James Franklin‘s Penn State team beat Auburn last weekend, and overcame some shoddy officiating in the process. On one drive, the Nittany Lions even had to punt on third down due to the officials losing track of downs.
Down 10-7 in the second quarter, confusion came when quarterback Sean Clifford was called for intentional grounding on a throw where there was a clear miscommunication with his receiver. That play results in a loss of down, which should have made it 2nd-and-16. After a five-yard pass, the down markers read fourth down, instead of third, confusing the SEC refs.
James Franklin frantically tried to point the mistake out, but had to get his punt team out when it was clear it wouldn’t be fixed in time. PSU would come back to win the game 28-20, and afterwards, the SEC acknowledged the mistake. It was one of a few controversial calls against Penn State during the game. Franklin is still a bit salty, days later.
“I think we have Big Ten officials this week,” he said during his weekly Penn State Coaches Show on Thursday night. “So I don’t know if I would ever have said this before, but thank God.”
Penn State's James Franklin takes another jab at SEC referees' botched Auburn call:
— 247Sports (@247Sports) September 24, 2021
Penn State, which is up to No. 6 in the country after a 3-0 start, hosts FCS opponent Villanova this weekend.
After that game, the Nittany Lions get back to Big Ten play against Indiana on Oct. 2. Penn State opened the season with a big win on the road at Wisconsin.
Penn State-Villanova is scheduled for a noon kickoff at Beaver Stadium on Saturday.