In a strange turn of events, I have driven back to Philadelphia for a Penn State football game, as opposed to three hours up to State College.
The uniqueness of seeing my favorite college team playing in the home of my favorite pro team is something that cannot be ignored and I’ve always wanted to attend a Penn State game at Temple, which happens about as frequently as the Olympics.
I’ve had this date circles on my calendar for quite some time, but really I just can’t wait to see what this team looks like in James Franklin’s second year. All the negativity of the past four years that splintered the fanbase is gone.
EDIT: This is where I alter this post to scrap my hastily planned season outlook with Temple game reactions.
After months of eager anticipation, Penn State completely annihilated any optimistic thoughts the Penn State fan base had for this year. They were thoroughly dominated by Temple’s defense throughout, or at least the part I saw, because getting into the Linc was a total debacle.
Penn State’s coaching staff, or the offensive coaching staff at least, received a lot of criticism last year, but one thing they seemed to do well, was take advantage of ample time between games to gameplan, as we saw with solid showings against UCF and Boston College last year.
This year? Frightening incompetence. And this is with a more experienced offense!
No crippling depth issues, no sanctions, nothing. It’s football.
This team is still very young, but more experienced and with a strong 2015 recruiting class waiting to develop as freshman. Add in the incredibly week schedule, this is my biggest pet peave as its seriously horrible, and I don’t see how this team doesn’t win 9 games.
That’s what I was thinking before Saturday’s loss. Suddenly the schedule doesn’t look so weak when you see how bad Penn State played. Buffalo is no gimme.
The entire offense was just a disaster. From the play-calling to the execution. I’m not going to single out one specific person. I missed Akeel Lynch’s play while waiting in the absurd and poorly organized security line. So I barely saw any positive plays. The defense looked solid, but was gassed because they were on the field the whole time. Now Nyeem Wartman-White is out for the year. What a stomach punch of a season opener.
As Lions247 pointed out, the anticipation for the season was not matched by the team on Saturday. This is a setback of epic proportions, and I don’t care if they win the next five homes games because after that is a surefire-beatdown in Columbus.
The struggle to return to relevance has never been more apparent than loosing to Temple. I try to be a rational person, but losing to Temple is a fireable offense for James Franklin and his staff. I mentioned the play calling, but they looked sloppy too. Being unprepared is even worse than poor in-game adjustments.
This is all on the coaches. Franklin’s not going anywhere of course, and he’s too good of a recruiter to let one bad loss affect his future classes. But my confidence in him is minimal at best.
It pains me to say this, after eagerly anticipating a new season of Penn State football, but I almost want it to end already.