Ugh... Are you letting out the breath you were holding in a sigh of exasperation? It’s like the entire Nittany Nation is exhaling a truly disappointing season; I can hear us. We’re exhausted. And we’re asking why. Why did our season go so far downhill? Why did we become so unable to win close games?
I hear my neighbor outside coaching up my eight-year old and I find myself wondering if maybe Penn State can use him in the bowl game. My three-year old, playing his own game, keeps telling me, “Sorry Mom, Penn State lost the ball again!” Sigh.
Let’s blame it all on the snow, shall we? Except it hasn’t been a problem with the weather; it's been a problem since Iowa. I can’t shake the feeling that that game broke our team somehow. Was it injuries? Did it expose a crack in the solidarity of our team? Why couldn’t we get back on track?
This season has raised more questions than answers. Why do bad seasons happen to good teams? I do believe we had a really good team. And contrary to popular belief, I do think we have a good coaching staff. So many of you are unhappy about Franklin’s ten year contract extension. I understand the frustration; we can all see that something seems off. I’m just willing to stick with him for a while longer. Consistency is worth something, too, though maybe not 75 million dollars. Football coaches in general are wildly overpaid. But the money problem in football is a topic for another day.
Today we’re mourning the loss of yet another competitive game. We’re trying to focus on the positive. Sean Clifford with 313 yards and three passing touchdowns. Keyvonne Lee with a 33-yard run. Jahan Dotson electric as usual with eight catches for 137 yards and two TDs. We’re trying not to dwell on the lackluster defense and special teams struggles.
Weather or not: we should have won that game. We could have made fewer mistakes even in the snow. We could have attempted more passes. We could have blocked better, tackled better, kicked better even in the slippery conditions. Michigan State managed to, why couldn’t we?
Whether or not Penn State regroups for the bowl game and for next season, remains to be seen. Whether or not we stick with them? That’s the only easy answer.