Penn State Football.
Mediocrity on the Football Field, all hype off it.
That’s the best way to look at the football program under James Franklin so far.
They have a top-15 recruiting class, top-5 next season and Franklin in James Franklin fashion has been perfect in selling the program to anyone who will listen that it’s only a matter of time before the program returns to prominence.
He’s been the perfect coach off the field in Penn State transitioning out of the Jerry Sandusky PR mess, except on the football field, which is what matters at the end of the day with Penn State no longer tied to sanctions.
The honeymoon isn’t going to last much longer for Franklin following the disaster Penn State was Saturday afternoon in losing to Temple 27-10, the first time Penn State lost to Temple since 1941.
At Penn State you don’t lose to Temple.
Some higher-up’s at Penn State are starting to wonder whether Franklin can actually coach. From Day 1 everyone in the building knew Bill O’Brien was a hell of a coach.
As for Franklin……
“Bill rubbed people the wrong way but he was a hell of a coach and you didn’t have to be around every day to see it,” a Penn State insider said.
Among the power-5 conferences, Penn State had one of the worst offenses in college football last season. It lacked any type of tempo, creativity or explosiveness. Saturday afternoon it was the same exact bland offense vs Temple.
Penn State managed just 10 points and 180 yards of offense in Saturday’s loss.
Christian Hackenberg had a nightmare performance, going 11/25 for 103 yards and 1 interception. Hackenberg was sacked 10 times and finished with a 3.2 QBR.
The Nittany Lions were 2-13 on third down and had just three explosive plays of over 25 yards in the loss. One of them a Christian Hackenberg 30 yard pass to Chris Godwin at garbage time.
After months of preparing for Temple, how could the Penn State offense be this bad and again so predictable which plagued them all season in year one with Franklin?
One former college assistant coach I spoke with today who now works for an NFL team as a college scout in the Northeastern Region, wasn’t surprised by what he saw when reviewing the Penn State tape.
“It’s one of the more generic offenses I’ve seen in a long time,” the NFL scout said via phone. “The formations are predictable and what happened when they got to Big Ten play [last season], I saw some of the same stuff Saturday [vs Temple]. The whole offense is reliant on pre-snap reads. Temple knew what was coming and you could see it with the [defensive] linemen shuffling around [pre-snap]. [Matt] Rhule had his boys prepared and can’t imagine they were surprised by anything they saw from Penn State’s scheme.”
The Nittany Lions offensive line was a mess in 2014 and it was more of the same in week 1, though, Christian Hackenberg’s inability to buy time and adjust to how Temple attacked him was another red flag Saturday for those who see Hackenberg as a high first round pick.
That’s been the tape on Hackenberg for over a year now — he’s not good at reading different schemes and isn’t very mobile — but more coaches, evaluators I hear from are putting the blame on the coaching staff not finding a scheme to combat the continued issues this offense has under Hackenberg.
“Hack is no better reading zone-blitzes then he was in 2013. Some of that is on him. But, you know what’s different?
“Bill [O’Brien] knew how to Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"