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Your Favorite Penn State Football Memories

Last week, we asked you to share your favorite Penn State football memories with us to reminisce on the good ol’ days. As always, Nittany Nation delivered.

With no tailgating or fans allowed this season, it’s hard not to think back on the fond memories that come with Penn State football we’ll be missing out on this season. But unfortunately, this is what life has come to. For now, we’ll have to simply live through the past.

From bowl games to witnessing Joe Paterno’s 300th (and 400th!) wins, Penn Staters have had some memorable Penn State football moments. Without further ado, here are some of Nittany Nation’s favorite Penn State football memories:

John Keiser — Class of 1970

“Joe Paterno’s first bowl game — Gator Bowl, 1967, Florida State. The brothers at Pi Kappa Phi and Kappa Sigma hired a bus for the trip to Jacksonville. We played cards and drank beer all the way to Jacksonville.

“We didn’t have to worry about driving or anything else, except beating Florida State. The game was a 17-17 tie, but the friendships made on the trip lasted a lifetime. On top of that, we beat Pitt the last game of the season.”

Dave Seamans — Class of 1990

“The most exciting game I was at in Beaver Stadium was in 1982 vs. Nebraska, before I attended Penn State. My buddies and I used to park cars, and we paid $14, A Hotdog & Drink and Field pass, where we sat on the field at that time.

“This was a National TV game that was moved to a 3:30 p.m. time slot, and they had to bring in portable lights for the stadium, as it did not have lights at the time. The whole game was awesome, but the last few minutes was most exciting! In this last drive, Blackledge completed a pass to Kenny Jackson on a 4th and 11 play when all thought we would kick for a tie.

“Of course this was the two-yard pass to Kirk Bowman, who made a spectacular catch off his feet deep in the end zone for a 27-24 victory and on to the National Championship. We all went crazy of course. It may have actually been the first time the goalposts came down and were carried down College Avenue.”

Keith Saroka — Class of 1993

“It was the 1987 Notre Dame game my freshman year. About 20 of us started out in the end zone, but only two of us remained after halftime since it was so bitterly cold. The wind chill was like 40 below. At halftime, me and my buddy found extra trash bags and wrapped ourselves in them to try to keep warm.

“I did have boots, a winter jacket, long underwear, gloves, hoodie, beanie, jeans, sweatpants over jeans, etc. But still, if I recall correctly, Notre Dame went for two in front of the student section — what was left of it — to win the game and got stuffed!”

Don Detweiler — Class of 2009

“Two days before my 11th birthday, my dad took me to my second Penn State game. We watched Penn State easily beat Bowling Green. It was special because it was Joe Paterno’s 300th win.

“Twelve years later, I took my fiancé to her second game. After falling behind 21-0 to Northwestern, Penn State staged one of the most improbable come-from-behind victories and win the game for Joe Paterno’s 400th win.”

Kendall Claar — Class of 2024

“Last year, I was invited to the Pitt vs. Penn State game for my Penn State cheerleading recruiting visit. As I walked into the dressing room where all of the cheerleaders were, I was in awe. Here, I met the coaches and my soon-to-be teammates.

“After this, the coaches took me out to the field for pregame. Stepping onto the field of Beaver Stadium and being just inches from the players was so crazy to me. I didn’t think it could get any better, and the game hadn’t even started yet.

“Until I heard the music blast, the crowd began to chant “We Are, Penn State,” and the entire Penn State football team ran out right in front of me. Looking around at the student section waving their shakers and feeling the roar of the crowd was incredible. I knew at this moment that this is where I wanted to spend my next four years of college, cheering on the Nittany Lions from the sidelines.”


Editor’s note: Some of these responses have been edited for clarity.

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About the Author

Mackenzie Cullen

Sadly, Mackenzie graduated from Penn State in 2022. She majored in English and served as one of Onward State's associate editors. You can keep up with her life and send compliments to @MackenzieC__ on Twitter.

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