James Franklin discusses goals of Penn State spring game, where Sean Clifford can improve
On Saturday, Penn State will round out its 15-practice slate with the annual spring game. It’s one last opportunity for the Nittany Lions to address some things before summer and fall camp.
Entering his ninth year with the program, James Franklin is hoping to see a few things at this weekend’s spring game, set for 2 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network. One is a larger priority than others, though.
“No. 1, it’s always to stay healthy,” Franklin said while joining BTN’s B1G Today. “On top of that, having an opportunity to continue to evaluate our roster. The quarterback position, the running back position, a bunch of our young linebackers need some reps.
“We want to go into the offseason with a good idea of where we’re at.”
Penn State is coming off a 7-6 campaign in 2021, primarily facing some struggles on offense. The Nittany Lions had a hard time finding success in the rushing attack, something that has been a focal point this spring.
But another area of improvement comes at the quarterback position. Franklin wants to see returning starter Sean Clifford show a little more consistency heading into 2022.
“Eliminate the 3 or 4 plays per game … whether it’s a poor decision, whether it’s a turnover, whatever it might be,” Franklin said. “Sean, with his experience, is in the best position to do that.”
Clifford ended last season throwing for 3,107 yards and 21 touchdowns with 8 interceptions. He also rushed for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns for the Nittany Lions.
Having a more reliable running game would obviously help Clifford moving forward. A big focus for Penn State is to see improvement on the offensive line so it can have a more effective rushing attack than the one that ranked 118th nationally a season ago.