Penn State Football

James Franklin gives update on offensive lineman

James Franklin said freshman offensive lineman Connor McGovern could have played Saturday.

“We’re always going to put our players’ safety first,” Franklin said. “He had been cleared by the doctors, had practiced all week long but just (Derek) Dowrey’s done a great job for us all year long and if we could just give him another two days to get ready so that he’s at full strength next week all week at practice.”

McGovern left last week’s game against Indiana with an injury and Franklin said he didn’t get to practice this week as much as he would have liked. McGovern practiced with the first team on Wednesday.

So the Nittany Lions started Derek Dowrey at guard along with tackles Ryan Bates and Chasz Wright, guard Steven Gonzalez and center Brian Gaia.

Franklin also decided not to dress freshman Will Fries for Saturday night’s game. Fries is expected to redshirt this season.

“We weren’t going to dress Will for some things that we won’t discuss,” Franklin said. “No behavioral issues or anything like that. We weren’t going to dress him. We knew that going into it.”