Another week, another James Franklin hot debate. A week ago, we were discussing his postgame comments, in which Franklin compared Pitt to Akron in terms of significance for Penn State football - a comparison that many around the Pitt program took not-so-well. This week, it’s on the field decisions that are getting the play.
In the final seconds of Saturday’s glorified scrimmage against Georgia State, the Panthers were able to drive down the field over seventy yards against Penn State’s scout team, and lined up to take a shot at a field goal. The Lions apparently had the wrong players on the field according to the coach, and Franklin called a timeout right before the ball was snapped - and the “practice” kick by Georgia State went through the uprights.
After the timeout was over, the Nittany Lions lined up across from the Panthers once again, the ball was snapped - and the kick was no good, completing the second PSU shutout in the short 2017 season. Franklin had successfully iced the Panther kicker.
Icing the kicker more often than not comes as the game is on the line, the outcome predicated on that final kick (see: Penn State vs Illinois, 2011, Joe Paterno’s final game at PSU). Rarely does it come in this form - but rarely would you see a team down 56 points trying to simply get on the board in the form of a field goal, conceding they wouldn’t be able to get in the end zone and settling for some points, any points, with less than a half minute to go.
Listening to Andy Staples on ESPNU radio this morning, a caller called in, clearly not a Franklin fan, and lamented the decision, calling the coach an “a******”. Staples and his cohost, Barrett Sallee, somewhat defended the decision, acknowledging that it was the other team’s job to win by scoring and stopping the other team from doing so - which Georgia State was unable to do - and noting that Franklin had learned the value of style points last season.
What say you, BSD commentariot? Was the icing of the kicker justified? Who, if anyone or no one, was in the wrong in this situation? I could argue either way, so this one is truly a jumpball for me.
Let’s hear what you guys have to say in the comments.