Penn State Nittany Lions 2023 Football Preview: James Franklin talks to Media about his always-tough-to-beat team

James Franklin Penn State head coach 2019 photo. By Noah Riffe – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https

James Franklin Penn State HC 2023 Big Ten Football Media Days July 2023.mp3


*They have not won a Big Ten East title since 2016.

*On paper, this looks like Coach Franklin’s best teams.

*They have to replace a 4-year starter at QB in Sean Clifford, who is now in the NFL with Green Bay.

*Penn State wants to be in the CFP hunt, but in order for that to happen, they have to beat every team in the Big Ten East and win the Conference Championship.

*Beating both Ohio State and Michigan has been a tough chore. Losing to both in five of nine of Franklin’s season’s as head coach.

*Penn State is always talented but not always tough. Although, down the latter part of the 2022 season, they were about to tough out some wins.

*They will have to replace two players in the secondary who are in the NFL as we write, Joey Porter, Jr. and Ji’Ayir Brown.

*The Nittany Lions have incumbents back at punter and place kicker but Franklin still brought in both positions from the transfer portal. Punter Riley Thompson came in from Florida Atlantic where he averaged 45.4 yards a punt. And PK Alex Felkins from Columbia, who was a modest 11 of 16 on field goals.

*DC Manny Diaz is a wizard when it comes to mixing defenses and his high-pressure approach sat well with his players who adapted really well. They have added to the returnees with some more talent to keep it going.

*OLB Abdul Carter, as a true freshman, excelled with 10.5 TFL’s and a team high 6.5 sacks.

Abdul Carter

*Penn State media members though for sure that Carter’s running mate at LB, Curtis Jacobs was going to the NFL but he did not. He is a playmaker as well and having him back, the defense will be great again.

*The secondary still has CB’s Kalen King and Johnny Dixon.

*DT is a concern with a lack of size and manpower, but on the ends, the Nittany Lions have Adisa Isaac and Chop Robinson.

*On offense, the running game got a rival in true freshman Nicholas Singelton and Kaytron Allen. Both combined for 22 TD’s and a whopping 1,928 yards.

*The offensive line is veteran and should be even better.

*The concern on offense is the QB where Drew Allar with only 10-games played, is back.

*WR is a concern as their is no depth and they have a new position coach there. They did bring in two good ones from the transfer portal: Malik McClain from Florida State and Dante Cephus from Kent State.

*The Nittany Lions non-conference games with be September 2 West Virginia, September 9 Delaware and October 14 against improved UMass.

James Franklin at 2023 Big Ten Football Media Days ( photo)