Penn State head coach James Franklin shouts at his team during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Ohio State, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, in Columbus, Ohio.
(AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)By RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football WriterPenn State is still chasing the elite under coach James Franklin.
The seventh-ranked Nittany Lions lost their seventh straight game to Ohio State on Saturday, taking more than 59 minutes to finally get into the end zone against the third-ranked Buckeyes.
The defense largely dominated the day in the first of three games that matched the three top ten teams in the Big Ten.
The difference? Ohio State features All-American Marvin Harrison Jr.
who set a career high with 11 receptions for 162 yards and a touchdown.
It was 2018 when Penn State, for the second consecutive season, gave up a second-half lead to the Buckeyes and lost a heartbreaker 27-26.
Two years after Franklin’s lone win against Ohio State and the Big Ten title, he made a comment that still looms over his program.
“We went from an average football team to a good football team and finally to a great football team,” Franklin said at the time.
“But we’re not an elite team yet.
Five years later, that’s still the case.
Penn State was hoping things would be different this season with its new former five-star quarterback Drew Allar and a defense full of NFL talent.
Allar, who left his naive Ohio and his childhood team to play at Penn State, seemed overwhelmed. He was sacked four times and went 18-for-43 for 191 yards.
“Damn,” was Allar’s self-assessment.
There were worrying signs for Penn State’s offense as it got off to a 6-0 start behind a flawless offense and a swarming defense.
Against an Ohio State defense that is every bit as formidable as Penn State’s – and perhaps doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves – the Nittany Lions’ lack of weapons on the outside was blatant.
“Drew needs guys to make him play more consistently,” Franklin told reporters.
Getting Allar out of Ohio was huge for Penn State, but Ohio State taking Harrison Jr.
out of Philadelphia was the difference between the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes on Saturday.
Hell, Buckeyes receiver Julian Fleming, another five-star from Pennsylvania, would probably be the No. 1 target at Penn State.
For Franklin, who was arguably one of the most successful coaches in the country during his 13 seasons at Vanderbilt and Penn State, the big-game record remains an albatross.
Penn State has had four 11-win seasons under Franklin since 2016, but here are the numbers that shocked Nittany Lions fans: 1-9 vs. Ohio State; 3-16 against top 10 teams; 1-13 against top-10 teams Ohio State and Michigan.
Franklin took over Penn State a few years after the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
The program was still dealing with NCAA sanctions, while its supporters were still dealing with the fallout from the end of Joe Paterno’s career.
He restored Penn State’s pride and brought it back to being one of the best programs in the country, but not quite the best.
Penn State fans may shout for the best, but good luck finding a better coach.
Franklin’s name comes up often when there are big jobs open, as there’s a suspicion that if he doesn’t make the cut between Ohio State and Michigan, he might try something else.
Franklin is in the second year of a 10-year contract worth $85 million.
Good luck finding a better gig.The Nittany Lions will get another historic home win against No. 2 Michigan in three weeks.
It’s hard to imagine that the result will be completely different from Saturday.
Franklin and Penn State seem stuck together on a hamster wheel, chasing a goal that remains out of reach. ABOUT THIS MATCH?
Maybe we scheduled the Oklahoma-Texas rematch in the Big 12 championship game a little too quickly.
The Sooners and Longhorns both escaped being underdogs by three touchdowns on Saturday, and another contender – or two – could emerge in the conference.
No. 6 Oklahoma missed a chance to take a big lead in the first quarter and then had to stop a late 2-point conversion attempt to stop UCF.
Not to be outdone in the Big 12, the Texan No. 8 escaped from Houston thanks to a third down which benefited the Longhorns at the end of the game.
If anyone thought Big 12 officials would be out to get the Sooners and Longhorns out of the gate, that third-down call that left Houston without a crucial first down disproved the conspiracy theory.
Meanwhile, the state of Oklahoma came to life, just like the meme of the Undertaker sitting on his coffin.
Behind Ollie Gordon’s 282 rushing yards, the Cowboys won their third straight game at West Virginia.
The Big 12 would like to avoid another Red River Showdown at the home of the Dallas Cowboys in December.
Oklahoma State and perhaps Kansas State, who played at TCU on Saturday night, have a chance to make this a four-team contest. ACROSS THE COUNTRY: No. 17
Tennessee appeared to be on its way to its first two-game winning streak against Alabama since 2004, but the 11th-ranked Crimson Tide shut down the Vols in the second half, leaving the score at 16 of the 17 have arrived. the rivalry. “It’s obviously a pretty fun second half,”
Tide coach Nick Saban said. Despite all the concerns for “Bama”, it comes into its bye week in the SEC undefeated and awaits another big game against No. 19 LSU…
Mississippi State’s 7-3 win against Arkansas was lowest in points to win an SEC game since the infamous Auburn game. 3-2 win over Mississippi State in 2008.
More importantly, it was a very tough loss for Razorbacks coach Sam Pittman, who is working his way to a strong spot in his fourth season. …
For the first time since 2014, Rutgers has six wins and is bowl eligible.
The Scarlet Knights (6-2) won the must-win game at Indiana, while the remaining four games featured three ranked teams and Maryland (5-2). …
This week in the wild, wild Big Ten West: No. 24 Iowa relinquished control of the division by losing toCOMMENTSSPORTS TOP Harrison Jr.
makes difference as No. 3 Ohio State defeats No. 7 Penn State in defensive battle 20-12 Wheeler-Deals, Schwarber, Harper, Realmuto-Homer and Phillies beat the D-Backs 6-1 and led 3-2 in the NLCS
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