James Franklin says Penn State needs to develop 'finisher's mentality'

  • Pennsylvania State University
  • 03/11/2017
James Franklin says Penn State needs to develop 'finisher's mentality'
The physical grind of Big Ten play will wear on every team, not just Penn State, Franklin pointed out.

One month later, No. 24 Michigan State (6-2, 4-1 Big Ten) is once again the underdog (-7.5) against the No. 7 team in the nation as it will host Penn State (7-1, 4-1) on Saturday (Noon, FOX) in East Lansing. Although the Big Ten has been a top-heavy conference recently with Ohio State and Maryland, the rest of the conference is looking to challenge that narrative this upcoming season.

Coach James Franklin, in his weekly press conference Tuesday, said Sunday was a good day in that regard.

The players held a players-only meeting Sunday, reportedly called jointly by Jason Cabinda, Trace McSorley and Saquon Barkley.

While Penn State will need a lot of help to jump back into the playoff discussion, there are winnable games left on the schedule against solid competition that could help strengthen the Lions' resume for the committee.

And Penn State coach Franklin may face a hard task in getting his defense prepped for a grinding Michigan State offense.

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Penn State's @saquonb21 has been named a 2017 #MaxwellAward semifinalist. That has raised Ohio State's season average to 46.3 ppg which is the second best in the country. Georgia's Jake Fromm only completed four-of-seven passes for 101 yards, as it was the running game that put Florida away with four of the Bulldog's six touchdowns coming from the ground. Penn State's defeat was even more of a heartbreaker as Ohio State scored a pair of touchdowns in the final five minutes against the then-No. It was the fourth passing touchdown of the game for Barrett.

You expect rivalry games to be close, but that wasn't the case in Athens as Georgia controlled the entire game against Florida, leading to a 42-7 victory.

Michigan State would hurt their big bowl aspirations severely with a loss on Saturday, but them beating Penn State doesn't seem likely because they don't have the firepower to scare the Nittany Lions on offense.

Last season, Louisville quarterback and Heisman victor Lamar Jackson won the award. I would not want to face this man following a loss.

Career High DayPenn State safety Troy Apke posted a career-high eight tackles at Ohio State, halting several potentially big Buckeye plays that didn't necessarily show up on the stat sheet, especially near the end of the first quarter. Michigan State loves to establish the run to setup their passing game and the onus will be on Cabinda and Marcus Allen to shut down the running game early to allow Penn State's pass rush to get after Lewerke.

That came when the Spartans, then unranked and 13-point underdogs, upset then-No.
  
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