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James Franklin Defends Late Score, Believes Players Deserve Chance to Compete



Penn State HC James Franklin

We heard from fans of both schools. We heard from WVU head coach Neal Brown. But it was time we finally heard from Penn State’s James Franklin.

After avoiding questions about scoring in the final seconds of a game already well in hand during his postgame interview, Franklin was asked about the controversy sparked by that decision on Tuesday.

Franklin, who already knew what Brown thinks of it, was ready to explain his reasoning.”I wouldn’t have done it, but it doesn’t bother me,” said Brown initially. He then followed that up with what made people believe he didn’t appreciate the move in all reality. 

“Stuff like that comes back around,” said Brown.

WVU HC Neal Brown on Penn State’s Last TD: ‘Stuff Like That Comes Back Around’

But no matter what Brown may say or think, Franklin isn’t about to apologize.

“I believe that my responsibility in those types of situations is to get my 2s in the game,” Franklin said to defend the call. “And I think once those 2s get in the game, then they deserve the right and the chance to play and compete. That’s what I believe. I believe that from the (opening) kick to the last whistle, you compete and you play. 

“Now, if you leave your 1s in, that’s a different story. Then you should change how you plan. And you take knees and you run in situations that normally would run in, that’s different.”

Franklin then pointed out that Penn State’s backups, including QB Beau Pribula, who ran in for his first college touchdown with six seconds left, “get a limited amount of reps.”

“They should have a chance to compete,” Franklin said. “And I believe that not just from a Penn State perspective if we’re ever in (West Virginia’s) situation, I see it the same way. This isn’t me looking at it just from our view. I have a bunch of other things I could say, but I’m just going to leave it at that.”

Franklin added that getting Pribula in there against a majority of West Virginia’s starters was beneficial for the second-year player’s development.

“I think Beau being in there and being able to run the offense, they went to Cover 0, which is hard to run when you go cover 0, they should have the ability to check, draw a Cover 0 plan and have a chance to execute a play that has a chance to be successful against Cover 0 and then should have a chance to score. So I’m comfortable with that.” 


What do you think? Has your opinion changed at all based on what Franklin had to say?

Poll: Was Penn State Right to Score on Last Play Against WVU?

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