Not As One
Well. I can’t say it much better than that. We’re 0 and 3 for the first time since 2001. We just lost to Maryland, a team I’m not sure we even truly believe belongs in the Big Ten.
I just keep thinking about those early 2000s. Everybody is. Those seasons were pretty bad, much like this one is shaping up to be. Between 2000 and 2004 we had four losing seasons. And now we’re starting the season with three losses for the fourth time in 80 years. Just the statistics you were hoping to hear this morning, right?
Does it help at all that Michigan lost to Indiana? Maybe a little? No, not really. Okay.
Were we really ranked in the top ten to start this season? Who could have guessed that we’d be 0-3 and Indiana would be 3-0? Can we blame this one on 2020?
Next weekend we’ll have to go and play Nebraska, who with an 0-2 record is just as desperate as we are to put a tally in the win column. I don’t know what else to say besides we have got to get it together people.
I find myself deep in post game interviews looking for answers and it seems no one has them. Coach Franklin continues to take responsibility, which is better than blaming anybody else I suppose.
Jahan Dotson and Pat Freiermuth both spoke to unity issues. Dotson saying, “we’re not as one right now. We're not a unit right now. There's a lot of things going on, there’s distractions.” Freiermuth adding, “I think the biggest challenge is having the players kind of get on the same page."
Obviously nobody is happy. Sean Clifford said, “To say I'm disappointed, frustrated, they're all understatements. Like I said last week, it’s how you respond and how you go about your day."
In 2001 we lost the first four games of the season before ending up with a 5-6 record. A ton of people got down on Joe Paterno during those years, but the Lions were able to make the best of a bad start in 2001 and move forward in a few short years. In 2004 we were 4-7 but 2005 was an amazing 11-1 season that ended with the Orange Bowl win in triple overtime.
James Franklin is no Joe Paterno, but I’m not ready to abandon him yet. With only five games left, our best look is a 5-3 season. I’m hoping really hard that some sort of magic happens in practice this week. I have to trust that our players and coaches will find that positive spark.
It’s not my job to find the answers to this season. My job, our job as fans, is to decide whether we’re fair weather, bandwagon fans or stick-with-you-rain-or-shine fans. For better or worse, I’ll be tuned in next week to see if Jahan Dotson can give us another spectacular touchdown catch. Here’s hoping these Nittany Lions can follow their star receiver’s advice:
"Pick your brother up. At the end of the day everyone on this roster, we’re all brothers. We've got to come together as one, we've got to move as one."