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PENN STATE UNIVERSITY MEDIA CONFERENCE
September 23, 2014
THE MODERATOR:¬† We'll get started with an opening statement from coach.
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Like to obviously start by wishing happy birthday to Fran Fisher.¬† A legend when it comes to Penn State athletics, a legend when it comes to this community, and he's earned it.
So I wanted to take some time and let him know how much we all appreciate all his years of service to Penn State.
Would like to summarize UMASS like we do every week.¬† We won the turnover battle, which was big.
We were able to protect the football, were able to get a turnover, and then penalties, we did not win that, although there wasn't a lot of penalties in the game, we had six, they had four.
Too many on offense.¬† Right now, the penalties on offense have been drive killers.¬† So we need to clean those up.
From an explosive play perspective, both the offense and the defense met their goals.
Offense had nine.¬† Their goal is eight or more.
Defense is three.¬† Their goal is three or less.
Great win, great team win.¬† To me the really exciting part about the win is we still have a lot of room for growth and the ability to get better.
So excited about that.
Offensively, details in our foot work, I think our foot work can be a lot better across the board at every position.¬† Coordination of our protection, there's still some times that we're not coordinated and then we already talked about the elimination of penalties.
Defensively, consistency in our coverages and communication.¬† There was a few times during the game we didn't get caught, but where the corner was playing cover 2 and the safety was rolling back to the middle of the field to play cover 3, that could have been a huge play.
So we just got to make sure we're coordinated there.¬† And I think we can challenge a little bit more of the routes.¬† We got some DB's that can run, so I think they can challenge a little bit more the routes.
Then I think when you really get good is when you're able to get consistent pressure from a four down rush without having to blitz.¬† That's kind of the next phase that we would like to take.
Wefence, we still are looking to try to create some big plays.¬† That's no different than what was going on, on offense and the run game.¬† That's getting all 11 guys working together to create those things.
The coaching staff's player of the week was, on offense Angelo Mangiro, on defense, Nyeem Wartman, and on wefence, Sam Ficken.
Last thing I would like to say about the game to me that is what it's all about is I saw after the game that D.J. Crook tweeted out, "it's a dream come true," he tweeted out.
Talking to some people, not only did that mean the world to D.J., guys like D.J., we got a bunch of them in our program that come to work every single day and work as hard as anybody else and don't always get opportunity.
So, to see guys like that be able to go in and make some plays and chase their dream of playing at Penn State and talking to my wife and some other people in the stands, D.J.'s parents were very emotional in the stands and to me that's awesome.
Baney is another one, was so appreciative of the opportunity of getting in the game and playing and I know his parents are really emotional as well.
They're just two examples, but to me that's what it's all about.¬† About those guys getting opportunities to chase their dreams and go out and play and have some fun.
Northwestern, to get to them, Pat Fitzgerald in his ninth year, he seems like he's been there forever, still a young guy.¬† He's done some great things.
The Wildcats returned 15 of 22 starters this season.¬† Eight currently playing on offense and seven currently playing on defense.
They have a loss to California and Northern Illinois.¬† But then last week they beat Western Illinois.
If you look at the statistical comparison between the two:¬† Turnover margin, they have the advantage.¬† Penalties per game, they have the advantage.
Total offense, we have the advantage.¬† Total defense, we have the advantage.¬† Scoring offense, we have the advantage.¬† And scoring defense, we have the advantage.
Their defense and Mike Hankwitz, who is in his seventh season there, 44 years overall.¬† They got eight starters on defense that are juniors or seniors, so you're talking about a veteran defense.¬† They play base 4‑3, fundamentally sound and in a lot of way he's they're similar to us, maybe a little bit less pressure in their scheme.
Their defensive end number 94, Dean Lowry, big kid, 6‑6, 280.
Their defensive end number 7, I don't want to mispronounce his name, 6‑3, 240 pound sophomore.¬† He's the guy that's really jumping off of tape for us right now as a pass rusher and doing some nice things, so we're going to have to deal with him.
Linebacker, number 44, Chi Chi Ariguzo has done some really good things, not just this year, but over his career there.¬† He's a senior.
And then their safety, number 24, Ibraheim Campbell is doing some nice things.
On offense, their offensive coordinator Mick McCall is in his seventh season as well. ¬†They have got a lot of stability on their staff.¬† 28 years overall coaching.
