Penn State coach James Franklin understandably caught some flak for a decision he made late in PSU’s blowout win over Georgia State on Saturday.
With Penn State up 56-0 with just 11 seconds left in regulation, Georgia State brought out its field goal unit on fourth down. And just before the Panthers snapped the ball, Franklin called a timeout as Brandon Wright made a 31-yard try in what looked like an effort to ice the GSU kicker. After the timeout, Wright tried again but missed and Penn State kept its shutout.
Here is the whole sequence:
One person was particularly riled up by Franklin was WFAN’s Mike Francesa. Francesa may be inching closer to retirement, but he still brought the heat on Monday.
“It’s 56-0, let him kick the ball! And then try to lie about it. What a stooge. What he hasn’t got is any class, because why would you do that to a kid up 56-0?! ‘We had our fourth team on the field, we didn’t have a fourth-team field-goal block.’ What the heck do you need to block it for?! Let the ball go through the uprights, you jerk,” Francesa said. “So he calls timeout to get the second-team field-goal block in. What a bunch of garbage that is. He sells you that, he’ll sell you anything. The guy iced him, plain and simple, because he wanted a shutout.”
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— Ƒunhouse (@BackAftaThis) September 19, 2017
Yeah it’s long, but it’s worth it to hear — in classic Francesa fashion — the host shut down a few Penn State fans who tried to explain Franklin’s supposed reasoning for the timeout (which Francesa mentioned in the quote above). After the game, Franklin said his team had its fourth-string defense in and PSU doesn’t have a “fourth team field goal block,” so he had to call timeout to get situated. The shutout had “nothing to do with it,” he said.
Franklin explains why he called a timeout up 56 points. pic.twitter.com/iXgvTTvqIR
— Collegian Football (@psufootblog) September 17, 2017
“That had nothing to do with it,” Franklin said of preserving a shutout. “We had our fourth-team (defense) on the field and we don’t have a fourth-team field goal block that even knows how to get lined up with the mix-and-match guys we had in there. So we called timeout to get the second-team field goal block in there. That’s just kind of how it played out, to be honest with you.”
Also stick around for the 11-minute mark — by far my favorite part — where Francesa is so fired up that he is still talking about Franklin while doing an ad read for “WindowRama.”
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