A top-10 battle between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Penn State Nittany Lions provided the chance for the most exciting finishes in college football this year. Then with the game on the line, head coach James Franklin’s playcalling wiped it all away.
Penn State punched it in from one yard out to take a 26-14 lead with eight minutes left, it seemed like the annual tradition of blowing big games would finally come to an end. Then Ohio State responded with two scores to take the lead with two minutes left.
Senior quarterback Trace McSorley got the ball back with the chance for a game-winning drive. McSorley had been phenomenal the entire night, but none of that mattered to Franklin.
On fourth and five inside Ohio State’s territory, after he used a timeout, Franklin went away from his senior quarterback and put the ball in the hands of running back Miles Sanders.
took 2 timeouts to come up with this on 4th and 5? wtf. I take back what I said about them out-coaching OSU. Penn State deserved this pic.twitter.com/8UlVQFbKDv
— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) September 30, 2018
After the play, Twitter immediately ripped into Franklin for the baffling play call that resulted in disaster and a loss for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State should borrow Urban’s medication to forget that last play call.
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) September 30, 2018
Not hugely impressed with either Ohio State or Penn St. Not surprised James Franklin oversaw head-scratching final play call. He's a better recruiter than a coach. Know him well from his years at my school.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) September 30, 2018
4th and 5: this is clearly a time to pass
James Franklin: pic.twitter.com/G1Ooikcw1q
— Francis Kaminsky III (@FSKPart3) September 30, 2018
Come get your mans James Franklin fans. what a joke
— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) September 30, 2018
My god that was an awful play call by James Franklin
— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) September 30, 2018
James Franklin today:
✔️Two punts inside Ohio State's 40
✔️A third punt on 4th & 1 from OSU's 49
✔️FG on 4th & 3 in the red zone
✔️Forgot to go for 2 when up by 5 in the 4th
✔️Burned two timeouts to make a 4th & 5 a must-convert play, then called a draw out of shotgun.
— Jeff (BPredict) (@BPredict) September 30, 2018
A run? You know… you have Heisman Candidate at QB James Franklin, right?
— Jorge Sedano (@SedanoESPN) September 30, 2018
James Franklin taking two timeouts to call that. Me: pic.twitter.com/N1f7DkzOqs
— Matt Pelc (@mpelc) September 30, 2018