With Michigan leading Penn State 16-14 at halftime, the two programs exchanged words in the tunnel.
Some halftime tunnel shenanigans happening. pic.twitter.com/FwxgXdO7jj— Isaiah Hole (@isaiahhole) October 15, 2022
Michigan would go on to win the game 41-17.
The tunnel chatter turned comical when team dietitian Abigail O’Connor posted on Twitter that Penn State players threw peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at Michigan players in the tunnel. Offensive lineman Trevor Keegan joked on Tuesday that safety R.J. Moten told him he “got a P.B.J. in the face”.
Yesterday I found a few PB&Js squashed on the floor outside our locker room— Abigail O'Connor (@A_OConnorRD) October 16, 2022
I thought it was an unsuccessful attempt to sneak food to the sideline…
Turns out they had been thrown at our players during that… Jam up… in the tunnel pic.twitter.com/ViumYFYeRf
Michigan’s tunnel has been around for almost 100 years, and now Franklin is wanting a change to how things operate in the tunnel.
“The one tunnel is a problem. It’s a problem and has been. To me, we need to put a policy in place from a conference perspective in my mind that’s going to stop it,” Franklin said. “We’re not the first team to kind of get into a jawing match in the tunnel. For me, I want to focus on getting my team into the locker room and not jawing back and forth. I want my team to get in the locker room and their team to get in the locker room.”
A video surfaced of Franklin in the tunnel, standing at the very back and not actively communicating with his players as words are being exchanged. However, the video does show Franklin having some choice words directed at Michigan.
James Franklin clearly had a rough afternoon in Ann Arbor... #GoBlue pic.twitter.com/3gbiWkcRxU— The Winged Helmet (@TWH_Chris) October 17, 2022
Franklin’s idea involves one team taking a minute or two longer to get into their respective locker room while the other team waits to head into the tunnel. Good luck with that, both teams are vying for every last moment they have at halftime to recharge and implement adjustments. Franklin wants change, but the reality is things are likely to remain the same. Just because he has ruffled feathers that players showed emotion playing an emotional game, a new policy is far from imminent.
“What’s gonna happen is something bad is gonna happen before we put it into policy. All there has to be is a two-minute or minute buffer in between the two teams,” Franklin said. “This team is in before that team gets close and however we want to do it. But we’re not the first team that’s had issues like that. To me, under the current structure, we won’t be the last. To me, there is a really easy solution. We got to do it.”
There’s another solution, it involves moving on. That’s what players did when they came out of their locker room and back onto the field after halftime (video below).
Penn State got demolished after halftime, which was a black eye on the season. Now there’s another black eye by turning a one-day story into a story that has staying power.