Gameday Observations: Penn State-Temple
Gameday came and went, and Penn State walked out of Beaver Stadium with a victory over Temple. However, there was plenty to take away from off the field considering all the fanfare that surrounded this game. Here are some gameday observations from Saturday.
Stripe Out Success: I wasn’t sure how Saturday’s second-annual “Stripe Out” would go, but once again, Penn State fans delivered. The Nittany Lions certainly aren’t the only team to employ this spectacle, as Oklahoma gave it a shot against Ohio State this past weekend, but there’s something about a Beaver Stadium crowd that just sets it apart from the competition. Even the noon kickoff and minimal tailgating time wasn’t enough to keep Penn Staters from making the young tradition look fantastic. James Franklin’s banged-up roster won’t have the benefit of playing in front of a friendly environment when it travels to Ann Arbor this weekend for the Big Ten opener, but it certainly made a difference against the Owls in a tight 34-27 ballgame.
Misplaced Chanting From Penn State Fans: Penn State fans started a few “Fuck you Temple” chants in the student section throughout the game. After traveling to Pitt last week, I was disgraced that Penn Staters stooped to that level. I wasn’t the only one either — I could see a lot of other students who looked disgusted at the chants and didn’t partake. Not to sound condescending or “holier than thou,” but I don’t think it’s a good look for us to be “those fans.”
JoePa Tribute Well Executed: I’ve already shared plenty of thoughts on Penn State’s tribute to Joe Paterno, but Saturday’s tribute really was a well-done celebration of the good Paterno did for the school. The focus remained on his commitment to academics, and I thought that was appropriate. Temple fans — along with the vast majority of national media members — didn’t think so, but the videos were well-received by Penn State fans, and they did a nice job commemorating his work for the school.
Rain Or Shine, Tailgaters Know How To Party: Fans camping out across the stadium in the RV lots were met with rain late Saturday night, but rain or shine, these folks will have a good time. The booze was flowing, and indications point to a victory celebration rather than last week’s mass consumption of alcohol by the Penn State fan base. I talked to several tailgaters excited to make the trek up to Michigan — meaning I’ll have somebody to tailgate with next week!
Temple Fans Were Heard Loud And Clear: This one should’ve been expected, but plenty of Temple fans made their voices — and opinions — heard during Saturday’s contest. One sign in particular that read “He turned his back so we’ll turn ours” prompted just that; A large portion of Temple fans sitting in the visiting section stood up and turned their backs each time the Paterno tribute was shown. Their jeers were drowned out by the Penn State faithful, but it was an impossible distraction to ignore.
A good number of Temple fans turned around during Paterno’s commemorative video. pic.twitter.com/VTxhIHAxGS
— Onward State (@OnwardState) September 17, 2016