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November 7, 2017

DeAndre Thompkins

University Park, Pennsylvania

Q. Two game run stretch coming back, it's homecoming, and homecoming for you guys, talking about being back in Happy Valley and Beaver Stadium?
DeANDRE THOMPKINS: There's no environment like here. The fans are great. The environment is great. We feed off it as a team. We do a great job at home, as you know. It's just good to get back to your bearings. And being in an environment that you're comfortable playing in.

Q. Can you talk about the challenges that you're preparing for Rutgers and what you guys are looking forward to?
DeANDRE THOMPKINS: We just approach it just like every other week. Just practice, capitalize on opportunities you get, eliminate mistakes. And just go out there and execute.

Q. James had told us after the game that he wanted to make sure every single person in the building made sure they knew they were going back to your formula. What was different about Saturday when you reconvened as a team, and went over corrections and things of that nature?
DeANDRE THOMPKINS: I would say mostly just understanding what mistakes that we've done, why they happened, how can we capitalize on them and eliminate them going forward. And then after that just erasing it. It's already done. Nothing you can do about it and just attack the next week, one week at a time.

Q. Is there anything that you saw that says we're good, we can keep this going, and is maybe there wasn't as much -- James said you guys lost by four points total the last two weeks, can you use this as a motivation factor?
DeANDRE THOMPKINS: Even before the season started I knew our team was going to be great. We were going to do great things. It's not something that you kind of figure out in the middle season. It's something that you declare before the season starts. So I kind of knew before going into the season that we had a team that could go really far and do big things.

The fact that we've lost a total of four points in the last two games just doesn't really mean much to us. The games are in the past. Losses are in the past. Wins are in the past. What matters now is Rutgers.

Q. Against Rutgers defense there needs to be adjustment inspect the offensive. Can you explain more specifically what those adjustments need to be?
DeANDRE THOMPKINS: Yeah, each week we had our defense figure out what coverages they play, what tendencies they have. Each team is different. Some teams are kind of similar here and there, but others have a little wrinkle in their game. And as an offensive we have to find out what that wrinkle is and attack it.

Q. When Saquon is unable to gain positive yardage, what is the impact from the offense? Does that impact you guys emotionally at all? How do you think he's handled that the last several weeks?
DeANDRE THOMPKINS: Saquon is a good player. We all know that. When he has the ball in his hands he can do great things. But teams know that. Everybody knows that. Everybody in the country knows that. So they're going to set out to stop him. Once they kind of figure out they think they stopped him, that's something as other skilled players on the team, kind of really have to step up and accept that role and to making big plays for the team and making sure he's not just pounding Saquon, pounding Saquon, we have other players on the team that are great in Trace, Ham, Juwan, I can name all of them. But it's just something that we have other pieces to the puzzle. So if you think you stopped Saquon, we're not really worried because we have a plethora of other players who can make plays.

Q. And then the second question, about how Saquon has handled that individually?
DeANDRE THOMPKINS: He's one of those guys that he understands the game of football. He knows that you're not going to have a break out game every game. He knows that the type of player he is teams are going to set out is to stop him. And one thing that I admire from him is he's a team player, he's not one of the those guys that goes in demands the ball. He knows the type of players we are as receivers. He knows the type of player Mike is at tight end, he knows Trace and et cetera. But that's one thing that he handles very well is he knows he's not the only piece to the puzzle and he's willing to sacrifice that for the success of the team.

Q. Can you describe what you saw on the fourth down pass to you, the pass was maybe a little high. Is that a ball you feel like you have to come down with?
DeANDRE THOMPKINS: To be honest with you, yeah, that's one of the those passes as a receiver you have to catch. And it is what it is. I've watched the films, and that's just a mistake as a receiver, you have to catch the ball.

Q. What's that been the last couple of days?
DeANDRE THOMPKINS: We have each others' back. We know that although it may look like it, one play does not define the whole game. I was kind of upset about it after the game. But guys like Saquon, Trace, Ham, are guys who have been in tough positions. And not necessarily I make that play every time. Ham, with the Pitt game, he kind of reminded me, you know, the type of situation he was in. And I look up to him. He's like my big brother. So that's one thing that I took into account. So I watched the play. It happened and I'm on to the next week.

Q. Just curious, after you take a couple of losses, is the leadership on the team all the more magnified, concerned with guys just maybe not being as invested as you were say two weeks ago?
DeANDRE THOMPKINS: That may be the case for other teams, but I truly don't believe that for our team. Our guys are here to play for each other. We're for the here to play for things outside of our team. And I think our leadership, no matter if we had losses or not is going to step up throughout the season. So it's not really a question of leadership or if guys are committed to the team, because each week and every day we make sure that every guy in the locker room, and even any person in the last football building makes sure that they are on the same mindset that everybody else is.

Q. Coach Franklin said earlier this year that he thought the blocking on the perimeter has been one of the best things that you guys have done this year. And Josh Gattis of course highlighted your blocking, and we saw it on Saturday on one particular play. How much did you emphasize that when you got here and understanding that you needed to improve there to see the field?
DeANDRE THOMPKINS: Coming in you kind of know your weaknesses. And my first year, my red shirt year, it kind of exposed a lot of things that I needed to work on, blocking was one of those. So that's kind of one thing that once you improve on your biggest mistakes, or your biggest problems, you kind of start developing getting a role for how can you better yourself as a player. And I knew that the biggest thing coming into D1 football is blocking. People are big. They're strong. And I'm for the that big. I'm not that strong. But blocking is all about Hart. That's the one thing Coach Gattis tells us is you can train all you want, blocking drills, all this and that, but is it comes down do you want the person behind you with the ball want to score. And I want receiver person on offensive to score. I go all out for blocking and my teammates.

Q. What was the mood like when you met for your film study session yesterday? And what do you see from Rutgers?
DeANDRE THOMPKINS: Film study from Rutgers or at the last game?

Q. Yesterday what was the mood like in the room and what did you see on film?
DeANDRE THOMPKINS: The mood is similar to every day that we go in to watch film on the next team. We respect them as a program and as football players, but we don't fear them at all. So we're going to go in and look at the little details, the techniques that they use. And we're going to try to see how can we attack them, how can we be successful.

Q. Who are they similar to?
DeANDRE THOMPKINS: They like to run kind of a four scheme with pressing the off man with the corners. Kind of similar to Pitt. Of course they have different players on the back end, but for the most part their scheme is kind of similar to Pitt.

Q. Learning lessons happen from tough losses, of course we know that. I want to know for you guys the development of you guys as players, that's a big deal to coach Franklin and I'm sure to you guys, as well. These tough losses have brought a lot of outside noise that you guys are trying to ignore. How does that bring maturity to the team to ignore -- I'm sure you were riding high with positivity, but then go low after tough losses, how does that bring maturity to you guys hearing that and ignoring it moving forward?
DeANDRE THOMPKINS: One thing I would say is that even though it's a tough loss, but you also learn from wins, as well. Just because you win a game doesn't mean you didn't have mistakes. Whether it's a win or a loss, with maturity you come and you know, even though we've won, hey, I did not play a perfect game. There's things that I need to work on and improve. And that just comes with, like you said, maturity. That's something we have as a team, is we know that no matter how much we win by or how much we lose by, the mistakes will show. And that's something that you have to take into account, understand what happened, why it happened, and then just go on to the next week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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