They got 10 of 11 offensive starters are juniors or seniors, so again a veteran team.
One of the things that we're going to have to be aware of and have to do a good job with and this is where our fans are going to be huge with a sold out stadium is they are a no‑huddle tempo team that does a lot of communication at the line of scrimmage.
So, what I would love to do is make it impossible for them to communicate at the line of scrimmage with our fans and our students doing a great job there.
They got a really good idea of who they are, what they want to do with the offense, and what they want to do with the ball.
They do an excellent job of tailoring their offense to play to their personnel.¬† Their quarterback Trevor Siemian, seems like he's been there forever, he's a senior, he's split time in the past, but now he's running the show.
Their super back number 40, Dan Vitale, and then they're playing two freshmen running backs, Solomon Vault and Justin Jackson, two guys that we're familiar with.
And then their wide receiver who makes plays for them is Miles Shuler.
On special teams, Pat Fitzgerald runs their special teams.¬† A guy that shows up to us over and over again is a kid out of New Jersey, number 21, Kyle Queiro.
So there's some notes, some bullet points for you, and I open it up to questions.
THE MODERATOR:¬† We'll start our questions.
Q.¬† What have you seen from Austin Johnson since you arrived at Penn State and how has he impacted the defense so far?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Well, it's funny, because a lot of times he may not get the stats that maybe our linebacker or our other defensive linemen are getting, but a lot of it is, he's the cause of it.
They're having to double team him, he's six foot three, six foot four, 315 pounds.¬† Probably the most athletic 315 pound guy I've been around.
The thing I like the most about him is every time I see him when he walks in the building or he's out at practice he's got a huge smile on his face.¬† He's unbelievably appreciative about being at Penn State and having a great experience.
I think he's got a chance to continue to be a special player for us and we're going to need him to be.¬† When you can dominate the line of scrimmage on the defensive line or the offensive line, you have a chance to be successful.¬† Him and Zettel make a really nice one two punch for us inside.
Q.¬† I was wondering if you could evaluate Christian Hackenberg's play in the UMASS game and I was wondering what you John Donovan and Ricky want to see from him in terms of improving over the final two thirds of the season?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† I think he's played extremely well.¬† To me I don't really evaluate things by one game or a series or a play, it's overall.¬† Let's be honest, for most of this season so far, he's shouldered a lot of the offense.¬† So, now that the running game is getting going, I think that's going to be really, really helpful, but like always, we're evaluating quarterbacks about third down percentage, which we're doing a really nice job of.¬† Red zone getting the ball in the end zone, which we need to did a better job of.¬† Touchdown to interception ratio.¬† But most importantly wins and losses.
Most of those categories he's doing a nice job for us.¬† I do think that the penalties on offense have factored into that.¬† They have been drive killers and we got to get those things cleaned up.
Q.¬† Sort of piggybacking on the question about Austin Johnson, as an offensive coach, how much does it affect your game plan when you're facing such a disruptive guy at the one technique or the nose like that?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Yeah, I think that's one of the typically, you know, places I've been, that's one of the first things that you do is when you're evaluating a film, you're trying to find who is the guy that can wreck the game.¬† Do they have a defensive tackle or a defensive end or a corner who is a difference maker, that could single‑handedly change the game.
So that that's what you're trying to do as an offense or a defense or play callers, figure out who those people are and how are you going to deal with them.
It affects how you call the game, it affects where your double teams are going to be in your protection or in the run game and you're going to have to scheme some things to help people out.
So, I don't think there's any doubt that a lot of the success that Zettel has had is because of what Austin's been able to do.¬† And the same with our defensive ends.¬† So to me they all should take a lot of credit in what's been going on with our defense overall and any individual attention people have been getting.¬† It's about the greater good, it's about the greater cause.
Q.¬† One more defensive question with your linebackers, early in the season that was a place of concern for you, at least depth‑wise.¬† With the starters, the performance you've gotten on Nyeem, Brandon, Mike, where are you at with those guys right now?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Okay, you're breaking up a little bit.¬† But the linebackers, I think have played probably above our expectations.¬† I think Brent Pry, our linebackers coach and co‑defensive coordinator, does a great job of teaching fundamentals and understanding the concept of the scheme and how they fit.
We always felt good about Mike, although he was making a move.¬† I think Wartman and Bell had both shown flashes on previous film, as well as during the spring that they had the ability to do it.
