you can go out to practice. It's a certain want-to that you have to have, and we'll find out who has it."
Asked if the players are showing enough desire in practice, Royster said: "I don't think so. Obviously not. We have to get a sense of urgency, and get out there and stop complaining about long practices.
"The coaches know what's best for us. So, we need to get out there and just stop complaining and just do it."
Royster and Wisniewski are key components of a running game that has slipped to 85th among 120 teams in NCAA Division I, with zero rushing touchdowns against Alabama, Iowa and Illinois.
"It's tough to bounce back from something like this," Royster said of PSU's start.
The team conducted a players-only meeting last week, but Royster believes another might be in order before traveling to Minnesota on Oct. 23.
"I think it got some people going," he said, "but there were other people who maybe it didn't affect as much. Now, I think we are going to have to do it again and try to get some people to want to win as much as some of us do."
Penn State has played in the postseason every year after 2004, but the Nittany Lions need to win three of their final six games against a difficult schedule to become eligible this season.
To Royster, however, there is more at stake.
"We have to fight hard to get to a bowl game and try to get some respect.
"This one hurt," he said after the Nittany Lions recorded only seven first downs in a 33-13 loss Saturday to Illinois. "You think you are at a certain point and you come out and lose like this. It's a bad thing. It hurts your season. It hurts you. It hurts inside.
"I wish I could go out there and play every position and, you know, have the desire that some people don't have."
Wisniewski said the older players must set the tone.
"The older guys were around when we had these great teams," he said. "They know what it takes. We just have to set the pace at practice and encourage the younger guys to follow.
"I think we have to practice better. We have to practice every day with real intensity and a desire to get better. This has got to be a matter of will."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Allegheny County sues hotel over unpaid taxes
- Thousand-pound alligator caught in Alabama sets record
- Steelers wrap lackluster preseason with loss to Panthers
- Experimental Ebola drug heals all monkeys in study
- Preseason valuable for Steelers’ offensive line
- Jeannette traffic stop leads to drug charges
- NCAA refutes report of eased PSU sanctions
- Zimbabwe’s first lady enters politics amidst controversy
- Penguins confident Pouliot will be healthy, ready for camp
- ‘Victory’ for ARDC; Armstrong locks to open in 2015
- Pirates notebook: Barmes back, gets start at SS