Penn State vs. Temple Game Grades

10 of 10

Sep 5, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin walks the parameter of the field prior to the game against the Temple Owls at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O’Haren- USA TODAY Sports


This slide should probably be titled lack of coaching.

The staff deserves the lion’s share of the blame, pun intended.  Offensive coordinator John Donovan has replaced the Wildcat with the jet sweep.  It worked twice, and then Temple adjusted.  No adjustments were made on Penn State’s part. The offense kept running the same jet sweep or fake jet sweep trap run or zone read run over and over and over again.  No attempt was made to run out from under center.  No attempt was made to roll Christian Hackenberg out away from the pressure.  Very few attempts were made at throwing down field to the play-making receivers, even though there was one-on-one coverage.

There looked to be maybe four or five plays total in the play book with zero in-game adjustments.  Zero.  Donovan and offensive line coach Herb Hand should be on thin ice after a performance like that.

Ultimately the responsibility falls on James Franklin.  He is the head coach and must make changes now if he’s going to salvage this season.  I can’t even believe that’s being said after game one, but it’s true.  There are so many questions about this offensive coaching staff’s ability right now to put the players in a position to win games.  They are clearly not utilizing the talent at hand.

To see former players be so critical on social media shows a sad state of affairs.   This wasn’t a game versus a superior Ohio State or Michigan State.  This was a season-opening game against Temple and the staff was completely unprepared in embarrassing fashion.

After 14 games as head coach at Penn State, we know what James Franklin is and isn’t.  He’s a great recruiter and motivator that seems to lack in the X’s and O’s.  It is on him to have staff members in place that make up for that deficiency. He has that with defensive coordinator Bob Shoop, but something must be done about the offensive staff, and quick.

By the end of the game, I longed for the days of Jay Paterno and Galen Hall splitting offensive play calling duties.  It was that bad.

Grade: F-