Blue White Illustrated

April 15 Newsletter

Penn State Sports Magazine

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B L U E - W H I T E G A M E P R E V I E W A P R I L 1 5 N E W S L E T T E R M A T T   H E R B | M A T T @ B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M A P R I L 1 5 , 2 0 1 5 B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M 1 SPRINGING AHEAD Blue-White Game to showcase Lions' promising underclassmen CABIN FEVER After practicing mostly indoors this spring, the Nittany Lions will wrap up their off-season workouts Sat- urday in the Blue-White Game at Beaver Stadium. Photo by Tim Owen 4 P . M . , A P R I L 1 8 B T N Two years ago, Zach Zwinak suffered a serious wrist injury in the Blue-White Game. Within hours of the running back's mishap, Bill O'Brien was musing about whether the annual spring scrim- mage had a future at Penn State, at least as it was configured at the time. As it turned out, the game had more of a future at Penn State than O'Brien did. With the Nittany Lions set to stage their spring practice capper yet again this coming Saturday, it's clear that the Blue- White Game has entered the too-big-to- fail phase of its existence. It has become an institution, as popular for its ancillary activities – the autograph session, the Fan Festival, the tailgating – as for the game itself. A year ago, the Blue-White Game drew an estimated 72,000 fans to Beaver Sta- dium. It was second-largest turnout in the country for a spring game, with only Alabama outdrawing the Nittany Lions. James Franklin was making his debut last year, and the curiosity about the team's new head coach and his staff no doubt boosted attendance. That won't be a factor this year, and it remains to be seen whether the 4 p.m. kickoff – necessitated by ACT testing that might otherwise have prevented po- tential recruits from visiting – will en- courage or inhibit attendance. But while Franklin is now a familiar sight on the sideline (and in the backfield, which is where he watched much of last year's spring game), the curiosity factor will still be a big draw this weekend. That's because the changes don't begin and end with the coaching staff. Not even close. With the Nittany Lions finally starting to build a bit of depth as they come out of

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