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News and Notes From Penn State’s Week Five Press Conference

James Franklin was all business ahead of Penn State’s week five matchup with Indiana.

Heather Weikel | Black Shoe Diaries

As Penn State prepares for a showdown with Indiana on Saturday night in Beaver Stadium, James Franklin once again met with assembled media on Tuesday to look back on the Nittany Lions’ win over Villanova and look ahead to the visit from the Hoosiers.

We’ve compiled some of the top notes and quotes from that press conference.

  • Franklin started out by stating that he’s aware of the team’s issues in the run game department, and that while improvements need to be made, it won’t necessarily change how they call the game offensively.
  • In addressing Indiana, Franklin said at wide receiver Ty Fryfogle and tight end Peyton Hendershot are players who turn heads on offense, with the latter having been heavily recruited by Penn State.
  • After what Franklin called “not the best” week of practice leading up to Villanova, he said that Sunday was a good day of meetings and practice, something PJ Mustipher mentioned earlier in the day as well when meeting with media.
  • Following Monday’s day off, Franklin wants the team to take “another step” in Tuesday’s practice and then continue to build upon that.
  • While the offensive line has been good in protection, Franklin said that there’s still room for improvement and that he’d like the unit to play with a bit more of an edge in both the run and pass games.
  • He later added that an “edge” means playing up to and within the limits of the rules as well as playing through the “echo of the whistle.”
  • While Penn State doesn’t have a high number of sacks, Franklin says he’s been happy with the pass rush and that teams are moving the pocket and getting the ball out early to try to avoid giving up sacks.
  • When asked about explosive plays, Franklin says the team wants to be at “16 percent or higher” on explosive play rate on offense and “10 percent or lower” on defense.
  • Expanding on the use of analytics, he said it’s a delicate balance that’s determined by a number of variables throughout the game. “You just try to get as much information as you possibly can, and then you gotta trust your instincts.”
  • Pointed out the end of Sunday’s NFL game between San Francisco and Green Bay as a situation that is tough analytically. Team has to be sure to score but avoid giving the opposing offense too much time.
  • Says he enjoys discussing moments like that with his team and with his coaching staff.
  • On if he considers this a revenge game after last year’s season-opening loss: “All that really matters is that you have to find a way that you play this Saturday.”
  • “It starts with getting knock back on the line of scrimmage, then it’s getting knock back on the down lineman then getting a double team on a linebacker.” Franklin says the run game. Adds that deception and getting the linebackers going the wrong way is another aspect.
  • “We’re gonna rotate three backs in there. We’ll continue to do that,” Franklin said of the run game. “We’d like to be a little more physical on short yardage, like to break a few more tackles.”