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September 13, 2016

James Franklin

Trace McSorley

Christian Campbell

University Park, Pennsylvania

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with an opening statement from Coach Franklin.

COACH FRANKLIN: I really appreciate everybody being here. I would like to start with just a brief statement. Thoughts and prayers are with the Brandon Jackson family, and Army's Head Football Coach Jeff Monken for their loss. Brandon played against us last year as a true freshman, had seven tackles and a sack, and the fact that he's been taken way too soon, so our thoughts and prayers go out to Brandon Jackson's family as well as the Army football family as well.

I want to talk about Pitt briefly. You know, looking back at that tape, watching the game, the game tape and evaluating -- the first thing I want to talk about is how proud I am of our guys, how they battled and persevered, and also how they handled themselves postgame in the press conference. I thought those guys did a really, really good job. I'm really proud of them. Obviously, we need to play better especially early on in the game, and then offensively, we have to secure the ball. We got to be better on third down, although we're getting a lot more first downs on first and second down, which is really what you want to do. We need to be better on third down. Defensively, alignment, keys, gap accountability was our issue. You know, defensive line, not being gap accountable with their big physical offensive line and then consistency tackling.

Special teams, kick location, whether it's kick-off or punt, we have to be more consistent with our location. I think special teams, we've made some significant strides there, but we have to eliminate the big plays and momentum-swinging plays.

Excited about, this week, being back in Beaver Stadium and the stripe-out, which is -- last year I though went extremely well. Tremendous environment. Obviously, we had the whiteout tradition here for a long time. Hopefully the stripe-out continues to be a tradition.

You look at, you know, specifics to Temple, you look at the history of the recent games. Obviously, the last game we're all aware of. The season before, 30-13 here in State College. The year before that, in 2012, the year before we got here was 24-12 was that score. 2011, at the Linc, was 14-10. That game has become more and more competitive. Obviously, Temple football program has improved dramatically over the last ten years, not own with Coach Rhule, who is doing a great job, Coach Addazio did a great job there as well, and then the coach before that --

Q. Golden.
COACH FRANKLIN: Thank you. Coach Golden.

-- Coach Golden really got it started there as well. So, a number of coaches have done a good job, but Coach Rhule's done a good job. Offensively, Glen Thomas, their offensive coordinator, this is his first season coordinating for them, was on the staff before as quarterbacks coach. They are a physical outfit that wants to run the ball and use the run to set up the play action pass. Very impressed with their quarterback, Phillip Walker. He's a playmaker for them. Him and Jihad, both of those guys went to the same high school, both big-time players out of Elizabeth High School in New Jersey. But he's been an impressive guy. You look -- he's got a chance to break almost every record for a quarterback at Temple. So, been very, very impressed with him.

Defensively, Phil Snow, their defensive coordinator, tough, fast, physical, well-coached defensive unit. Coach Snow's very, very respected, very well respected all over the country, has been doing it for a very long time. And special teams, Ed Foley, very sound on special teams, have been for a number of years. They returned 12 of 24 starters, six on offense, six on defense, and four on special teams. So, should be tremendous opportunity. I know our guys are excited to get back out and play and being back in Beaver Stadium. So, opening to questions.

Q. James, can you discuss the decision to throw the ball into the end zone last week and risk a shot at a field goal.
COACH FRANKLIN: Say that again, please.

Q. I said, can you discuss the decision at Pittsburgh to throw the ball into the end zone and risk a shot at a field goal.
COACH FRANKLIN: Yeah. You know, obviously, we were having a lot of success throwing the ball. Picked up a big fourth and 16, really kind of throughout the day. You look at the success Trace had throwing the football. You know, we were able to mix the run in, but were, again, having a lot more success throwing the football. We had run a double move on their safety earlier, had a chance for a big play. You know, obviously, you know, with -- based on where the clock was, having one time-out, we had burned two time-outs to give our offense as much time as possible late in the game as we could. Obviously, after the fact, when you see the result of the game, result of that play, you love to say, yeah, you'd like to run the ball a little more in that situation, but we had some other issues that did not help that play be successful either, so, obviously, after the fact, it's easy to say we should have ran the ball or called something different in that situation, but, yeah, it's something that we discussed as an offensive staff. It's something we discussed as a team, but we had been very successful being aggressive, throwing the ball, you know, for really the whole second half.

Q. James, I wanted to ask you about two of your wide-outs. First, you reference the double move on the safety that was there. Your thoughts on DaeSean Hamilton's kind of up and down day and how he handled it. He really faced the music and kind of talked to you about it in the room afterwards. And also DeAndre Thompkins, his development in kind of a big-play threat in your offense, even though he's not maybe the biggest guy, he seemed to have a knack for winning the contested catch or jump ball. Can I get your thoughts on both of those guys?
COACH FRANKLIN: You love DaeSean Hamilton, a guy who's had a lot of success in his career already, works extremely hard I believe in DaeSean Anderson, always have, always will, will continue to go to him in those situations, and I know he'll have opportunities to make big plays for us the rest of his career and moving on after that.

