Skip to main content

Penn State Coach James Franklin Makes Admission About Start To Season

A closeup of Penn State football coach James Franklin during a Big Ten game.

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 10: Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions looks on after the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Beaver Stadium on November 10, 2018 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Penn State football entered the season with some pretty high expectations. A dramatic season-opening loss to Indiana opened things on a tough foot, and James Franklin's Nittany Lions now find themselves winless through three games.

No. 3 Ohio State beat Penn State in their second game, 38-25. Last weekend, they were beaten down by Maryland 35-19.

"We’ve lost three different ways,” Franklin said on Saturday after the Maryland loss, per ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg. “In years past, we’ve found different ways to win a game.”

Franklin reflected on how things have gone so far this season. Due to the complications of COVID-19, he is coaching this year while his family stays in Florida. His youngest daughter Addison has sickle cell, so the family made the very difficult decision to stay isolated during the season. Franklin says he hasn't managed being away from his family as well as he probably needs to, an understandable struggle.

“I don’t want it to be misinterpreted, what I’m saying, but there’s been a lot of factors in 2020, a lot of factors,” James Franklin said, per PennLive. “If you’re not careful, then a lot of those factors can become distractions, and I think we have done a really good job of handling a lot of the things away from football, but there was a lot of time and energy spent on those things.

“I’ll be honest with you, one of the things that I have not done a great job of handling, personally, that I have to be honest with myself, and honest with the team, and honest with you guys, is that I have not done a great job of managing my family being gone,” Franklin continued. "I have not. They’re my fuel. I go home, they’re able to pour into me, and I’ve not done a great job of that."

Penn State football looks to get its first win on Saturday, on the road at Nebraska. The game between two desperate, proud Big Ten programs kicks off at noon.