The excitement is building around Penn State football as its season opening game against Idaho is just around the corner.
James Franklin met with the media on Wednesday night following practice to discuss this week’s game.
Best of the best?
It didn’t take long for Franklin to be asked about his defense and specifically if it’s the best defense he’s had since being at Penn State.
And he wasn’t shy in his answer.
“Well it’s hard to say because we haven’t played a rep yet but at this point I feel pretty good about it,” Franklin said. “We’ve had pieces but in terms of really d-line, linebacker and secondary I’m feeling pretty good about all of them, but game time is going to be another evaluation.
“But at this point in the season I would say so. I think our confidence is pretty high with how we’re capable of playing on defense. We’ve got to go out and do it, we’ve got to go out and execute.”
On Saturday, Penn State’s defense is going to get those first game reps and its first evaluation to see if it can stand up to those praises.
Franklin did also say in his answer that sometimes its tough in the early season with tackling and such all throughout college football and the NFL because teams are hitting less and less in the offseason. Sometimes it’s ugly for the first few weeks.
Penn State’s coach said the effort and athleticism that the defense puts into every play should make up for the early season adjustments.
Windsor ready to turn confidence into production
Penn State’s defensive line has a rare fifth year senior on it in Robert Windsor.
Windsor, who has assumed more of a leadership role, mentoring a whole host of talented youngsters on the defensive line has received high praise from Franklin.
“His overall development from the time he got here to know is dramatic,” Franklin said. “I told him the other day, I pulled him aside.
“I couldn’t be more proud of him in terms of how far he’s come and has matured as a football player, as a student, as a teammate, all of it.”
Franklin went on to say this was going to be a big season for Windsor and on a conference call earlier on Wednesday, Windsor also expressed confidence for this season.
The defensive tackle is the oldest of the defensive line group and will be looking to turn that confidence into production.
A new look
When Penn State takes the field on Saturday, fans will notice a small addition to the uniforms.
Penn State will join the rest of college football in wearing the “CFB150” patch on their jerseys.
The patches are meant to honor the 150th year of college football.
“Our uniform, we take great pride in that and our history and our tradition and we should, but there is also paying respect to the birth of college football,” Franklin said. “I get it but we aren’t going off the rails here.”
Franklin also dropped some other uniform news on Wednesday saying that Penn State will wear its throwback uniforms once a year moving forward.
“We will do our throwback uniforms again, we will do that once a year moving forward,” Franklin said. “It was just a year deal but it went over so well. Our players like it, our fans seem to like it.”
Penn State had previously announced that they would be wearing the throwback uniforms once again this season for its homecoming game against Purdue.
But it looks like Nittany Lion fans are going to have to get used to some subtle uniform changes in the future.