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Citrus Bowl ‘Not Strictly A Business Trip’ For Penn State Football

Penn State football touched down in sunny Orlando for its Citrus Bowl appearance on Wednesday afternoon, but there will be a lot more going on during the trip than 60 minutes of football on New Year’s Day.

Although the Nittany Lions will obviously keep all of their focus on Kentucky, Kentucky, Kentucky during team meetings and practices, there’s a reason they arrived in Orlando six days before the game’s 1 p.m. kickoff on New Year’s Day.

“It’s not strictly a business trip,” head coach James Franklin said at his first media availability of the trip. “It needs to be a balance of [football and non-football activities]. This is a great experience — when it’s time to enjoy themselves and have fun, go do that. I want them to enjoy Orlando. I want them to enjoy the bowl experience.”

Balancing football and fun is important, but Franklin said he’ll tighten the team’s curfew in the days closer to the game’s kickoff. The head coach also expects his players to keep a “70/30 or 60/40” football-to-fun ratio throughout the week as he and the rest of the coaching staff treat the week as a business trip.

Plenty of events like the annual Orlando Citrus Parade and Penn State’s pep rally are scheduled throughout the week in conjunction with the bowl game. Outside of those are whole host of things to do in the city and beyond, including the Happiest Place on Earth, Disney World, just five miles away from the team’s hotel.

“Literally all of our bowl trips are based on where our kids can vacation. Our kids were fired up about [Disney World],” Franklin said. “My wife has an entire plan — I know a lot of the coaches’ wives do.”

Penn State’s first media availability before the 2017 Rose Bowl was held at Disneyland in Anaheim. Unfortunately for all parties involved, the team’s first media availability of the week took place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Orlando.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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