Thompkins, I think is a great example. Sometimes guys -- most times guys don't have success as quickly as they want to have success. That's going to happen, you know, when it's meant to happen. And DeAndre is a young man that just kept working hard, waiting for his opportunities, and when his opportunities have come he's made plays. He had been able to, you know, catch, make plays on his 50/50 balls, but he's a guy that can really run. I think actually in some ways we can throw the ball further down and separate him a little bit more with his speed, but he's put on, I think almost 20 pounds since he's been here, so he's able to be physical and fight for the ball in the air. That's been impressive. He's done it at important times, critical times, during the game. So I've been pleased with him. I think Coach Gattis has done a great job with his development, as well as older receivers kind of taking him under his wing. But it's great. It's great to see young guys like that developing off the field, developing on the field and having some fun and having some success.

Q. James, you mentioned in your opening there needing to get off to better starts. Have you been able to pick up on any common threads between these first two weeks and maybe after that and what as a coach do you need to improve on it?
COACH FRANKLIN: Yeah. I think the first week was typical first week, like we discussed after the game. You know, last week, it was -- that was a tough environment. You know, that stadium was rocking. There was a lot of emotion. We anticipated all of those things. We did a lot of stuff, you know, to work with noise in the stadium. And I made some comments to you guys after the game some challenges that we had that I'm going to move on from now, but, yeah, we didn't handle that as well as we would have liked. First game on the road in a very, very intense environment, and we started out a little bit slow.

I think the biggest thing, to me, more than that, was the turnovers, turnovers in our own area of the field which really put our defense in a tough position. That's the thing we have to do. I mean, you look back to the beginning of time, the beginning of playing, you know, football. You turn the ball over, you're going to have a difficult time being successful, especially when you do it in your own end of the field.

Q. Hi, James. There's about 500 letterman coming back for their reunion Friday night. Do you plan to be involved in that in any way, and what would it be like to have that many players back for a game?
COACH FRANKLIN: Yeah. I think it's great. That's one of the things that obviously makes us special is when we're able to get this type of support and guys come back and feel a real strong connection to the University and the football program. That's something, obviously, with myself and Terry and Wally Richardson and all of those guys, we're continuing to build and work on those relationships. That's something that's very, very important. I'm glad all of those guys are going to be back in town and going to be at the game this weekend. That's the type of support that's made this place so special for so long.

Q. I wanted to ask you about the tackling. You mentioned that Saturday and just briefly today. Why do you think there are the tackling issues going on? How surprising is it, and how quickly do you guys think you can get that fixed?
COACH FRANKLIN: Yeah. I think it's a combination of things. It's fundamentals and techniques that we need to do a better job of coaching. It's also the fact that, you know, like I mentioned at the beginning of the season, we got the second youngest team in FBS football. Those things show up. When you go on the road, handling a tough environment with a young team, you know, those things happen sometimes. And then on top of that, the tackling. We need to do a better job. That fine line of what can you do in practice with fundamentals and technique without live tackling, you know, I think that's something we got to do a better job of coaching. We got to do a better job of emphasizing, embrace, and understand throwing a shoulder is not good enough when you have big, physical running backs.

Q. I wanted to ask you about the tempo of the offense. Last week you talked about a lot of check-with-me plays. This Saturday it seemed like you guys ran quicker early in the game and did more with the check-with-me later in the game. I also want to ask you about the number of plays. You ran three fewer plays than you did against Kent State but you did it in eight fewer minutes. What are your thoughts on that, please?
COACH FRANKLIN: Tempo, again, is based on what we're anticipating from the defense, what we've seen on film, that we can get up and run our tempo where we just get up and snap the ball. We have the check-with-me plays. So a lot of it has to deal with, based on our game plan and what we've seen on film, do we feel like we have plays that we can call and get up and run in a quick tempo.

The next -- the next step is getting in a situation, maybe on third down, where you want to make sure that you have an idea of where the blitz is coming, where the pressure's coming, to find out what coverage they're in and check those situations, and you have other situations where they are coming out and showing different looks than what they've shown on film, and you don't feel great about your original call and need to get out of it. So, again, we're going to have some weeks where we go really, really fast. We're going to have other weeks where we're going to have to slow it down. It's all based on what Joe needs to get us in the best play possible, you know, for our quarterbacks. That's going to vary. That's going to vary week to week based on who we play.

