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Balancing act of fun and practice is key as Penn State prepares for bowl matchup with Memphis

ARLINGTON — The Nittany Lions have been on the go since they got off the buses at the team hotel in Arlington. Since the team is made up of 18 to 22 year ...

ARLINGTON -- The Nittany Lions have been on the go since they got off the buses at the team hotel in Arlington.

Since the team is made up of 18 to 22 year olds, they've had to mix in playtime off the field. And Penn State did that by cheering up kids at a local children's hospital.

"When we're at main event or when we're doing some event with the team, we're having a great time," said sophomore quarterback Sean Clifford. "We're having fun and not even thinking about the game. Because, you know, you've got to have that balance. Because if you think too much about the game, you're not going to be ready for it when it comes."

Junior offensive lineman Michael Menet added, "When you're supposed to be having fun, have fun. When it's time to practice, you've got to lock in and just kind of make that your main priority."

Now, to the field -- or podium -- where Tigers head coach Ryan Silverfield talked about the opposition: Penn State.

"This opportunity to play this Saturday I think obviously helps all that," Silverfield said when asked about being overwhelmed in his first game leading Memphis. "And then preparation for Penn State, obviously is something that's occurred for the last few weeks. A fantastic opponent.

"I've got a lot of respect for Coach Franklin. He's a guy I admire in this profession. A guy that's done it the right way, that's build the type of culture and standards at his place and his stops and I'd like to continue to do the same at Memphis."