The photo above was taken two years ago today, after Penn State beat Rutgers on the road. The Ohio State at Maryland game was finishing up just as James Franklin was set to do his postgame press conference, and the Buckeyes were in trouble against a game Terps team.
So, instead of going right into his press conference, Franklin sat and watched the game for a few minutes with the PSU beat. The excellent photo was taken by Neil Rudel of the Altoona Mirror.
This awesome photo was taken two years ago today as James Franklin and the PSU beat watch the final minutes of tight game between Ohio State and Maryland. Check out Franklin’s reaction after a fumble.
— Cory Giger (@CoryGiger) November 17, 2020
Here’s my story from that day, from the Altoona Mirror:
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Shortly after the conclusion of Penn State’s victory Saturday at Rutgers, coach James Franklin got to enjoy an unusual and humorous post-game press conference.
Members of the PSU beat were watching the end of Ohio State’s nailbiter game at Maryland in the media room on cellphones and laptops, and Franklin was taking a little longer than unusual to enter the room for his press conference.
Because he was trying to follow the end of the game, too.
The Nittany Lions not only play Maryland next week, but the outcome of the key Big Ten game very well could have implications on PSU’s bowl situation in a few weeks.
Franklin came in the media room and saw that the press was watching the game, so he joined in. He first sat down next to David Jones from PennLive.com to watch on a cellphone, then eventually turned his attention to the bigger picture on the laptop of Derek Levarse from the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader.
The media rarely gets to see Franklin in such candid moments, but in this setting he was watching a fantastic game just like any other football fan.
The question was asked, “Who you rooting for?”
Franklin laughed and said, “No comment.”
It seemed pretty obvious, though, that Franklin was rooting for Maryland to pull off the upset. Late in regulation, when the Terps were driving trying to score, their quarterback fumbled.
That’s when Franklin let loose his reaction in the photo above, yelling, “Don’t do that!” When the game went to overtime, Franklin had to stop watching so that he could do his press conference. Ohio State wound up winning, 52-51, when Maryland failed to convert on a two-point attempt.