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‘Mad Dog’ Sounds off on Penn State: Franklin ‘Incredibly Overrated,’ Allar ‘Deer in Headlights’ in OSU Loss

Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin November 12, 2022 David Hague/NSN

Add Chris “Mad Dog” Russo to the list of Penn State football’s critics. 

On Wednesday’s episode of First Take, Russo said he felt Penn State’s performance in its 20-12 loss at Ohio State Saturday was “a disgrace.”

That was hardly all he said. 

“That coach is incredibly overrated,” Russo said. “James Franklin. “They never beat a halfway decent team. They were inept offensively against the Buckeyes on Saturday in Columbus.”

PSU QB Drew Allar went 18-for-42 for 191 yards. Russo wasn’t impressed. 

“That quarterback, who everybody tells me, Allar, oh, he’s going to be a No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft next year. No, he’s not,” Russo said, now raising his voice. “He was a deer in headlights. They were so bad. Did anybody see that?”

For what it’s worth, Allar won’t be eligible for the NFL Draft until after the 2024 season.

Russo went on to say that Ohio State’s defense “wasn’t the ’85 bears. 

“The idea that somehow, some way, this Buckeye defense is incredible. That is not true,” Russo said, again raising his voice. “You can move the football against the Ohio State team.”

For as disappointing as Saturday was for Penn State, even many of the team’s critics acknowledged that the defense pleased well.

But Russo didn’t seem impressed with how coordinator Manny Diaz’s unit played in Columbus, either. 

“Then, of course, on defense, Penn State has one job: Stop Marvin Harrison,” Russo said. “So what does Harrison do? He gets 11 catches for 169!”

Russo tied everything together by ripping Franklin.

“You know what his record is against these top 10 teams?” Russo said. “It’s a disgrace. This is Penn State. It’s a disgrace. He can’t beat a top 25 team. He can’t beat Michigan. He can’t beat Ohio State. Even (Jim) Harbaugh doesn’t have to look at the freaking film and he beats Penn State.”

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