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‘We Don’t Spend a Whole Lot of Time on It’: Penn State HC James Franklin not Focused on Historical Aspect of WVU Game

Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin November 12, 2022 David Hague/NSN

Penn State and West Virginia, a pair of tri-state area schools, once had an annual rivalry. 

But the teams haven’t played since 1992. That’s going to change Saturday when they face off under the Beaver Stadium lights to open the season at 7:30 on NBC.

To say the PSU-WVU series has been one-sided would be an understatement. 

Penn State leads it 48-9-2. Coach James Franklin would love to make it 49-9-2 after Saturday night.

But Franklin hasn’t looked too much into the first 59 games.

“When you talk about history, recent history, I don’t think there’s been a game played while these guys (current players) were alive,” Franklin said at the season’s first Tuesday presser. 

Franklin then referenced Penn State’s rivalry with Pitt without naming the school.

“It’s like this is very similar to another game that we played here recently that there was a ton of questions,” he said. “We talk about the history of the game. That’s what it is, it’s history. Again, that history, although it would be nice to take some time and talk about the history of college football and the history of this region and some of these games, there’s just not a whole lot of value in that in terms of getting our guys ready to play this game and be successful. There’s not a whole lot of storylines that would make sense for them.”

Make no mistake, Franklin’s happy to be playing West Virginia again. He embraces regional college football, which is an increasingly rare commodity as the years go by.

But his main focus is 2023 and not any year that happened prior. 

“There’s a lot of guys on their (West Virginia’s) team that they know through the recruiting process or from the region, guys that they played with in high school that went there or came here,” he said. “There’s a little bit of that. But, no, we don’t spend a whole lot of time on it because I don’t think there’s a whole lot of relevant information that will impact winning.”

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