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James Franklin: How You Like Me Now, Suckers

James Franklin delayed his weekly press conference due to a death in the family, but he had some choice words for the media when he came back.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

James Franklin delayed his weekly press conference from Tuesday to Wednesday in order to attend his brother in law’s funeral. As such, we get the recap to you a day later.

As you would expect, Franklin was pretty satisfied with the effort last Saturday. There are things that still need to be cleaned up, but overall the effort was good and led to an unexpected victory. He thanked the fans for braving the weather and supporting the team.

On offense, he mentioned how they were able to protect the football, having zero turnovers on offense.

On defense, he was happy about the amount of sacks the Nittany Lions had, given that Ohio State had only allowed five total before the game.

Franklin also wanted to point out that Ayron Monroe and Von Walker did a good job, given that Marcus Allen and Grant Haley were getting all the attention.

Moving on to the questions, let’s play another game of ““Guess What Franklin Really Meant!” Here we go:

Q: After a historic win like that, how much confidence do you have that the players can put the Ohio State game behind them and focus completely on Purdue?

Franklin Said:


And then our conversation was that we're not talking about Ohio State anymore, except for the guys that have to go to the Quarterback Club luncheon and the guys that have to go to the press conference. Besides that, we're going to move forward and move on and learn from it and grow from it.

I think one of the things that helps us, is we don't change our approach, ever. So I think since we didn't change our approach on the front end, we don't need to change our approach on the back end, and you know, it's business as usual for us. It was a great game. It was a great environment and it was great to see our players go out and play well and it was great to see the fans enjoy it so much, and our alumni and lettermen and all those things. But again, it's on to the next game.

Franklin Meant:

Are you ******** me? How many times do I have to tell you I do the same thing every week? We beat Ohio State. Great. Now it’s Purdue. As much as you guys are hoping for it, we’re not losing. Next.

Q: You talked a lot about the job defensive coordinator Brent Pry has done this year. What stands out most to you about his coaching, and how have you seen him grow as a coach over the years that you've known him?

Franklin Said:

I think it's perseverance. I think the way he's handled situations, the way we handled losing all those defensive linemen; and knowing that we had a bunch of inexperienced guys that we're going to have to fill in in that role; and how he handled and how he approached it; how he persevered and handled the linebacker situations and losing a lot of guys.

I've been a lot of places where that happens and there is a "woe is me" by the coach, and if you do that, the players take on that identity. He hasn't been like that. It's been next-man-up; what a great opportunity we have to go out and do something really special, and is really positive, yet very demanding, which I think is a really important trait in a coach, which he has. He can be really demanding on people but still be positive and do it in a constructive way.


Franklin Meant:

Uh, did you notice how we were missing every single linebacker at one point? What about the defensive backs? Defensive linemen? No, you didn’t notice half our defense was injured? Oh, that’s nice. Must be nice not having to pay attention before asking stupid questions. Pry has always been good, and lo and behold, when he has a healthy defense it shows. Funny how that works. Next.

Q: Last couple of weeks, you mentioned about adjusting your practices, specifically for first quarter play, trying to get off to faster starts. Do you have some things that you do based on past coaching stops or what you've done before to handle road game atmospheres that are not like Beaver Stadium or Ann Arbor or Pittsburgh?

Franklin Said:

Like one of the things that we're doing right now is typically we have really loud music playing at practice or loud crowd noise or fight songs and bands of the opposing team and things like that.

This week obviously after being in our stadium last week and what that environment was like, this environment will be a little bit different than that.

So we talked all week long about our players bringing their own juice. I'm hoping that the Penn State Alumni Chapters from all over that region come out and support us. I know our families and friends will be there, as well. I probably should have looked this up ahead of time, but I could imagine we have some good number of Penn State grads living in that area so I hope they all come out and support us.

We try to prepare our guys each week. Like I said, play the fight songs, or practice at night or in the indoor or outside in the rain or whatever it may be, to try to prepare our guys throughout the year for whatever they may see.

And then specifically that week we do everything we possibly can. You can't change the schedule too much. If it's a 12:00 game, it's not like with class you could practice at 12:00 every single day. But we have done that in the past.

Franklin Meant:

It’s Purdue. What do you think I’m going to do differently? Here, let me pump up all this crowd noise —oh right, their stadium will be empty. Great. No need for that. Next.

Q: From the outside it looks like your defensive line is completely different now than what it looked like the beginning of the season. Can you talk a little about the key to their development and why did everything come together last Saturday night for them?

