Gameday Observations: Kent State

Penn State hasn’t had a noon home game in quite some time. Those of you who hate the early wakeup (myself included) have been spoiled, so this one hurt a little. The post-game tailgating though? Oh, so sweet.

  • While overcast, Saturday ended up hotter than many of us anticipated. I saw quite the mix of outfits, from shorts and crop tops to jeans and long sleeves. The common denominator, of course, was blue and white, but we’ll have to start getting it together as fall weather creeps into Happy Valley.
  • Somehow the student section was incredibly short on shakers yet again. I reached out to Blue & White Society Sunday morning, but hadn’t heard back yet by time of publishing. Hopefully this is a short-term issue, because cheering without a shaker just feels wrong.
  • For a noon game, though, the student section was surprisingly full. I had heard before the game about a lot of students who weren’t going, so I wasn’t sure how it would be, but folks turned out in full force after all…at least for the first half. The same can’t be said for the second half of the game, unfortunately.
  • I’ve got a few gripes against some of the students, though, and so do some other washed-up seniors. We received this tip from some “concerned seniors” after the game, and I wholeheartedly agree:

We would like to know why the freshman class thinks it is okay to sit during the football games. For the past two home games they will sit any chance they get. Thirty second time out? Sit. Switch of a quarter? Sit. It’s embarrassing to be the best student section in the nation with half the kids sitting. 

  • The Lionettes were on point as always, and even unveiled some funky news moves during their routine. Of course, it still ended in their signature jaw-dropping split in unison.
  • Speaking of new things, Beaver Stadium Music Man PJ Mullen finally stopped playing POWER pulled out all the stops this week. In addition to working in his “The Middle” remix, other new songs I noticed specifically were “Freaky Friday,” “Chandelier,” and “Hotel Key,” a favorite of Onward State Features Editor Jim Davidson. I’m disappointed to report my roommate has apparently never heard “Freaky Friday” before the game and therefore has no idea what it’s like to wake up in Chris Brown’s body.
  • Popcorning is a Penn State tradition unlike any other, and it’s fun for the first few touchdowns. By the time Sean Clifford went full send to Daniel George and Jonathan Thomas hit the the final score of the game, the student section had already tallied at least the equivalent of two full arm days. It takes a lot of effort to hoist someone in the air 63 times — I only saw two girls in the entire student section getting popcorned at the end of the game.
  • It’s always comical when the extra security comes onto the field at the end of the game for relatively non-threatening opponents like the Golden Flashes. I don’t think anyone was considering storming the field after crushing Kent State, but I respect the university’s consistent effort to deter what happened after Ohio State 2016.
  • The best part of noon games is the post-game tailgate and/or nap. There’s nothing like a sunset over the tailgating lots. Insert Italian chef kiss here.
Photo: Ang Borda via Instagram

Last week I said my biggest lesson learned was to bring weather contingency clothes to road games. This week, my biggest lesson learned is to wear sunscreen — especially when you see your roommate putting some on before the game. I never thought I’d be reverse-branded with a Nittany Lion paw, but here we are. Feeling very #state.

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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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