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James Franklin says Penn State has closed gap with elite teams

James Franklin believes that Penn State has closed the gap with the elite programs in college football. He has a huge opportunity to prove that on Saturday against Ohio State.



Penn State football, James Franklin
Penn State football head coach James Franklin enters a press conference during football media day at Beaver Stadium on Sunday, August 6, 2023, in State College.

In 2018 Penn State lost to Ohio State in a very close game and James Franklin commented on the program’s state. Franklin mentioned that the Penn State football team was not an “elite” after that Ohio State loss. But as the years have gone by has that changed at all? Or is Penn State still searching for a way of making it to that elite status in college football? Saturday will be a good barometer of where the program is at. But elite teams win these games, and the Nittany Lions are optimistic that they can get the job done this weekend.

James Franklin believes Penn State has closed the elite team gap

James Franklin has taken this program and led them to another hot start in 2023. The Nittany Lions enter this matchup against Ohio State as the No. 7 team in the country. The spread on this game continues to move down as it opened at Penn State at +5.5 and now is down to +4.5. This shows that people around the country and Vegas expect this to be less than a one-possession game. But where is this program in its search for elite status? James Franklin spoke to the media after practice on Wednesday night about the Ohio State matchup and more.

Franklin said, “…And when you’re playing two highly ranked teams competing against each other. That’s typically how it’s going to come down, it’s going to come down to a one-possession game. Usually, one of two things happen. Situational football will win the game for you and your guys understanding how to handle situational football whether it’s two-minute or four-minute. The ability to be able to close the game on your terms, or talent. It’s very similar to when you watch certain teams, certain games no matter what the talent differential, people can hang around for a half, and then talent takes over. I think we have closed the gap with a lot of what people would consider the top five programs in the country we have slowly chipped away at that. So, you’ve put ourselves in a much better position. But I think it’s going to come down to a one-possession game whether it is four minutes or two minutes whatever it may be. We have to be able to capitalize on that situation on the road in a tough environment.”

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Former Editor-In-Chief at Victory Bell Rings, Morgan is the current Site Manager for Basic Blues Nation, host of the Basic Blues Podcast, and co-host of the weekly Penn State Roar Room spaces. Morgan lives in upstate New York with his wife and cats.


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