Paterno had seen to it. Fall camp had been more rigorous than any in recent memory. The 62-year-old Paterno was everywhere—demonstrating proper technique, riding the seven-man blocking sled, chewing players out as he had not done in years. Paterno admits he considered retiring after last season, but decided he could not walk away on such a sour note. On the eve of the opener, he said, "It's the best decision I ever made. I feel great. I can't wait to watch these kids play. I've never looked forward to an opener more."
Less than 24 hours later he was groping to explain the crushing loss. "I'm disappointed but not discouraged," he said. "There were some things we did pretty well." He did not elaborate.
Said Schonewolf, "I know the talent is here. It's just a matter of getting the most out of it. I'm getting tired of hearing how good we could be."
In thought and word, as they made their glum passage out of Beaver Stadium, thousands of Penn State fans seconded the motion.