Gameday Observations: Penn State vs. Iowa
The Nittany Lions continued their winning ways against Iowa this weekend, but that wasn’t all we had to take away from Saturday’s contest. Between well-mannered Iowa fans and a raucous somewhat White Out crowd, check out some of our gameday observations from the game.
The buzz is palpable: Folks understand exactly what’s going on in Happy Valley. Sitting at No. 12 in the polls, it’s evident the Lions are in the midst of something very special. Penn State are cognizant of that, and it’s pretty fun to be around. As I mused about the tailgate lots, it seemed every RV I passed had people mapping out Penn State’s road to the Rose Bowl or College Football Playoff route. Two years ago, fans were excited about a seven-win season. What a difference a few years can make.
Fans took the White Out to heart: Sure, James Franklin didn’t explicitly intend to generate buzz for a second White Out (although his cryptic tweet would say otherwise), fans showed up ready to welcome Iowa to the toughest environment in college football. The stadium was loud, but even cooler was the fact that most in attendance donned some form of white clothing. That, coupled with the fact 106,000+ showed up, gave Iowa fits throughout the contest. Well done, everybody.
Tailgating is special. Cherish it: It dawned on me that my parents might be unable to attend another game this year given all that’s going on at home. Between work and life in general, it might be tough for them to take the RV up for one more game. I’m only just realizing this now, but as a senior, I might’ve had my last tailgate with them as a student. They’d come up for nearly every game and set up shop in the RV lots. As a freshman, it seemed like my worst nightmare always having my parents up. But then, I matured. I realized just how special these moments were, and began to savor every single tailgate. There’s something special about moments like that that last a lifetime. I know there’ll be more tailgates down the road, but I’ll hold onto these forever.
Iowa fans are nice people and enjoy drinking Rolling Rock: We met a handful of pleasant Iowa fans at the Skeller on Friday night before the game. We got to know them better over a few ponies and an addicting drinking game that caught the entire bar’s attention. These people are nice, passionate about their football team, and always looking for a fun time. Make an effort to get to know the visiting fans because you just might make a few new friends in the process.
Saturday’s entrance gave me chills: Between Immanuel Iyke leading the team out of the tunnel proudly carrying the American flag to yet another beautiful fireworks display, Saturday’s entrance had it all. I must say, after years of similar entrances, Penn State’s really getting the hang of these. There’s more fanfare, which leads to more excitement. I don’t know about you, but I had goosebumps running down my arm before kickoff.
The Military Appreciation game is always special: It’s a truly awesome thing that Penn State does and should certainly continue in the future. My dad was able to get four tickets and multiple parking passes, free of charge for his many years of service. It is a great way to celebrate our veterans and give them the opportunity to watch Penn State play on the biggest stages.