Penn State faces uphill battle for playoffs; coach James Franklin is OK with penalties

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Uphill climb for playoffs

No question, Penn State must win out and get plenty of help if the Nittany Lions want any crack at the College Football Playoff.

It’s looking as bleak as it has all season for Penn State. John McGonigal of the Centre Daily Times writes that it is virtually impossible for Penn State to reach the playoffs this season.

Meanwhile, Mike Gross of LancasterOnline offers his observations after the rankings were released for the second time this season on Tuesday putting Penn State at No. 14.

No easy fix

Whatever the issues bothering Penn State these last two weeks, be it injuries, defensive collapses in the second half or an offense struggling to move late in games, Frank Bodani of the York Daily Record writes that there is no easy way to fix them.

Penalties are comforting

Penn State coach James Franklin offered this head-scratching moment from his weekly press conference. Penn State has been penalized 16 times in the last two games, and Franklin says he is essentially OK with it.

From Mark Wogenrich of the Allentown Morning Call:

“Yeah, I’m pretty comfortable with that,” Franklin said Tuesday during his weekly press conference. “… There is a part of it, when you play high-level competition and you’re playing high-level athletes, you see a little bit more of that. But I don’t see that being a trend for us. I really don’t.”

Rutgers, Penn State’s opponent on Saturday, has been penalized 56 times for the entire season. Penn State at one point was the nation’s second-least penalized team. Now, per Wogenrich, it is 17th with 41 total penalties.


The staff at Pennlive takes a trip back in time to 1988, the last time Rutgers won a game in the series against Penn State.

That Penn State team started in the Top 20 preseason, but after the loss to the Scarlet Knights plummeted out of the rankings and limped to a 5-6 record, and did not qualify for a bowl game.

Short-lived reunion

Last week current Houston Texans, and former Penn State, coach Bill O’Brien turned to his former Nittany Lions quarterback Matt McGloin to help fill the depth chart after starting quarterback DeShaun Watson was lost for the season with a torn ACL.

Pennlive’s Greg Pickel scoured the transaction wire and noted that McGloin’s stint with the Texans was short-lived as he was released on Tuesday.

Miss previous editions of the Wakeup Call? They can be found here.


The post Penn State faces uphill battle for playoffs; coach James Franklin is OK with penalties appeared first on Land of 10.

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