Q. You used a couple of different guys on return kickoffs. I'm wondering how you determine who does it when. Is that just like a rotation, or whatever it is? And kind of related to that you, I imagine you want to work him into the game, not just on returns but on offense, and how will you sort of determine where -- when he's ready for that?
COACH FRANKLIN: Yeah. You know, the kickoff return, we're basically not having as much success there as we want to have. We have a couple guys that we feel have the chance to do it, and we're waiting for someone really to take the job. We need to block better for him with the other ten guys on the field, but we're waiting for somebody to step up and make some plays, break some tackles, make some people miss, you know, create some big plays and be able to do it consistent, and then kind of go with one guy. That's why you're seeing a rotation with those guys back there to figure out who that will be.

I think Saquon will have a role in it, but we'd love for somebody else to be the main kick-off returner and let Saquon take some throughout the year. And Miles, as a running back, very similar to Saquon last year, early in the season, Saquon didn't have a big role and that role improved as the season went on. Miles' situation is a little bit different with having Saquon as kind of the established starting tail back, makes those opportunities, you know, a little bit smaller. But, again, all of those things were discussed before the season started. You know, we felt like before the year was out, we were going to need him and obviously Miles, this is something he wanted to do as well. So, it's a combination of those things.

In a perfect world, would you love for him to get a few more opportunities as well as the other backs? Yeah. But when we left camp, I think you guys saw the depth chart, and that's kind of where it sits right now.

Q. I'm wondering, how do you work on ball security, specifically with the quarterbacks, with Trace and Tommy? Is that something that realistically can be fixed quickly without throwing blind-side hits at quarterbacks during practice?
COACH FRANKLIN: Yeah, that's one that's a little bit different. Typically, when you're talking about ball security, you're talking about decisionmaking at the quarterback position when it comes to interceptions. Not ball security. We do the same ball security drills with the quarterbacks that we do with everybody else on the offense every single day. We take a period every single day, every practice since I've been here, and do ball security. Obviously, standing in the pocket is a different thing. The quarterbacks do not get the banging in practice and the stripping and things like that that other positions do. You just can't afford to have those guys getting hit like other positions. So that's something that we just need to continue to emphasize: ball security, two hands in the pocket, and being physical and durable enough to make sure, okay, you're going to getting tackled, but you got to come down with the ball. So, I think there's a difference between fumbles, and when you get hit in the -- while you're delivering the football, in your motion. You take one hand off the ball and actually throw and you get hit from the blind side. I think that's a little bit different than the other ones. We need to protect the quarterback better in those situations. The other hits where he's getting hit while he has the two hands on the ball or the ball is tucked away, that's something that we need to get fixed.

Q. On the defensive end, you guys are missing several players, several points per game, Haley to Givens, how do you think that affected the defense against Pitt, and do you expect to have some of those same options against Temple?
COACH FRANKLIN: I'm having a hard time hearing you. I think you said with Haley and Givens being out, did that affect us on Saturday; is that what you said?

Q. Yeah. There were several absences on defense, so like Cabinda, and Givens, Haley, just like several people like that. Do you think that affected you guys against Pitt and do you expect to have some of those same absences against Temple?
COACH FRANKLIN: Yeah. I think whenever you're missing starters and missing guys that have played significant reps for you, and again you're a young football team as it is, and you get the combination of those two things, youth and guys being out, it -- there's no doubt, it creates challenges. You got less experienced guys on the field that have to step up in more prominent roles. There's no doubt about it. Kevin Givens is already a redshirt freshman and is starting and playing a big role, and then you lose him. Obviously, Jason Cabinda played a lot of football here and playing at a high level and not having him is significant, and throughout the game, Brandon Bell and Nyeem had some times where they were banged up. So, yeah, all of those things kind of factor into it. There's no doubt about it. You want to be as healthy as you possibly can. You want to have as much experience on the field as you possibly can, but that's part of the game as well. We understand that.

Cam Brown, I think you'll see his role continue to grow. Again, as a true freshman playing linebacker in the Big Ten, you'd like to have a little bit more time to develop those guys, but he's showing enough signs that we need to get him on the field, and on top of that, we're thin at those positions. So Cooper and Manny, and Cam Brown, I think you're going to see bigger and bigger roles for those guys.

Q. James, the offensive line has give Trace time to throw on a number of plays, but obviously he didn't have time on some big ones on Saturday, and then also you struggled in the running game as well. How did you evaluate the line so far and what are the next one or two steps that they have to take?
COACH FRANKLIN: I think they've taken strides. I don't think there's any doubt about it. I think those guys worked real hard in their off season. I think Coach Limegrover has done a nice job. We're still not where we want to be in terms of being able to impose our will on defensive lines and be really physical. That's something that should show up in the run game. That's something that should show up in pass protection. And I think they're headed in that direction. We need to be more consistent. We need to be more physical. We need to have more of a finisher's mentality in general. But, you know, it's like on Saturday, I mean that defense is designed to make you one dimensional. I think we had 38 runs called in the game. But they overloaded the box, and, again, it doesn't make sense to hand the ball off when they have extra men in the box that you can block. So, you know, that's something, again, depending on what the defense gives us, is going to create opportunities. We had plenty of opportunities in the passing game because of their commitment to stop the run, and that's why you see the game played out the way it played out.

