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5 Things James Franklin said today that you should know about

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Keyvone Lee scores on a 31-yard TD run.

Welcome to our new 5 Things feature, which will be exclusively for our Nittany Pride members. This feature will take a look at one important topic and provide five quick-hitting pieces of information and analysis.

Today’s topic takes an in-depth look at some of the most interesting things James Franklin said during his Tuesday press conference.

1: There have been 39 false positives within the football program (players and staff): What? That’s a really high number, and it’s the kind of thing that can really take an emotional toll on people in the program. “We’ve had 39 false positives, where that means 39 people missing practice, and we’re at, I think, a higher rate than than anybody in the conference and trying to find out why,” Franklin said. This virus is tough on everyone, and even having to go get a test can be nerve racking. Members of the football team are tested every day, so they’re used to it, but having a test come back positive certainly has to make the person feel nervous, scared, angry, etc. Imagine getting a negative test and realizing all your concerns were for naught. Some team members have had false positive tests multiple days in a row, meaning they’re having to deal with all the isolation and scared feelings for a longer period, then learning they don’t actually have the virus. “It’s test positive, get put in isolation, retest, and the test comes back negative later in the day, typically about halfway through practice,” Franklin said. Jeez, is it any wonder that some players or personnel in the program could be having a harder time concentrating on football this season, when they’re having to deal with something like that?

2: Red alert, red alert: The Lions had two great chances to pull even at Nebraska as they drove into the red zone in the closing minutes. But Will Levis was unable to make the throws to get into the end zone, and the Lions came up empty on both trips to lose by seven. Franklin said some of it comes down to the way Levis was throwing the ball. “That’s where the touch comes in, of rather than driving the ball across the field, it’s dropping the ball into certain zones in certain areas and things like that,” Franklin said. “So there’s no doubt that that we have to improve there.” Franklin also said this about Levis’ touch: “One of the areas he would admit that he needs to get a little bit better on is some of his touch — when to take a little bit of the octane off the pass and put it in a position where our guy has a chance to go up and make the play. That’s kind of all the little subtle things of playing the quarterback position everybody loves the big strong arm which which he has. But it’s also knowing when to take a little something off of it and throw for touch.”

3: The slow starts have been a problem: Penn State has had major issues with slow starts

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