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Penn State Football: Maybe Not Revenge, But Nittany Lions Haven't Forgotten

by on October 19, 2017 12:00 PM

Revenge probably isn't the right word.

At the end of the day Penn State was a team with tons of injuries, a new offense and a still unborn confidence. So it wasn't like the Nittany Lions were at their best. Michigan should have won that game in 2016, and it did.

Pride though, that might be the word.

If Michigan had just won, Penn State would have moved on. Most every season has a loss or two, you can't spend your time trying to go on a revenge tour. It's not the right kind of motivation. That's why coaches don't focus on it, and why James Franklin has spent the week avoiding it.

"As you guys know, I'm like a live-in-the-present guy," Franklin said on Tuesday. "There's experiences we gained from last year. There's confidence we gained from last year. There's lessons that we learned from last year. But no different than last year's success that we had, we were going to have to rebuild this team from the ground up, and we're doing that. We're in the process of doing that right now."

"I really don't think last season's game has a whole lot to do with this Saturday's game. I don't think past historical records have a lot of factor into this game Saturday. What we've got to do is prepare like crazy for a team, a university, a program we have tremendous respect for, do the things that we need to do to make sure our team is ready to go out and play on Saturday, stick with our routine as you guys know I believe in strongly."

Maybe not the game, but it's hard to imagine many Penn State players forgot what was said after it.

"The linemen were getting so excited because I would call the same play and we were getting 9 or 10 a pop," Then Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight said last year. "When that happens it's demoralizing for a defense. I have never played defense, but I can imagine it would suck to go through that every single play and just have someone run over you."

"We were laughing in the huddle. We would run the exact same play eight straight times. We literally ran the same play eight times. We were cracking up."

Well there's that.

And it's safe to say as linebacker Manny Bowen tweeted out those quotes earlier in the week he hasn't forgotten them either.

So revenge, maybe not. But pride, and putting a hit on someone in Maize and Blue a bit harder this weekend? Sure. And as Penn State defensive end Shareef Miller was asked about those quotes following practice on Wednesday he just grinned ear to ear, his face telling a much different story than the words he spoke.

"We're not focused on last year."

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