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James Franklin Weekly Press Conference Recap: Ohio State Week

Back in the saddle again, James Franklin and his team prepare for their toughest test yet. What did the coach have to say about the bye week and opponents Ohio State?

New Era Pinstripe Bowl - Boston College v Penn State Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Opening Statement

  • Was at Nittanyville before presser with a record 667 kids
  • Guys got a lot of rest over the bye week and caught up on some academic stuff
  • Young guys developing well, bye helped with that
  • Big challenge with OSU but guys are up for it
  • Need fans, alumni and everybody else to create difficult environment for OSU
  • Team practiced Sunday and had off Monday
  • Hoping to get a few guys back from injury
  • OSU OLine is very good
  • Barrett is a huge part of their run games
  • Bosa already making an impact on defense
  • Not a huge amount of value in Wisconsin tape due to differing style of offense


  • On bye week helping health: Helped a little bit. Could get Cabinda back this week. Bell, Cabinda and Cooper have all been out of practice leading up to the game. Blake Gilikin will be back. Allowed team to rest up a bit last week.
  • On Offensive Tackle situation: Mahon is playing very well and has a nice job all season. Paris (Palmer) has played a lot of football so he has experience playing big time football. Light is coming on for Chasz Wright. Will Fries is ready to go if needed.
  • On Wisconsin offense: Wisconsin helped a lot by a really, really good defense. Style is different from what PSU wants to do.
  • On Whiteout as recruiting tool: Many guys on team now attended Whiteout as a recruit. Definitely a factor, but most important thing is continuing to develop guys and go out and play well. “Whiteout exemplifies what makes this place so special.”
  • On Tyler Davis: “Very mature, which is important for a kicker.”
  • On atmosphere getting to guys: Approach doesn’t change. Guys have to show “consistency in behavior, consistency in their play.” Guys know it’s a big game and just need to stay focused.
  • On JT Barrett: Very poised, very mature. Seems like he’s been playing there forever. Can beat you in many ways. Emphasized that Barrett is a huge part of their running game.
  • On Kevin Givens: Has been moved to second team on depth chart. Coaches have been happy with him and very impressed. Team has “three guys” playing really well and playing at a high level, all of which will rotate.
  • On injuries: Medical decisions out of coaches hands. Tough to get guys back into things when they haven’t played at all for a number of weeks.
  • On Brandon Smith: A guy who has perservered, worked hard and waited for his opportunities. Has shown that he’s ready when the opportunity came.
  • On OL rotation: Too early in the week to decide where guys will be, but the tackle situation is now different. Chasz (Wright) was doing some good things at guard, may not be fair to him to bump his back and forth between G and T. Will be at tackle this week.
  • On Urban Meyer/playing another top five team: Have vacationed together on Nike coaches trip. Two coaches have a good relationship. Learned a bit from UM game. Can always learn something.
  • On atmosphere at game: Everybody in attendance can make a difference. Every clap, every yell and every scream matters.
  • On 2015 OSU compared to 2016 OSU: They’ve recruited so well and play so many guys that they can “keep this thing rolling.” Running backs are playing very well and Barrett playing at a high level “allows that youth around him to grow.”
  • On defensive improvement since Week 1: Lost 4 DL, 3 to NFL so it took time to get young guys experience and build their confidence as the season goes on. DLine is as improved as any unit this year.
  • On playing OSU tough: Matchups and style of play come to mind. Need to limit OSU’s explosive plays and create big plays of their own. Says team had 15 explosive plays against Maryland to just four conceded on defense.