So, you know, for us to be the team that we want to be, we got to be more physical up front, so when we do have the opportunities to run the ball based on numbers, that we're able to finish blocks and not allow defenders to fall back off. And then in pass protect, I think we've improved dramatically, but we still have a ways to go.

Q. Did you get any clarity on the clap cadence situation from the Big Ten and is this something you can use going forward, given what the opposing team was doing against you?
COACH FRANKLIN: It's illegal. It's illegal. I mean, it's -- you're not allowed to do that.

Q. Has the Big Ten rectified or addressed that at all?
COACH FRANKLIN: There's no way to rectify these things. I mean, we turn plays in each week to the officials. The officials do a great job. I turn plays in, not because it's going to change anything, but to make sure that we're on the same page in understanding the rules and how we're teaching it and how we're coaching it, and if allowable, that we're doing the same thing. So, you know, we use it for education for our staff. I think it's also used with the officials moving forward, but it's not anything that, you know, you go back. It's not anything that can happen retroactively.

Q. Curious on Paris Palmer's status. Is he -- is that still a competition? Is he close to more playing time to help shore up that position?
COACH FRANKLIN: Yeah. He is competing for that job. You know, really Mahon -- if you look at how he's played the entire game, has done some nice things. Obviously, there's been a few letdowns at times that I know he would like to be better, and we need him to be better, but overall he's actually played pretty well. We just got to eliminate -- like on special teams, the whole day we played really well and then we give up the kickoff return, which was a huge play in the game.

Overall, if you look at the entirety of the game, special teams played pretty well, but you can't give up that big play. And it's the same thing with Brendan Mahon and our offensive line. Overall, they played fairly well, but you can't have those one or two lapses.

Q. Two questions on Saquon. One, does the zone read have a tendency to slow him up at the point of handoff? Does he have to slow down to take the exchange? And then the second one, do you have any plans on taking the load off of him? Mark's only had one carry?
COACH FRANKLIN: Yeah. Our plan with all of our starters is that those guys will go until the coaches feel they need to blow, or that the players feel they need to blow. They'll tap out and somebody will come in and sub them out. Saquon, we feel, is a valuable guy and has the ability to break a long run any time he touches it. So, I think that's kind of the philosophy with that. We'll just kind of see how this thing plays itself out.

Yeah, the zone read, I think you'll have footwork. You'll have footwork when you go through the exchange with the quarterback. Whenever the quarterback is riding the ball with the running back, it's not just like a handoff where you turn around and give it to him as deep as you can and let him go. There's an aspect when you're riding it and there's footwork that goes along with that, which slows you down a little bit. Yeah, but also the defenders have to be concerned now who has the ball. Is the quarterback going to pull it or the offense? What happened a few times on Saturday, is number 5, I think is one of the better players we're going to face this year. He's a very, very good football player, very fast, very explosive. What he did is what we call a mesh charge. He ran basically directly at the running back and quarterback. He didn't choose either one. He ran right in between the two of them and it created some indecision. When you have a mesh charge, typically you want to hand the ball off. If it's a gray read you hand the ball off. Trace decided to pull that, and now we got in a situation where he's pulling the ball right when there's contact occurring, and we need to get that cleaned up.

Q. You talk about after the first two weeks how to take Saquon out of the game. Has there been any discussion about going to four receiver sets more often, or splitting the tight out into the slot more often just so they can't load the box up as much, just to deal with coverage?
COACH FRANKLIN: Yeah, I guess that doesn't really solve your problem, unless the ball is in the middle of the field. If you look at the game of football, it's very rarely in the middle of the feet. When you're in the boundary, whether it's a tight end or whether it's a receiver, you're typically going to take that linebacker and hold him to the box as much as possible, or like what happened last week with Pitt, they'll have the guy outside of the box, but as soon as you put the ball into the ball carrier's -- into the ball carrier's belly, he's flying into the box. That's why I thin you saw a bunch of those plays where we were riding it, and as that outside linebacker folded aggressively in the box, we pulled the ball and threw the ball out to DaeSean Hamilton in the flat. Those are the games that the defensive coordinator is playing and offensive coordinator is playing, where they're trying to gain advantage on numbers and you're trying to control that.

So, yeah, I think obviously getting in 10n personnel, we're able to do that; 11 personnel, where we get in spread, we've done that, with Gesicki in the game as well, whether he's connected to the tackle or not. So, yeah, there's different ways to attack it. Again, once again, unless the ball is in the middle of the field, it's really hard to create the type of space that you want to create, because when the ball's in the boundary, there's less space over there, and they're typically going to hug that boundary backer to the box as close as possible.

