Penn State’s win over Michigan sets up a huge showdown with Ohio State in Columbus this weekend. It also afforded Nittany Lions coach James Franklin a chance to go on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt late Monday night to discuss his program.
Penn State won its White Out game against a ranked Big Ten East foe for the second straight year, and Franklin wants you to come see it for yourself if you haven’t already.
“If you haven’t been to a White Out, you really have to come check it out.”
Van Pelt asked Franklin about Heisman candidate Saquon Barkley, and the coach listed off 11 attributes that make him special:
“He really has it all, and I know I sound like the biased college football coach, but he’s got it all. He’s got the power, the speed, the quickness, the strength, the body type, the vision, the intelligence. He really does. The thing that’s probably the most special thing about him is how he’s handled all this success at an early age. Very humble, great leader, unbelievable in the community, unbelievable in school. He’s really the total package, and when you have a guy like that on your team, it kind of sets the tone for a whole organization.”
Franklin isn’t often one for reminiscing, but will make an exception when it’s about the team he’s up against this week. Van Pelt asked Franklin if he thinks back to last year’s win over Ohio State on a blocked kick, but the coach said his memory doesn’t immediately go there.
“To be honest with you, I would even go further than that,” Franklin said. “The year they won the national championship, we took them to double overtime, had a great opportunity to win. And then obviously last year, blcoking the kick and played really good in the second half, especially on the defensive side of the ball and then were able to win the Big Ten championship.”
Then he quickly reverted to coach mode.
“We’re really proud of the things we’ve been able to do, but we’ve got a lot of work to do and a lot of different areas to continue growing.”
Franklin gave a quick look at his postgame routine, which he says is the only time he affords himself some time to consider the fact that he is coaching the No. 2 team in the country:”
I usually do that when I get home after the game with family and friends. I got a really tight group, small circle of friends and family members — they’re at the house after the game — and kind of talk about it and kind of review how the game went from their perspective and review how it went from my perspective and then laugh and then return the 105 text messages and direct messages and then try to get some sleep.”
Penn State plays No. 6 Ohio State at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Franklin and his fans might not be getting too much sleep until then.
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