Penn State coach James Franklin on Tuesday again defended his decision to call timeout and set up his field goal block team at the end of Saturday's 56-0 win over Georgia State.
Franklin called timeout with 11 seconds left and Georgia State lining up a 31-yard field goal attempt to avoid the shutout. Georgia State's Brandon Wright connected on the attempt, but only after the timeout was called. After the game, Franklin said Penn State had its fourth-team defense on the field and wanted to get the right players on the field for the field goal block unit.
His decision was widely criticized in some places, inspiring several on-air rants and withering critiques in print.
Answering the critics, Franklin reiterated what he had said after the game, saying he was not "icing" Wright, who ended up missing to the right.
"We had mostly our fourth-team defense, some threes, on the field," Franklin said Tuesday. "I've been doing this 23 years. We've never worked a fourth-team field goal block. I'm on the headset and our defensive coaches are talking about how those guys won't even know how to line up. I'm shaking my head and the recommendation was to get the second team in there. I call the timeout and we are able to get the second team on the field, and from that point on, we're going to go block the kick."
Franklin added that allowing the field goal attempt with the incorrect personnel on the field would run counter to a program core value to always compete, regardless of the circumstances.
"If people don't think that we should go block the kick at the end of the game because of the score, then you probably won't understand us," Franklin said. "We have a standard of how we do things and I want our guys to do that on the football field and I want them to do that in life. If you have a bad day, you've still got to go to work in the morning. When something bad happens at work, you've still got to come home and be a great father and a great husband. The situation or the elements, should not affect our standard and how we do things.
"It's their job to try to score. It's our job to try to keep them out of the end zone. It's not a whole lot more than that."
Penn State has shut out two of its first three opponents. The fourth-ranked Lions visit Iowa on Saturday night.