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Penn State Football: Five Questions Heading Into James Franklin's Weekly Press Conference

by on September 06, 2016 6:00 AM

Each week James Franklin speaks to the media inside Beaver Stadium and each week we take a look at five of the burning questions he might get asked. Think of this as a press conference primer. With Pitt on the schedule this week it's safe to say that there won't be a shortage of questions about in-state recruiting, in-state rivalries and what it means to win against a longtime rival.

1. How important is it to win on the field against Pitt when you've won on the recruiting trail?

There isn't any question that Pitt has been able to steal a few of their own from Penn State on the recruiting trail, but for the most part the Panthers have been held in check by Franklin and his staff. But when you go head-to-head with a recruiting and regional rival, there isn't any way to avoid how that plays in the eyes of prospects. A single win or loss may not swing the tide, but winning the series, or winning impressively can only further Penn State's grasp on the state. Likewise, a loss or two to Pitt and suddenly the might Nittany Lions aren't so mighty.

2. Kevin Givens and Evan Schwan both left last game with injuries, Franklin doesn't talk about injuries, but is there any update?

Chances are Franklin won't bite on this question but someone is going to ask him about two of Penn State's budding stars in the making. Schwan's injury would be particularly difficult for the team to overcome on and off the field as fifth year senior and well loved in the locker room. Givens might be the same way but with a whole career ahead of him the clock isn't ticking quite as fast. Even so that's two starters potentially out of the mix for Week 2 and somebody is going to want to know the latest, even if Franklin won't answer.

3. Tyler Davis hasn't missed a field goal in his career, how much of an asset is that?

Pretty obvious answer here in a certain respect, but Tyler Davis has over 20 attempts to his name and a perfect record to go with it. Where Sam Ficken was as much a folk hero because of his comeback career, Tyler Davis hasn't exactly done anything but make every kick he has ever been asked to. Add in the fact Davis is available to the media this week and somebody is going to ask about the most reliable man on the team nobody talks about. 

4. Trace McSorley's arm strength.

While McSorley put to rest a few doubts about how far he could throw the ball on Saturday, there was a bit of a hang time issue on a few throws that seemingly sat up in the air for a while. The answer to this is throwing the ball a bit farther ahead of the receiver for the likes of Chris Godwin and DaeSean Hamilton to run under. Instead there is a bit of a fielding-the-punt going on and against a better secondary that's as much a chance for an interception as a long completion. The saving grace here is his accuracy, which appears to be quite good, but in general the longer the ball is in the air the more likely it is the play will end poorly.

5. Miles Sanders in the offense.

Just about everyone wants to see Miles Sanders do more than return a few kicks and it seems like only a matter of time before he and Barkley are working on the field at the same time. That might not be Week 2 but it should be sooner rather than later. Expect some insight into this topic.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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