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Gameday Observations: Blue-White 2022

Penn State’s first official Blue-White Game since 2019 is officially in the books.

It sure was nice to be back in Beaver Stadium for the first time in five months. Tailgates were back in full swing as fans and alumni flooded the parking lots with food, music, and good vibes all around. Inside the stadium, fans saw defense defeat offense 17-13 in nail-biting fashion throughout a revamped Penn State-on-Penn State scrimmage.

Naturally, there was plenty to take in throughout the weekend. From the tailgate lots to the bleachers, here’s what we observed on gameday.

Penn State Football Alumni Return

Blue-White Weekend is an excuse for alumni across the country to make a trip back to Happy Valley, including some of Penn State football’s best. Former stars like Mike Gesicki, Pat Freiermuth, Micah Parsons, Odafe Oweh, and many more made their way to Beaver Stadium.

It was also cool to see Parsons, Oweh, and Jesse Luketa roaming the tailgate lots and the field to take pictures with fans before the game.

The New Format Was Lackluster

The new scoring system for the Blue-White Game was just…alright. It got confusing at times to tell what plays counted toward points or even what segment was happening. It was perhaps even harder to tell which Nittany Lions were standing out among the rest.

James Franklin opted for the new format without enough linemen to field two opposing teams, which is fair. Still, this felt more like practice, and that’s not too exciting for fans.

Fans Take The Field After The Game

Along with the return of the Blue-White Game came the return of one of its best traditions: fans taking the field after the game. Some got a little excited and hopped the fence early, but the annual ritual ended up being a success once again. Students used the opportunity to take in the sun, while others used the opportunity to play catch.

The Weather Was All Over The Place

The day started off at a chilly 45 degrees and some rain until 11 a.m. Luckily, the sun came out as the temperature climbed to 65 degrees by the end of the game, paving the way for a great day of tailgating and football.

With the temperature, the wind picked up by the end of the day, as well, as it definitely ruined some family’s tailgate.

Attendance Conspiracies…Again

Beaver Stadium attendance conspiracy theories were back in full swing this weekend, as attendance clocked in at approximately 62,000 fans.

Fans weren’t buying that, though — especially after the last debacle when Penn State reported more than 106,000 fans at the team’s win over Rutgers back in November.

We don’t know how Penn State calculates its attendance for regular football games, let alone a spring game where admission is free. Regardless, 62,000 seems a bit sketchy at face value.

Parking Was A Nightmare

Penn State Athletics may have dropped the ball when it came to parking Saturday. The lots were general admission, meaning spots were given on a first-come, first-serve basis. As a result, Nittany Nation got up bright and early to make sure that they got a good spot, but that turned into a gridlock around the stadium and beyond.

Fans were not happy, to say the least, and rightfully so. It took me nearly an hour and a half to advance just three-quarters of a mile on Park Avenue.

With so many cars flooding the tailgate lots all at once, we’re surprised Penn State Athletics didn’t anticipate the demand for parking and implement its one-way traffic patterns in the morning. Maybe next year!

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About the Author

Frankie Marzano

Frankie is a senior accounting and economics major from Long Island, NY. You can probably recognize him as the typical Italian-American with slicked back black hair. He is an avid fan of the New York Rangers and Mets, along with every Penn State Athletics team. Follow him on Twitter @frankiemarzano for obnoxious amounts of Rangers and Penn State content or email him at [email protected].

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