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Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt use incorrect quote to slam James Franklin

James Franklin was clearly misquoted when headlines said he took a shot at Michigan last week. But apparently the Big Noon crew didn’t get the memo.



Penn State football, James Franklin, FOX Big Noon, Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt
Oct 14, 2023; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin looks on from the sideline during the fourth quarter against the Massachusetts Minutemen at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Massachusetts 63-0. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been an interesting week for Penn State football. The Nittany Lions destroyed UMass 63-0 on Saturday. But almost everyone outside the program was already looking ahead to this week’s matchup against Ohio State, even before the opening kickoff against the Minutemen. Off the field, James Franklin made headlines with several viral moments in recent days. Most notably, a quote from Franklin’s weekly press conference was pulled out of context and used to insinuate that the Penn State coach was taking a shot at Big Ten rival Michigan. Despite setting the record straight, the misquote appeared again on Saturday when FOX Big Noon hosts Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt used the inaccurate story to slam James Franklin.

Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt slam James Franklin on FOX Big Noon

On Saturday, FOX’s Big Noon traveled to Ann Arbor to watch No. 2 Michigan’s 52-7 beat down of Indiana. Given that the Wolverines handled the Hoosiers easily, there was plenty of extra broadcast time for hosts Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt to use.

During the broadcast, Johnson referenced the headlines from James Franklin’s weekly press conference leading up to UMass. Johnson stated that Franklin “said Michigan ain’t playing nobody.” Klatt responded by taking his own shot at Franklin, saying, “That’s pretty rich from a guy whose team is playing UMass [today].

This exchange referred to a Franklin quote from this week where the Penn State football coach discussed nonconference scheduling in the 12-team Playoff format. “There’s a team in this conference that’s buying out a ton of game contracts to go in another direction,” Franklin said on Tuesday. “You gotta do whatever you possibly can to give yourself a chance to be undefeated.”

Michigan outlets and fans almost immediately picked up this portion of Franklin’s much longer answer on the subject. Headlines poured out Tuesday afternoon suggesting that James Franklin had taken an unpromoted shot at the defending Big Ten champions.

Once again…Franklin’s quote wasn’t a shot at Michigan

It would have been one thing if Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt used the James Franklin quote in the appropriate context. However, it was quickly debunked on Tuesday that the Penn State football coach wasn’t taking a shot at Michigan. 

A read-through of the full quote shows Franklin was applauding the scheduling format used by the Wolverines and other teams in the Big Ten. This is a fact that the Penn State coach confirmed on Wednesday.

“Anybody that watched the entire interview or anybody that read the whole transcript, I was actually complimenting the schools from a scheduling perspective,” Franklin said in post-practice availability last week. “It’s what we’ve been doing. Even in the question that was asked to me, that’s what was said.”

Franklin went on to vent his frustration with national media members who circulated the out-of-context quote. “I know every fan base and different school is looking for a reason to get angry and get mad and get motivated or something,” he said. “But that, to me, is disappointing when real media members grab a partial quote and use it out of context. That’s frustrating and disappointing.”

Apparently, the Fox Big Noon crew didn’t get the memo. But with Big Noon covering Saturday’s epic clash between No. 7 Penn State and No. 3 Ohio State, I’m sure Franklin, Johnson, and Klatt will have the chance to air their grievances very soon.

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Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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