Penn State showed electrifying plays on offense, defense and special teams en route to a 52-0 win over Akron in the season opener. Head Coach James Franklin was most pleased with the third phase after the game.
"Overall, I thought probably the most complete football we've played since we've been here," Franklin said. "Offense and defense and special teams, very rewarding to me that we've been investing in special teams in a lot of different ways, time, resources and to see our special teams and to see DeAndre Thompkins specifically get a punt return for a touchdown is awesome."
"I know I had a good chance and I trust in my guys a lot," Thompkins said about his touchdown. "So I had that chip on my shoulder that I knew that I had to break it this game and just wanted to break it this game and so, everybody did their job and showed up."
"It wasn't the whole kitchen sink," Trace McSorley said, referring to the variety of plays called in the opener. "We really nailed down our gameplan, what we felt that we could run to be effective versus what the looks they were showing us. So we have those gadget plays each week but we kind of just want to get them called, get them run out there, but we showed that we can be successful with a pretty slim gameplan for kind of our standards, what we got in our playbook and be able to expand it even more than we did today feels really good."
Saquon Barkley added 226 totals yards and two scores, impressing his teammates.
"You have to pay attention to him," Mike Gesicki said, who scored two touchdowns himself on passes by McSorley. "You have to account for him on every single down, every single play. So having 26 in the backfield is a huge advantage for us."
Penn State takes on Pittsburgh next week.