It’s Monday morning as I write this and Michigan, well, Michigan doesn’t suck. But we might. This is what we were cautiously optimistic about not happening. Cautiously optimistic that Penn State would play a close game in the Big House and maybe even win. Cautiously optimistic that the Nittany Lions wouldn’t get their ‘behinds beat,’ to paraphrase PJ Mustipher.
No surprise here to all the Penn State fans crying, I told you so. Fire Franklin. Bench Clifford. Might as well just junk the whole team. Maybe special teams can stay; at the very least we’ll keep Barney. Did anyone else play well on Saturday? Maybe the wide receivers. Mitchell Tinsley had 57 yards on five catches, Parker Washington caught a few, and Harrison Wallace had a 48 yard catch.
Other than that, it was a fairly ugly day for Penn State. Is it possible not to dwell on it? I know I’m trying to shake it off–it’s easy to turn my attention to the current success of Philly sports. I sincerely hope the Nittany Lions are shaking this loss off as well. It's rumored the 2016 team led by Trace McSorely got on a flight home after being routed by Michigan and regrouped then and there for the rest of that BigTen Championship season. What will this team do?
It doesn’t look so good now, does it. Half of the time I’ve spent writing this has been with my head in my hands rather than my fingers to the keys. It’s hard to block out all the social media coaches. I still like James Franklin, however unpopular an opinion that is at this point. I’ve joked that if I ever run into him I’ll introduce myself as his one remaining fan. I’m not upset he’s here for another ten years like so many others are. I believe he’s a person who wants to improve, a coach who is willing to learn. The question now is, how will he handle the rest of this year.
It’s a turning point right here. Will we become the same team we were last year or can we channel the spirit and possibly the talent of that 2016 team? Is this yet another season with a fast, exciting start that collapses through the second half? Or will the team rally next week and continue strong?
Come what may, we are nothing if not loyal to our Nittany Lions. We may be disappointed, frustrated, cautiously optimistic, or mildly indifferent, but it's no surprise here that we’ll all show up next weekend to support our team, win or lose. Go State! Beat the Golden Gophers!