Lions’ victory is reason to dance

James Franklin has seen too many coaches who live their lives in misery regardless of the outcome.

That’s why he often says he and the Nittany Lions “are going to enjoy winning.”

That was definitely the case Saturday as Penn State went into Auburn and came away with a convincing 41-12 victory at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

The lengthy post-game scene was reminiscent of a season-ending bowl victory in a southern venue with the Blue Band blaring and Nittany Lions’ fans basking in the moment.

Franklin circled the field, slapping five with anybody and everybody. The team posed for group shots with fans in the stands after belting out the alma mater, the entire coaching staff, arm-in-arm, partaking.

And then there was Franklin, at the center of a raucous locker room dance, video of which went viral.

Make no mistake: This felt like more than one win, like better than being 3-0, like the program is back on track.

This was a domination, a physical pounding over a respected SEC opponent and should serve notice there are more than two teams in the Big Ten that will have a say in the conference championship.

It was easily the most impressive road performance of Franklin’s nine-year tenure, and right up there with Penn State’s best non-conference road victories since the 1990s.

So complete was the effort that it’s hard to distinguish the aspect of the Lions most responsible.

The offensive line, beleaguered for years, played like their past brethren from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Players like Farrell and Munchak, Dorney and Benson, Hartings and Shipley had to be watching with pride.

The unit allowed zero sacks and escorted a run game that averaged 6.3 yards per rush in bludgeoning Auburn for 245 yards on the ground.


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