Penn State coach James Franklin fully supported his university's decision two years ago to decline to play home football games on Friday nights after the Big Ten announced it would play six such contests per year beginning in 2017.
But playing Friday nights on the road is a different story, and the 10th-ranked Nittany Lions (3-0) will get their turn this week when they open their Big Ten season at Illinois (2-1). It will be the team's first Friday night regular season game in nearly 36 years.
Franklin has been consistent in his criticism of Friday night conference games whenever anyone has asked him. That included the Big Ten media days in July when he mentioned that Friday games meant one fewer day of preparation and one extra day out of class, plus it's high school football night in Pennsylvania.
"I don't like it," he said.
At his weekly Tuesday teleconference, however, Franklin said he has not discussed the challenges of a different routine to his players at all, that "we're not talking about this week any other way than this is game week."
"I don't like talking about it any different than that because I think it has a psychological effect and we won't do that," he said. "We've got the same amount of days to get ready that Illinois does. So I kind of voiced some of my thoughts before this week started. But now that it's this week, it's game week for us, so we've embraced it."
>> READ MORE: College football's Week 3 by the numbers
This will mark the first time the Nittany Lions have played a regular-season game on Friday in almost 36 years — Nov. 26, 1982, the day after Thanksgiving, to be exact — when they defeated Pittsburgh, 19-10, in their last game before knocking off Georgia in the Sugar Bowl to win the national championship.
Franklin said his staff worked this summer on how to handle the week, from the strength side to the administrative side to the sports science side. He also called a practice for Monday, the players' regular day off.
"I think we have a really good plan for it," he said. "I felt good. I thought [Monday's] practice was excellent. I thought Sunday's practice was excellent. I like where we're at."
Franklin also was able to get most of his starters out of Saturday's game, a 63-10 win over Kent State, after three quarters.
Senior safety Nick Scott said he doesn't think a Friday game "is much of an adjustment."
>> READ MORE: Penn State's showdown with Ohio State set for prime time
"It's a regular game week for us," he said. "We're approaching it that way. Nothing to my knowledge has changed for us. It's just moved up a day. But everything is pretty much the same. Everything's in line with what we do each week."
Franklin said cornerback John Reid, a St. Joseph's Prep graduate, and all-purpose quarterback Tommy Stevens are expected to be back in the lineup Friday night.
While he did not elaborate on the status of Reid, who has not played in either of the last two games because of an unspecified injury, Franklin acknowledged that Stevens, who has not played at all, could have played last week. Stevens was in a walking boot during preseason, but his injury has not been disclosed.