UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State Football heads out on the road this week, traveling to Indiana to take on the Hoosiers Saturday.
The Nittany Lions (7-2, 5-1) and the Hoosiers (5-4, 3-3) are set to meet for the 20th time in program history, in a noon kick set to broadcast live on ABC or ESPN2.
As he does every week, Franklin met with members of the media Tuesday afternoon to take one final look at the Iowa victory before diving in to Indiana.
Among a wealth of positive takeaways from the 41-14 win against the Hawkeyes last week, Franklin noted that turnovers have really been a critical key to success this season, not only related to taking care of the ball, but also excellent decision making in the passing game.
Quarterback Trace McSorley also echoed the importance of maintaining the advantage in the turnover margin this week, noting that a large part of the improvement has simply come from the ability to avoid putting the ball in jeopardy without forcing anything the passing game.
Franklin noted that increased depth among the wide receiver group has significantly attributed to McSorley's ability to target multiple receivers with ease, with the result showing in the form of McSorley's 14-3 touchdown to interception ratio on the year.
Another area where Franklin stressed that increased depth has led to positive production, is among the defensive line. Franklin stressed that he's particularly impressed with the maturity of the front seven, including the physicality of the defensive line.
This week the whole defensive line earned the coaching staff's defensive player of the week honor. Against Iowa, the unit combined for three sacks and four tackles for loss, limiting Iowa to 30 yards on the ground.
Looking toward Indiana, Franklin pointed out that the Nittany Lions would have to focus on defending the Hoosiers' strong passing attack, with an emphasis on eliminating deep long yardage plays.
"You look at how they have been built over the last couple years and they are kind of different this year compared to the two previous years, and I think a lot of that has to do with the running game, the running backs that they have had, and also the new quarterback and what they have at the wide receiver position," Franklin said.
On The Quote Board -
- Franklin on the impact and role Paris Palmer has played on the team since he arrived at Penn State.
"He's just a neat guy. He's what college athletics are all about, guys from all different backgrounds coming and learning from each other and learning from Penn State and this community. I'm really proud of him and I'm obviously glad that he's playing well, as well."
- Trace McSorley on where he's seen the most growth in his ability to make split-second decisions as a quarterback.
"Our preparation has stepped up each and every week. What we did the week before isn't going to be good enough this next week. That's something we've really taken ahold of as an offensive unit and continued to progress on a lot, and I think that's a big part of being able to anticipate things and being more confident and seeing things better because we are preparing that much better during the week."
- James Franklin on how the locker room is set up to encourage the entire team to get to know each other on a more personal level outside of the traditional position groups or class standing.
"We break it up by position, wide receiver next to a DB next to a kicker next to a quarterback. The whole locker room is broken up like that, old guys, young guys and we change it every single year. People become very territorial of their little space in the locker room and we change it every year because we want to force guys to continue to get to know each other and grow."
- Marcus Allen on his thoughts about the College Football Playoff rankings."That's something special to us, but we're so focused on the next game that we don't really have our mind wrapped around it that much. This is more, I go on my phone and go look at film and look at Indiana and stuff. Like yesterday, that's all I was doing, looking at Indiana."