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James Franklin postgame comments (with video): ‘We need to get it fixed, and we need to get it fixed fast’

Photo by Penn State Athletics: James Franklin talks with Maryland coach Mike Locksley before the game.

Quotes from James Franklin’s postgame press conference:

“We need to get it fixed, and we need to get it fixed fast.”

“We were not competitive early on in the game.”

“You gotta give Maryland credit. They played well, and we did not.”

“We’ve had games in the past where we started slow on offense and our defense kept is in the game long enough to rally back. … We haven’t really had a game where we didn’t play well in either phase early in the game.”

“There’s a lot of things that we’ve got to get corrected. Ultimately it’s my responsibility, and we’ll get to work on it on Sunday.”

On if they underestimated Maryland after three recent blowouts of the Terps:

“I don’t think we’ve underestimated anybody. When you haven’t been successful the first couple games, it’s hard to underestimated anyone.

“Obviously there’s things we’ve got to get fixed and things we’ve got to improve, and we’ve got to play better.”

On if the team was spiritually and mentally ready to play:

“I can understand after watching the game why you would ask that question. During the week I felt like we did the things necessary to come out and play well. It wasn’t perfect. But we’ve had issues in the past that we’ve been able to overcome.

“During the week is typically how you can tell that, and there weren’t signs of that.”

On Maryland’s third-down success early:

“They made big plays. We weren’t as competitive as we needed to be. We were out of leverage, they had a few little wrinkles to challenge our man coverage.”

On consideration of playing backup QB Will Levis:

“For me with starting quarterbacks, you want to do everything you possibly can with your starting quarterback to give him a chance to be successful and rally the team. They guy’s in that position for a reason. In the second half we felt like we still had a chance to get this thing swung gin the other direction, and at the time we felt like it was the right decision (to keep playing Clifford).”

On not being competitive early on:

“They made plays, they were able to stay on schedule on first and second down and created a bunch of manageable third down situations and were able to do that really for the majority of the game. And then offensively we weren’t able to get the running game going, and everything builds off of that. That continues to be an issue for us.”

On the lack of running game:

“We weren’t sustaining blocks. We hadn’t been able to break tackles consistently and make people miss consistently.

“We’re not getting consistent push, we’re not sustaining blocks, and then we’re not breaking tackles and making people miss.

“We’re not putting people in conflict with the RPO stuff because there’s not enough respect for the running game right now.”

On Clifford’s performance under pressure:

“We’ve got to be able to get the running game going an we’ve got to consistently protect our quarterback. There’s too many times where he’s under pressure and getting hit early in games.”

“Does that have an effect? Yeah, it does. … But obviously there’s some throws he needs to make, there’s some catches we need to make.”

On where the defense needs to improve:

“We’ve got to get more pressure on the quarterback. We’ve got to contest more balls, be better in tight coverage and then when people do make catches we’ve got to get them on the ground.”

On the O-line rotation:

“Trying to find the right mix of personnel in there and guys that have done some good things in practice deserve the opportunity to get in there and get some reps and opportunities and see if we can find the right five.”

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