Here are some excerpts of what Penn State coach James Franklin said Tuesday at his weekly teleconference where he previewed Saturday's game against Michigan State:
On a new tradition for homecoming
"We're going to have a lead bus that brings us … for our normal walk into the stadium and that bus will be full of Penn State lettermen. So they are going to lead us into the stadium. I thought that would be a really nice thing for us to do every single year on homecoming. Obviously we have so much respect and appreciation for our lettermen. It's another way to show our respect to them and honor them."
On true freshman Pat Freiermuth, the starting tight end
"I think the thing that we noticed pretty quickly is the stage isn't too big for him. It hasn't been in the weight room. It hasn't been in practice. It hasn't been in meetings. You never know when the lights come on but it hasn't seemed to be there as well. He's a very confident guy. He's a very poised guy. He's physical. That's something that we have shown the team, examples of big runs and big plays that he's had where he's pancaked people."
On decisions on whether to redshirt freshmen
"We have some guys that obviously have only played a little bit and we need to manage that, and there's still time to make that decision. Those guys want to play. So are we going to green-light them for the second half of the season? Are we going to manage it and try to take them up to the (four-game) limit where they play a decent amount but not enough to burn a year? That's the stuff that still needs to be managed, but no real changes in the original plan have been formed at this point."
On why Michigan State has the nation's top rush defense
"I think the biggest thing is up front. Their D-tackles and their D-ends are big, are strong, are physical, are very, very aggressive. When you watch the tape and you're looking at all those thighs and legs and rear ends, I mean, they are massive."
On last year's 3 1/2-hour weather delay at Michigan State and what could have been done better