But to be successful, what we talk to our players all the time about is about being consistent.¬† Anybody can make a play.¬† Time and time, can you do it over and over and over again, can you do your job consistently.
I think they have done that.¬† I do think the fact that we're able to kind of rotate some other guys in there, whether that's the star or whether that's the number twos, I think that's been helpful as well.
I think the fact that our defensive line has been so disruptive, or guys like Austin, that have had to be double teamed, it makes it difficult to come off on those linebackers.¬† So a lot of different reasons why they have been successful.
But I'm really proud of them and we got to continue to grow there.¬† Which to me is another thing which I stated in the beginning is exciting, those guys haven't played a whole lot of football and they're playing pretty well right now.¬† And they still have a lot of room for growth as well.
Q.¬† I wanted to ask you about your running backs.¬† You've been using three main tailbacks.¬† How difficult is it for you to try to, for you guys to try to figure out when to use each one, how to use each one, how to mix them up, because they all have very good qualities, they have all been contributors.¬† Can you talk a little bit about that?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Yes, sir.¬† We don't really kind of over think it.¬† Basically, each one of them is going to get a series to start the game.¬† And then obviously we also have plays on the game plan that are tagged for specific players.¬† So this may be Bill Belton's series, but this play is tagged for Akeel, based on his strengths.¬† So things like that.
So that's where you'll see guys kind of running in and out and mix some things up.¬† But basically we're going to allow each one of those guys to get a series and whoever the guy that looks like is being the most effective, then we'll go with them a little bit longer or maybe even go with them the rest of the game, it just kind of depends.
We haven't really got to that point yet, all three have shown that they could be effective when we're getting movement up front and creating space.¬† So that's kind of where we're at, at this point, but we're not really over thinking it.¬† I don't think one guy's really separated himself over the other.¬† You think we got three quality backs that we feel good about.
Q.¬† A game like Saturday's, how much easier is it for Hack ‑‑ and I'm not talking about in just the lesser amount of hits he's taking, but when the run game is in sync like that he doesn't have to rely so heavily on the pass.¬† So how much easier does it make for Hack when you're running the ball like that?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Well, I think it's really, it's helpful for Hack, I think it's also helpful for the play caller.¬† When the run game is working, you double your play book.¬† It also helps in protection because you're able to wear guys down in the running game.
It takes pressure off the quarterback so he doesn't feel like he has to make every throw.¬† I think the fact that Hack's been able to pull the ball down a few times a game and take off and get some positive yardage has been really effective for us.¬† We don't ever want him to be what people would consider a dual threat quarterback, but we would love for him to be able to pull it down four times a game and be able to get us six to 12 yards and then get down without taking a hit.
Those things are really, really valuable.¬† To me, they're going to have a huge impact on interceptions and they're going to have a huge impact on third down percentage.¬† So, we want to continue to do those things.
Q.¬† To what extent, if any, do you have to sacrifice the tight ends as a weapon in the passing game in order to use them as blockers in the running game?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Not a whole lot.¬† I mean, there hasn't been a whole lot of times where we have gone max protect and kept the tight ends in.¬† We haven't done that a whole lot.¬† That's a possibility.¬† We have mixed it in.¬† But not a whole lot.
I actually think our focus is really just trying to get them more involved in the running game and being a bigger factor for us there.
Q.¬† I want to ask you about Nyeem Wartman.¬† He said before the season he felt more confident and more comfortable in the offense after having a year under his belt.¬† I know you didn't see him last year, but does he look comfortable and confident and aggressive this year and what does he have to do kind of going forward to take his game to even another level?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Yeah, I think it's just time.¬† I think he's playing really well right now.¬† We have been very happy with him.¬† I think that as fans and as coaches and as players and as parents and as media sometimes you would like for it to happen faster, but I think he's really growing and maturing at a pretty high rate right now.¬† And really doing some nice things for us.
Like I said, he was the player of the game for us as a coaching staff on the defensive side of the ball, so I just want him to go out and practice really well today, from a focus and from an effort standpoint and he takes every day like that then he'll turn into the best player he possible could be.
Q.¬† Open ended and frankly pretty lazy question.¬† How good is your team‑‑
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Chris, how are you?
Q.¬† I'm awesome.¬† I'm feeling pretty good.
