What Penn State coach James Franklin is saying ahead of their game against Indiana
At his weekly teleconference, Franklin talked about the Nittany Lions' passing game, their need to create more turnovers and the focus they will need at Indiana.
On being focused on the road:
"Away game, home game, whatever it is, we've just got to make sure that we don't lose our focus and we're making sure that our guys are concentrating on the things that truly matter, which is us and our execution and our passion and our fundamentals and techniques and our execution of the assignments. That's what we need to focus on, not where the game is played, not who the opponent is. It's about us."
On reasons for Trace McSorley's 54 percent completion rate:
"It's too many drops, not enough detail in the routes and execution, protection a little bit longer so he can be a little more comfortable in the pocket more consistently. I think it's a little bit of all those things. I think what happens is early in the game, if he gets in a situation where he's expecting one route to be run and they don't (run it), it gives him hesitation. He's got to have a one-play mindset where that may have happened earlier in the game, but you've got to trust it's going to happen (correctly) the next play."
On the need to create more turnovers:
"(Michigan State) had four fumbles that we didn't get, and a couple of interceptions (that were dropped). We get a few more of those turnovers, the game is completely different than the way it played out. So that's the area where we have to get better, the turnovers. We have to get more turnovers when we have opportunities to make those plays. I think we all realize we've got to make more of those."
On young receivers learning the college game:
"Running routes in high school when you're very rarely going against another Division I athlete. You may see one, maybe two, or on a crazy week maybe three coverages. Then it's how those coverages affect your routes. So now not only do you have to be able to beat the defender over you physically, but then you also have to know all the nuances in terms of how the routes get adjusted based on certain coverage or pressure or blitz or those types of things."
On having fewer veteran leaders than last year:
"We have a younger team. There are less of those guys that have been through this type of adversity before, but the ones that we do have, I think, have really strong voices and are culture drivers for us and have been really good. But does it strain those guys? Yeah, because there's less of them, there's no doubt about it. They have been through the challenges before and we have to push our way through it."