Football

Franklin: OSU Has ‘The Most Valuable Thing We Have On This Earth’

For most fans of Ohio State and Penn State, the week leading up to their Saturday afternoon showdown in the Horseshoe probably feels like it will never end. With the Buckeyes coming off a bye week, the pregame anticipation in Columbus for #2 PSU and #6 OSU is reaching levels normally reserved for mid-level Michigan weeks.

But to Penn State coach James Franklin, that seemingly endless time is a feature, not a bug. Franklin’s team had the benefit of an off-week before they hosted Michigan last Saturday and made the most of it, and he knows Urban Meyer’s staff did the same with their off week.

“I think it helps a lot. There’s no doubt about it,” Franklin said. “You just have more time for everything. More time to recover, more time to get healthy, more time to watch film and plan. It’s valuable. I think it’s probably the most valuable thing we have on this earth is time and a bye week creates that.”

“I do think we handled our bye week good enough that we are still getting some residual effects two weeks later from how we handled the bye week two weeks ago,” Franklin said.

Some of those effects came in the form of a new wildcat package featuring Heisman front-runner Saquon Barkley. That led to a 69-yard touchdown run on the Lions’ first possession of the game, and left Michigan’s previously touted defense in tatters. After that 42-13 win, Franklin said PSU had more tricks in their bag, that they didn’t end up using because the game was so lopsided.

“We had another play that Joe [Moorhead] wanted to call, and I just said I prefer you not, plays that we’ve been running in camp and then each week we kind of go back,” he said last Saturday.

The odds are pretty good that OSU will have to figure out how to stop that mystery play on Saturday. They will also have to deal with a Penn State team that’s not nearly as beaten up coming off the Michigan game as most people probably expected.

Franklin said, “That helped that it wasn’t Iowa where it was this emotional draining and physically draining game all the way up until the last second. So I think that there’s value in that as well.”

That game at Iowa, which Penn State won 21-19 on the last play, was nerve-wracking for the Lions, but Franklin said it may have also prepared them for Saturday.

“I think from our time at Kinnick, which was one of the better venues I’ve been to, they are right on top of you, they are wild, and we know Ohio State’s going to be the same way,” Franklin said. “I do think that there’s value in that we have been on the road in a tough environment. Not only in these guys’ careers but this season.”

6 Responses

  1. LOL, he’s thinks Kinnick is a tough environment. Coach speak or naivete?

  2. Iron sharpens Iron
    Glad Penn St is coming at full strength
    GO BUCKS!

  3. Yea, it seems impossible that the team that nearly lost to Iowa was the same team that blew UM out of Happy Valley. You can bet PSU will have some tricks up their sleeve similar but different from the “deceptive wildcatahsift” that went for 2 TD’s the only time they ran it. This should be one helluva game and lets hope the Bucks are loaded for bear . . . or nittany lion!

    1. Actually, UM was over rated again this year. The Indiana game pretty much showed that PSU would cover the spread (7). So, the Iowa game was just more of the same.

      The best defense is still on hell of an offense. Go Bucks !!

  4. Kinnick is an okay environment, but it isn’t in the same league as the Horseshoe. Penn State is gonna find out on many levels just how un-prepared they are.

    1. I like the talk but we got our butts whooped this year in the aforementioned Horseshoe.

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