What James Franklin said at halftime vs. Northwestern
James Franklin’s Penn State program is on the road, facing Northwestern is the second road game of the year for the Nittany Lions. That game is tied up coming out of halftime, but Penn State has looked similarly sluggish to when the team faced Illinois on the road.
Despite the slow start, Franklin did not sound too worried heading into halftime. He noted the fumble on the opening kickoff was not ideal but also said the Nittany Lions will be fine if they focus on efficiency.
“We just gotta be more efficient on first and second down and then we’ve got to convert on third down obviously,” said Franklin. “The kickoff return to start the game wasn’t ideal as well but we’ll handle our business, we’ll be good in the second half.”
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Asked about his defensive performance, Franklin noted Penn State has done a good job of disrupting Northwestern’s schedule offensively. That will be a key for the second half.
“Getting them off schedule. I think they’re having a hard time protecting against our guys,” Franklin explained. “We’ve got to get them off schedule on first and second down.”
With the offense struggling, Penn State’s defense has allowed just 59 total yards of offense and 5 first downs. The majority of Northwestern’s yardage came on the only touchdown drive by the Wildcats with 4 of Northwestern’s 6 first-half possessions producing negative yardage.