[Live Blog] Blue-White Game
Good morning from a sunny Beaver Stadium, where the Nittany Lions are set to take the field for the annual Blue-White Game. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m., and this live blog, @OnwardStSports, and @OnwardState will have all the coverage you need. Alex Robinson and Zach Berger will be in the press box, and Mitchell Wilston will be on the field taking photos.
After Bill O’Brien decided to switch things up, pitting the offense versus the defense on the scoreboard for the previous spring game, this year’s Blue-White faceoff will feature the more traditional format in which the team is divided in two, with some offensive linemen playing for both sides because of depth. The linemen and specialists will wear special gray jerseys for the game, allowing them to play on both the Blue and White teams.
End of Game — Thanks for following along with us here on our live blog! We’ll have a recap, quotes, and more soon.
0:01, 4th — The Blue team decided to run the two-minute drill before the end of the game, and it paid off. Akeel Lynch ran for a three yard touchdown to give the Blue team a 37-0 victory over the White team.
4:42, 4th — Attendance was announced at over 72,000 people! That’s the most since 2008, and the third-most in program history.
7:52, 4th — And White comes up with the stop! On third and goal from the 25 yard line, O’Connor hits Carter for a 10 yard gain, but Carter fumbles it and it’s recovered by White’s Adam Cole.
0:44, 3rd — The first play from the White team is a tipped pass from Von Walker that leads to an interception from Trevor Williams. He returns it to the 10 yard line, and time expires in the third. The Blue team will have the ball in the North end zone when the fourth quarter starts.
4:14, 3rd — Another Blue touchdown! Eugene Lewis gets the ball on a reverse, and passes it to a wide-open Matt Zanellato for a 56 yard touchdown. Ficken adds the extra point, and it’s 30-0 Blue.
8:04, 3rd — Touchdown Blue! Austin Whipple throws a pass that’s intercepted by linebacker Matthew Baney and ran back for a 30 yard pick six. Sam Ficken missed the extra point, but both the snap and hold were off, causing Ficken to have to stutter-step and kick it wide right. It’s 23-0 Blue.
10:00, 3rd — The White team is on the field, and we’re ready to play!
Halftime — The Homecoming logo for 2014 was announced during the break.
The Blue team will take a 17-0 lead into the intermission. Chiappialle is the MVP so far; he’s the only one that’s been able to get much going offensively. Hackenberg’s day is likely over (4-10, 43 yards). Both Crook and O’Connor have seven completions for 48 yards. Zach Zwinak is dressed, but hasn’t seen any action.
1:19, 2nd — Touchdown Blue! Ryan Keiser picks off Crook and runs it back to the White 23 yard line. The next play, Chiappialle breaks a tackle and runs it 23 yards for the score. It’s 17-0 Blue with 1:19 to go. Chiappialle has 63 yards on 9 rushes, and two touchdowns.
2:39, 2nd — TOUCHDOWN BLUE! A big completion to Kyle Carter, combined with a personal foul penalty, leads to a one yard Chiappiale touchdown run out of the Wildcat formation. Sam Ficken adds the extra point, and the Blue team leads 10-0.
6:59, 2nd — Both teams trade 3 and outs, again, and Chiappialle and the Blue team will take over again.
12:06, 2nd — After a 20 yard completion from Crook to Brandon Johnson, Ryan Keiser forces a fumble for Blue, and Jesse Della Valle recovers. O’Connor and the Blue team will take the field at their own 44.
15:00, 2nd — With that, the first quarter comes to an end. Hackenberg is 4-10 for 43 yards, and Chiappiale leads with 29 yards on 3 rushes. Blue leads 3-0, but White will have the ball when we come back.
James Franklin took the mic during the intermission and addressed the crowd. “107,000 strong, all next year,” Franklin said. “This university, this program, the fans, the students, the community: WE ARE…!”
2:44, 1st — The Blue team gets a first down called back, and the drive stalls from there. Chris Gulla is on to punt for Blue, and DJ Crook is back on at QB for White.
4:48, 1st — Stuffed! After two first downs, CJ Olaniyan stops the White team on 4th and 1 to give the ball back to Blue at their own 34 yard line. Michael O’Connor has entered the game for the first time as the QB for Blue.
7:55, 1st — Neither team can get much going on offense. The Blue and White teams trade 3 and outs, including near-picks by both Hackenberg and Crook, and the White team will take over at their own 42 yard line. Austin Whipple is in at QB for White.
9:26, 1st — From earlier: Coach James Franklin leads his team out of the tunnel for the first time as the Penn State head coach.
9:26, 1st — After a big run by run-on Cole Chiappialle gets the Blue team into the red zone, the drive stalls. Sam Ficken connects on a 26 yard field goal. It’s 3-0 Blue early.
13:36, 1st — After the quick first down, the underdog White team forces a 3 and out. DJ Crook is on the field leading the White team against the first string Blue defense. James Franklin is standing behind the action, coaching both the Blue and White offenses.
14:45, 1st — Christian Hackenberg’s first pass is a completion to Richy Anderson, and the game is underway!
Christian Hackenberg, Mike Hull, Sam Ficken, and Miles Dieffenbach were the captains for the Blue team. DJ Crook and Carl Nassib were the captains for White.
1:33 p.m. — The Nittany Lions are out on the field in front of an estimated 50,000 fans. It’s game time!
1:11 p.m. — Here are the rosters for today’s game. Most of the starters, including Christian Hackenberg, are on the Blue team today. The scoring will be like a normal game, but the clock settings will be different. The first quarter clock will run like a normal game, but the final three quarters will have a running clock (no stoppages).
12:55 p.m. — James Franklin has just taken the field for the first time as the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, and received a standing ovation from the quickly-filling crowd. Unfortunately for us, he didn’t run out onto the field like this:
12:34 p.m. — The players are out on the field warming up now. Only one hour ’til kickoff!
12:19 a.m. — More on Adam McLean: The 4 star tackle from Maryland had offers from Ohio State, Alabama, and others before deciding to commit to the Nittany Lions. Check out our profile HERE.
11:48 a.m. — The first big news of the day is in, as 4 star defensive tackle Adam McLean has announced his commitment to play for the Nittany Lions in 2015!
IM PLEASE TO ANNOUNCE I AM OFFICIALLY COMMITTED TO PENN STATE UNIVERSITY #WE ARE
— *Next Level* (@MoneyMakeinAdam) April 12, 2014
11:40 a.m. — The autograph session is done, and players and fans are filing off the field to get ready for the game. It’s almost 60 degrees here in the stadium — a perfect day for some football!