Will Penn State play annual Blue-White game in 2021? James Franklin comments

Nittany Nation

The sunsets on Beaver Stadium during warm ups before an NCAA college football game between Penn State and Michigan in State College, Pa., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. Penn State won 28-21. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Penn State has not decided whether it will play the annual Blue-White game at the conclusion of spring football practices.

Head Coach James Franklin said in a Zoom press conference on Monday afternoon that Penn State was still exploring it’s options on whether or not to host the game.

The annual scrimmage is usually fans’ first chance to see the new Nittany Lions in action before a short summer break. The 2020 Blue-White game was canceled, as was all of spring practices, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With the university moving forward with the usually allotted practice schedule this spring ahead of the 2021 season, no decision has been made on the scrimmage. Blue-White game usually takes the place of the 15th practice day.

There are benefits for Penn State to cancel the annual open-to-the-public scrimmage, according to Franklin.

“In some ways, a final practice or final scrimmage, however you want to put it, a lot of times those things in such a public setting like that are pretty vanilla,” Franklin said. “[A closed practice] would allow us to have a true 15th practice where we’re putting everything out there from an evaluation standpoint as well.”

Franklin said the university will make an announcement in the coming days or weeks, citing his desire to make sure everyone at the university level is on the same page.

“I think for us, our entire focus is on: What can we do to best position us for next year? We want to try to be able to get back as close to normal as we possibly can for next season I think a lot of things are trending in that direction, nationally as well as within our state.”

Typically the Blue-White game is played in mid-April in Beaver Stadium, and open to the public. Monday, March 15 is the first day of spring practices for the Nittany Lions.

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