Penn State Football On What Makes The White Out So Special
The Penn State White Out is one of the greatest atmospheres in all of college football. Nothing quite compares to energy more than 107,000 fans bring to Beaver Stadium, and as ESPN’s Chris Fowler noted, the White Out is “definitely the best [big-game environment] north of the Mason-Dixon Line.”
In last year’s White Out against Ohio State, fans broke Beaver Stadium’s all-time attendance record when a whopping 110,889 people packed its bleachers. The previous record was set in the previous year’s White Out, which drew a crowd of 110,823 fans.
Traveling to Beaver Stadium as an opposing team is intimidating, to say the least. Walking into a sea of white where you can barely hear yourself think is challenging, and it can really throw a team’s mindset into disarray. Urban Meyer certainly backed that up this week when he called the White Out the toughest environment in college football.
“The best thing about the White Out is that I don’t have to be there this week,” the former Ohio State coach said.
For some of the Penn State’s younger players, tonight’s game against Michigan will be their first-ever White Out. However, offensive lineman Steven Gonzalez is no stranger to it.
Gonzalez, an experienced veteran in Penn State’s locker room, will be heading into his fifth White Out experience against Michigan tonight.
“It’s college football at its finest. For some people, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Gonzalez said. “So for me to have it, going on my fifth year having it, it’s a blessing, and it’s like one of those things you — like I said, once in a lifetime.”
Punter Blake Gillikin revealed a conversation he had with fellow specialist Jordan Stout. He made sure that Stout, a transfer from Virginia Tech, knew that nothing in the country compares to Penn State’s White Out.
“Jodan [Stout] told me he still hasn’t heard anything louder than Virginia Tech,” Gillikin said. “I think he’ll be proven wrong.”
The sea of white in the crowd creates a massive advantage for Penn State. The communication of the visiting team gets throwing into all sorts of chaos because of the noise coming from the crowd. It becomes unbearable at times. Not only does it throw off the other team, but it energizes the Nittany Lions. Defensive tackle PJ Mustipher explained how the noise helps the defense.
“Everybody is really loud. And for me, that really helps,” Mustipher said. “And for this defense, that really helps because you can’t hear anybody next to you, in front of you or behind you.”
Penn State is 7-8 all-time during the White Out game, which began back in 2004 in a game against Purdue. The Nittany Lions have won two of their last three White Outs, and they’re taking on Michigan for the second time in three years tonight. When describing the White Out, head coach James Franklin had this to say:
“People can explain to you all they want, but it’s hard to explain what it’s actually like.”
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