PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

More

Franklin: Only 41 Scholarship Players Left For Pinstripe Bowl

Cameron Hart

With the NCAA sanctions limiting Penn State football to 65 scholarships to begin the season — 20 fewer than the standard allotment of 85 — first-year head coach James Franklin was forced to compete in one of the nation’s top conferences with one hand tied behind his back. Now, after a full season of injuries and redshirts, only 41 scholarship players remain on the available roster as the Nittany Lions prepare to face Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 27 in Yankee Stadium.

On Monday, Franklin joined The Jim Rome Show on CBS Radio to discuss his first-year experience, the major hurdles the team had to overcome, and the challenge of competing at the highest level of college football with less than half the talent of its opponents.

“You think about all of these kids who have been through and what they perceived is unbelievable,” Franklin said. “We ended the season playing with 41 scholarship players, we started the season with 65, and then you take out the redshirt guys and the guys who were injured. It was some real challenges. We started out 4-0 and were able to hide some of our deficiencies. As the season went on people were able to identify and attack them.”

Despite the limitations, Penn State nearly upset No. 4 Ohio State in late October, taking the playoff-bound Buckeyes to the brink in an eventual 31-24 double-overtime loss at Beaver Stadium. If it wasn’t for a slew of questionable calls from officiating, The Nits might have walked away with a remarkable upset.

“There was a field goal kicked in that game that was kicked with four seconds after the clock ran out,” Franklin said. “There was an interception that was highly questionable, so you never know. You win that game, momentum swings, confidence swings and our season could turn out completely different.”

For Franklin, Penn State’s performance against one of the best teams in the country signifies the determination and potential of the nation’s second-youngest team, which will only get better with 15 additional bowl practices and the restoration of the full allotment of scholarships for the 2015-16 season.

“You also look at what Ohio State has been able to do,” Franklin said. “Very talented, very well coached, impressive program and we were able to go toe-to-toe with them. I think that is a perfect example that illustrates what we are capable of doing and where we are going.”

With a Top-10 recruiting class arriving at University Park next season, including 12 four-star commitments, it won’t be long before Franklin and Penn State are back competing on an even playing field. But for now, the team and its fans can take pride in knowing a handicapped squad just defied the odds and earned a trip to a bowl game.

Photo: Cameron Hart/ Penn State

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
OR
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

CJ Doon

CJ is a senior journalism major from Long Island and Onward State's Sports Editor. He is a third-generation Penn Stater, and his grandfather wrestled for the university back in the 1930s under coach Charlie “Doc” Speidel. Besides writing, one of his favorite activities is making sea puns. You can follow him on Twitter @CJDoon, and send your best puns to [email protected], just for the halibut.

Comments

Other posts by CJ

Get Out There And Meet People: CJ Doon’s Senior Column

Whether it’s natural curiosity or fear of the spotlight, I’m not sure, but I’ve always been more comfortable asking questions rather than answering them. Interviewing interesting people — friends, family, or strangers — is an enjoyable activity that I hope to turn into a living. At Penn State, I was afforded the opportunity to follow that passion — and then some.

Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Wins First Big Ten Championship

Jesse James Drafted No. 160 Overall By Pittsburgh Steelers

Trustees Committee Approves Sandy Barbour Contract Through 2023

Sandy Barbour will make an average of $1,269,000 per year as part of the new deal, which runs through August 2023.

Your THON 2019 Master Playlist

With more than 500 songs and a run-time of more than 30 hours, this playlist will make it seem like THON never ended.

Send this to a friend