Q. Past few years you've been primarily a defense first team, and it seems like that role is maybe reversed this year, at least in the first part of the season. How much does it change the mindset of the game plan when you know this might be a race of 30 points instead of, "we need to hold our opponent to 20 or fewer"?
COACH FRANKLIN: Yeah. I think it changes my approach, so like taking the ball, and things like that, that we've done or tried to do if you win the toss, taking the ball to start the game, do some things like that, going for two early on, you know, trying to get an advantage. You know, obviously, when we have three defensive linemen go on to the NFL, we knew it was going to take time to get those guys to grow and mature. So, yeah, it changes things. There's no doubt about it. And, obviously, just what we're doing, that's a little more of the DNA who we're going to be now on offense. It's a combination of those two things. It affects how I'm going to some of the decisions I'm going to have to make throughout the game, and then obviously, we want to get our defense back playing the way they're capable of playing so that now you're in a situation that not only is your defense playing extremely well, but your offense is able to score a bunch of points. And now you get in a situation where now your opponent has to throw. And that's something that we've shown we can do a good job rushing the passer. What we need to do a better job is be more consistent in the run game and force people in the throwing situations.

Q. Just to follow that up real quick, are more comfortable coach in a game that's going to be fewer than 30 points for both teams, or are you comfortable with kind of what we saw this weekend?
COACH FRANKLIN: To be honest with you, I've been in a situation kind of with both. I think if you look around college football in general, that's really how things have changed. I mean, I remember a few years back, if you had 400 yards on offense, that was considered a good day. Those days are gone. If you scored 30 points, that was considered a big-time scoring day. Those days are gone. People are winning games 58-62, things like that. It's common more across the country. We want to play great defense and great offense. We're still working with that and allowing young players on the defensive side of the ball an opportunity to mature.

Q. Hey, James, you have a lot of different types of bodies in your defensive tackle rotation. With as much as you rotate, do you have packages that are specifically run-stuffing packages versus pass-rushing packages, and what goes into who plays, and who plays next to who, on certain drives?
COACH FRANKLIN: That's a good question. We'll do a couple things. So, for example, we don't want to get in a situation where, say, we're putting a young defensive tackle on the field at the same time as another young defensive tackle. So, for example, say you have two starting D tackles backed up by the two second team guys, you refer that your rotation is not one-to-one. The one side may be two-to-one, the other side may be three-to-one, whatever it may be, to make sure when that guy comes back in, he's going back in with the opposite starter. So you have a starter and backup on the field at the same time when you do get into rotation situations.

On top of that, yeah, we do have different looks. So if it's a passing situation, we have a look where we're going to have three defensive ends on the field. One of those defensive ends playing at the defensive tackle position. Then we also have situations where, say, we're playing a team like Pitt that wants to run the ball, where we may have Windsor and Parker Cothren on the field at the same time, two guys that are technically both noses, but put Windsor at the 3 technique to get a bit little more size on the field. Kevin has been able to put some size on since she's got here, but he's still somewhat of an undersized defensive tackle. So, being able to rotate those things and give those guys a number, but also put them in position to be successful is important. These are all things we kind of look at throughout the week, then either Friday night or Saturday morning we sit down a staff and kind of go through the rotation to make sure we're all on the same page and how we're going to handle those things.

Q. To follow up on that, it seemed like the rushing defense got better as the game went on last week. So was there an adjustment in the rotation? Did you see something you liked more and you took those combinations --
COACH FRANKLIN: Yeah. To be honest with you, it's dramatic. I mean, you look at statistics defensively from the first half to the second half, we played much better. Really it was really as simple as us being gap sound. I mean, if you're defensive tackle and you have the A gap, or defensive tackle and have the C gap, or whatever it may be, you cannot allow the offensive lineman to lull you all from your gap, because now you put the linebacker in conflict, where he knows he's responsible, and he sees the B gap is wide open, and now he's in conflict. What do I do? How do I take on that block? Do I rip up through the A gap and defeat that gap, or now try to play the blocker down the middle and try to two-gap, which is not what you want linebackers to do. So, we did a much better job of that in the second half. I think some of the fly sweeps and motions and shifts that they were doing gave some of our young players -- you know, it made them hesitant, and they weren't playing as fast, as aggressive, as they needed to play.

Q. James, what do you remember when you guys recruited Manny Bowen when he got here, because he kind of played all over the place on defense in his high school? What do you remember about him?
COACH FRANKLIN: Just fast, explosive, violent, aggressive. Really seen a lot of those things since he's been here and probably even more so in the last six months, as he's getting more comfortable and getting more confident. I think Manny has a very, very bright future here.

Again, I think you're going to see his role over the next couple weeks continue to grow for us. I know talking to Coach Pry and the defensive staff and watching tape with those guys, I feel he's a guy that can make plays. You're probably going to see a little more flexibility with him as he continues to grow in the package. We'd like our linebackers to be able to play multiple positions. He's typically a field linebacker. We'd like to have the flexibility to move him around, so now when we get into money, or star, or things like that, instead of him coming off the field, he can move to other positions. That would be the ideal situation up to this point. He hasn't been ready for that. We're going to need him to be able to do that moving forward. I know that's something he's excited about doing as well. Guys like Manny they don't want to leave the field. They want to prove they can play all three downs, or if we do want to sub out, like I said, that nickel position, he has the ability to move over to the boundary side linebacker as well.

