STATE COLLEGE, P.a. (WHTM) — A head coach is only as strong as his staff and in that case James Franklin is in luck.

The Nittany Lions have great minds on both sides of the ball that have Penn State looking like one of the most well rounded teams in football.

“Coach Franklin has a system in place to where we compete regularly and that is really edgy throughout the week which is good,” Penn State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said. “But when Saturdays and the ball is kicked off, each side of the ball has each other’s back.”

And it shows. Penn State is playing some of the best complementary football in the country, with the nation’s number one defense and a versatile offense keeping them off the field. The Nittany Lions lead the nation in time of possession.

“We are playing less snaps,” Penn State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said. “Our offense has had a big help in that with the way that they possess the football, and ideally that just keeps us fresher for the second half of the season.”

Between the two of them, Manny Diaz and Mike Yurcich have a combined 49 years of college coaching experience.

“Manny’s an unbelievable coach,” Yurcich said. “He’s been a head coach so he provides a lot of different perspective from that regard so I think he sees things much differently because of that experience.”

So far so good for Franklin’s top lieutenants in 2023. If they can maintain this balanced approach, they can hang with anyone in the country.