James Franklin met with the media on Monday afternoon, giving each of them a heaping helping of Thanksgiving related questions. You can play along, too. What do you prefer: string beans or collard greens? Dinner Rolls or cornbread? Thanksgiving Day meal or leftovers? You can also read through the transcript (including reporter answers) here or follow along below for the recap.
Franklin recapped the Rutgers win, noting that his specialists played very well and that he was happy with the dual offensive coordinators’ handling of the game. Then, he noted some of the players to watch with Michigan State before beginning to ask the media their Thanksgiving preferences.
While the team hasn’t yet practiced, Franklin said he expected the quarterback situation to be the same as it has been in every other game this year. That means, if healthy, Allar will get the start with Pribula waiting as a change of pace or with certain situational packages. Franklin did praise Pribula for him being ready to go on Saturday.
Wide Receiver Production
The wide receiver position caught only two passes on Saturday, which Franklin said was something that needed to be addressed. But, he also added that the tight ends have played well and the personnel packages have trended toward having fewer receivers on the field and that’s been part of it, too.
In a question about the week-to-week excellence of the defense, Franklin gave an elongated answer praising Manny Diaz and the rest of his defensive staff. (Editor’s note) Please stay, Manny!
No Sophomore Slump
Nicholas Singleton has lacked the stats and wow plays of his freshman year, but Franklin noted that he has seen considerable improvement in the sophomore. Franklin noted his ability to be a better blocker and an active participant in the pass game. Finally, Franklin said that sometimes the highlights might not show what the tape really shows.
Grading the Offensive Coordinators
This is a long answer worth looking at closely. Franklin was asked about how he thought Seider and Howle handled the offense over the course of the week. Interesting wording as Franklin said he was very happy with how some things were done more in advance and it allowed him a chance to look over more completely, while also noting that Seider and Howle complemented each other well. He added that he thought the offense put more pressure on the entire field than it has in previous weeks before pinpointing one first half drive where the Lions didn’t burn clock and didn’t move the ball out from their own goal line as the part that he’ll be most critical of in his review.
Franklin was asked about Pribula’s ability to throw the ball and Franklin said that the situation didn’t really call for that on Saturday. (Editor’s note - hmmmm?).
What’s James Thankful For?
Franklin was asked directly what he’s most thankful for when it comes to being Penn State’s football coach. As you’d expect, he mentioned a lot of names and relationships. Obviously.
Honestly, this answer carried over into the next question where Franklin was asked to assess the relationship between Howle and Seider.
The Perfect Recipe
Not a Thanksgiving answer, but Franklin was asked about building a gameplan on offense. He went back to his own coordinator days and talked about the challenges of building a gameplan that has enough stuff to challenge a defense, while being small enough that it can be repped and rerepped.
More on Allar
Asked to assess Drew Allar’s confidence, Franklin noted that Drew has had a good year. There is plenty of room for improvement and he sounded like he’s excited to help Allar find that next gear.
There was a recruit who apparently said that Franklin had yet him know that Mike Yurcich wouldn’t be there in 2024. Franklin said that wasn’t true.
No Lateral Moves
Asked about retaining his coaches - namely Manny Diaz - Franklin went to a famililar response. He knows he has a good staff and his challenge is to make certain that they only leave for clear promotions, not similar jobs at similar schools.
Obviously Count: 4 - and only 3 by James. That’s a season low!