The No. 10 Lions (9-2, 6-2) are traveling to College Park this weekend to take on the Maryland Terrapins. Last year, Penn State crushed University of Maryland with a decisive 38-14 win at home.
Maryland has had a solid season this year, and Penn State fans should not assume that this game will be a blowout.
The Terps defeated solid Big Ten teams like Indiana (42-39) and Minnesota (31-24), much to the surprise of many college football analysts.
However, Maryland still falls short against some of the more imposing contenders like Michigan (35-10 L) and Ohio State (62-14 L). In the most shocking surprise of all, Maryland lost to Rutgers, 31-24, just a few weeks ago.
As the Lions get ready for this weekend, many were asking how a week of no classes would affect the team’s mental preparedness for their final clash of the season.
Head Coach James Franklin addressed the question head on in his weekly press conference.
“The schedule changes not as much as you would think from a football perspective because we still have all of our NCAA hourly responsibilities,” said Coach Franklin.
The team is still engaging in all of their usual game-week workouts, but due to the holiday, the coaches are stepping up to make sure all players feel relaxed on Thanksgiving, even if they can’t head home.
“At Thanksgiving, a lot of guys are going to their position coaches. Then I have a number of young staff members that don't have families that are coming to my house. Got probably about five or six players that are coming to my house,” said Coach Franklin. “I'm hoping that they'll come and slobber on my couch and eat turkey and just chill because to me it's just about family and about spending quality time with each other and taking a time to be thankful for all the blessings that we do have, so that's the plan.”
If there’s one thing that this team does well, among the many other things, it is be a family. That family-oriented attitude that has been crafted all season long by the coaches and staff will help to carry the Lions through to their last game of the season.
How many Nittany Lion fans are making their way to Maryland this weekend to celebrate one last regular season game of Penn State Football? If you’re staying at home, tune in 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff on the Big Ten Network. Let’s go, Lions!