Penn State coach James Franklin doesn’t have a problem with ugly wins.
As with any coach, he’d wouldn’t mind winning and piling up style points along the way.
But Franklin’s made it clear in the past that he knows that, sometimes, teams have to win when they aren’t at their best.
This weekend was a great example.
Penn State was a 32-point favorite against Indiana, and won the game by nine, needing a touchdown in the last two minutes to get the job done. Franklin knows his team wasn’t at its best, and public acknowledged that.
During his weekly post-Wednesday practice session with reporters, Franklin was asked if the Indiana win galvanized the team.
His answer was a long one.
“I guess where we’re different is, and I get it, the fans and the media that cover Penn State football, you’re totally focused on us,” Franklin said. “And I get it. But, there’s just so many examples.”
What are some of those examples?
“I mean, there’s teams that are ranked at number one, number two, number three team in the country, and they struggle to get a win,” he said. “And no one kind of talks about that. But when we struggle to get a win, or it’s not as pretty, then everybody’s, like, overly concerned, in my opinion. It’s a long season. You’re not going to dominate every single week. You got to find ways to win, however you do it. And then you got to learn from the wins and you got to learn from the challenges, and you got to learn from the setbacks and be very honest and transparent with yourself and your team.”
For Franklin, perspective is important.
“Every Sunday, I put up on a PowerPoint slide. I never come in and say it to you guys, because I think if I say those things, it’s going to be looked at as a slight to another program, which I don’t mean it as. But, I think there were three programs this week ranked in the top 17 in the country that lost to unranked opponents. And then when we don’t play as well, people think we should, but still win, I’m not going to get into that. I’m not going to apologize for winning. So I get it, and I get the question.”
Penn State is No. 11 in the country and has won seven of its eight games. James Franklin and his team have another chance to win Saturday at Maryland. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 on Fox.