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Gameday Observations: Wisconsin

Penn State football faced off against the Wisconsin Badgers this weekend in a de facto replay of the 2016 Big Ten Championship game. It wasn’t a near-heartbreaker like that trip to Indianapolis, but the Nittany Lions kept it pretty basic — save for a few plays of excitement — in their 22-10 victory.

Without further ado, here’s what we noticed happening off the field.

  • Beaver Stadium took a while to fill up, and the student section cleared out after halftime. I guess this can be expected for a freezing cold November game with a noon kickoff, but it didn’t help that most grass tailgate lots and a bunch of major roads leading to Happy Valley were closed.
  • That said, nostalgic seniors were able to harken back to their first season in the south end zone, when Christian Hackenberg led the Nittany Lions to a 7-6 finish and nobody really gave a shit what happened in the student section, because it was never close to being full anyway.
  • Penn State paid tribute to Wally Triplett, Penn State football’s first African-American starter, the first African American to earn a varsity letter at Penn State, and the first African American Penn Stater to be drafted into the NFL. Triplett passed away Thursday, but he’ll forever be cemented in Penn State history as a pioneer for the game of football and African-American athletes everywhere.
  • Wisconsin fans showed out in full force, dotting Beaver Stadium red and creating quite a spectacle in the upper deck of the north end zone.
  • Speaking of Wisconsin, Beaver Stadium Music Man PJ Mullen apparently took a page from the Michigan Stadium Music Man’s book, trolling Wisconsin fans with their signature student section song, House of Pain’s “Jump Around.” 
  • Best Overheard in the Student Section: “Wisconsin’s just not used to playing in this weather. It’s the hottest game they’ve had all year — everybody’s going down with dehydration.”
Exhibit A
  • Finally, Wisconsin fans were just as nice as you’d expect. Even after a tough loss, most of them kept their Midwest stereotypes and headed to the bars to drink the pain away. The only downside to their impressive traveling fan base was seeing these creepy badger hats.

Catch up with us next week as we head to the objectively worst Big Ten atmosphere: High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey.

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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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