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WATCH: Penn State football coach James Franklin speaks after Peach Bowl

Watch the full comments from Penn State football coach James Franklin after a humbling loss against the Ole Miss Rebels in the Peach Bowl.



Penn State Football, James Franklin, Jayden Woods, 2025 recruiting class, official visit
Dec 30, 2023; Atlanta, GA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin on the field before the game against the Mississippi Rebels at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA, Ga. — Penn State football (10-3, 7-2 Big Ten) ended the 2023 season with a loss against the Ole Miss Rebels in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Saturday afternoon. The Nittany Lions kept things close in the first half but struggled to keep pace with the high-powered Ole Miss offense to close out the game. Following the loss, James Franklin addressed the challenge Ole Miss presented to an inexperienced secondary.

WATCH: Penn State football coach James Franklin answers questions from media after Peach Bowl loss

A concern entering this Peach Bowl matchup was Penn State’s defense against the Rebels. With Johnny Dixon and Kalen King opting out of the Peach Bowl, young players in the Nittany Lions’ secondary needed to step up. However, the back end of the Penn State defense fell short, allowing 394 passing yards.

Young corners Cam Miller and Zion Tracey struggled today, allowing the Rebels’ receivers to score 3 passing touchdowns en route to a 38-25 win against the Nittany Lions. The performance should serve as a learning experience for a group that’s expected to step up in 2024.

In the postgame press conference following the Nittany Lions’ loss to the Rebels, James Franklin discussed how the pace of the Ole Miss offense stressed the Nittany Lions’ young secondary.

“So the tempo is challenging early on in the game, where we were able to get negative plays, takes them out of their rhythm, Franklin said. “But obviously, when they’re able to play with tempo and have positive plays and build on it, it is difficult to stop.

“That also goes into how the game is managed. When the ball goes out on their sideline, that is a substitution, and we have the ability to match substitution. There were a couple times when we’re trying to be able to substitute right there to affect their tempo and also to match personnel, and we weren’t given the opportunity to do that.

“So tempo is challenging all the time, but you also need to make sure it’s being managed correctly and consistently so we know when we can sub and when we can’t.”

You can watch the full press conference from James Franklin, Tyler Warren, and KJ Winston on the Basic Blues Nation YouTube page.

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Alex joined Basic Blues Nation as Copy Editor for the 2023 Penn State football season. Alex has an extensive background in English and the Literary Arts, and previously served as an Editor for River & South Review. Alex is currently pursuing MFA in Creative Writing.


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