Pennsylvania State Coach James Franklin: “We should give Ohio State credit…we wrestled with Marvin Harrison (Jr.)”

Pennsylvania State Manager James Franklin took a podium full of takeaways in his mind after giving Ohio State an eighth loss in nine attempts. “Ohio State University, you have to recognize a really talented team. Franklin said in his opening statement: “Obviously in the first half we were able to overcome the turnover and stay in the game and fight. But I can’t believe I’m going to be successful with that number of spins against an opponent like that.” Franklin went on to say: Obviously there are a lot of things that need to be fixed.” After Nittany Lion quarterback Sean Clifford’s mistakes and three interceptions led to three touchdowns for Ohio State, Franklin apparently made turnover margins the subject of criticism for his team’s performance. “For me, the game starts and ends with turnovers,” Franklin said. “You can’t just give that type of team multiple short fields and be successful. It’s going to make it really challenging.” Especially at Clifford, Franklin highlighted the positives he saw in the departure signal caller, but kept the results in perspective. In doing so, Penn State’s head coaches also mentioned the impact of Zach Harrison and JT Tuimoloau on Clifford. You have to find a throwing lane around the really long and athletic defensive end.” But despite the turnover, Franklin has admitted to taking risks to create a competitive attack on the road to victory for the Nittany Lions. “We knew we had to score against this type of opponent,” Franklin explains. “They are explosive on the offensive side of the ball and explosive on the defensive side of the ball. They shook our tails but made too many crucial mistakes.” Perhaps the most notable high-risk moment comes from Franklin’s aggressive decision making in a four-down situation. Penn State switched 3 of their 4 attempts this game to a 4th down. Asked what nurtured that mindset, Franklin said, “Coming this season, we wanted to make the 4 down aggressively. come to this game [Ohio State’s] In last week’s game we knew we had to be able to score a few points against these players. Take the risk and seize the opportunity.” “Obviously the three we converted were big and allowed goals and touchdowns. We’re going to have to take some of these risks,” Franklin said. “But again, the margin of error for these types of opponents is very small.” We had success throughout the game with the shallow T-formation the team often relied on especially in short distance situations. Franklin said this will always be an important part of Penn State’s game plan. It gave them something to think about. They made our formation. And I wasn’t confident about our lack of formation. It was a good changeup and it allowed us to move the ball and we moved the ball pretty effectively against that team.” Especially in the first half, the Nittany Lions did much better than the Buckeyes in executing swing screen passes to the edge that dispersed the Ohio State’s defense. Franklin said: “Change the pace…obviously with this type of pass rush you have to keep it in a different shape and plan and keep your toes and heels together with something to worry about.” “I can’t believe he’s going to be successful with so many rounds against that type of opponent.” – James Franklin, the biggest difference between Ohio State and Penn State. As for his defensive skills, Franklin said takeaways often play a role. Given the difficult circumstances, he has refused to blame the football side for the loss. “I thought we were at a corner, especially with a lot of short fields,” Franklin emphasized. “I think we did one drive right after we went down and took the lead again. I think it’s a combination of one long drive with double tempo. But on a lot of short fields like tonight, they played really well.” Of course Franklin would have been handed over to ignore the performance of one Ohio State receiver that dominated the afternoon, especially. “The one we fought was Marvin Harrison (Jr.) “He’s definitely a really good player, and they’ve come to him over and over again,” Franklin said. But overall we played really well.” Harrison Jr. finished the day with 10 receptions from 185 yards. He didn’t find an end zone for the third time in eight games this season, but the Buckeyes stand out. The wide out saved Ohio State from an unstable offensive series and situation throughout the tournament, resulting in a few chunk gains and first drops.At a later press conference, Franklin revealed the perceived gap between Ohio State’s and Michigan’s programs compared to Penn State. “They got a good soccer team and we did really well today against Ohio State. We had a chance to win the game, but we made so many mistakes at the crucial moments that we couldn’t do it against a top-tier team like that,” Franklin said ahead of the rest of the Nittany Lions’ schedule. Our job as coaches and our duties as players must be restored.”
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