Frequently Asked Questions: Blue-White Weekend
“I’m not going to beat around the bush anymore. I have no idea what goes on during Blue-White Weekend.”
I heard the above quote while walking on campus the other day and realized some freshmen or transfer students might be thinking the same thing. With that said, Onward State is here to help. Below, we’ll take a look at some potential questions people might have about this weekend, and attempt to make you more informed for when tomorrow hits.
Q: When did the Blue-White game first begin?
A: The short answer here is May 5, 1951 with Rip Engle entering his second season as head coach. Penn State Football historian Lou Prato provides additional details for those interested in learning more.
Q: What time does the game actually begin?
A: The start time is set for 2 p.m. in Beaver Stadium. The opportunity presents itself here for a joke about not playing in a high-school stadium, but we’ll stay focused.
Q: Do I need tickets for the game?
A: No, you do not need tickets nor do you need to pay anything to enter. Admission is completely free. Parking is also free which is a dream come true for tailgates.
Q: What time do gates open?
A: Gates A and B will open at 11:30 for an autograph session beginning at 12. Gates C and E will then open at 12:30.
Q: What time should I get to the game? Where do I enter and where should I sit?
A: Let’s tackle these three all at once. This is a bit different than the fall to say the least. There’s really no reason to get to the game two hours early let alone 30 minutes early. One can walk in around 1:50 and will not have missed much if anything. Students can enter through any open gate they choose, not just Gate A, and seating is not restricted. Last year, I sat in the second row on the 50 yardline as rain pelted me the entire first game.
Q: Should I stay for the entire game?
A: This one is really up to you although several fans decide around halftime that they’ve had enough and end up leaving.
Q: Is there a way to watch the game on television?
A: Penn State Sports Network will air the game with Penn State radio guys Steve Jones and Jack Ham calling the action. Some local affiliates carrying it are ESPN Radio 1450 and WBUS (93.7). Big Ten Network will show a replay of the game at 8 p.m. Saturday night.
Q: How many people actually go to this thing?
A: The 2009 spring game (after Penn State was coming off a Big Ten title) saw a record 76,500 attendance. I would not expect it to be this high on Saturday, but if this apparent 60% chance of rain decreases, the stadium should be half full.
Q: What is the format and depth chart for the game?
A: Typically, the Blue team consists of first team players while many of the backups are on White. This has not been finalized yet, and an update will be provided when it is; however, statecollege.com provides some insight as to what the depth chart could look like.
Q: What should I pay attention to or hope happens?
A: Overall, you want to see clean, no mental or fundamental mistakes football. I provided a list of players the other day to keep an eye on. Jobs likely will not be won or lost on Saturday, but seeing the quarterbacks in game action is obviously worth watching.
Q: Building off of that, why is this year’s Blue-White game different from all other Blue-White games?
A: Typically, Saturday is dismissed as a glorified scrimmage and a tease. This year could be a little different. With limited time to install a new offensive system, eyes will be on Bill O’Brien as he walks the Beaver Stadium sidelines for the first time. How often are receivers in motion pre-snap? Do tight ends line up in the backfield at all? How organized is the sideline and what does the chain of command look like? We don’t have the answers for these yet, but they are all things to keep an eye on.
Q: What else goes on besides a football game?
A: The better question might be what does not go on? From a carnival, to fireworks, to live music, to a 5K run benefiting the Special Olympics, there is something for everyone, and some people who make the trip up will do it just for the events and to tailgate. Onward State’s own Alex Robinson provides a comprehensive list of weekend events with schedules and times to help you follow along. One additional thing not mentioned is that former Penn State players and NFL Draft hopefuls Derek Moye and Chaz Powell will be holding autograph sessions at The Student Bookstore on Saturday. Moye will be there from 10:30 to 11:30, and Powell will sign from 4:00 to 5:00.
That should do it for the essential questions. We hope this was helpful to those who have never experienced Blue-White Weekend before. Let us know in the comments if you have any additional questions and feel free to provide your own insight and advice as well.