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Good.¬† What did you say again?
Q.¬† My question was, your team played a third of the season so far, how good is your team, in your eyes?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† We were 1‑0 last week, which is awesome.¬† We're focusing on being 1‑0 this week against Northwestern.¬† And we're excited about that opportunity to get better and continue to grow and continue to build our chemistry and work on our weaknesses and build on our strengths.
Q.¬† You mentioned earlier that each of the three running backs brings some things to the table.¬† What do you like about Akeel Lynch, what are some things that he brings to the table that make him either unique or that give him an advantage on the field?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Well, obviously he's, I've said this before, he's kind of got a combination of traits.¬† He's got Bill's speed and some of his elusiveness and quickness.¬† He's got almost Akeel's size, so he's able to run with power and those things as well.¬† He's still a young back and learning every single day from an experience standpoint and things like that.
But he kind of brings a little bit of both of those guys together.¬† Right now, his opportunity with those two seniors and learning from them, not only on what they do on game day but just kind of how they conduct and carry themselves day in and day out in meetings and practices and things like that, it's extremely valuable.
I think the other thing that's helpful is that's a position where we have great competition.¬† So, if guys don't bring their A game, they're going to lose their jobs.¬† And that's what you really want to create at every single position, because that's human nature, you're going to work harder if you know you got a guy behind you that's capable of taking your job.¬† And we don't have that at every single position, that's where we need to get.
Q.¬† You were able to play some of our freshmen DB's with the one's last week when it was still kind of a tight game.¬† How do you go about deciding when those guys are going to be in there and how important is it for those young kids to play with guys who have been out there all day?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Yup, very much.¬† So very, very important for the growth of our program and the confidence for those kids and the confidence for the coaches.¬† Typically, you're looking at this throughout the week, you may say we're planning on playing a guy and then he doesn't have a great week of practice and you don't feel real confident of putting him in there, especially a young player.
But typically you kind of have an idea of what you're thinking throughout the week and then Friday or Saturday morning, depending upon when our staff meeting is, based on the time of the game, we'll go through offense, defense, kind of go through all of our notes and then we kind of talk about the depth chart and how we're planning on playing guys.
So it may be, it may be Jordan Lucas and Grant Haley we're going to go three to one.¬† So three series to one series.¬† Or it may be two to one, with Trevor and Christian or whatever it may be.
Or we may say, okay, this is this kid's first time really playing on offense or defense, so we want to get him one series in the first half and see how he does and then that may mean one series in the second half or two series and kind of grow from there.
So, what you hope is that a guy goes in there on limited reps and has some success and builds the confidence of the coaches and himself and it grows from there.
But I think it's very, very important.¬† When you can get a guy out there for one or two series in each half as a starter, that's going to help us in the fourth quarter and that's going to help us later in the season keeping these guys as fresh as we possible can.
Q.¬† To follow‑up on the question about Christian being able to pick up yardage for you guys with his feet.¬† He's lowered his shoulder a few times this year to finish some of those runs at the end of plays.
Do you like that competitiveness of that play for him to end a play like that or are you trying to coach that out of him that he takes those slides and not takes those unnecessary hits?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† I love it and I hate it.¬† I love it from a competitive standpoint.¬† That's kind of who I want us to be.¬† But that doesn't make a whole lot of sense for us right now.¬† And that's not smart.
So he's got to be calculated ‑‑ now if it's third and three and he needs it to keep the drive alive or to win the game, or fourth down, you got to do what you got to do.¬† But those other situations, get as much as you can, get down, get as much as you can, get out of bounds.
Q.¬† For you and your staff, you guys played Northwestern before when you were at Vandy, is that any type of an advantage compared to what maybe Nebraska where you haven't seen them before?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Yeah, I don't think there's any doubt that having history with people, with teams, with coaching staffs, with players and things like that, there comes a little bit of a comfort level there or an understanding.¬† I don't know if one game really does that, but it's better than none.¬† I don't think there's any doubt about that.¬† I think that playing at home when you're at a place like Penn State really gives us an advantage.¬† You have a true home field advantage.¬† We're expecting to have a big one on Saturday.
