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NCAA Football: Ball State at Penn State
Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Tidbits from the conference that was.

Welcome to your weekly summary of “saying a lot of words without saying anything,” or as we like to call it in the tech industry, “being a product manager.” Seriously though, how do PMs manage to create 24-page decks out of one sentence? It boggles the mind.*

As always, James Franklin fielded questions from the media, and you guessed it, he addressed the USC rumors in a way only a coach with Franklin’s media savvy can: by being the best version of a PM he can be.

Here are some other notes from Tuesday’s press conference:

  • Franklin opened the conference by offering condolences to Brandon Short, who recently lost his daughter in a fatal shooting.
  • In a summary of Ball State, Franklin outlined ball security, field position, and defensive aggressiveness as keys to victory.
  • On the other hand, he highlighted penalties —the Nittany Lions have been called for targeting in each of the first two games so far, as well as protecting Sean Clifford, as things the Lions need to address moving forward.
  • Franklin spoke glowingly of Auburn in his introduction, mentioning that he’s known Bryan Harsin “for a number of years.”
  • He mentioned having been familiar with Auburn from his time in the SEC.
  • Franklin mentioned a number of Auburn players and coaches by name, including defensive coordinator Derek Mason, running backs Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter, receiver Shedrick Jackson, and of course, quarterback Bo Nix.
  • On being able to showcase Beaver Stadium to recruits, Franklin mentioned the importance of being able to see for yourself what the allure is all about. He also mentioned the whiteout as having an impact on a number of players in the past.
  • On Eric Wilson, Franklin was as coy as ever, noting that “it’s a little bit like with my wife. I’m not going to necessarily talk about things that I shouldn’t be talking about.”
  • When asked to evaluate the offense, Franklin noted that he’ll never be satisfied with where the offense is (or the defense, or special teams, for that matter), but did note that the offense has shown flashes so far. The next thing he’ll be looking for is consistency.
  • On the [lack of] turnovers so far this season, Franklin pointed out that this has always been a focus of his teams, and this year is no different. They need to keep it going in order to be successful.
  • On facing different defensive philosophies, the hope is to take the experience and create a “marriage” of the two outcomes in the previous two games.
  • On running the ball, especially in situations where teams know they’re going to run the ball, Franklin mentioned that they’re coming along in that area, but of course, have some work to do still.
  • Oh the whiteout’s impact, Franklin said that, if you’re a sports fan, you need to have the whiteout on your bucket list. “I been doing this for a long time, in pretty much every major conference, including the NFL, and this is as good as it gets.”
  • On “obviously”s, Franklin recorded 14. And thus, the OU for next week’s number of “obviously”s is 13.5.

*The job of a product manager is of utmost importance to a team, and is the difference between the success of an organization and its failure.

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