James Franklin, while recapping Rutgers game, calls team ‘Temple’ instead

·2 min read

James Franklin might still be a bit distracted, the Penn State football head coach referring to Saturday’s 28-0 win over Rutgers in his Tuesday press conference. But instead of Rutgers, Franklin referred to a team he hasn’t played for six seasons.

Franklin referred to Rutgers, a Big Ten rival and one of two closest teams geographically to Penn State in the conference, as Temple.

“Penalties, I think we’re getting better in that area but there are still some penalties,” Franklin told reporters on Tuesday.

“The one drive that Temple had in the game was extended by three costly penalties that almost led to a score. Specifically, obviously you guys know I’m not a fan of the pre-snap and post-snap penalties. Those are the ones for sure that you got to get fixed.”

Penn State last played Temple in 2016, a 34-27 win by the Nittany Lions.

Was this a dig at Rutgers, a team that hasn’t yet reached rival status with Penn State? Probably not. Franklin made a similar mistake earlier this season, referring to Illinois instead of the upcoming opponent for that week, Ohio State.

He also referred to Temple while looking up from his prepared notes during the introductory part of his press conference. It is likely just the fact that Franklin went off script a bit and referred to a different regional program.

Either way, it is a sign that Rutgers is not yet a rival of Penn State yet. If the opposing head coach can’t get the name right, then there is no rivalry yet between these two programs. Maybe someday, but not now.

Perhaps Franklin doesn’t need to know who his team is playing or has played recently. Whatever he’s doing seems to be working well enough to get a huge contract extension this week.

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