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October 17, 2017

Connor McGovern

University Park, Pennsylvania

Q. If you were to make a College Gameday sign, what would you say?
CONNOR McGOVERN: I don't really know. I'm not very artistic, so I'd probably give it to somebody else to make. I'm not really sure what I would actually make.

Q. Did the team address College Gameday coming, or is that kind of another distraction that you guys aren't talking about?
CONNOR McGOVERN: It's kind of like another distraction. Coach Franklin mentioned it once. Kind of just focused on Michigan this week, all about the game.

Q. What's the difference between RPO blocking versus when you might be blocking and you know you're going to pass it or you know you're going to run it?
CONNOR McGOVERN: It's hard to say. When you know you're passing, you're sitting right back. But there's other times when you're in the run and you think it's going to run, and you're up on the second level. Next thing you know, the ball is being thrown over your head, so sometimes you have to have like a little voice in the back of your head, make sure you're not downfield too far, make sure you're following the linebackers, and the most important part is not getting down too far to make sure you don't get the flag on you.

Q. Does it make it a little harder to block for a run or block for a pass when you're kind of blocking for both at the same time and then waiting to see what happens?
CONNOR McGOVERN: It makes it a little bit more difficult, but nothing I can't handle.

Q. What are the challenges of going up against an interior lineman like Maurice Hurst and how dangerous he's been this year?
CONNOR McGOVERN: He's very fast, explosive off the ball, so we have to counter that. A big part is getting hands on him fast and bringing our hips through and making sure he can't shed a block.

Q. What are some of the challenges when it's a three-man front and he straight up overuses your technique as a nose tackle?
CONNOR McGOVERN: Kind of knowing which side he's going to pick. He's going to go backside or front side A gap and bringing what guard with me to help me and get up to a certain backer.

Q. If you had a friend who was not into college football and had never been to a white-out game, how do you describe to them what that is like?
CONNOR McGOVERN: It's very hard to describe. My first game, first-ever Penn State game, was the Ohio State white-out a few years ago, and that blew me away. Before that I was never a Penn State fan, never really thought about it much, and that changed my mind, and that's kind of one of the reasons I fell in love with this place. The enthusiasm the fans have and how much people just care about football here.

Q. How do you feel you've made the adjustment to center, and how are you guys trying to improve the straight-ahead run game?
CONNOR McGOVERN: I feel very comfortable with the transition now, being more of a leader, being more vocal, and up front we just have to be more physical, blow them off the ball, and sustain our blocks.

Q. Is there any difference, last year you guys were really moving the ball on the ground toward the end of the year, and it seems like this year you're still trying to find your way there; is that fair to say?
CONNOR McGOVERN: I feel last year we were at the same place -- I feel we're better as a group. The chemistry is a lot stronger. Again, we just have to be more physical up front and sustain our blocks.

Q. Coach mentioned the white-out is kind of like, the only thing more exciting is Christmas morning, so with all the distractions with the rankings and the white-out and Gameday being here, days and games and weeks like this, does it validate your decision to come to Penn State? Why is it so much fun?
CONNOR McGOVERN: Back in high school, that was my first-ever game here, the white-out, and I'd say everyone -- if you're a college football fan, you have to experience at least one white-out in your life. They're a lot of fun, a lot of fun to play in, especially under the lights at night. It's a lot of fun.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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