Q. There's some plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Joe Paterno's first game coaching the Nittany Lions for the Temple game Saturday. I'm interested to know what Joe Paterno symbolizes to you, personally as the coach of Penn State today.
COACH FRANKLIN: I think, you know, I've stated this before. You know, all of the wonderful things that have happened here academically, all of the wonderful things that have happened here athletically, and in the community as well, those things have been significant, and I think I've stated that before. But my focus and our focus is on Temple and the game this week. And all of those other decisions like I've stated before, you know, they're for the administration. Our focus is on Temple.

Q. Do you have any sense of what that commemoration might be like or how you think it might be received at Beaver Stadium?
COACH FRANKLIN: Yeah, once again, our focus is on Temple. I've stated before, you know, how I feel our focus is on Temple and getting prepared for this game. And, you know, that's really enough on our plate.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you coach.

COACH FRANKLIN: Thanks, guys.

THE MODERATOR: We'll return with Christian Campbell momentarily.

Q. Going back, since you got here, your guy, of course, played right away and dealt with some injuries, what was last year like for you trying to balance that? I'm sure you wanted to be out there.
CHRISTIAN CAMPBELL: It was real frustrating to me. I used to pray every day I get back healthy and just working. I just stop taking my mind off -- I mean, I just took my mind off the injuries and just put my mind on like working and getting back healthy so I can be in the game.

Q. Are you usually a patient person, though?
CHRISTIAN CAMPBELL: Yeah. I'm really patient, yeah.

Q. Christian, when you guys have a young defensive line like you do and some of those guys are working through issues like they are, do you have to be mindful and wary that you have to do more to help out in run support or in contain or things like that?
CHRISTIAN CAMPBELL: I mea, as a defense, we have to worry. It don't matter how young the defensive line is. I mean, at one point we had young cornerbacks, you know, so I don't think that's a problem. I mean, if the defense come together, it will be good. It don't matter how young you are.

Q. So, you said before you guys used to be a young cornerback room and young defensive back's room at that. What kind of steps did you all take to grow in game and what experiences did you take to grow in game and how might that be an example to set now the first two tiers of the defense?
CHRISTIAN CAMPBELL: We had people that was older than us that was playing, and I said they took us under their wing and they showed us, like, what to do and how to handle things, and they were all role models. So, I mean, that's a learning experience for us. As we grew and as we here now, we have young corner backs, so we showed them how to do things and the experience, and how we do things on the field. So, yeah.

Q. How much fun do you have playing with Marcus Allen and what is he like in the room?
CHRISTIAN CAMPBELL: I mean, it's real fun. He have a lot of energy. I mean, that's my brother. We roommates. It's like when we come on the field, like, we even closer, because we live together. We always together 24/7. I think it's very exciting because he have so much energy.

Q. Got a follow-up about Marcus. Is he -- this might be a weird question -- is he like famous on Twitter or something? And also what's that experience like for you as his roommate?
CHRISTIAN CAMPBELL: I mean, that's his business. That's his personal business. I don't get into that, so -- yeah. It's just social media to me, so, yeah.

Q. I wondered this for a while. Cornerback is normally a position where you have two guys that are the guys, and it's their position, and you keep them on the field as long as they want to be on the field.

Q. Since you've been here, and since Coach Franklin has been here, you've been in a rotation, and a pretty heavy rotation, too. How do you guys talk about that? What is that like for you as a corner to, you know, be on the field and then give that off to somebody else?
CHRISTIAN CAMPBELL: Really, it's just about just bringing -- like doing your job and being able to, you know, bring like more, you know, depth to the team. I mean, you don't worry about, let me just stay on the field and nobody else get in. It's not that. I mean, all the corners work hard. So, we all deserve to play. So, like, we don't worry about the rotation. If like Coach, if we -- if it's too series that we are in, and the coach say, you going to be out for the next two series and the other corners go in for the next series, you root them on, because we all deserve to play, so it's like a rotation. I mean, if somebody tired, then we have another corner, and we have a lot of depth, so I think all of the depth in the rotation is better for Penn State Football.

Q. You're one of three guys from Alabama on the defense and Grant's from ATL, which may as well be in Alabama. Do you guys have to stick together, and do those freshman kickers count in that group? I mean, it's kind of weird because you're this far north, but you're basically all from the same neck of the woods.
CHRISTIAN CAMPBELL: I mean really, I'm really close to Torrence, and I'm close to Grant, too. It don't matter where we from, for real. I say everybody on the defense and offense, we are brothers, and we all stick together no matter what. As a specialist, when they first came in, I didn't know they was from Georgia. That was like shocking to me when I found out. I was like, wow, I didn't know they was from Georgia. We have a couple people that was from the south on the team, and I think that's cool.

