My heart is instinctively trying to tell me to send a warning shot Indiana’s way: Beware of the danger up ahead. The lion is awake, ready to roar, and hungry like he missed his last meal, or three. Oh by the way, ‘Hoosier Daddy,’ said with a healthy dose of bravado. You know, the usual banter when it comes to Indiana, a team that may have our number on the basketball court but one that’s never even sniffed a win inside the Lions Den. A win at Minnesota last week would have set those wheels in motion but instead, we’re left hanging with this curveball that has had us all off-balance ever since.
As much as I want to follow my heart at a time like this, the eyes saw something that caused alarm on Tuesday afternoon. In place of the usual grins and sly wisecracking that normally accompany a James Franklin press conference, I felt like I saw a deflated version of our coach. Dare I say, it was almost somber for the first time in forever, if ever at all. Maybe I’m just reading into it way too much but what we needed was an hours’ worth of reassurance and total confidence. Instead, what I think we got was a man who feels like he’s been stabbed in the heart, just like the rest of us. It’s funny how fast things change in this game. One minute we’re on top of the world and 60 minutes later it feels like we’re on the verge of collapse.
So sink or swim I tell you, it’s do or die this Saturday versus Indiana, of all teams. Those are the only two options this crossroads will allow. We haven’t had to test our trust in Sean Clifford, so here we are front and center. It was bound to happen, so best we get it over with now rather than later. For the record, my faith has never wavered and it never will. I believe in them as much today as I did this time a week ago. Unlike the crossroads our Nittany Lions have staring back at them from the mirror, faith is our one and only choice. So let the coaches coach, let the players work through their funk and enough of this woe-is-us mentality that has gripped our soul all week long. Victory is the cure for our ailments and by the time this game ends, destiny will be firmly planted on our side: Penn State 37, Hoosier Daddy 17.