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PSU HC Franklin Discusses Plan for Bye Week

Penn State’s bye week is coming up, and last year, Penn State lost its first two games coming out of the bye, including a 9OT embarrassment to Illinois at Beaver Stadium. 

Next week will be different from what Penn State typically does.

Usually, coach James Franklin uses the bye to focus on recruiting while still focusing on the goals ahead for the season. 

But this year, Franklin and the rest of Penn State’s coaching staff will focus more on its upcoming opponents than in recent years.

It’s tricky to balance trying to find future Nittany Lions while running the current Penn State team.

“We don’t typically ever go out recruiting accept on Friday,” Franklin said at his post-practice media availability Wednesday. “For the head coach at that point, and really, for pretty much everybody, the plan is set at that point. Obviously, we have our routine at the hotel that we stick with, but it still allows me to go out.

“What you’re really trying to do, always, and that’s what, I think, makes it so challenging is, at the same time you’re trying to get your team prepared, you better be prepared for the future, or you’re going to fall behind. You have to try to be able to balance.”

Franklin said the bye week is a time to do “three things.”

“You’re trying to get as fresh as you possibly can,” Franklin said, “you’re trying to get a head start on at least your next opponent, possibly next couple of opponents, especially with the stretch that we have, and make sure that you’re able to take advantage of those extra days.”

Franklin said the team would have a “jog-through type practice” Thursday, October 6, nine days before the team’s Week 7 showdown at Michigan.

“We’re going to have an extra day of practice,” Franklin said. “We have, typically on the Thursday (of the bye week), gone just a non-travel squad practice. We’re going to have a full practice. Not anything heavy.”

“But we’re going to get a head start on our opponent as well, so we’ll see how that thing plays out.”

Franklin knows certain people will criticize practically everything he does, and that’s just something that comes with the job. 

“The same people that would be saying that I need to be in are the same people that would be critiquing when the next recruiting class isn’t what they think it should be,” he said. “So whatever doesn’t go the way everybody feels like it should, you’re going to get criticized. You make the best decisions you can in terms of building the program, and I think we have pretty good experience.” 

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