Penn State has been in a meat grinder all season, falling to 0-5 for the first time in 133 years of football before winning back-to-back games last week and Saturday to climb to 2-5 with two games remaining.

Yesterday’s win over Rutgers pushed the Nittany Lions to the all-time 900 wins marker, making them only the seventh school to reach that lofty summit. But it was a somber milestone in a year of vast disappointment for a team ranked eighth nationally in the pre-season and what experts believed was a closing-horse’s shot at the College Football Playoff.

Head coach James Franklin is finding ways to enjoy the season’s silver linings, telling Onward Sports he was happy to have kept his team healthy and able to compete each week during the global Covid-19 pandemic that has marred the fall sports’ season in many ways. It is indeed a short list of schools across the country that can say the same. 

“I am very proud of how we’ve handled Covid—knock on wood—up to this point,” said Franklin. “At the end of the day, that’s really the most important thing.”

It is a true but convenient excuse during a season that has been an on-field disaster unlike any other for the sad team from Happy Valley, but it’s only redeemable for one fall.

Penn State closes out the regular slate next Saturday with a 2-4 Michigan State team paying a house call to Beaver Stadium. After that there is only the Big Ten Championship Saturday remaining and that will put an ugly bow on the 2020 season for the Nittany Lions.