STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WHTM) – The big game is here, and James Franklin spoke about what his team’s focus will be when Penn State faces Michigan this Saturday, Nov. 11.
“We got to make sure that we don’t lose patience,” Franklin said. “There will be times where punting may be the best option. We just got to manage this game, and when the opportunities present themselves, we got to take advantage of it. I think patience is going to be critical.”
Franklin believes patience is key against the Wolverines because it will likely be a close game.
“I mean, could this game turn out to be a game where there are multiple touchdowns scored on both sides and it comes down to a one-possession game and more of a shootout? Yes. Is it more likely to come down to a low-scoring game and a battle and a one-possession game and four-minute, two-minute type situations at the end? Probably most likely.”
Franklin predicts the matchup will be heavily physical.
“It’ll be an interesting chess match for four quarters,” Franklin said. “Going to be a physical game. Yeah, it’s going to be a physical game up front. I don’t think there is any doubt about that.”
Franklin spoke on how Penn State has evolved since last year’s loss to Michigan, specifically highlighting the Nittany Lions’ change in run defense.
“I think we have been much more disciplined and consistent in gap responsibility,” Franklin said. “There have been times where we have tried to make plays and get out of our gap, and against good teams, the ball will find the open gap.”
Franklin also noted that Penn State is bigger this year, which has helped them.
“We’re a little bit bigger across the front, specifically the D-line,” Franklin said. “Not to the point where it’s affected our ability to move. I think that’s a big part of what we do as well, is our movements and our gaps.”
Franklin acknowledges even with their improvements Michigan will be a tough opponent.
“It’s going to be a big boy game,” Franklin said. “I don’t think there is any doubt about that.”