Practice Report: Pitt Week

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State head coach James Franklin met with members of the media Wednesday evening at the Lasch Football Building, joined by defensive lineman Ryan Buchholz for a final preview before Saturday's Pitt matchup.

The Nittany Lions and the Panthers are set for a 3:30 p.m. matchup live on ABC. Check out a few updates from the media sessions as game day prep progresses in Happy Valley.


Business-Like Approach
Franklin noted that the Nittany Lions have entered week two with a business-like approach, demonstrating focus in the early part of the week. Although he'd like to see a bit of an increase in energy, it's not something holding the team back on film. 

"We're very focused, we're very locked in, very business-like," Franklin said. "I thought today was better. I thought there was more energy, there was more juice, more emotion."

McGovern's Progress
Franklin is pleased with the progress Connor McGovern has made since he arrived on campus, not only as it relates to growing into his role at center, but his approach to putting on smart weight too. 

"He's more confident, he understands defenses more," Franklin said. "In high school you don't really see a whole lot, especially the type of offense that he ran. I think that his biggest improvement is in pass protection, he probably did it more in one game here than in his entire high school career." 

Buchholz: He reminds me a lot of Carl Nassib
Penn State true freshman defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos has been impressing the Nittany Lion staff since he arrived on campus, even seeing his first collegiate action in the Akron opener. For Buchholz, it's the mental aspect of Gross-Matos' progress that has him impressed. 

"I would say it's more mental than physical, but he has done as good as you can as a true freshman," Buchholz said. "He has the physical characteristics obviously, he's huge, he reminds me a lot of Carl Nassib to be honest. He's starting to get everything down and starting to get it."


Week One Takeaways
For Buccholz his week one takeaways focused on the entire Nittany Lion defense, as he noted Penn State's play-making ability as a key week one factor in the win. 

"From the d-backs to the d-line, we all came off the ball fast and made plays," Buccholz said. "A bunch of times a play would go the other way and I'd see Cam Brown or Manny [Bowen] chase it down and make a big TFL so the whole defense as a group was running to the ball and making plays."

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