James Franklin denies trying to ice kicker with Penn State up 56-0
Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin continues to deny he was trying to ice a kicker late in Saturday’s game with the team up 56-0 on the Georgia State Panthers.
Franklin called a time out at the last moment with 11 seconds remaining with Panthers kicker Brandon Wright lining up for a field goal attempt. Wright nailed the 31-yarder but officials granted Penn State the time out. Wright then missed the next attempt, preserving Penn State’s shutout and eliciting criticism of Franklin.
But the Penn State coach again denied any intention of icing the kicker, instead saying it all had to do with personnel.
“To be very clear, I was not icing anyone. I want to be as clear as I possibly can be,” Franklin said Tuesday during his weekly telephone conference Tuesday, via Philly.com.
Franklin went on to explain that the Nittany Lions had its fourth-team defense on the field along with some third-stringers. Chatter on the headset over perceived confusion prompted him to quickly call a time out.
Franklin disagreed with the notion that Penn State simply should have allowed Wright to make the attempt, even if there were personnel concerns.
“People said that when the score is 56-0 that we should just stand there and let someone kick it through the uprights,” Franklin said. “If that’s how you think and how you feel, then you won’t ever understand me and you won’t ever understand us.
“Whether it’s the first play of the game, or whether it’s the last play of the game, or whether we’re losing or whether we’re winning, or whether it’s raining or whether it’s sunny, we are going to fight for every inch on the field, every yard on the field, every second on the clock, we’re going to fight.”
Franklin’s time out was widely disparaged, mocked and ridiculed in the wake of Saturday night’s events, highlighted by an on-air meltdown by Mike Francesa.
Mike Francesa LOSES HIS MIND upon learning that Penn State @CoachJFranklin iced Georgia State’s kicker while winning 56-0. pic.twitter.com/OrmdHas0L5
— Ƒunhouse (@BackAftaThis) September 19, 2017
Franklin dismissed the criticism, saying, “I control what I can control, and this is not one of them.”