What Penn State head coach James Franklin is saying ahead of Rutgers game
Franklin spoke at his weekly teleconference about knowing when to put Trace McSorley back into the game after an injury and why he doesn't reveal injury information.
On determining when to send Trace McSorley back in the game after an injury
"Trace McSorley has kind of earned the right to tell us what he thinks, when he thinks he can go. It's a balance of what the doctors are telling us, the trainers are telling us, and you look at Trace. We've been in that situation for a long time with Trace. And if he feels like he can go and you think it's the right thing from a health and team perspective, you're going to give him the benefit of the doubt."
On building consistency with freshman kicker Jake Pinegar
"It's like that old expression in golf, and I don't golf, but I've heard people say, 'Let the club do the work.' And it's kind of the same way. When they're kicking an extra point or 45-yard field goal, it should be the same. The distance doesn't really factor in with us for him a whole lot because he's got a very strong leg. It's: Is his plant foot correct? Is his contact on the ball consistent? Is our operation time good? Is he following through? So it's just basic fundamentals of the position. We've got a lot of confidence in him."
On why he doesn't reveal injuries to the media
"If you knew everything what was going on from a medical perspective, I think it would clear some things up for you guys. But I want our guys focused on the next-man-up mentality. I want our guys focused on finding a way to be successful. And I don't want to give what I think is a competitive advantage to teams that we're playing. There's obviously a handful of issues that you guys aren't aware of that factors … into some of the things that show up on Saturdays. But again, I feel strongly that this is the right thing to do for our program."
On succeeding at complimentary football in the 22-10 win over Wisconsin
"It wasn't just our offense being better on third down that dramatically changed the play count. It was our defense getting off the field, complimentary football. We did a better job of that last week managing all those things, winning the important stats. Even though it wasn't a dramatic score when you watched the game, it felt like we were in control for most of the game because of those things."
On defensive coordinator Brent Pry and how he sometimes disdains statistics
"Sometimes you get in a situation where coaches are making decisions based off of stats. They want to be able to say that we have these stats. They want to be able to, on Sunday, whether you won or lost, to focus on these stats. I think we've got a group of men – I think Brent's a great example – that, it's about winning. There are some things and choices and decisions that are made that probably go against stats, go against really strong stats offensive, defensively, special teams. We're making decisions that we think are in the best interests of the team – winning football."