Franklin Said:

Yeah, it's not real profound. They are gaining experience. They were inexperienced guys at the beginning of the year. We have guys like [Parker] Cothren who has played a decent amount of football and [Torrence] Brown and [Garrett] Sickels have played a decent amount of football for us.

The other guys lacked experience. Robert Windsor is a redshirt freshman, has had a big role for us this year. Guys like that, you know, guys that are coming on for us. You look at Shareef [Miller], there's another guy. Those guys were redshirts last year. I think that the biggest difference from the beginning of the year till now is the experience that they have gained by playing week-in and week-out.

So having success, being coached hard, being really demanding on those guys and those guys gaining in confidence and experience and what to expect. And I think also, you know, that they have realized that they can be good, individually and collectively, that they can be pretty good. When you have success, your confidence grows every single day and those guys are doing that.

Franklin Meant:

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: The more a player plays, the better they get. I know, mind blowing stuff. Who would have thought, huh?

Q: One of my colleagues asked you after the game Saturday night, what does this do for the big picture, and you said, "All I want to do is enjoy this win.” How much did you enjoy it and during this enjoyment, did you think about how much this might have silenced your critics?

Franklin Said:

Well, how much I enjoyed it was a lot. I had 348 text messages after the game, which I did not enjoy that. I basically text back: "Thank you," "thanks brother," "appreciate it," and I copied and paste that to everybody, men, women, coaches, neighbors, cousins, everybody, and stayed up till -- I got home at like 2:30, by the time getting out of the stadium, getting home and laid into bed talking to my wife till 3:30.


We were getting banged around all over the field and I saw recruits down there jumping and going crazy, so obviously it had an impact on them, and I think it had an impact on our program our team and our players in terms of confidence and things like that. But we still have things that we've got to get cleaned up and corrected and we'll have another opportunity this week against a Big Ten opponent on the road, which we need to get a road win this week starting against Purdue.

Franklin Meant:

MOTHER ****** YOU WERE MY CRITICS! All year talking about signature win this, hot seat that. Here, come here, you want to touch my seat? Come, touch it. It’s ICE. COLD. Yeah I enjoyed my win, and I’ll enjoy next Saturday’s win too. Asshole.

Q: Wondering about the reception of you in the community, coming off this big win. You mentioned the Quarterback Club. What does a big win do for you?

Franklin Said:

Besides the Quarterback Club, I haven't been anywhere else. I go to my house, and I come to the office, so besides this press conference and the Quarterback Club, I haven't been anywhere else. We usually order lunch in.

But to be honest with you, I don't go out much. It's funny, I've got a guy in my neighborhood, he owns Faccia Luna and I was there one night for dinner this summer. He said, "I've been in the neighborhood with you for three years and I've never seen you once in the neighborhood."


You know, some weeks are easier and better to walk in there than others, but that's been good that way. I don't do a whole lot or go out a whole lot to have any of those types of interactions.

Franklin Meant:

Yeah, I work all the time. All I do is work. Though it’s nice when the students aren’t chanting “Fire Franklin” during games. Thanks for that.

Q: Just curious, being in the shotgun in victory formation, not sure I had ever seen that and seems a little more risky than being right up under center. What was the thinking there?

Franklin Said:

Again, I don't want this to come off the wrong way. But almost everybody that runs the spread and runs shotgun, they don't go under center for victory, all the games that I watch.

It doesn't make sense in our minds, and people that I've been around, you could make the same argument on a quarterback sneak or you could make the argument on the third and one and get up and run the quarterback sneak. The problem is we never take a snap from under center. We don't do that in our offense.

So now to do that in victory situation or on short yardage, that's something you believe in what you do. We just never do it. I've never seen Joe [Moorhead] take a snap from under center since he's been here.

So doesn't make sense to do that in forming an offense at a critical situation in the game in victory. I know you could say, well, couldn't you practice it. But now you're going to take time practicing something that you're only going to do less than one percent of the time.

Yeah, all the people that I know that run shotgun offenses, that's what they do in victory.

Franklin Meant:

Do you watch college football, or do you just enjoy asking stupid questions?

Q: What are your thoughts on being back in the Top 25, Penn State?

Franklin Said:

Yeah, I think it's great. I think the poll that really matters is the one at the end of the season. But it's nice. It's nice to be part of that conversation again. It's good. We're appreciative of it, how people view our program and the direction the program is headed. It's not going to get us a point on Saturday against Purdue but it's nice to be a part of those conversations again.

Franklin Meant:

Didn’t think I was going to do it, didn’t you? Sorry guys, you’re going to have to create some other narrative now. Sorry about that (not actually sorry about that).

Full Transcript: