Penn State offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne took credit, or rather the blame, for the Nittany Lions' failed fourth-down call against Ohio State this past Saturday in an interview with the Associated Press.
“I was upset with (the play call) because there was a particular thing that I should have foreseen and I didn’t,” Rahne told the AP. “I should have foreseen one other thing, and I didn’t. That made it a little bit more difficult than I thought it was going to be.”
The full interview, which can be read here went on to explain what Rahne had seen, something quarterback Trace McSorley agreed with during his own postgame comments, a play that had led to two of the most successful runs of the game for running back Miles Sanders. Third time it turns out, was not the charm.
Sanders was tackled in the backfield for a loss, both of yards and on the scoreboard as Penn State fell to Ohio State late in the fourth quarter for the second straight season.
“So that was the thought process that went into it,” said Rahne. “I felt like we had a good chance to run the ball and split it right up the hash. I went back and watched the tape. Is there a possibility for that? Yeah, maybe, but ultimately I didn’t give our guys the best chance to succeed.”
Head coach James Franklin would later support his coordinator during a scheduled conference call Tuesday afternoon, placing the blame on his own shoulders rather than Rahne's.
“I said ultimately, it's on me," Franklin told the media. "But I guess what I am proud of is that we've created an environment here and a culture here where players want to take responsibility, where assistant coaches want to take responsibility. I think there's a lot of value in that. That makes me proud of what we're building here. But again, as I said on Saturday night, ultimately I'm the head coach and I'm responsible.”
Franklin is schedule to meet with the media following practice on Wednesday, his only in-person availability during Penn State's bye week. The Nittany Lions are back in action the following week against Michigan State, the game is scheduled to kick at 3:30 at Beaver Stadium.