Q.¬† Couple questions.¬† First one is about Parker Cothran.¬† You see a little bit more of him each week.¬† What stood out about him.¬† And the second one about Von Walker, kind of like a D.J. Crook, a guy who walked on here and he's a big special teams guy for you as well.¬† So what's impressed you about Von and Parker?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Yeah, Parker is doing some really nice things.¬† Parker is a very good athlete.¬† Very good athlete.¬† And he's been really good in competitive situations.¬† In the off season, summer camp, and in the games.¬† He really has.
He's a big, physical guy, he can move, it's very, very important to him, the exciting and frustrating thing with Parker is we need to get him to practice at a higher level.¬† Because if we can get him to practice at a higher level, then I think his game can really explode.
What he's done in the games is he's gone in and been very productive, so his play count's going to improve, if we can get him to practice at a higher level, then I think he has a chance to see his playing time significantly increase and develop into a starter for us.
Von, I love Von.¬† I do.¬† I love everything about him.¬† He's one of the guys that I signal out all the time to the team as a great example.¬† There's a bunch of those guys.¬† Albert, you guys heard me talk about Albert Hall a lot and Cole and guys like that.¬† Von's in that group.
One of the things you have to watch with Von is he plays with so much passion and emotion that we need to make sure that's disciplined with that's as well.
But I love him.¬† I wish we had 10 guys like him.¬† And I think his role on special teams and on defense is going to continue to grow for us.¬† We want that guy on the field for us.
Q.¬† Question about Bob Shoop.¬† I was talking to his old boss at Yale, Carmen Cozza, and he had mentioned that when he was working there as a coach for him that Bob could essentially, he had such a good attention to detail when he was like actually watching the games during the games that he could predict the plays before they happened sometimes.¬† Have you noticed that talent out of Bob and how has that helped in the years you've worked with him?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Yeah, I think either last week in the press conference or the week before I stated that.¬† That I've been with Bob where he's called out 75 percent of the plays before they have happened.¬† So I think I covered that last week.
Q.¬† Trevor Williams, he had an up‑and‑down season last year, but this season it seems like he's, at least from our perspective, stepped up a little bit more and really held on to that position, that corner.¬† Could you just talk about like what's the first thing that Trevor, with Trevor, that comes to mind on and off the field?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† He's having a great year this year.¬† Doing some nice things week in and week out.¬† He has all the tools that you're looking for in terms of the height and in terms of the speed and in terms of the athleticism and the strength, the intelligence.¬† You'd recruit him every single year.
Like I mentioned before, the fact that he's now been able to make some plays and his confidence is soaring, that was the one thing that was missing is just having the experience of going out and playing and playing well.¬† Guys sky rocket with that.
That's kind of what's happened with him right now.¬† I think the other thing that we're able to create some depth behind those guys is helpful in terms of getting guys to practice the way they have to practice at every position and that's not even specific to him, that's just across the board.¬† And then also being able to sub guys in and keep them fresh throughout the game, all those things are really, really important.¬† But I've been real pleased with him.
Q.¬† Piggybacking off his question a little bit, determining who is going to play and when, does that ever get affected by the way the game is going itself, like if you decide on Friday I want to play this guy four series.¬† How does it happen, if the game changes in the third quarter?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Good question.¬† Good question.¬† I don't want it to.¬† But that happens.¬† I get frustrated when that happens, because although in the short‑term that seems like the rights answer, it's not in the long‑term when it comes to the game and when it comes to the season.
But there's no doubt, you guys heard me say earlier in the year in the first couple games that I would like to us play more guys.¬† And then I come into the press conference next week and say I would like us to play more guys.
That's what was happening.¬† The games were tighter and coaches didn't feel comfortable taking their number one out to put a number two in and again, that seems like the right idea or the right method to keep your best players on the field as long as possible, but there's so many things that can come from that that aren't positive.
So, I don't want it to.¬† I want to have a plan before the game starts, and I want to stick to the plan as best that we possible can.
Now is there things that happen outside of our control?¬† Yeah.¬† But for the most part, we spend a lot of time being thorough and being detailed and being planned and being calculated with the things that we do.¬† I want to stick to the plan.¬† If not, why are we coming in so early in the morning and staying so late.
Q.¬† You mentioned before and Christian mentioned before that you guys are the second youngest team in college football.¬† From a coaching perspective, how much does that change on a weekly basis the sort of ratio to what you want to work on as a team versus maybe working on things that guys still have to work on as a young team, maybe versus the fact if they were a veteran squad.
