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Penn State Football: Just Another Practice, But A Day To Remember

by on April 16, 2016 6:00 AM

Yea we're talking about practice.

Because that's all it is. It's a practice, a practice that you get to watch and for four quarters of a running clock everyone gets to see behind the curtain and get an up close and personal look at the latest edition of Penn State football.

Nothing about this practice is going to change your life. There will be some good and some bad, some moments that give you hope and other moments that make you wonder if things will ever get better. That's the nature of practice, it's the nature of a team still learning and still growing and maybe still a year from being pretty good.

That's just how it works.

But this practice is also a chance to remember something, not something you'll notice, they won't put it on the scoreboard and talk about it during halftime. It's unspoken and it's undefined in any concrete fashion.

Saturday is in many ways the one and only time that James Franklin will likely get to hit the reset button. While his star still shines bright and the vast majority of Penn State's issue aren't his doing, nothing has been overly impressive about his tenure at Penn State. That's not even really his fault, the fact the program hasn't fallen into its own rebuilding body is an impressive feat, even if it's hard to see between the lines and the 100+ sacks.

So sure, it hasn't been great, but it could be worse.

Regardless, Franklin has bought himself time, a new offensive coordinator who seems to fit the mold of what Penn State needs as a program and what fans want to see on the field. If nothing else it will be interesting to watch, which for at least a short amount of time will beat the predictable nature of the past few years. Nobody knows how good Penn State will be, but they'll be watching a lot more closely now.

If James Franklin's tenure at Penn State is going to be everything fans have hoped it could be, Saturday is the first day that it starts to take shape. If his recruiting skills and enthusiasm are close, but not close enough to getting the job done, the new offense and retooled defense may fall short of expectations in the long run. It won't matter whose fault it is by the time his contract runs out near the end of this decade it will simply matter if Penn State won or not.

So yes, Saturday is a day to remember. It will either be the first time you see the start of what saved and extended James Franklin's career and mission at Penn State. The moment that everything starts to turn the corner.

Or it will be the day that the start of something new turned out to be not quite enough to get the job done.

The answer may not be apparent for years, but Saturday is the day the answer starts to show its face.

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