Penn State keeps winning big. Can it win the Big Ten? The answer is coming soon.
The Nittany Lions have an elite defense. Their offense is elite on paper, though it will have to do more if the program wants to get by Ohio State and Michigan.
EVANSTON, Ill. — James Franklin is, if nothing else, a big modus operandi guy.
Sure, every coach adheres to this philosophy, be it through cliches such as “one play, one life,” “one team, one heartbeat” or “one game at a time.” But few take it as far as Franklin does, whether it’s tweeting the name of every opponent every week, big or small, or having Penn State sell new “1-0” shirts after each win as part of its NIL collective.
Penn State took care of Northwestern on Saturday, overcoming a sleepy start and a halftime tie to break away with a 41-13 win. That’s 10 straight wins for the Nittany Lions, dating back to last season. It’s also 12 straight covers for the program, which may or may not be a coincidence given how aggressive its reserves have looked in several of its games so far this season. (The line at Ryan Field? 26.5. Penn State’s final offensive play? Backup QB Beau Pribula’s only snap, off a takeaway, going to Trey Potts across the middle of the field for a 30-yard touchdown pass. But we digress …)
Franklin’s team will take an undefeated record into its open date, before hosting UMass.
“It’s not an off week, it’s a bye week,” Franklin said in his opening statement. “We’ve got to use this week to get better in the short term with our program and in the long term for recruiting.”
A few minutes later, he added: “I'm not sure if I mentioned this in here — if I did I apologize for being repetitive, I talked about it in the locker room — this is a bye week, not an off week.”
As we said, Franklin is big on standard operating procedure. Which makes what he said right after that so noteworthy within the context of his 10-year run as Penn State’s coach.