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Penn State Football: Franklin Says Holiday Schedule Poses Challenge Ahead Of Michigan State

by on November 22, 2016 3:35 PM

James Franklin likes turkey as much as the next guy, but the impact that Thanksgiving has on the week's schedule ahead of a potentially season-defining game against Michigan State? That he's not so fond of.

"Yeah, I don't love it, to be honest with you," Franklin said of the week's adjusted schedule. "I have my radio show tonight. Tuesday is a big game plan night for us. Typically you can handle Thanksgiving. Typically you can handle a night game the previous week. It's hard to do both."

Franklin noted that the Nittany Lions didn't return from New Jersey until 5:15 a.m. following the win at Rutgers. The late, or rather early, arrival pushed back the schedule on Sunday, a day usually dedicated to game planning. And so everything shuffles. Add in a holiday and the mix continues.

"Monday is off. Tuesday, today, because I have the radio show tonight, we have to move practice up earlier," Franklin said. "We moved practice up earlier. That cuts out of game planning that we already are cut short on. There's a lot of kind of gymnastics that go with it. Probably the fact of the night game before already a short week in some ways can make it challenging.

"Thursday, we'll practice on Thanksgiving, in the morning. Again, you lose that day of fine tuning some of the things you're doing before practice that afternoon. You lose some of that, as well."

Fortunately for Penn State these obstacles have been known for a while now. While Franklin may not have known the stakes potentially involved for this weekend, it isn't as though this hasn't been planned out months in advance.

"We planned on this way ahead of time," Franklin added. "It's not like we're scrambling at the last minute. We knew all these things. It's still out of our norm. The good thing is for the most part, besides the fact that Michigan State I don't think had a night game the previous week, it wasn't on the road, it was home, that's probably the biggest difference. We're both having to deal with Thanksgiving in the middle of a practice week, how that modifies things. The difference we have is the night road game is a challenge."

So all told it changes things, but Franklin seems optimistic that it isn't going to be the difference in the game, just a difference in routine.

Perhaps more importantly, is Franklin a turkey guy or a ham fan?

"Turkey if I had to choose," Franklin says. "I like both as part of my Thanksgiving meal. But if I had to choose one or the other, turkey. Needs to be gravy, a small portion of gravy on the turkey, a small portion of mashed potatoes, and a small portion of stuffing all in the same bite. Kind of like a cornucopia of flavors."

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