Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Looking Ahead, Not Back Lions Say Little about Lopsided Loss to Michigan Last Season

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Looking Ahead, Not Back Lions Say Little about Lopsided Loss to Michigan Last Season

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It's not that anyone associated with Penn State football has forgotten the Michigan game last year.

They likely couldn't, no matter how hard they tried or how much psychotherapy they underwent.

But there simply is not, Nittany Lions coach James Franklin said Tuesday, anything to be gained by looking back at the past, let alone dwelling on it.

Which is why he won't be talking much about Penn State's 49-10 loss at Michigan Stadium Sept. 24, 2016 with his players in the days leading up to the rematch at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Beaver Stadium, if the subject makes it into the discussion at all.

"I'm a live-in-the-present guy," Franklin said. "There are experiences we gained from last year, there is confidence we gained from last year, there are lessons that we learned from last year.

"But, no different from 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. . I really don't think last season's game has a whole lot to do with this Saturday's game."

The Nittany Lions certainly hope that's the case because last season the Wolverines took a lead they never relinquished just five minutes and nine seconds into the opening period. They subsequently built an advantage that swelled to 28-0 at halftime and 35-3 after three quarters.

And while the final score was the most gruesome number of the day for Penn State, it hardly was the only one. Consider that Michigan:

* Ran up a 515-191 edge in total yardage, including a 326-70 advantage on the ground.

* Had 25 first downs, while allowing just 12.

* Piled up six rushing touchdowns, including a pair by Karan Higdon, who is coming off a 200-yard performance in a 27-20 overtime victory Saturday against Indiana.

"A lot of guys were hurt, and a lot of guys got hurt," Penn State linebacker Koa Farmer said. …

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