Penn State play-by-play broadcaster Steve Jones, who hosts Penn State’s weekly radio show, said he spoke with senior cornerback D’Anton Lynn shortly before the show Thursday evening and that Lynn said he was “feeling so much better” and would have another test on Friday.
Lynn is not expected to play against Indiana on Saturday after suffering a neck/head injury in the third quarter of last Saturday’s 34-6 win against Eastern Michigan. Coach Joe Paterno said on Tuesday that Lynn had a concussion test on Monday.
As usual, Paterno appeared on the show’s final segment and fielded a few questions. In one response, Paterno reiterated that he likes this year’s team, which enters Saturday’s Big Ten opener at Indiana with a 3-1 record.
“They’re coachable and there is leadership developing,” Paterno said. “I think right now they need some success in a big, tough game where it goes back and forth and we end up winning it. Once we get that done, I think we’ll be a real good football team.”
Linebacker Nate Stupar and defensive line coach Larry Johnson were also guests on Thursday night’s show. Both spoke of the challenges presented by Indiana’s fast-paced offense. The Hoosiers (1-3) run 86 plays per game.
“Substitutions are going to be a challenge for us this week because they do have a high-tempo kind of game and they won’t allow you to substitute because they don’t go in the huddle,” Johnson said. “They stay at the line of scrimmage, call the play and keep going. So what we’ve got to do, we’ve got to do get some three-and-outs to allow our guys to play fresh. So that is a concern going into the game.”
“It’s definitely something you have to prepare for and we’ve been doing that all week, just getting used to the fast pace and not even huddling and getting the calls right,” said Stupar, who will start in place of the injured Michael Mauti.
Johnson also praised a pair of true freshman defensive lineman from the Philadelphia area in Deion Barnes (Philadelphia) and Shawn Oakman (Lansdowne).
Neither has seen the field this year, but Johnson said he recently brought up Barnes (6-foot-4, 245 pounds), a Northeast High graduate, to his practice rotation to prepare him for the future.
“Not really sure we’re going to play him yet, but I’m getting him ready as if we’re going to play him," Johnson said. "And that will allow me to really hone onto his skills and make him a better player.”
Of Oakman, who is an imposing 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds and a Penn Wood graduate, Johnson said: “I’ve never seen a guy as strong as he is, pound for pound… Most of those guys have a leverage problem, but Shawn’s really powerful young man. I’ll tell you, I can’t wait to get my hands on him and continue to groom him.”