Franklin says tough Week 1 matchup is ‘good for college football’

Nittany Nation

STATE COLLEGE, PA – DECEMBER 19: Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions reacts to a play against the Illinois Fighting Illini during the first half at Beaver Stadium on December 19, 2020 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTAJ) – Penn State head football coach James Franklin spoke at Day 1 of Big Ten Media Day in Indianapolis.

In a fifteen-minute podium session, Franklin discussed a variety of topics, ranging from scheduling changes to COVID-19 to NIL rules.

Franklin, who is entering his eighth season at Penn State, called the first game of the season at Wisconsin “good for college football,” acknowledging the heightened urgency in the Week 1 matchup.

He said the team has a countdown in the facilities and is looking forward to heading to Madison. He also said this season’s schedule against marquee opponents, like Auburn, is good for college football as a whole.

Franklin says the running back and tight end rooms are some of the most experienced in the country, and expects a “classic” Penn State style under new offensive coordinate Mike Yurcich.

Defensively, Franklin is pleased with the consistency. He called the secondary the best in his time at Penn State.

Franklin enters the 2021-2022 season with a 60-28 overall record (38-23 in the Big Ten.) Coming off the turbulent 2020-2021 season that was highlighted by COVID-19, Franklin said he was proud of the way Penn State handled the virus last season. He took pride in his personal mask-wearing, especially since his daughter is immunocompromised and the family has been apart.

“I just reunited with my family over vacation,” Franklin said. “We’ve been separated for 14 months.

The 2016 Big Ten Coach of the Year said the goal is to win this season’s Big Ten Championship, then look towards the National Championship. Franklin led Penn State to the 2016 Big Ten Championship, beating Wisconsin 38-31 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Seniors CB Tariq Castro-Fields, WR Jahan Dotson, and DT PJ Mustipher also traveled to Big Ten Media Day.

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