Opening Statement- Coach Franklin touched on a few points before opening the floor to questions. He stated that turnovers have been a part of the team’s recent success, having created four turnovers versus Purdue and surrendering none of their own.
He talked about explosive plays. Penn State’s offense had 14 explosive plays on Saturday and the defense held to its goal of keeping Purdue to fewer than three.
Franklin touched on special teams play and acknowledged that the kicking game has got to do a better job than it has in recent weeks of placing the kickoffs and punts in specific locations.
Coach wrapped up the comments on Purdue week with this quote:
Overall I am really proud of how the guys played, how they competed when going on the road, winning a game against a team that had been playing with a lot of energy recently and with the confidence they had from what they had done against Nebraska the week before. So I was pleased with that.
James from State College then followed that up by giving a shout-out to our men and women in uniform:
I think we have over 10,000 tickets requested to men and women that serve our country, which is awesome. This is one of the special things that Penn State does. Not only do we want the stadium sold out and rocking to create a home-field advantage for us, but it's also a great way to pay tribute to the military and what they do for us day in and day out, and the sacrifices they make.
Franklin went on to note that Immanuel Iyke, a freshman run-on defensive tackle and Marine Corps vet, will lead the team out of the tunnel holding the American flag. Undoubtedly, this will be a proud moment for Immanuel and very well-deserved.
When asked about Trace McSorley’s progress, Coach had this to say:
He's about on schedule. I still think there are a lot of areas he can improve. We'll be saying that when he's a senior, as well. But overall he's on schedule, and we've been very pleased with him. Not only what he's doing on the field but things you don't see behind the scenes, in terms of his leadership, his approach, his demeanor, those types of things.
Not surprisingly, somebody brought up Franklin’s Twitter comments about starting an impromptu Whiteout for this weekend:
It's funny, what I said after the game was I wanted the stadium to be rocking and sold out and create an unbelievable environment. Then I put in there who says we can only have one White Out a year. I was really talking about the mentality and what we need in terms of an environment and excitement in the stadium. But it kind of went crazy, went viral and people ran with it.
I think all that's great. Most importantly we need that stadium rocking. I would assume that most people are going to wear some of our colors anyway, white or blue, but most importantly we need that stadium rocking. We need a home-field advantage. This is a very good football team. They played in the conference championship game last year. They returned almost everybody from that team. They've been successful. They have the most veteran coach in our league, probably the most veteran staff in our league. Coach Ferentz has an 8-4 record against Penn State. We need a home-field advantage. We've had that. We need this place to be rocking and as supportive as we possibly can of our team, while also being a great host to our guests.
When asked about DaeSean Hamilton’s recent decline in on-field production and what can be done to get him back on track:
He's doing great. He's been a tremendous leader for us. I think you're going to see that a lot as we continue to develop more depth. If you look at our defensive line and the number of reps they take. We've gotten more people involved and that keep guys fresh and healthy throughout the year. The development of Irvin Charles, Juwan Johnson and DeAndre Thompkinsis really big for us, as well.
We're going to spread the wealth. I think Saturday was a great example of that. DaeSean has been a tremendous leader for us, a tremendous play-maker, but things have changed since our first year when guys were playing so many reps. Last year 75 scholarships to this year where we're able to get a lot of guys involved. That's really the model. We want a lot of guys to be able to make plays and be involved on offense, defense and special teams. That allows us to keep guys fresh and healthy, not only for the fourth quarter but for the entire season.
We love DaeSean Hamilton. He's a big part of what we're doing and will continue to do so.
In response to a reporter’s comments that the team seems to have turned a corner since the first half of the Minnesota game:
I've been saying it for three years. I feel like we have been taking steps, positive steps, for three years. Did it year one, did it year two, did it year three. It just kind of keeps progressing.
The off-season, the depth and the maturity. To be honest with you, I think it's just the experience that our guys are gaining, the confidence they're gaining in having success, the support that we're getting from our fan base, the positive support, the environment we've had at home. All these things play a part in it.
Here’s Franklin commenting on Iowa’s coaching and playing style (sounds familiar, no?)
Iowa is what you would expect when you have a coach and a coaching staff as tenured as theirs. They're not changing. You put the film on this year, last year – according to Coach Limegrover, five years ago – they have tweaked some things in who they've been, but not much. This is who they've been on offense.
They're going to line up and try to run the ball down your throat. A pro-style offense. They're going to be aggressive on defense and they're going to be really good up front. They're going to try to do a great job with their front seven. Typically going to play with a two-high safety and do a great job with those things.
They're not changing. I think that will be their model for success for the long-term there. They don't turn the ball over on offense. They don't make any mistakes on defense. They've built their program around that. On special teams they've been able to make plays. Desmond King is a big part of that as a punt return guy. They have their model and they're going to stick to it. Probably no reason to change based on the success they've had there.
On the performances of Joe Moorhead and Matt Limegrover and how long the acclimation period was for them:
Yeah, I think there's always an acclimation period. Like for myself, for anybody new to the program. There's a time that you transition. The more you learn, the more you get comfortable not only with Penn State but the Big Ten in general, our opponents and all those things.
I think Joe [Moorhead] and Matt [Limegrover] are both doing a really good job. I also think they showed up at a good time, as well. Matt didn't show up when there were nine [scholarship] offensive linemen. He has 17 [scholarship] offensive linemen to work with and that he's doing a really good job with. Joe as well.
I think the staff really works well together. Joe knows which members on the staff that he can rely on in different areas that complement himself. The staff knows how to interact with Joe, and areas where they can complement and support him, as well as myself.
Like what you’ve read, thus far? Check out the full transcript.