UNIVERSITY PARK (WTAJ) — Penn State football coach James Franklin has laid the groundwork for weeks, speaking at length about numbers issues, and player availability ahead of Saturday’s game. He dropped nuggets each week suggesting Penn State may move away from a traditional Blue-White format. Wednesday he confirmed those suspiciouns.
Various injuries and offensive line depth issues forced Penn State’s hand and Saturday’s format will be more of an glorified 11 on 11 practice, instead of a scrimmage.
“We’ll probably go offense versus defense. Offense on one sideline, defense on the other to help our O-line out, and then to also get enough special teams situations in between,” he said. “Some of the periods will be thud. Some of the periods will be live, so we’ll get some live work.”
By “thud,” he means players won’t be tackled to the ground. It’s often used as a safety precaution to limit full contact.
“Some players that aren’t cleared for live, but they’re clear for thud. So it allows us to get those guys reps.”
Tens of thousands of fans are expected to be in Beaver Stadium for Saturday’s 2 p.m. kickoff, and while this is a big weekend for fans it’s a big weekend for prospective recruits says recruiting coordinator Terry Smith.
“There’s excitement again, there’s buzz. That’s part of the secret sauce at Penn State is to have the opportunity to go in Beaver Stadium and play in front of our fans,” he said. “We’re expecting 60,000-70,000 fans. Whatever it is, it’s going to be a wonderful day, so we hope everybody comes out. We’re going to put on a great show and show everybody what 2022 is about to be.”