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October 21, 2014

Geno Lewis

THE MODERATOR:  We have sophomore Geno Lewis.

Q.  Geno, Coach said you guys had a meeting this past week or the Michigan week.  What were the things you wanted to work on and how have you gone about doing those things over the bye week?
GENO LEWIS:¬† I want to thank my Lord Jesus Christ for the opportunity to talk to you today.¬† Me and Coach, we had a talk about, you know, the season and how it was going and, you know, we just wanted to get on the same page about how things were going and, you know, basically, you know, as it is season goes along, there are things that you want to keep getting better at, and I know for myself there were things I needed to be more consistent with and we talked about it man‑to‑man and, you know, I think it went in the a positive direction so I'm ready to get back to where things were and keep things positive.

Q.  Geno, we've been able to come to practice Wednesdays and seen Miles in there recently.  As a guy who played with him and maybe a friend of his, can you sense him getting antsy, that this is getting close for him, that he's going to come back from injury soon?
GENO LEWIS:  Yeah, Miles has been working hard every day on the field and in rehab and getting mentally better, and he's a hard worker, and I really feel like he's getting close to getting back to where he needs to be, and I'm really excited and happy for him and hope he can come back as soon as possible to help us out.

Q.  You said some of the things you need to work on.  What are they specifically?
GENO LEWIS:  You know, just basically, you know, being more focused, basically, in my details and little things like that.  It's nothing really too big, just things I need to focus on more, but those are things we can make better and get the right way.

Q.  What do you think you learned during the Michigan game, being on the sideline a little more, maybe going through that experience of not starting, not getting to play as much?  What did you learn from sitting out?
GENO LEWIS:  Definitely I was humbled, but at the same time I'm a competitor and I want to be out there on the field for my team and as much as possible.
You know, the Michigan game is over and done with now, and I'm ready to go on to Ohio State.

Q.  Did it take a while to recover from that, Geno, does it get in your head?  Did you know you weren't going to start when the game started?
GENO LEWIS:  Coach felt like it was a decision for him to make at the time so when it happened it happened and that's basically what it is at this point.  No matter what I'm always going to stay humble in what I do and say, so whatever it was, you know, it is what it is now.

Q.  Did it take a while to recover from?  You had a chance to make a play early in the game.  You haven't dropped very many balls.  Did it work in your head?
GENO LEWIS:¬† I mean, at the end of the day I play football, that's what I do.¬† This is the game I love the game and I'm going to go out there and work hard in everything that I do.¬† Basically that's just‑‑ you have to let it go after it happens and move on.

Q.¬† What sort of opportunity do you view this with the team playing a highly‑ranked opponent and what sort of excitement level is expected?
GENO LEWIS:  We're very excited.  They're a good team, they have a great defense and offense and we're ready to step up to the challenge and, you know, show people why we're Penn State.  We're excited with the way things are going, bye week went well and we just want to get better each day of practice this week.

Q.  When you were younger here in this program can you remember maybe the first time you were tackled or hit really hard by Mike Hull specifically and what's that like?  I know he's a guy that people say he's an "undersized" linebacker in the middle.  What's it like being tackled by him?
GENO LEWIS:  Mike Hull is one of the best linebackers in the country I can definitely say that.  During my red shirt freshmen year we had a lot of linebackers, Glenn Carson, Gerald Hodges, Mike Tobin and Hull and you know, when I was on scout team and stuff like that, you know, I would do a lot and they would hit and you say I just think it was better for us because since we were going against one of the better defenses it just prepared us for the game and Mike Hull is an outstanding person off the field and on the field and he goes out there and works hard every day in practice and he makes the plays that he's supposed to make.

Q.  Coach was talking about the expectations of fans here.  He said there is nothing better than having 107,000 fans cheer you when things are going well and when you have challenges there is 107,000 critics.  How much do you embrace that?  This is a great opportunity to make a statement for this program Saturday.  Do you embrace those expectations that your fans have?
GENO LEWIS:  Yeah, absolutely.  This team, we expect to go out there and do the things that we're supposed to do.  It's never like, oh, I can't believe that just happened.  We're prepared for every situation, our coaches and this team we prepare ourselves for every situation and we're just going to go out there and play to the best of our ability.

Q.  James said in the spring or summer that he wanted guys to take ownership of the team and this is their team and he said during the bye week guys have been texting him and in and out of his office more, guys taking leadership, have you seen that?
GENO LEWIS:¬† Absolutely, during the bye week we had some guys‑‑ we had a team meeting with just the team and basically just come together and say, hey, listen, we got to get the things we need to do right and come together as a family and, you know, we've been through this before and we can get through anything after everything we've been through. ¬†So we're all just focused and we're all going to depend on each other one by one.

Q.  You struggled recently for a variety of reasons but can you see him still improving each week?  What have you been seeing from him lately?
GENO LEWIS:  You said Miles?  Oh Christian?  Oh, he's doing fine.  He's going to be fine.  We're going to have to put him in a better position to get the ball out and, you know, make the right reads.  He had a great bye week this last bye week and I think he's going to do fine and we all trust in Hecht and we believe with his ability he's going to be able to pull us through whatever we're going through.  I have the most confidence in Hecht and I wouldn't want anybody else.

Q.¬† Back in 1994 Penn State beat Ohio State 63‑14, the next year Ohio State ended up winning.¬† I'm curious if you were aware of that and if you guys are looking to the Buckeyes for inspiration after they rebounded after a loss like that to win the next year?
GENO LEWIS:  Basically at this point in time whatever happened in the past happened.  I wasn't too sure about that, but we want to go out this week and practice hard and take our responsibility that we're supposed to do and just, you know, play to the best of our ability and trust in one another when we get on that field.
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks, Geno.

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