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James Franklin says Michigan DB’s hold and grab

Penn State’s coach explains why he thinks Michigan’s secondary doesn’t give up big plays often

Penn State v Indiana Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Penn State coach James Franklin doesn’t think the Michigan Wolverines secondary plays all that fair.

While Franklin didn’t call Michigan’s D a bunch of cheaters, he made it clear on Wednesday that he feels the unit bend rules and that Michigan coaches teach the players these tactics.

Franklin’s comments

  • “They hold. They grab, they hold, they tug, they pull. They get called for it a decent amount, but they also get away with it a lot more.
  • “They’re gonna run with ya and be in your hip, but while they’re in your hip they’re grabbin’ your pants, grabbing your hip, very rarely is it the jersey because you see the jersey, they’re well coached at it.”
  • “You’ll see a receiver running and the defensive back right behind him, and they’re both running full speed and all of the sudden, for some reason, the receiver slows down and the DB runs by him? It doesn’t add up. They do a really good job at those things.”

While Michigan’s defense has been called for quite a few defensive holding penalties this year, I’m not sure an objective eye test matches what coach Franklin if you look at all of the film. The Michigan secondary is arguably the best in the nation, with David Long and Lavert Hill playing like All-Americans to this point in 2018. The unit can usually play technically sound and suffocate wideouts in coverage, even beating them down the field in a sprint. They’re fast, physical, and smart.

We’ll let you decide whether Franklin’s comments are more fact or fiction, but there’s no doubt that the secondary will use these quotes as bulletin board material heading into Saturday’s game.

Don Brown told the Michigan defense to make this game personal, and it just got a little more personal with Franklin’s comments.