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Gameday Observations: Pitt

If I had to describe this weekend’s road game at Pitt in one word, it would be wet. After a week of weather in the 90s, I don’t think anyone was truly prepared for a Week 2 game in the 50s and the pouring rain. But here we are anyway.

It was hard to see through the downpour that was Saturday in Pittsburgh, so we’ll keep things brief this week:

  • If you ventured to Oakland over the weekend, you’ll no doubt agree that Pitt fans went hard on the banners this year. And they weren’t all in good fun. For that reason, I’ll spare you the photos.
  • The better part of Oakland was that none of the bars were charging cover, even on a football weekend. (cc @StateCollegeBars)
  • As far as tailgating goes, the 5 p.m. deadline didn’t really seem to bother anyone too terribly, mostly because it was a good excuse to only stand in the pouring rain for an extra three hours instead of eight.
  • Aside from the ever-creative “fuck Penn State” chant, Pitt fans seemed surprisingly mild leading up to the game. I’ve heard a few stories of outliers being rude to Penn Staters, but not nearly the same volume as what we heard after the 2016 Keystone Classic in the ‘Burgh.
  • Maybe it’s the rain or maybe it’s the fact that Pitt lost, but Pittsburgh authorities also said they didn’t make any arrests Saturday (though they did issue a few citations, mostly for underage drinking and fake IDs). That seems like a win of its own.
  • The Blue Band is always fun to have on away games, and it’s a great feeling for Yinzers-turned-Penn Staters to see the PSU formation at Heinz Field. The only disappointment here was how far away the Blue Band’s section was located from the Penn State student section. Nittany Lions love our fight songs, but at times there was a bit of a disconnect or delay because of the sheer distance between us.
  • Something we haven’t talked about much is the fact that they sell alcohol at Heinz Field, even for Pitt games…and yes, even to students. This has been a hot topic for collegiate athletics as of late, but I didn’t notice any issues with this for Pitt. This might also be because college students can’t afford the prices of in-stadium drinks, but I digress.
  • Pitt fans left, and they left early. We joked all week about an empty Heinz Field, but I think we underestimated it by a long shot. Even in arguably Pitt’s biggest game of the year, most Panthers fans clocked out around halftime and the stadium was a barren wasteland by the fourth quarter.
  • And when they left, they left their victory towels. These seemed to make a nice souvenir for plenty of Penn Staters relishing in a total state domination.

Penn State never fails to travel well, especially for a game in our own backyard.

My biggest lesson learned? Always bring weather contingency clothes to road games. I’ll catch you back here next Monday for thoughts on Penn State vs. Kent State at home.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa was the managing editor of Onward State from 2017-2019. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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