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James Franklin Weekly Press Conference Notes: Maryland Week

Let’s go streaking! Penn State hosts Maryland this week for Homecoming looking for their second consecutive victory

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Penn State Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Opening Statement

  • Irvin Charles made a huge play in the game, has a great Touchdown/Catch ratio.
  • No offensive penalties, no sacks allowed .
  • Have to start faster. Starting practice with a “chaos period” in which the rest of the coaches don’t know the scenario re: time, down, distance and score. Trying to start out practice faster and more competitive.
  • Defense did a great job making them “earn it.”
  • Need to improve pad level and escaping and shedding blocks.
  • Special teams battled as a team and a family, eliminated big plays against us.
  • Tyler Davis should’ve been B1G ST player of the week.
  • Should be a great atmosphere for Maryland and homecoming week.
  • Offense is wide open and attacks a lot, seventh in country in rushing.
  • Defense runs multiple fronts and a variety of coaches run DJ Durkin’s defense.
  • Special teams are fundamentally sound and feature an explosive returner in Will Likely.


  • On McSorley’s composure: “It’s helpful that he was the backup for two years but approached it as if he were a starter.” Says McSorley is a good kid, a disciplined kid and expects a lot from himself.
  • On Manny Bowen: Think he can play MIKE LB over time because he’s a great athlete. Bowen and entire defense have faced adversity and responded well.
  • On Brandon Polk: Been hampered by injuries all season.
  • On D-Line: Need to be a bit more consistent to be effective. Got more pressure rushing three and dropping eight than they did bringing four or more.
  • On Pry’s management of personnel: Have had a couple set backs. Defensive staff have handled everything really well given their options.
  • On young wide receivers’ development: Saeed’s been out due to injury, good to get him back. Juwan (Johnson) and Irv (Charles) are both starting to come into their own.
  • On scripting first offensive series: Letting Joe (Moorhead) handle it for now and team just has to improve opening drives and how they start games. Most of the game is called on the field based on looks from defense. Can script first 10-15 plays but defensive alignment may call for changes.
  • On Joey Julius’ revealing eating disorder: “Very, very proud of Joey in so many ways. This is something that probably affects many others.” Says a lot of people can relate and connect with that.
  • On DB Jordan Smith: Been here a long time and would probably like a bigger role, but is a real leader on the team. Made some big plays and was ready to step in when he needed to. Took advantage of the opportunity.
  • On Marcus Allen: Learned lesson against UMD two years ago where he got a bit over emotional and got a penalty early in the game. Has learned and grown, expect him to come out and play with a lot of confidence and belief.
  • On approach to mental health of athletes: Has changed greatly from when CJF was in college and it’s good for the coaches and good for the athletes.
  • On recruiting Trace McSorley and uncertainty: First year he showed up on campus he was thrust into the backup role. In year two coaches started to see his confidence and the confidence he instilled in others. Bowl experience was important for him.
  • On Chasz Wright: Provides a physical presence at guard, but still has some things he needs to learn. Mass moves mass.
  • On young OL: Michal Menet and Will Fries well ahead of schedule, similar to where Bates was last year
  • On team’s emotional standpoint: Both teams will go into the stadium on Saturday fired up and excited.
  • On improving the run game: Until they show they can throw the ball downfield and win games because of it, teams will continue to load the box.
  • On halftime adjustments: Veteran players settle in faster. Younger players need more time, better explained adjustments which take place in locker room at half.