Yes, you read that right.
Franklin told reporters after practice Wednesday that the team has spent time practicing with the music off to prepare for a quieter road atmosphere at Ryan Field in Evanston. Northwestern is averaging just 17,500 fans per game this season, by far the lowest mark in the Big Ten. For reference, Penn State’s Beaver Stadium has a capacity of 106,572, more than six times higher than Northwestern’s average attendance this season.
Penn State practiced without music at the end of practice today to get ready for the Northwestern trip.— Audrey Snyder (@audsnyder4) September 27, 2023
Franklin said they have to be honest about the atmosphere. He asked if they’re an internally or externally motivated team.
Franklin cited the need for internal motivation when playing in front of a crowd that will likely be the smallest the team faces all season. In the process though, he took quite the dig at Northwestern’s fanbase, which college football fans loved.
Everyone knows Ryan Field at 11 a.m. — aka “The Library” — is one of the toughest places to play in America. https://t.co/pqrytnh4C7— Zach Pereles (@zach_pereles) September 28, 2023
Hilarious disrespect https://t.co/Ifr3tOFHBR— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) September 28, 2023
This is both incredible attention to detail for an 11 AM kick in Evanston and an absolutely brutal burn. https://t.co/67WrZxJRTi— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 28, 2023
James Franklin off the top rope https://t.co/EvAjML38Zr— Jackson Didlake (@diidlake) September 27, 2023
That said, Northwestern is 2–0 at home this season, including an epic 21-point fourth quarter comeback to beat Minnesota and spark a half-hearted field storm. We’ll see if the Cats’ home-field advantage wears off against the No. 6 Nittany Lions.