Penn State fans may still be reveling over the Nittany Lions’ thrilling 24-21 upset of No. 2 Ohio State last weekend. And why not? It was the first win over a ranked opponent in the James Franklin era.
But for Franklin and his staff, Saturday night’s stunner at Beaver Stadium was old news once film review was complete Sunday.
“We’re just worried about one more game, and that’s Purdue this week, and trying to keep our focus right on those guys,” Penn State assistant head coach Terry Smith said on the Big Ten’s weekly media call Tuesday. “If we turn around and lay an egg against Purdue, then what good is that victory last weekend?” http://www.scout.com/college/football/recruiting/story/1720918-wr-jaylen...
Smith was filling in for Franklin on the call, as the head coach was attending his brother-in-law’s funeral in the Philadelphia area. Smith, who is also PSU’s cornerbacks coach and defensive recruiting coordinator, admitted that the Nittany Lions (5-2, 3-1) have had a bit more pep in their collective step as they prepare to hit the road to face the Boilermakers (3-4, 1-3).
“We’re gonna approach it as business as usual,” Smith said. “We work under the belief that the next game is the most important game, no matter who your next opponent is.
“There’s just a little bit more excitement,” he added. “Our kids, they’ve bought into the process the entire year. And after a game like this last weekend, the process becomes — I don’t want to say easier — but the buy-in is even greater. Our kids are excited for this week.”
After starting the season 2-2, Penn State has now won three in a row and has climbed into the Associated Press Top 25 (at No. 24) for the first time since December of 2011. It should be noted that both losses — to Pitt and Michigan — came away from Beaver Stadium. http://www.scout.com/college/penn-state/story/1719381-psu-fans-now-get-s...
“We haven’t won on the road (this season),” Smith said. “So this is gonna be a good test for us to get our first road victory.”
During the media call, Smith was asked how many times he has watched what turned out to be the game-winning play vs. the Buckeyes — a blocked field goal by S Marcus Allen that CB Grant Haley returned for a 60-yard TD.
“I watched it probably two times through film study, when I’m grading the film,” he said. “Once the game’s over and we review the film, it’s time to move on. Purdue is our next test. So that’s for the fans to continue to watch and continue to tweet and all those things. Our mission and purpose right now is 100 percent Purdue.”