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† I don't know if it changes a whole lot, because where I think that you make mistakes as well is you start to get a little bit ‑‑ maybe you have a veteran team and you start saying, well we don't have to do these things because we're veteran.
We don't believe in that.¬† To me, we're going to have our practice divided up no different than what teachers do when it comes to lesson plans.¬† It's part, part, whole.¬† And we try to do that.
So you're always trying to develop fundamental and technique with all your guys and then you go into individual drills to group drills to team drills.¬† So those are the building blocks that you're trying to take.
What you really hope if I'm answering your question correctly is what you really hope is by the time you get to the fifth, sixth, seventh game of the year, that those guys now that have been playing are not freshmen any more.¬† They're veterans.¬† They have been around it long enough.
The guys that haven't been playing, they have still grown and evolved that if they need to, they can jump in and play for you.
So, I don't think you approach it a whole lot different with a young team compared to an experienced team, because you want to stick to your plan.¬† If your plan makes sense.¬† It's just like people that maybe after a loss they go back and change their plan.
Well, the outcome should not dictate what your doing.¬† Now you're always trying to modify and tweak things and grow, but if your plan is right, you stick to your plan.
Q.¬† I think you guys played 62 guys on Saturday.¬† I think you only had two punt runners out.¬† Della Valle and Garrity.¬† I think they only punted five times, maybe not many opportunities, but do you want to try anybody else back there.¬† I know you talked last week about wanting to make sure you were comfortable with guys being back there but are you sort of content to just use Jesse and Greg or do you want to look for more and what do you need to see to maybe try some other guys back there?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Well, first of all, I would love for one of those guys, especially Jesse, to start gaining more yardage.¬† He's been really successful in catching the ball and making great decisions, but we would lake a little bit more play making.¬† If that comes from him, great.¬† But we have some other guys that we're working back there at practice every single day and they may be catching it consistently, but their fundamentals and techniques aren't great or their fundamentals and techniques aren't great, but they're not catching the ball as consistently as they need to and things like that.
So, number one, they got to catch the ball.¬† And then, number two, if you can find somebody that has the ability to be electric with the ball in their hands and make some plays, then you got the whole package and you got something special.¬† But I'm not going to give up the consistency of catching the ball for the play making at this point.
Q.¬† Northwestern has scored 42 points after halftime, gotten off to some slow starts.¬† Your team has also gotten off to some slow starts.¬† How important is it for you to start fast in this game to a team that adjusts well after halftime?
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† I guess I don't completely look at it that way.¬† But, yeah, I don't think there's any doubt, being able to play well and play well early is important in all three phases.¬† I don't think there's any doubt about that.¬† I don't know if I necessarily would see it the same way.¬† I do think like I mentioned before, being home is going to be an advantage for us.¬† And I think our offense is building confidence every week and they're getting better.¬† That's what we have to do, we have to get all three phases playing well together at the same time.¬† Which is the challenging thing at any level.
Q.¬† With a bye coming up next week, I'm assuming someone told you about that, does that affect how you approach this week at all in terms of how hard you may go or is it ‑‑ I wondered if you coach any differently knowing that once you get to the Saturday, you have a weak off after this.
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Northwestern, Northwestern, Northwestern, Northwestern, and Northwestern.¬† I have no idea what exists after Saturday's game.¬† It's kind of like when we thought the earth was flat and it just falls off after that.¬† I have no idea what happens.
After the game they will tell me what's going on the next week and we'll have a plan.¬† We have set up plans for the entire season in our schedule and our calendar.¬† But our focus is completely on Northwestern and nothing changes based on what's happened earlier in the season nor what may happen later.¬† It's all just about Northwestern.
Q.¬† Can you talk about Andrew Nelson and his play on the offensive line.
COACH FRANKLIN:¬† Yeah, he's been good.¬† Nellie's kind of like the dancing bear.¬† I mean, he is big, he is strong, he is athletic, he's so light on his feet, you're talking about a guy that's 315, 320 pounds and really light on his feet.
I think that the next stage for him, the next phase for him is to become a road grader and be really, really physical in the run game.
Past protection and things like that, getting him to pull and run out in space, that comes natural to him.¬† The next phase for him is on game days, to be a really physical, nasty, aggressive player.¬† I think that's happening over time.¬† I've been really pleased with him.¬† He's been some really, really nice things for us.¬† I think he's got a very bright future.
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