Penn State’s 2016 season hit rock bottom on a late September Saturday in Ann Arbor.
The Nittany Lions were embarrassed by Michigan, 49-10, and fell to 2-2 on the season. Things have been going pretty well for James Franklin’s team since the lopsided loss.
After the 2016 Michigan game, Penn State rattled off nine straight wins, captured a Big Ten title and made a Rose Bowl appearance against USC. The momentum has carried over to 2017, where Penn State is off to a 6-0 start and is ranked No. 3 in the AP poll.
After a bye week, Penn State will face Michigan again, this time at home on Oct. 21. And in the lead up to the 2017 version of the game, Franklin is looking at last year’s loss as a big part of the program’s turnaround.
“That loss gave us a shot in the gut,” Franklin said on the Big Ten teleconference, according to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg. “That loss as well as 100 positive steps in the right direction, everything kind of came together at the right time. It’s a combination of situations and experiences that we’ve grown to get to this point.”
Penn State coach James Franklin on the team's 15-1 record since a 39-point loss at Michigan last September. "That… https://t.co/5oWJYRjmk0
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) October 10, 2017
JF on Michigan '16: "That loss gave us a hard shot in the gut."
— Gordie Jones (@gordonwjones) October 10, 2017
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