Gameday Observations: Penn State Vs Maryland
Penn State entered Saturday’s contest against Maryland a two and a half point home underdog. It walked out of Beaver Stadium that afternoon a 24 point victor. There was all sorts of positivity that could be taken away from the game itself, but plenty more could be analyzed outside the hash marks. Here are some of our gameday observations from this weekend’s dominant performance.
Never underestimate a Beaver Stadium crowd rain or shine: Looks like Vegas was way off with favoring Maryland by two and a half on the road this weekend. On paper, the Terps seemed to be a shoo-in to take down the Lions by exploiting its decimated linebacking corps. What it didn’t take into account was a player like Brandon Smith having a career day, Saquon Barkley returning to his usual form, and that unrelenting crowd. Despite the soggy conditions, the Penn State faithful made its presence felt throughout the game. What’s more impressive was the fact attendance reached 100,000. It sure made a difference.
Ohio State is going to be loud and fun: There were moments on Saturday where the stadium press box shook back and forth as if it were in the midst of an earthquake. Keep in mind this was during a rain-soaked Saturday afternoon that featured chilly temperatures and less than optimal viewing conditions. Well, if the weather can hold up in two weeks, expect an electricity that hasn’t been felt in Beaver Stadium in years. The atmosphere for Penn State’s clash with Ohio State should be special, and the crowd will definitely be a factor much like it was this weekend. You really can’t beat Beaver Stadium.
This weekend was special: There’s nothing quite like Homecoming in Happy Valley. Despite a second straight week of rainy weather, Penn Staters from across the country turned out in full force to watch the Nittany Lions roll to an easy win. It’s always neat seeing the Alumni Blue Band take the field, and the annual black and pink S Zone looked as clean as ever. It was great to see over 5,000 fans make the trek across campus after the game to come out and support the women’s volleyball team, who cruised to a sweep over Rutgers. Though parking spaces were particularly hard to come by, and bar lines were crazy, having the alums back in town always makes for a memorable weekend.
You could feel the vibe: The energy was considerably elevated against the Terps. Just two weeks ago, a large contingency of Penn State fans were wallowing in whether the team would be headed downhill quick. But the Nittany Lions proved they can win put points on the board in a hurry and win those toss-up games that largely alluded them the last two seasons. Trace McSorley noted after the game that getting Beaver Stadium rocking from the first drive was huge for the offense’s momentum. It’s always a welcome sight to see the student section get the basket toss tradition going early, and there were plenty of opportunities to go airborne with all the points Penn State put on the board. It’ll surely feel like forever waiting for the bye week to pass, but when the Buckeyes come to town, expect the atmosphere to be off the charts.