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#pounditWednesday, April 24, 2024

James Franklin gets roasted for bizarre decisions in Michigan loss

James Franklin at a press conference

Penn State head coach James Franklin was roasted on Saturday for some baffling decisions in the Nittany Lions’ 24-15 loss to the Michigan Wolverines.

Franklin was bad from start to finish on Saturday, mixing bizarre aggression with inexplicable conservatism at various points in the game. The issues started just before halftime, when Franklin elected to go for a two-point conversion after a Penn State touchdown brought them to within 14-9. The conversion attempt failed, which would matter later in the game.

Franklin went for it on fourth down three times during the game, converting on two of them. However, the rationale got confusing late in the third quarter. Franklin burned a timeout just to punt on 4th and 2 from the Penn State 46, then wound up going for it on 4th and 6 at his own 30 with just over four minutes left in the fourth. Penn State failed to convert on that attempt, setting Michigan up for a backbreaking touchdown.

Still, Franklin was not done. What really sent most people over the edge was, after a late touchdown drive to make the score 24-15, Franklin went for two again with 1:59 to go. The reasonable play would have been to kick the extra point to make it an eight-point game, then try to recover the onside kick and score another touchdown.

Instead, Franklin pulled a very bizarre two-point play out of his hat.

Franklin was absolutely torched on social media as a result of his litany of strange calls, with some suggesting Franklin managed to get out-coached by Jim Harbaugh even while the Michigan coach was suspended.

Penn State signed Franklin to a massive contract extension two years ago, and one has to wonder how they feel about it now. He is highly-regarded as a recruiter and can consistently bring nine-win seasons to State College, but Saturday’s loss makes him 3-17 against top 10 teams and 4-16 against Michigan and Ohio State in his Penn State career. Some of that is certainly down to questionable in-game management.

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