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Moving Forward: Mike Hull’s Bye Week Update

Following a career-high 16 tackles against Northwestern on Saturday, Mike Hull spoke to the media Tuesday morning to provide a bye-week update. The senior linebacker spoke to a range of topics, including recovering from Penn State’s first loss, looking forward to Michigan, and concussions.

Recovering from defeat:

Hull, who has 53 tackles on the season, said the coaching staff has done a commendable job in keeping the locker room attitude positive after last Saturday’s disappointing performance against Northwestern.

“They do a good job making players think it’s only one game and that it’s time to move on,” he said.

Hull said the team has addressed what needs to be worked on, especially poor tackling, which he stressed as an area of concern on Saturday following the loss.

“As a leader, myself and some other leaders have to be cautious [and make sure] everyone is upbeat,” he said. “There’s still a lot of season left.”

Prepping for Michigan:

Hull said he plans to watch Michigan’s showdown against Rutgers this coming Saturday. Come Big Ten play, Hull stated, teams will be more prepared, and more hungry to win.

“We need to pick up our intensity” for conference play, he said.

But Hull isn’t worried about his team’s motivation.

“We’re going to bounce back.”

On his own successes:

Hull, who has had double-figure tackles three times this season, deflected most of his credit to chance.

“I don’t look at it as me having a fantastic game,” he said. “It just happens sometimes.”

On Saturday against Northwestern, the Wildcats attempted a fake field goal from the three yard line late in the first quarter, already ahead by two touchdowns. Hull sniffed the play out, bringing down holder Christian Salem short of the goal line. The play seemed to shift the game’s momentum, if only for a few possessions.

“I just saw those guys take off in the opposite direction,” he said. “I knew something was up.”

On freshman Jason Cabinda:

Cabinda became the eighth true freshman to play for the Nittany Lions this season. The linebacker recorded eight tackles on Saturday, the second highest on the team.

“I think he played really well,” said Hull. “He’s definitely a gamer, he made a lot of plays. He works really hard in practice; by the end of the year he’s going to be playing a lot.”

On concussions:

Michigan’s coach Brady Hoke has taken criticism this past week for his handling of quarterback Shane Morris during Saturday’s game against Minnesota. Morris appeared to suffer concussion-like symptoms during the fourth quarter, yet Hoke did not take the sophomore quarterback out of the game.

Hull said he sympathized with Morris’ motivation to continue playing, but said other teammates should step in at times like that.

“Most of the time players don’t want to go off the field,” he said. “If other players on the team recognize that someone is hurting a bit, they’ll usually go and grab a trainer.”

Hull also stressed the competence of Penn State’s medical staff, and the fact that trainers and coaches preach the importance of reporting injuries.

“We have good communication,” he said. “We have a really good medical program.”

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Ben Berkman

State College, PA

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