"A lot of people on the team I don't think were into going to a bowl game because they felt like we got cheated in the bowl selection," said Crawford, who went to St. Augustine Prep in Atlantic City. "Once we formed together we just didn't have everybody buy into it, and that was part of the problem."
The Nittany Lions lost to Houston, 30-14.
Soon after, Paterno died, capping a stunning turn of events that began with child sexual abuse charges against longtime Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky.
Still left his training in Miami to attend Penn State's memorial for his iconic coach. He swapped stories with a long line of Nittany Lions.
"What I experienced playing under Joe Paterno, people that played back in the '60s, and the '70s and the '80s, they all had similar stories, so that just shows you that he remained the same coach the whole time through," Still said. "He's the reason why I am who I am today. Being under his program, it helped me grow as a person and it helped me grow as a football player."
While the bowl game was disappointing, Crawford spoke proudly about the way the team came together for their first game after Paterno's firing.
"We knew what he wanted. It was sad, the whole program suffered. At the end of the day we could only play football, that was our job, we had to go out there and play the best game we could and that's what we did," he said. Penn State lost 17-14 to Nebraska in an emotional game. "It was a tough game. We made it a tough game because we put everything into it."
Crawford isn't sure if the changes the football team has seen will be fully felt until the start of next season, when a new staff takes over from the beginning.
"From my ex-teammates I heard it's a lot different," under new coach Bill O'Brien, "so I'm excited to see what happens."
Still said the seniors think "all the time" about being Paterno's last senior class.
"Him seeing me and him seeing my fellow senior teammates just trying to move forward and fulfill our dreams," Still said, "he's very happy up there."
"It was definitely a privilege to play under Coach Paterno," he said. "Not a lot of players get to do that."
Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214, email@example.com or @JonathanTamari on Twitter.