PARK, Pa. - Penn State head coach James Franklin and linebacker Jason Cabinda
highlighted the Nittany Lion weekly press conference this afternoon at Beaver
Preparations are well underway for a second consecutive road trip, as Penn State travels to Michigan State for a noon matchup Saturday.
Since touching down in Happy Valley last weekend, the Nittany Lions have remained confidently focused and positive approaching the upcoming outing against the Spartans.
"I could not have more confidence in our players," Franklin said. "They had a player-only meeting on their own on Sunday. Sometimes I have a hand in those. I did not have a hand in this one. It was not a long meeting at all. The feedback I got, it was really good. Some things I think they just wanted to get off their chest."
Among the Nittany Lions responsible for the players only meeting, was Cabinda, who texted with quarterback Trace McSorley and running back Saquon Barkley. Together, they decided to call the meeting to reiterate the mindset headed into Michigan State week.
"We just felt like there were just some things we had to get off our chest," Cabinda said. "Making sure the mentality of the team was the same. Be sure that we were [all] still taking the same approach. Knowing there's a ton of football left and a lot still left to be accomplished. We kind of just reiterating those things really."
For Cabinda, his confidence was reassured knowing that at this point, there really wasn't much convincing that anyone in the room needed when it comes to keeping the confidence alive.
"I know the kind of kids we have, the kind of guys we have in that locker room," Cabinda said. "It was really to reiterate and make sure the mentality was set. Get anyone who was doubting that and make sure we are all pulling the rope in the same direction, which we are."
On The Quote Board
- Franklin on how the team and staff handled Sunday's practice following the loss at Ohio State.
"We were able to learn from it, grow. We got a resilient group of guys with tremendous character and heart and belief in themselves and belief in what we're doing. We'll have a great week of practice and go play a tough opponent on the road."
- Cabinda on his experiences keeping confidence after a loss.
"I think the best thing about this team is we're very aware of what we're capable of. We're very aware of our potential and how good we can be. I think that's the reason we're not really losing any confidence. I think it's more feeling as though we just didn't play our best football. It's more disappointing really than anything."
- Franklin on Troy Apke following a career performance at Ohio State.
"I'm really pleased with Troy and his development. He's been a great teammate. He's kind of earned his role and worked up the ladder in terms of his role on special teams, on defense, now as a starter, a leader. He's very well-respected. The coaches trust him. He's making the plays that he's supposed to make from a force perspective in terms of tackling in the run game. He's making plays in the passing game from a coverage, pass breakup from an interception perspective. I couldn't be any more pleased with Troy."
- Cabinda on the strengths of defensive tackle Kevin Givens.
"To me, it's his leverage. If I had to compare him to a player, he is kind of like an Aaron Donald. He just plays with leverage. He gets low, he's strong and twitchy. He comes off the ball and drives people back. He lives in the backfield. He's always in the backfield, creating a new line of scrimmage. That's why he's so effective both inside and outside."
- Franklin on the positives following the loss at Ohio State in his opening statement
"Offensively we were able to score 31 points. Didn't turn the ball over at all. That's been one of our real secrets to success this year. We're plus 14 in turnover ratio, that's number two in all of college football."
- Cabinda on improving the way the Nittany Lions handle momentum shifts in the game, especially defensively.
"Those situations, sudden change, whether it's an interception, a blocked kick, some type of turnover on downs or any unfortunate situation. A lot of times you're put in bad field position and are asked to make a stand. We need to make that stand. It's as simple as that."