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College Football Handicapping: Penn State still trying to figure out who it wants to be

09.14.2016     09:12 AM     Printer Friendly

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Interesting quotes coming out of State College in regards to Penn State's offense. Head coach James Franklin probably likes concept of playing "up-tempo" but there are already signs he's not 100 percent on board. Franklin stated that there are certain offensive plays that he will need to "sign off on." This despite the fact that he went out and hired a highly regarded FCS offensive coordinator noted for playing at a fast clip.


"Tempo is based on what we're anticipating from the defense, what we've seen on film, that we can get up and run our tempo where we just get up and snap the ball," he said. "We have the check-with-me plays. So a lot of it has to deal with, based on our game plan and what we've seen on film, do we feel like we have plays that we can call and get up and run in a quick tempo?"



Franklin also said that the team's tempo will be based on the opponent. 


"So we're going to have some weeks where we go really, really fast," Franklin said. "We're going to have other weeks where we're going to have to slow it down. It's all based on what Joe needs to get us in the best play possible for our quarterbacks. That's going to vary week to week based on who we play."



Meanwhile, quarterback Trace McSorley appears gung-ho about the idea of the team playing faster.


"Obviously, there's always room for us to go faster," he said, "always room for us to get lined up and get the play calls, stuff like that, going fast. That's something we're going to keep trying to push. That's going to help us. The faster we go, the better it will be for us."



This is a fascinating situation. As we know, Penn State's offense last season was horrific (23.2 ppg) so bringing in a new OC was the logical move. The problem is, Franklin, like a lot of head coaches, is a control freak. His success at Vandy was entirely based on playing stout defense and ball control offense. Not to mention, Franklin is in no position to be too experimental considering he's in a critical third year and has lost five straight games against FBS competition dating back to last season. Switching from passive to aggressive on offense often comes with a price; it takes time to figure things out and also puts the defense in the difficult position of having to defend against extra possessions. It'll be interesting to see how this pans out, especially if the Nittany Lions can't get past a Temple squad that won last year's meeting 27-10.

Tags: College Football Penn State Nittany Lions Big Ten




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