As much as I sarcastically claimed he was giving his best impression of JoePa at last week’s press conference, James Franklin actually warned us all what was potentially coming. If you paid attention on Tuesday, he said point-blank that our secondary did not match up well with their fleet of tall, speedy receivers. He told us loud and clear that they had one of the biggest O-Lines he’s ever seen, and boy was he right. For all the chit chat regarding open vacancies at a few of college football’s blue blood teams, he did his best to deflect the rumors over to another hot name in Minnesota’s PJ Fleck. If we had only listened, we just might have heard his warning, but being No. 4 for a fleeting moment was just too much fun for us to pay attention to.
As for us, there hasn’t been a script written yet that doesn’t include some level of adversity and overcoming loss. How boring would it be to just be perfect if you cannot appreciate what it took to get there? As sure as the sun rose on Sunday, so too will our Nittany Lions rise again. I saw the pain in Cliff’s eyes, heard the frustration in Franklin’s voice, and felt the pain in KJ’s heart. This loss was unexpected by everyone except Minnesota and it stung to the core, but there is so much of a season left to play. As bad as things looked, this team was just one play away, literally, from pulling off a miracle in Minneapolis.
There are no Game Balls to hand out on a day like this, although the Human Joystick certainly fits the bill for doing everything he could to keep us in the game. No, we are way past the point of rewarding a loss but let this be your friendly reminder that all is not lost. I could point out the very real scenario that still includes a path to the playoffs, but what’s the point? Instead, let’s just focus on Indiana and getting back to going 1 and 0 this week. What went down in Minnesota was nothing more than a stepping stone to where we’re headed. So pick your heads up, thank someone that served on Veteran’s Day, and get ready to bring the ROAR like never before. Our Nittany Lions need us now more than ever!