UNIVERSITY PARK — The Penn State Nittany Lions will sport a retro look for Saturday’s “Generations of Greatness” game — and one aspect in particular has the Nittany Lions pumped.
There will be blue numbers on their white helmets, reminiscent of the late ’60s, early ’70s look. Other noticeable features include blue stripes down the sides of the pants, striped socks, gray facemasks and white stripes on the sleeve. Around the stadium, there’ll be obvious reminders of the past, too, with oldie music and a flipboard display on the scoreboards.
But what’s the one thing all the Nittany Lions love?
“It’s funny,” Penn State coach James Franklin said with a cracked smile after Wednesday’s practice. “I was at the Quarterback Club today, and somebody said, ‘Coach, what are the players most excited for about the uniforms? And please don’t say the white shoes and break my heart.’”
“The white shoes, and I broke your heart.”
Yep, those sharp white cleats are popular among the Nittany Lions.
“Speaking for a lot of the guys, we’re pretty excited about the white cleats,” senior tight end Mike Gesicki said. “Here at Penn State, we’re wearing black cleats every single day, every single game ... It’s something that we appreciate and something that we want to continue to keep going. But to be able to switch it up for one game, it will be cool, a new look.”
Added senior linebacker Jason Cabinda: “Seeing the white cleats, that’s the big highlight. You look faster in white cleats.”
Bringing a little "juice:" Franklin said the throwback uniform could “bring us a little bit more juice” as the season nears the halfway point. “It’s like when you’re little and you get a brand new pair of sneakers and think you’re faster,” Franklin said.
For Cabinda, it’s a welcomed twist on Penn State’s classic look. The captain understands that some Penn State fans get “a little hectic about change,” but he hopes the retro game isn’t a one-off.
“It’s a good thing,” Cabinda said, “especially if we can do it once a year.”