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Gameday Observations: Iowa

Thanks to a slew of injuries and penalty issues, Penn State football just couldn’t get things done against Iowa this weekend.

As you’d expect during a top-four matchup, Kinnick Stadium was rockin’ especially hard. Between a field storming, strange security hoodwinks, and appearances from former Penn State players, it was quite an eventful afternoon.

Here are some of the most notable things our team of writers and photographers observed on Saturday.

Iowa City Is A Cool Place

First of all, I need to give credit to Iowa City. We can get into the fan situation later, but my first impression of the town and the tailgating scene was pretty positive. We’re definitely spoiled with how cool tailgating at Beaver Stadium is, but I’d love to go back to Kinnick as a fan and drink some beers in a parking lot.

LaVar Arrington Makes An Appearance

Former Penn State linebacker LaVar Arrington was at Kinnick Stadium Saturday to help support his Nittany Lions. Before the game, Arrington was talking to players like Sean Clifford and Jesse Luketa, and he even gave us a hearty “We Are.”

Injury Booing Disappoints

Honestly, this kind of ruined the experience of Iowa City for me. In Madison, all of the Wisconsin fans we ran into were welcoming, even after the loss. With that in mind, it was disappointing to see Penn State’s players get booed when they went down with injuries.

When opposing players have gotten hurt at Beaver Stadium before, the Nittany Lion faithful has shown nothing but respect and support. Take Tyler Will’s injury in the Villanova game. Beaver Stadium was quiet, the student section raised its shakers in support, and the tight end received a big ovation when he was carted off.

James Franklin addressed this after the game, but some of the Hawkeyes’ coaches seemingly got in on the heckling as well.

Fans Storm Field, Ellis Brooks Soaks It In

Whether you agree with Iowa’s fans’ decision to storm the field or not, it happened. With Kinnick Stadium’s short walls, it was easy for fans to hop onto the turf and celebrate the win. The result was a crooked field goal post and plenty of liquor shooters on the field.

Most of Penn State’s players made quick exits for the locker rooms, but linebacker Ellis Brooks stayed after to soak it all in.

“I believe in just taking moments in fully, and that includes positive and negative,” he said after the game. “I just wanted to…use that as motivation and get better moving forward.”

It was a tough way to lose a game, and plenty of players had their emotions on display after the game. However, shoutout to Ta’Quan Roberson for still speaking to the media afterward. That takes guts, and it’s a good showing of his character.

Stadium Security Causes A Small Scene

There was a funny interaction between James Franklin and the Iowa security guards after the game. Since the field got stormed, Franklin and the media literally got locked into one of the tunnels for postgame availability. They kept closing and opening the tunnel, and the head coach stared them down hardcore.

Some media members couldn’t even get in for availability because they locked the gate, and security tried to kick everyone out before players could talk. We ended up just going onto the turf instead, but it was funny how disorganized everything was after the field got stormed.

We also got kind of lost and ended up in Iowa’s tunnel after the game. It was pretty cool. So is the whole stadium, honestly.

Kinnick’s Sidelines Are Very Tight

One of the most unique things about Kinnick Stadium is just how close the fans are to the team benches. This means it’s louder, and the players are basically always within an earshot of fans.

Here’s a picture I took before the game that shows the field is about 19 feet from the stands. Honestly, it felt much closer than that.

The Wave

This is simply just one of the coolest traditions in college football.

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a redshirt senior majoring in business and journalism from "Philadelphia" and mostly writes about football nowadays. You can follow him on Twitter @rjparsons9 or say hi via email at

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