Nobody likes Rutgers fans. That says a lot, considering it certainly has nothing to do with their football team being any good.
From “Beat Ped State” shirts and “Fuck Penn State” chants to ill-advised Sandusky jokes, Rutgers fans and athletic directors alike don’t hold their feelings back when it comes to Penn State. Even Rutgers beat writers seem to have a special disdain for Penn State.
— Ryan Dunleavy (@rydunleavy) September 20, 2015
It’s important to display our differences with Rutgers fans this weekend, and one of those differences is that we actually fill our stadium and keep it that way.
— Ryan Beckler (@RyanBeckler) November 20, 2016
Following a couple of defeats that knocked Penn State out of the College Football Playoff picture, you may feel less inclined to make it to Beaver Stadium on what is likely to be a chilly afternoon. That inclination to give up on this team, however, is exactly what you must avoid. Penn State fans set an attendance record at this year’s White Out against Michigan and just need to keep the momentum going.
The first sign of any great fanbase is showing up and packing the stadium even when the team is on a skid. Kirk Herbstreit certainly didn’t rank Penn State’s student section at number one because it only showed up for the biggest games of the season. In fact, bringing the noise on Saturday could be exactly what Franklin’s team needs to get back on track.
We’d like to pretend this isn’t the case, but Saquon Barkley could very well be tearing up NFL defenses next year instead of playing his senior season in Happy Valley. As someone who’s reached the pinnacle of Mel Kiper’s ‘Big Board,’ it would be hard to blame him.
It could very well be that we don’t see a talent like his again for decades – if ever. Simply put, you don’t want to miss Barkley’s performance against the team he was once committed to. With the Heisman still likely in reach, expect the fan favorite to light up the scoreboard.
Of course, you can’t forget about Homecoming either. John Urschel will be in town as the Homecoming Grand Marshal and special alumni-related events will take place throughout the afternoon, including the Alumni Blue Band halftime performance. On top of that, Saturday is Veterans Day and will be Penn State football’s Military Appreciation Day. All in all, it’s sure to be an exciting atmosphere.
And we’re playing Rutgers after all. This Penn State team may not face off with Alabama or Georgia in the championship when all is said and done, but that certainly doesn’t make embarrassing Rutgers any less fun.
If you don’t pack the stands for the Homecoming game, how will Rutgers fans ever know what a full stadium looks like?