Notebook: Illness keeps Paterno on the move
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Joe Paterno gave new meaning to the phrase "Joe Must Go" on Saturday, leaving the field repeatedly during Penn State's 28-6 loss at Ohio State because he was ill.
"I got off the field and did a couple of things, and then felt better and I came back on the field," said Paterno, who first left with more than seven minutes remaining before halftime.
He returned for the third quarter, left the field again in the first few minutes, then returned for the fourth quarter and remained on the sideline until the end of the game.
Paterno watched parts of the game while he was away, on a television in the stadium interview room.
"First time I ever walked off a field," said Paterno, who was somewhat sheepish on the subject.
It was tough, he continued, but, "It was easier than if I had stayed."
When pressed for details, Paterno said "Can we drop that, because I'll say something that will make headlines?"
Later, when again asked for details, he quipped, "You writing for a medical journal or what?"
Paterno said he had been bothered by a virus during the week, but being a guy who doesn't like to take pills or visit doctors, he thought he could tough it out.
Anthony Morelli suffered through a three-interception day.
"He's down, but he'll be all right," Paterno said.
Morelli patiently answered repeated questions about his tough day.
Former Penn State player Tamba Hali was on the sidelines and among those offering encouragement to Morelli.
"He was just being the teammate that he always was when he was here," Morelli said. "Just telling me to keep my head up. He said he's been there. He's gone through rough times and whatnot. He said there's many more games to be played, and you just have to put that behind you."
Justin King bristled at a question over Morelli's morale needing boosted after his tough game.
"Things happen," King said. "It could have happened to anybody out there, you know what I'm saying• We could have given up a big touchdown. Things happen. It's football. He's our quarterback. He's our leader. We can't let him get in the dumps, because then our team would be in the dumps."
After Gerald Cadogan struggled at left guard, the coaches switched Robert Price from right guard to left and played backup Rich Ohrnberger at right guard.
The Penn State ground game perked up after the switch, but Ohrnberger got a key 5-yard penalty when he jumped the snap count as the Nittany Lions were looking to run a fourth-and-goal play from the Ohio State 1.
This and that
Sean Lee had a career-high 11 tackles. ... Paul Posluszny moved into third place in all-time tackles at Penn State with 291 after making four against Ohio State. ... King's interception was his career first and the first by Buckeyes quarterback Troy Smith in 152 pass attempts. ... Josh Gaines made his first career start at defensive end. ... Jim Shaw (ankle) didn't start, but he did play at defensive end. ... Tony Hunt's 135-yard rushing performance was his second 100-plus-yard game this season and the ninth of his career. ... Dan Connor's sack gave him a team-leading four.
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