Q. What surprised you about the fact that those guys were from Georgia?
CHRISTIAN CAMPBELL: I just didn't know we had like more people from down south that came in. Usually people like tell me we got some more southern players on the team. Like I really didn't know until like the next two weeks when they came in.

Q. How about family travel to up here? How difficult is that? Are your parents or families able to get up to see you play much?
CHRISTIAN CAMPBELL: It's very difficult. My mom, she usually probably come to like one game during the season. With my injuries last year, she wasn't able to come to that many. I say this year, she will be at plenty games because I'm -- I might get her, you know, to fly her up here, probably like when we play Ohio State. She's coming to the Indiana game. I think that's the closest game that she can come up to because we go to Indiana this year, so --

Q. Christian, we'll talk to John Reid tomorrow and everything we've heard, and every time we talk to him, it seems like he's the insanely dedicated film guy, kind of a junky in there. What can you tell me about watching film with him and him overall as a person? He seems very kind of dialed in on football, with everything he does.
CHRISTIAN CAMPBELL: Yeah. John Reid is very competitive. He watch films a lot. I mean, with me being a junior and him being a sophomore, I learned a lot from him. Yeah, just watching film. I used to watch film, but I didn't really like just tune in like he do. You know what I'm saying? I just learn from him. I just started watching film more, and that give me more motivation from John Reid.

Q. Christian, can you tell me what Temple brings to the table and also the type of atmosphere you're expecting on Saturday with the stripe-up?
CHRISTIAN CAMPBELL: Really, we haven't started practicing on Temple yet. We start practice today. I been watching a lot of film on Temple. They do running pass. The stripe-out, like I said in the other interview, I think it's going to be very exciting. I really like, you know, all of the fans. I don't worry about the stripe-out. I just worry about how many fans are at Beaver Stadium, because I really think it's so exciting. That wins us games, two. It's like a 12th man, because of the fans.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you very much, Christian. We'll be back with Trace McSorley.

Now joined by Trace McSorley.

Q. Hey, Trace. How would you say you've adjusted to the tempo each week in games, and would you like to see it get even faster?
TRACE McSORLEY: I think our tempo continued to improve from week one to week two. Obviously there's always room for us to go faster, always room for us to get lined up and get the play calls, stuff like that, going fast. So obviously, that's something we're going to keep trying to push. That's going to help us. The faster we go, the better it will be for us.

Q. How do you feel adjusting to the tempo?
TRACE McSORLEY: I feel fine adjusting to the tempo.

Q. Trace, shortly after the game, Todd Blackledge Tweeted out about his first game against Pitt. He had thrown an interception that sealed the game. I am just curious if you had heard from him or any other past Penn State quarterbacks in the past couple days to maybe wish you well, or anything like that?
TRACE McSORLEY: No, not directly.

Q. We saw DaeSean after the game obviously understandably upset. How do you think he's bounced back so far and did you say anything to him since the days since?
TRACE McSORLEY: I talked to him that night, just told him it's something he's going to come back better from, going to bounce back stronger. He's kind of taking that mentality over the last couple days, knowing that it's -- he's going to come back stronger and have that motivation that something like that won't happen again to him. So, he's definitely motivated now, and I think it's going to be pretty impressive just to see how he bounces back and see what he can now do.

Q. Hey, Trace. We just spoke with James about ball protection, cutting back turnovers et cetera, a couple of those fumbles from a blind-side hit. What did you see on film after going back to it, and what specifically sticks out to you about the ball-protection aspects of your game?
TRACE McSORLEY: It's something we need to take a strong focus on in practice. Really try and, when we do our ball security drills, take that as serious as possible. Because we saw that, that was a big deciding factor in Saturday's game. That's probably the main thing I took away from watching film. And there's some things that I can do just being stronger with the ball in general, you know, making better reads, stepping up to the pocket, kind of have a little bit better protection there. Just taking the ball security drills that we do every day, and really trying to make that as hard as we can on ourselves, trying -- if you got a partner, knocking the ball, you're really trying to have him really try to knock it out of you. So, in practice, it can improve there, and in the games it won't end up happening.

Q. Do you usually have partners with you to try and knock --
TRACE McSORLEY: Usually I'm with Billy Fessler. Just kind of -- we've always been together the last couple years. Sorry, guys.

Q. Trace, you know, lots of yards, lots of points on Saturday with virtually no run game. What could you guys be offensively if the run game takes off?
TRACE McSORLEY: I think you can see -- we put up a good amount of points on a real tough Pitt defense, And some -- I guess is the silver lining we can maybe take away from last Saturday. We get -- just shows we get all aspects of our offense firing on the same cylinder and get everything going, this offense can be pretty special and be very explosive.

