Friday, February 12, 2016

A mutual admiration society

Judging from their post-game comments, Joe Paterno and Bob Spoo really hit it off today. Maybe they were just happy to coach against someone from roughly the same generation.

A mutual admiration society

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   Judging from their post-game comments, Joe Paterno and Bob Spoo really hit it off today. Maybe they were just happy to coach against someone from roughly the same generation.

   The 82-year-old Penn State coach and his 71-year-old Eastern Illinois counterpart met near midfield while their players were working out prior to the game. During their short conversation, there was plenty of moments when one coach put his hand on the shoulder of the other coach.

   After the game, they met again to shake hands.

   "I wished him good luck with the rest of the season and he did the same for me," Spoo said in his post-game interview. "I wished him continued good health and he mentioned something about hoping that at some point and time that we could spend a little more time together. That was it. He's a good man."

   Paterno said he told Spoo before the game "that they play the kind of game a coach likes to see." He seemed to feel kind of sorry for Spoo and his team after it drove to the Penn State 8 late in the first half, only to fumble and see Penn State's Navorro Bowman recover and run 91 yards for a touchdown.

   "The Eastern Illinois coach is a great guy and their kids played hard," Paterno said. "I never like to see a team do that. They're about ready to go in and get at least three points out of it. They'd been struggling to get down the field and their kids are working hard to get it in the end zone, and then they put it on the ground and -- boom -- we get seven points.

   "I'm glad for Bowman. I'm glad our defefnse is starting to make some things happen. But they're good people, the people we played. I'm glad I had the opportunity to get to know him."

 

Inquirer Staff Writer
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About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 30 years, covering covering Penn State football, Villanova basketball and other college sports, along with golf and the Penn Relays. This is his seventh season on The Inquirer’s Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976-84.

Joining Joe this season is Erin McCarthy, an intern for The Inquirer and a junior at Penn State majoring in print and digital journalism. This is Erin's first season on the Penn State football beat. She previously spent two summers as an Inquirer summer intern on the Pennsylvania and South Jersey desks. She is also an editor for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A Delaware County native, Erin graduated from Episcopal Academy.

Reach Joe at jjuliano@phillynews.com.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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