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The Best Penn State Moment Bracket: Crowning The Champion

At long last, and largely thanks to your help, we’ve finally, scientifically, and officially determined the best moment in Penn State history.

Our bracket was originally created to serve as a tribute to Penn State’s culture — to celebrate the moments and traditions that meant the most to us after a year that was both unimaginably quiet and challenging.

When we compiled an initial list of the top student life and sports moments throughout Dear Old State’s storied history, some contenders obviously stood out above the rest. Still, underdogs like No. 13-seeded State Patty’s knocked out a few heavy-hitters to spice up our 32-moment bracket.

When people think “Penn State,” they probably imagine packed White Out crowds and THON celebrations. Or perhaps they think about football (and nothing but). And, naturally, they’ll likely reference the ~weird~ stuff, like frightening clown sightings and that time the Jonas Brothers showed up out of nowhere (well, the first time).

But if you ask our readers, no moment encapsulates Penn State better than the Nittany Lions’ historic blocked field goal in 2016’s White Out against No. 2 Ohio State.

As 20-point underdogs at home, Penn State needed a momentum swing to pull out an upset over the Buckeyes. And with just over four minutes left on the clock, the Nittany Lions certainly got one.

By now, you’ve probably heard jokes about how Ohio State kicker Tyler Durbin was “super reliable” inside of 40 yards. You likely remember how Marcus Allen threw up a monster block to send set that ball loose. And you better remember how Grant Haley scooped it up for an unimaginable 60-yard touchdown.

While it’s already been nearly five years since that fateful late October night, Penn State football’s blocked kick ushered in what would become one of the top seasons in program history. Just a handful of weeks later, James Franklin, Trace McSorley, and the gang would claim the 2016 Big Ten title and return the Nittany Lions to college football’s upper echelon for a brief few years.

Whether you were in that White Out crowd our watching from home, the blocked kick will surely go down as one of, if not the, top moments in Penn State history. Here’s hoping we can get back to that lifestyle soon.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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