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This is your Penn State Wake-Up Call for Thursday, Sept. 15. Let’s get started.
Givens in concussion protocol
Penn State coach James Franklin told reporters after practice Wednesday that redshirt freshman defensive tackle Kevin Givens, who departed last Saturday’s game against Pitt after a scary collision with linebacker Manny Bowen, has been placed in the concussion protocol.
The NCAA mandates that there be an evaluation process implemented by every institution “by a medical staff member with experience in the evaluation and management of concussion.”
For Penn State, that is head trainer Tim Bream.
Givens’ status is unknown for this week’s game against Temple. Ditto for middle linebacker Jason Cabinda, who did not play against Pitt and was seen on the sideline Wednesday with a cast on his left hand, according to Rodrigue.
Must-win for Franklin?
Mike Jensen of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that the Temple game is a must-win for Franklin, for several reasons.
First, the mantra of the third-year coach has been “dominate the state,” and a loss Saturday would leave him 0-3 against in-state rivals Pitt and Temple. The 27-10 loss to the Owls in last year’s opener was, in fact, the first defeat PSU suffered to Temple since October 1941.
Second, Jensen noted:
It might not help matters that many former Penn State players are gathering this weekend to honor the 50th anniversary of Joe Paterno’s first game. They want results.
And finally, Temple’s head coach is Matt Rhule, a PSU grad — and former walk-on linebacker at the school — who last year worked wonders at the Philadelphia-based school. He would no doubt be in the conversation to succeed Franklin, should the Lions go looking for a new coach in the near future.
Barkley aims to hold onto ball
Running back Saquon Barkley scored all five of Penn State’s touchdowns in the 42-39 loss to Pitt, becoming the first Nittany Lion to score that many in a game since Ki-Jana Carter did so against Michigan State in 1994.
Barkley nonetheless told reporters after practice Wednesday that the play that sticks with him most from last Saturday is the fumble he lost in the third quarter. Per Mark Brennan of Fight on State, Barkley said he has watched the play “more than 10 times” this week:
“It reminds you of the little things you have to work on,” he said.
Barkley made his collegiate debut last year against Temple, carrying the ball once for one yard.
The artful Adams
Former Penn State defensive tackle Anthony Adams writes for the Players’ Tribune about his dad, who in 1984 was convicted of being an accomplice in an armed robbery and sentenced to 26 years in prison.
The younger Adams, who also enjoyed a nine-year NFL career, writes that as he grew up in East Detroit, he gravitated to the family of a friend, Ron Crews, who was “the only person on the block with two parents”:
His father, John, was willing to play catch with any kid at a moment’s notice (something I frequently took him up on), and could cook up a feast that would make Bobby Flay proud. Being at their house always made me feel loved. Watching the way Mr. Crews held down his household was something you didn’t see too often in my neighborhood. Whether it was cooking, cleaning or helping Ron learn his receiving routes for little league football, Mr. Crews did it all. … His family was everything I wished mine could have been.
Anthony made frequent visits to his dad in prison, though he admits that they began to dwindle as the years passed and he grew serious about football. He also said his dad, “a natural-born artist,” would often share with him the renderings he did behind bars:
Every few months he would send me some portraits that he had drawn — Michael Jackson album covers, pictures of the Taj Mahal and everything in between. These drawings were his break from reality. They were also a way for him to share his artistic gifts with me. Though my father isn’t emotionally open, he tried to share his love with me the best way he knew how.
The elder Adams was released from prison in 2010. His son has helped him acclimate to life on the outside, and Anthony is eager to see what this next chapter of their lives holds as well:
I never had the, quote, unquote, “perfect family” like Ron Crews did. But, with the new relationship my father and I have developed, something beautiful is taking shape. I can’t wait to see what our picture will look like.
Reid and react
Penn State sophomore cornerback John Reid has long been renowned for his film study, and in a conference call Wednesday he referred reporters to Jev Lee, the team’s Director of Coaches Video and Technology, for confirmation of that fact.
@JourdanRodrigue JR send me more text requesting film for his Ipad than anyone in my 13yrs of working in this industry ??
— Jev Lee (@jevlee) September 14, 2016
@JourdanRodrigue I put him in the same "video viewing" category as Peyton Manning
— Jev Lee (@jevlee) September 14, 2016