The Penn State football team arrived in Orlando in preparation for the Citrus Bowl on Wednesday afternoon. The weather is perfect, as expected in central Florida this time of year. The temperatures will top out at around 80 degrees and the lows will be in the mid-60’s in Orlando from now until the Citrus Bowl.
It’s going to be a great week for the team and fans that will make the trip to the Sunshine State. Coach Franklin spoke about the mixture of business and pleasure that the team will balance for the next seven days.
“It’s not strictly a business trip. It needs to be a balance of both. We talk all the time about having a mature football team and I want them to enjoy this. This is a great experience and they have to be able to balance both. When it’s time to go have fun, do that. When it’s time to be in meetings and at practice, we have to be able to do those things as well.”
As the team settled in nearby Celebration High School, where it will practice for the next few days, Franklin shared the news that Tommy Stevens had not made the trip and underwent surgery following the season. He told the media, “Tommy had an injury about the midpoint of the season that you weren’t aware of.”
Stevens waited until the end of the school year and season to have the procedure.
Quarterback Clarity, Not Controversy
With Tommy Stevens’ injury revealed it also sheds a little bit of light on the thought process for James Franklin and his staff. While starter Trace McSorley was hampered by an injury and some people outside of the program wondered whether Stevens would be a better option, coach Franklin may have been more concerned about whether Clifford or an injured Stevens would be the best backup plan should McSorley not be able to play.
There is no controversy heading into the Citrus Bowl. Trace McSorley will start and Sean Clifford will be the backup. Stevens didn’t make the trip following surgery earlier in the month and is expected to be ready for the Blue-White game.
It will be interesting to see how much McSorley has been able to recover from his nagging leg injury with a month off. It will be his final game in a Penn State uniform. Since the TaxSlayer Bowl three seasons ago when he took over the starting quarterback role, the team has fed off of his tenacity and leadership.
Vacation Rentals By Owner
The sponsor for the game is VRBO, which stands for Vacation Rentals By Owner, a website geared toward letting people connect directly with those who want to find a short-term rental. There will be a great deal of people in the area for the game and for a week leading up to kickoff, Penn State blue and white will be seen everywhere.
The Camping World Bowl will be held in the Citrus Bowl on Friday, December 28. Fans from Syracuse and West Virginia will be in town to support their team and enjoy the scenery. It will create a mass of football fans, many from the northeast, all in the area looking to have a great time.
While we may be bitter rivals with the Orangemen and Mountaineers on the field of play, while playing at amusement parks, we are all on the same team. Having additional people in town magnifies the excitement.
For those who enjoy tailgating, it will be a long weekend of constant food and beverage enjoyment. The football games on television are seemingly non-stop between now and the Citrus Bowl at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.
We’ll have updates and practice footage each day leading up to the game.