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Penn State Football: James Franklin News Conference Updates

by on September 02, 2014 12:45 PM

Live here at Beaver Stadium for the first James Franklin weekly press conference of in-season play following the Nittany Lions' victory over UCF. Franklin opens up the press conference with a statement going over a few positives and negatives of last week's game against UCF.

  • Franklin mentions in opening statement that Penn State lost the turnover and penalty battle which be an area that the team needs to improve in. Also notes that Akron leads Penn State in all of those categories as well as scoring defense. Franklin admits that those kinds of stats are misleading so early in the season.
  • Hackenberg and Zettel both win in-house players of the week along with Ficken according to Franklin who mentions Penn State was 5-for-5 in the redone but only 1-for-4 that ended with a touchdown.
  • Franklin happy with the work of Grant Haley at the return spot, says the team may have found its return man in Haley. 
  • Offensive line is still an area where the team needs to improve, especially in the area of run blocking. Franklin says that being able to run the ball not only gets good players the ball but gives Hackenberg a rest.
  • Franklin notes that winning makes issues look small and losing magnifies them. "But there are issues either way."
  • Franklin says he was most impressed with the defensive line's ability to stop the running game. Mentions Barnes, Olaniyan, Zettel and Nassib in those areas.
  • "We were 5-for-5 in the redone, but there is no doubt about we have to score touchdowns."
  • Franklin says that he calls special teams "Wefense" because it brings together players from both sides of the ball.
  • No plans right now to even look for another game out of the country. NCAA rules only allow for those kinds of trips once every four years so wouldn't be in the mix anyway.
  • Franklin not interested in or thinking about rankings in the AP poll for the sake of the program at this juncture. Team can be ranked in AP Top 25 but not Coach's Poll per NCAA sanctions.
  • Franklin says the team is healthy after Week 1, says that would be his answer no matter how the case might be.
  • Balance in Franklin's mind means that you have the ability to do both run and pass, not that the game is called at a 50/50 clip.
  • Franklin says that having really active defensive linemen is really important and cites Zettel and Anthony Johnson's effort. Thinks Zettel may have had a few too many reps in the interest of keeping him fresh.
  • Franklin says that he isn't a bulletin board material coach but some of his assistants are.

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