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James Franklin postgame comments: Defense makes ‘significant stop’ for second week in a row

James Franklin’s postgame comments:

“The weather conditions were significant in the game, went into a lot of the decision making, not only during the game but pregame.”

“Our defense played extremely well now two weeks in a row, especially in short-yardage situations.”

“We’ve gone back to being one of the more disciplined teams in the country when it comes to penalties.”

“Surprisingly we won the explosive play battle.”

“The biggest thing in that game was the fronts, our offensive line and our defensive line. That offense had been able to move the ball and score points on everybody, and our defense was able to play at a really high level.”

“A lot of good things to build on, especially on the defensive side of the ball, especially in the running game.”

“Most importantly we’re 1-0 this week on the road. We’re gonna enjoy this trip back to Happy Valley.”

On 4th down stops by defense:

“It’s really been two weeks in a row, third-and-short stops, fourth-and-short stops.”

“I thought we did a really good job of playing the box, of making sure that our front seven handle the box and that our perimeter players handle the speed sweeps.”

“That’s two weeks in a row in critical times our defense was able to make significant stops.”

On Levis running so much with no throws:

“We’ve got to mix some passes in, there’s no doubt about it. But on the same hand, like I mentioned, the weather was significant today.”

“There’s no doubt about it we have to mix some passes in there in the game to make sure they respect it.”

On going for it 4th and 13 early

“We weren’t even close to being field ind goal range.”

Said there was lots of wind

“We were kind of in no-man’s land. We were arguably too close to punt, too far from a Field goal.”

On defense making strides:

“We’ve gotten back to playing how we’ve played for six years, which is making sure to limit explosive plays, make people earn it.”

“I think a lot of it deals with our defensive line and our front being explosive and being able to handle the run and get penetration.”

“Overall it’s hard to argue with what we’ve done the last two weeks, specifically on the defensive side of the ball.”

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On not letting Levis throw:

“It’s primarily been a short-yardage offense that we’ve been using to run the ball.”

“We would like to mix some things in there, there’s no doubt.”

On fundamental play up to now and COVID preparation:

“Our focus from the very beginning with our administration and with our medical people and me to the players and the parents was to keep everybody safe and healthy. That was priority No. 1, and it was going to be very challenging.”

“We did take a very internal conservative approach.”

“I’m very proud of how we have handled COVID — knock on wood — up to this point.”

“Me and my wife talked about this: At the end of the day that’s really the most important thing. Our responsibility is to keep our student-athletes safe and healthy, and we’ve worked really hard at that.”

“Has there been some impacts of that on other areas and other things? Yes. Yes.”

On Sean Clifford performance

“Early on in the first half he played really well. Obviously the turnovers, we can’t have.”

“When Sean missed today he missed high, which puts you in jeopardy of tipped passes.”

“We’ve got to do it consistently. And we’ve got to get all those in-breaking balls down on your body so you’ve got a chance to (catch it) and not put you at risk.”

On turnovers:

“When it comes to the fumbles it’s ball security, it’s technique, it’s fundamentals, it’s understanding that people are going for the ball. We’ve done a really good job of that over seven years, but it’s been an issue for us this year. It’s had the biggest impact on our season, the turnovers, I don’t think there’s any doubt about it.”

On throwing more deep balls:

“We took the one shot down the sideline to Jahan, which first of all I thought he had caught it, and number two, I can’t imagine that there wasn’t contact on that play. but we’ve got to do more of that. We’ve got to built the confidence in practice and in games to do that more.”

“At the end of the day we’ve got to be able to push the ball down the field. … We’ve got to be more explosive when it comes to the passing game.”

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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