Q. Trace, a lot is made of chemistry and timing with receivers in the passing game. I'm just curious about with running backs on the zone read plays. How much chemistry, timing, trust, is needed for you guys to be on the same page when you're putting it in there and having to pull it out. How would you evaluate where you and Saquon are with that at this point?
TRACE McSORLEY: I'd say it's the same amount of chemistry that's needed with the receivers and quarterback,

as it is with me -- or, the quarterbacks and Saquon and other running backs, just with the read options and stuff like that, putting the ball in and them not grabbing down on it and letting us pull it if we need to, and then when we give the ball they take it and run with it. That's something we work on every single day in practice. We worked on a bunch over the summer, just on our own time. That's something we've taken a very big -- I guess we put a very -- a lot of importance on it, as best I can say, so that's something that we're just going to continue to improve on in practice and get better at.

Q. Hey, Trace, what's your mindset when you know you're going to be in a game where the offense is going to score a lot of points or going to try to score a lot of points? Is that different than maybe a game where you feel like the first team did 20 wins?
TRACE McSORLEY: I mean, I don't think as an offensive player you come out not expecting to put up as many points as you can. There's not really a different mindset. You go out there and try and score as many points as you can every time you step on the field on offense.

Q. Is there a difference when you know you're going to play a shootout than a low scoring game?
TRACE McSORLEY: I don't know if there's maybe a difference. You see -- every time you try to get on the field, you're trying to score a touchdown, you're trying to score points. You're not thinking all right, this try we can punt the ball, something like that. You're trying to score points every time you get on field on offense.

Q. Hey, Trace, what was the mood like on Saturday compared to the Temple last year, and because of those games, how much more maybe are you guys looking forward to going against another in-state team on Saturday?
TRACE McSORLEY: Probably similar feeling. Just guys were upset obviously after the game. A hard-fought game. It just didn't end up working out in our favor. You know, took too long to get going, waited until the second half and we got down 21 points. At one point it was 28-7. So, you do that, you're not going to win a ton of games.

So, I mean, probably similar feeling to what we felt last year at Temple. This way you're just looking forward to getting out there, getting back in front of our fans out at Beaver Stadium and doing everything we can to get a win this week.

Q. Do you believe that an offense takes on the identity of the quarterback, and if you do, what would you want the offensive identity for Penn State to be?
TRACE McSORLEY: Yeah. I think that's something that I can relate the identity of whoever in that leadership position on offense. As a quarterback, I want this offense to be confident in what we're doing. Every time we go out, to feel we're going to score points, and we're going to be successful every single drive we have, and for us to kind of have that little bit of competitive edge where we're not geeing to accept, you know, punting the ball. You obviously want to end every drive with a kick, but if you have a good drive, you start out and punt the ball. We want to get back and fix what happened immediately and be able to come back on next drive and put points on the board.

So I would say that's where I want to see this offense be, kind of the culture of this offense, just confident, and kind of playing with little bit more of an edge, I guess, over the rest of the season.

Q. Trace, when James was in here, he said that Pitt, them clapping on defense was messing up the cadence. What was it like from you vantage point kind of dealing with that and how do you think you guys responded?
TRACE McSORLEY: I mean, it is something that happened during the game. I don't know what Coach said about it, I'll just you take his -- yeah, I'll just let you guys take his quote on that.

Yeah, it's something that we had to know was going on and kind of had to adjust. We changed up our cadence a little bit when we got to the sideline, talked to guys on offense, and offensive line and Coach Limegrover and Coach Moorhead and, all right, if that's how they're going to do it, we're going to need to adjust what we're doing. So, that's all we did. We changed up our cadence with how they're doing it so try and eliminate that being a factor.

Q. Trace, this week, aside from working on ball security this week in practice. What's one minor detail you're going to improve on? Whether it's selling play action, going through yur progressions better, leading receivers? What is a detail-oriented thing you think you saw on film after two weeks?
TRACE McSORLEY: I say my movement in the pocket. It's something that kind of -- the first week, definitely I was kind of -- Coach Moorehead called it being dead-footed at the top. That's something I really tried to work on last week in practice. You just continue to work on that and going through each snap with the reads, you know, just grinding through each snap and treating each play as its own energy, stuff like that. I think that was something that I can improve on this week and that's something I'm going to take into each practice and just folk us on.

Q. Trace, not to beat this to death, but Pat Narduzzi, in his press conference after the game, said that his defense was use the clapping to signal to each other, but from your vantage point, was that the case? And also did you see them doing that on film against Villanova the prior week?
TRACE McSORLEY: I hadn't seen them clapping on film the prior week, but if that's what Coach Narduzzi says, I don't know what they were talking about on their side. So, I guess that it is what it is.

THE MODERATOR? Anything else for Trace? Thank you, Trace.

TRACE McSORLEY: All right. Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, everybody.

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