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James Franklin comments: ‘We got back to our identity’

James Franklin’s comments after Saturday’s 39-24 win over Michigan State on senior day at Beaver Stadium.

Opening comments

“Overall, obviously I told the guys I was really impressed. The last three games we kind of got back to our identity of finding ways to win.

“We’ve had all different types of wins, and a lot of them. Over the last three weeks we’ve gotten back to that identity. So I’m really proud of them. I’m really proud of the whole program.”

“It was really emotional for me (after the game). … Typically those guys get to walk the stadium and high-five the fans. … To watch those guys walk around an empty stadium was emotional for me.”

“We were very explosive in the second half on offense. Obviously special teams came up big for us today. The punt return was huge. I thought we played complementary football.”

“I’m proud of those guys, I really am. We’re gonna enjoy this one for a few hours, and then hopefully we’ll find out at some time who we’re playing (next week).”

“We don’t know what Sunday and what next week holds yet, so we’re waiting to hear from that. Hopefully sooner rather than later.”

On what he said to team at halftime:

“I didn’t really kind of say a whole lot to them. I know there’s always, What did you say to them at halftime? … It’s about corrections. It’s getting everybody on the same page … to play cleaner.”

“Typically, a successful play or an unsuccessful play, it’s subtle little things that make the difference.”

“It’s not like I set off fireworks in there or anything like that. But we were able to make some adjustments offensively and defensively.”

“We played more complementary football in the second half than we did in the first.”

On Shane Simmons:

“I’m really of Shane. He’s had a long journey.

“Shane visited me going into his 8th grade year at Vanderbilt. I’ve know the family for a long time. I’m really proud of him. He’s done extremely well in school. He’s been a huge part of our program.”

“Shane did a great job. Got a bunch of reps and played well, was physical.”

“He’s been a great teammate here for the last five years.”

On Jayson Oweh not playing:

“(At Rutgers) He had a play where kind of got banged up, so he was unavailable.”

On holding MSU to a FG after it got first-and-goal at the 4, then going and scoring TD:

“The game could have been different if they score (a TD) right there. The fact that we were able to battle and hold them to three points right there and the offense was able to answer, we were able to chip away at their lead.”

“The problem in the first half defensively, they were getting way too many yards on first and second down.”

On if he knows what he has with this team after a strange year:

“There’s probably some of that. Typically you have a traditional training camp and you learn a little bit about your team. and you play the first couple games of the season and you learn a little bit more about your identity.

“Obviously with the season going the way it went and the decisions that the Big Ten made and then going Big Ten only, with a young football team that we had, very little seniors, and on top of that, the significant losses that we had either before the season started or in week one, things changed quickly how we thought we were gonna play with those guys. You take them out of the equation, we had to play differently.”

“The way this team has stuck together, the way this coaching staff has stuck together (was impressive).”

“I’m proud of them. I’m proud of the entire organization and how we’ve handled tremendous adversity.”

“I’m thankful for the people behind the scenes that have sacrificed so much to make this work.”

On using two QBs:

“We’ve been saying for a while that we’ve got two quarterbacks that we want to use.”

“I’m glad that we through Will today, I think we can do more of that.”

On the fight of the players:

“The resiliency that we have showed, again, I’m proud of them. It’s not something that we’ve experienced or been through. So to find a way to show that type of heart, to show that type of belief and stick together and stay together and battle through, I’m very proud of them.”

“It’s not easy to do. The last three weeks we have found ways to win, which is really what we have done for seven years.”

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