Penn State football: James Franklin fires back at critics over final score

Penn State football head coach James Franklin shot down the notion that he was intentionally running the score up on Saturday.

Week one for the Penn State football program ended up being a breeze. In typical college football fashion, the Lions opened up the season against a much lesser opponent. Basically, week one became the Nittany Lions preseason matchup as they dominated so much that the bottom of the depth chart had an opportunity to come in and play.

The final score ended up being 79-7 over the Idaho Vandals. A football team putting up 79 points is flat out ridiculous. But at the same time, it’s not all that shocking when looking at who played who. Penn State was supposed to beat Idaho and beat them bad.

Unfortunately for the Vandals, they got destroyed in every phase of the game ranging from the offense to defense, to special teams. By the third quarter, Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin had pulled the starters.

At that point, the game was well out of reach, and there was no reason to risk the starters’ health. In college, there’s no mercy rule, though. The game goes on. Therefore, Franklin trotted out the backups. Idaho’s varsity squad remained on the field, but they didn’t seem to match up very well with the Nittany Lions backups either.

Did the Lions run the score up?

During the second half, Penn State managed to put up 35 points. Idaho, on the other hand, only scored seven. By the time the clock ran out, Penn State had won by a 72-point margin. Some fans loved it because their team dominated. Other fans hated it because the game wasn’t entertaining.

However, aside from those two types of fans, James Franklin took notice of a trend in his mentions on Twitter. There was a group of college football fans out there criticizing Penn State for running the score up on a visibly inferior opponent.

While Franklin understands, and knows nobody wants to see that kind of beatdown on the scoreboard — he refuses to let those comments confirm a narrative that is clearly false. “No one likes to see that,” Franklin mentioned in his press conference on Tuesday.

“But I will tell you that those guys deserve to get in the game and play.” At one point, Penn State was trotting out players who weren’t even on the week one depth chart. Regardless of the score though, Penn State’s head coach wanted those guys who put in work all summer long to have an opportunity to play and run the offense as they did throughout the offseason. Unfortunately for the losing team, that resulted in a steeper margin.