Penn State beat Minnesota in thrilling fashion on Saturday, tying the game on a 40-yard field goal by Tyler Davis to send it to overtime. Saquon Barkley then ripped off a 25-yard run on the Nittany Lions first offensive play of the extra session to win.
James Franklin was in great spirits afterward. Here’s what he had to say.
On Saquon Barkley:
- “You’ve never seen bad body language from him…ever. He is not having the big games of statistics that I think people anticipate or expect. You haven’t seen him once give body language or hang his head. He is a great team player and keeps persevering and keeps waiting for opportunities and when it came he made a big play for us and that’s what happens when you keep a great attitude and keep believing and being a good teammate. He did that tonight and I am super proud of him.”
On kicker Tyler Davis setting school record with 17th straight field goal:
- “I didn’t even talk to him before that kick. Most of the time head coaches will go over and say something to him. I don’t say anything to him. If the snapper and holder do their job, that guy will. He is money. He is just an over mature kid. He consistently does his job in practice every day. He is the same guy all the time. He’s confident right now. I couldn’t be happier.”
On team’s growth from a win like this:
- “Trace McSorley just kept his cool, made some amazing plays and gave guys chances to make plays. Pressure falling off his back and lays it out for guys, like Chris Godwin, to make a play for him. This was a game that we can really grow from. There are a lot of things, obviously, that we have to get cleaned up but the most important thing is that these guys believe in themselves and believe in what were doing and how we’re doing it so that was big.”
On the banged up defense:
- “I’m very proud of our defense. Our defense is under unusual circumstances. I’ve never seen this before. We have seven linebackers that are out, seven. If you count everybody in our program that is a linebacker, like Jason Cabinda, Nyeem Wartman-White, Brandon Smith, Jan Johnson, Jake Cooper, Jason Vranic and Brandon Bell, all of those guys play mike linebacker. Manny Bowen has never played a play of mike linebacker, ever. He goes in the game and we kept it really vanilla and he actually played really well. I’m proud of our defense and I’m proud of Brent Pry because he’s been in a really challenging situation and those guys just battled.”
On Joey Julius getting hit on kickoff:
- “I think because Joey Julius has been such a factor in getting down and making tackles that people are treating him differently. I think that’s a credit to Joey and his toughness. I do think that play fired everybody up. Coach (Claeys) said something to me about that after the game that he is going to take care of that. I appreciate him saying that. It was an emotional game played by passionate and emotional people. I’m glad Joey’s okay and I’m also impressed that he’s built a reputation that you better deal with our kicker or he’ll get down there and make tackles.”