Jay Paterno relays signals

Penn State assistant coach Jay Paterno waves his

Penn State assistant coach Jay Paterno waves his father's jacket as he gets off the team bus before an NCAA college football game against Nebraska in State College, Pa., Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. (Credit: AP Photo/John Beale)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Although Joe Paterno was not pacing the sideline in rolled up khaki pants, white socks and black athletic shoes as he has done for the past 62 seasons as a Penn State assistant or head coach, Beaver Stadium was not Paterno-less Saturday.

Quarterback coach Jay Paterno, who normally calls plays from the press box, took a place on the sideline at the request of interim coach Tom Bradley for the Nittany Lions' 17-14 loss to Nebraska.

Bradley said he wanted Paterno there to facilitate relaying the play calls because assistant Mike McQueary, who normally signals them, is on paid administrative leave because of his role in the child-sex abuse scandal that rocked the school last week.

"We've had better weeks in our lives, obviously," Jay Paterno said after the game. "The world's kind of turned upside down, but I think our kids were resilient . . . Once we got here and the juices started to flow, I was focused."

Early in the morning before the game, Jay Paterno stopped over to his father's house and dropped off a letter he had written to his parents. Asked in a television interview after the game what it said, Paterno teared up as he said, "Just how proud of them I am, and, Dad, I wish you were here."

He was far more composed when he met with reporters in the press room a few minutes later. Describing the morning meeting with his dad, he said, "We didn't spend a lot of time. It was tough for him and tough for me."

Although he lives within walking distance of the stadium, the elder Paterno planned to watch the game on TV. Asked how hard he thought that might have been for his father, Jay Paterno smiled and cracked his first joke of the week.

"I don't know," he said. "Maybe he was out mowing the grass."

Turning more serious, Jay Paterno addressed the child-sex abuse allegations against former assistant Jerry Sandusky that were revealed a week earlier.

"It's a horrific thing," Jay Paterno said. "You don't like that to happen to anybody. There's not a person in America who doesn't feel that way. We hope that justice is done and that the victims get some peace at last."

As for the Board of Trustees' decision to fire his father, who is not a subject of the investigation, Paterno said: "The investigation is ongoing. For us to talk out of class, you don't do that. There is a legal process."

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