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Bill O’Brien, Mic’d Up During Blue-White

Blue and White game attendees — and Penn State football players, themselves — were in for quite the surprise today when Bill O’Brien, mic’d up on the field, called an entire drive through Beaver Stadium’s PA system.

Addressing the student section in attendance, Bill O’Brien expressed that “We [the team] love that student body” and proceeded to lead the stadium in a “WE ARE” chant.

After O’Brien coached up the crowd for a bit — B’OB called out the student section, asking them to “wake up out there” — he proceeded to call the ensuing offensive drive over the loudspeaker. Players on both sides of the ball had absolutely NO idea that O’Brien would picking on them via the Beaver Stadium PA.

On the first play of that drive, junior defensive end Brad Bars visibly tailed away after coming off the edge hard at quarterback Steven Bench — after all, hearing the offensive play calls through the stadium speakers is kind of an unfair advantage for the defense.

“Brad Bars would usually come hard off the edge,” explained freshman halfback Akeel Lynch, but “[O’Brien] told Brad, ‘Don’t go so hard.'”

“Yeah, [O’Brien] wanted to call me out ’cause I knew what play [the offense] was running,” said Bars, who finished the day with a pair of sacks.

“I knew I could have gotten a sack on the play,” Bars said, but he played along with the “good fun” of the scenario. Bars says it’s not uncommon to see O’Brien joke around, and he describes O’Brien as a coach who “knows how to get the job done” during practices, always “knows when to loosen up a bit”.

Lynch had no idea that O’Brien would be mic’d up either, but he wasn’t worried about the potential of being embarrassed in front of 28,000 fans.

“It was just funny,”, said Lynch. “I remember one run I had was ‘inside zone’ and he said, ‘Akeel, get your pads down lower.’ That was definitely funny.”

As for O’Brien’s own reactions to being mic’d up? “It was fun,” O’Brien said. “I thought I kept it clean.”

Below is Big Ten Network’s video of O’Brien calling out the croud over the loudspeaker:

About the Author

Bobby Chen

Writer and photographer, helping tell the many stories of the Penn State community.


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