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Penn State Football: A Small But Meaningful Change

by on September 21, 2017 1:30 PM

It goes without saying that a lot has changed around Penn State football in the past decade. Most of those changes are obvious. The facilities are better, the offense is more modern, the program is operating with a full allotment of scholarships. The sorts of things that have been hashed out over and over again.

But one of the biggest changes? The Nittany Lions aren't one mistake from disaster every drive.

It may not have seemed like it on Saturday, but Georgia State wasn't far off from showcasing what Penn State looked like not long ago. The Panthers could move the ball, and at times looked good at it. But one mistake was all it took. A dropped pass, a penalty, a loss of yards. One mistake and the drive was doomed.

And that was Penn State's story just a few years ago. Glimpses of good football with mistakes and setbacks knocking everything off the rails.

Now, it's a very different kind of football.

"That's one of the first things you have to do," James Franklin said after practice earlier this week. "Is to teach the players how not to lose. These are the things that lose games for you, and before we start to learn how to win, learn, we've got to stop doing those things. Then when you get to that point then it's now let's start attacking the defense, let's start doing those kinds of things."

And it shows. Penn State is no longer the team that sees its promising drives foiled by a mistake or a miscue. The Nittany Lions are winning the turnover battle, second best in the nation, and one of the least penalized teams through three games. Little things that make a big difference.

So if anything has changed about Penn State football in the past five years its a simple concept. The Nittany Lions aren't surviving, they're attacking. 

"The sooner you can get to the point where you can game plan to attack a defense or have our defense attack an offense, and scheme to gain an advantage, it's really helpful." Franklin added.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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