University Park— Michigan was clearly the better team in its 24-15 win over coach James Franklin and Penn State Saturday afternoon in Happy Valley.
But that doesn’t mean there weren’t some questionable decisions made on Penn State’s end.
The two ones that will be talked about the most— no pun intended— were the two two-point conversion attempts Penn State tried after the only two touchdowns it scored during what turned out to be a depressing afternoon for the home team.
The first touchdown took place with 29 seconds left in the first half.
QB Drew Allar’s 11-yard run made it 14-9 Michigan, and that’s where the first of the two controversial decisions was made.
On the one hand, Penn State had a chance to cut the deficit to a field goal by going for two.
On the other, it was still the first half, and many felt it was too early to be going for two.
It didn’t work for Penn State, and, of course, any risky decision that doesn’t work gets panned.
With 1:59 left in the game, Penn State scored to make it 24-15 Michigan.
Again, it went for two when many thought it shouldn’t, and again, the decision didn’t work.
In his postgame press conference, a reporter asked Franklin about each of the decisions.
Of the first one, he said:
“We were down by four,” Franklin said. “We wanted to put ourself in a position to get it back to a field goal game.”
Franklin said that based on factors such as analytics, the coaching staff thought it was the right thing to do.
Of the second, one, Franklin said it was “for the same reason.”
This is where things got interesting.
“I don’t understand the logic there,” the reporter said. “You make an an eight point game, you keep your team alive.”
“You don’t agree with it,” Franklin responded. “I’m just telling you…”
“I didn’t think the answer had anything to do with the second one,” the reporter said.
“We were trying to get back,” Franklin said. “We’re trying to get points. We felt that points were going to be hard to come by. We wanted to get it back.”
“But there’s two and a half minutes left to go in the game,” the reporter said.
“I answered the question,” James Franklin said.
“I don’t think you did,” the reporter said.
Things ended with Franklin staring the reporter down.
Watch the whole exchange here.