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Penn State’s James Franklin takes issue with question about offense: ‘My skin is curling’


Penn State entered the seventh week of the college football season undefeated and ready to take on UMass as the No. 6 ranked team in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll.

Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin prepares meticulously for anything opposing offenses and defenses throw at him on the football field. On Tuesday, however, it did not appear that Franklin was ready for the question he received during his media availability.

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James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions is seen during the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 16, 2023 in Champaign, Illinois. (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Franklin was asked whether he considered having quarterback Drew Allar take a shot deep to get more comfortable with those scenarios instead of checking the ball down to make a safer play.

“I don’t really understand what you’re saying because we would never, like my skin is curling when you say just drop back and chuck it deep no matter what,” Franklin said. “That is like, I don’t even know what you’re saying. Like, you’re speaking from Mars.”

The reporter clarified by asking whether Franklin would give a receiver a chance to make a play on the ball even if he “might be covered 30 yards down the field maybe you think he’d be open 45 yards down the field” like other wide receivers from Penn State’s past have done.

Drew Allar throws

Drew Allar, #15 of the Penn State Nittany Lions, throws a pass against the Northwestern Wildcats during the first half at Ryan Field on Sept. 30, 2023 in Evanston, Illinois. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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“Like you’re speaking Japanese. We have never done that. Just throw the ball up and maybe he’ll be open and maybe he’ll catch it,” Franklin explained. “You’re making me uncomfortable. I don’t know what you’re talking about. So yeah, we would not do that.

“We’ve never thought about doing that — as a head coach, as an offensive coordinator, as a receivers coach. When I coached the receivers I didn’t want them to do that. So no. No. Strong no.”

Penn State is 5-0 this season. Allar has 1,092 passing yards and nine touchdown passes this season.

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James Franklin vs Penn State

James Franklin celebrates with players after a touchdown against the Delaware Fightin Blue Hens during the first half at Beaver Stadium on Sept. 9, 2023 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Keandre Lambert-Smith leads Penn State with 25 catches for 372 yards and three touchdowns. Tyler Warren has 14 catches for 115 yards and four touchdowns.



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