ShareThis Page
Penn State’s Franklin remains vague on team’s injured players |

Penn State’s Franklin remains vague on team’s injured players

Bob Cohn
| Tuesday, September 29, 2015 2:15 p.m
Penn State coach James Franklin celebrates a touchdown during the first half against San Diego State on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 in State College.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Penn State' Nick Scott (24) hurdles San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny (20) on a kick return in the fourth quarter Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, at Beaver Stadium in University Park. Penn State defeated San Diego State, 37-21.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Penn State coach James Franklin talks with an official during the game against San Diego State on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, at Beaver Stadium in University Park.

Before and during Saturday’s 37-21 win over San Diego State, Penn State lost both starting safeties, nearly its entire running game and an improving defensive lineman. So how does that bode for this week against Army West Point?

We’ll just have to wait and see.

As he reminds the media every week, coach James Franklin said he “doesn’t talk about injuries.” So we’re left to speculate about safety Jordan Lucas, who did not dress, and guess about the other safety, Marcus Allen, who came out after hurting his arm (the sling was a giveaway). Running backs Akeel Lynch and Saquon Barkley departed after suffering apparent leg injuries. What happened to backup defensive end Evan Schwan remains unclear.

All the players remain at or near the top of the depth chart at their positions.

“Even if I wanted to, this early in the week there’s not a whole lot I can tell you,” Franklin said. “We didn’t know about Jordan Lucas last week until basically Saturday morning.

“From everything I know at this point, none of them are season-ending injuries,” Franklin said. “I anticipate getting them all back, whether it’s this week or next week. We’ll see how the week goes, how they heal.”

Junior Malik Golden started for Lucas, and sophomore Troy Apke (Mt. Lebanon) came in for Allen. Franklin said the pair “did some good things” but added, “We must improve our tackling fundamentals. That showed up probably at the safety position as much as anything.”

The absences of Lynch and Barkley, especially, were more pronounced. With both active, Penn State led 27-14 at halftime and controlled the ball for nearly 22 minutes. The offense failed to score a touchdown in the second half.

Before coming out, Barkley, who ran for 315 yards in the previous two games, had eight carries for 62 yards and took a screen pass for a scintillating 22 yards and a touchdown.

Freshmen Mark Allen and Nick Scott replaced Lynch and Barkley. Allen took a swing pass 13 yards into the end zone and Scott connected with Chris Godwin on a 32-yard pass, but they combined for 14 rushing yards on 11 carries.

“Losing two guys (Barkley and Lynch) that were playing at a pretty high level, it was exciting to see Mark Allen come in and touch the ball and score a touchdown on his first touch,” Franklin said. “And then Nick Scott gets some opportunities.”

But in the end, said Franklin, “Obviously, they were behind those other two guys on the depth chart for a reason.”

Franklin said he moved redshirt freshman running back Johnathan Thomas from the scout team for depth.

Notes: Penn State leads the nation with 4 12 sacks per game and is No. 3 in tackles for loss (10 per game). … The Nittany Lions rank 110th nationally in total offense (345.5 yards per game), just behind Pitt. … Army (1-3) is one of three Division I independents (along with Notre Dame and Brigham Young). One of its losses was to FCS-member Fordham. In last week’s 58-36 win over Eastern Michigan, the Black Knights’ option offense produced 556 rushing yards, the most in program history against a current D-I team.

Bob Cohn is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @BCohn_Trib.

Categories: PennState
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.