The end of the college football regular season tends to bring about plenty of changes. Penn State head coach James Franklin is having to deal with changes to his own coaching staff. Franklin’s former offensive coordinator, Ricky Rahne, is off to Old Dominion to serve as its new head coach.
The Nittany Lions will now have to methodically reshuffle in preparation for their upcoming Cotton Bowl. Fortunately for Penn State, Franklin has a plan in place.
Rather than making a quick decision on a new offensive coordinator, Franklin has promoted tight ends coach Tyler Bowen to interim play caller. Tyler Donohue of 247Sports offers the latest:
Franklin on offensive coordinator search: doing a lot of research, collecting data, watching film, looking for someone who can "come in and blend" with program.
Tight ends coach Tyler Bowen will call plays in Cotton Bowl.
— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) December 20, 2019
Franklin will certainly continue to look around for a new coordinator. But this isn’t the first time the Penn State coach has given an assistant a “tryout.”
Rahne had two opportunities as interim play caller – both coming in recent PSU bowl games – to try and impress Franklin. The former Nittany Lion OC passed his test in the 2018 Fiesta Bowl, earning the full-time promotion for 2019.
Bowen now has a similar opportunity to show what he’s got. If he aces the test, it wouldn’t be surprising in the least if Franklin gave him the full-time job.
Penn State takes on Memphis in the 2019 Cotton Bowl at noon ET on Dec. 28.