Gameday Observations: Purdue

After what could very well have been an instant classic in West Lafayette, Penn State football returns home 1-0.

An unpredictable and wild fourth quarter concluded with a gutsy game-winning drive from Sean Clifford and clutch stop after clutch stop from Manny Diaz’s defense. When the dust finally settled, the Nittany Lions bested Purdue 35-31.

While it was hard to take our eyes off the game, we noticed plenty of other things going down during our time in Indiana.

White Out, Meet Black Out

Purdue was working with about half the number of fans that you’d expect at a Beaver Stadium game, but the folks in West Lafayette mustered an intimidating environment. The Black Out crowd was an interesting look but it was slightly tainted by plenty of white-shirted Penn State fans. It was strongest in the student section, which got pretty rowdy. Shoutout to the Ross-Ade Brigade.

Ross-Ade Stadium also had some neat-looking lighting effects that enveloped the entire crowd and field whenever the Boilermakers scored. There are plenty of reasons for Purdue fans to be excited about where the program is trending, and it showed Thursday night.

Micah Shrewsberry Says Hi

Penn State men’s basketball coach Micah Shrewsberry was in town for Thursday’s festivities. He hung around after the game while players spoke to the media, too.

The Indiana native was previously an assistant coach at Purdue from 2011-2013 and 2019-2021. Boilermaker hoopers of past and present like Zach Eden and Jaden Ivey were in attendance, too.

Beer? In A Big Ten Stadium? In This Economy?

This is starting to become a common trend for Big Ten schools, but it was extra eye-opening with recent rumors about Beaver Stadium testing alcohol sales against Central Michigan.

Domestic beer was $8.49, premium beer was $9.49, Indiana craft beer was $9.99, and koozies were $2.99. There were definitely a decent amount of cans littered throughout the stadium after the game, but nothing drastically bad or life-changing happened just because there was alcohol for sale.

Drew Allar

Drew Allar played in the game. He threw four passes. Here’s a picture for proof:

Purdue Served Branded Glizzies, But That’s About It

Time for the obligatory press box food review. Honestly, the situation in West Lafayette was shocking. First, they served big hot dogs with the Purdue logo branded on them. This was honestly pretty awesome. Steak sandwiches, potato salad, and bean salsa were also available.

It was kind of all downhill from here. After the glizzies ran dry, that was it. I was ready for round two at halftime but was met only with empty trays. Just not what I’m used to. They did have some really delicious flavored sparkling water, of which I probably nervously drank six during the game.

But, things got really dire postgame. James Franklin held his press conference in the photo tent (?), which was incredibly hot and humid. Afterward, we headed back to the press box to write our stories and quench our thirst. Sike. They legitimately zip-tied the drink fridge off. What the hell? From there, we pivoted to the water fountain. It came out yellow. I respect the commitment to school color branding, but we had to abandon ship.

There Was a Praying Mantis

While we were waiting for James Franklin in the photo tent, a massive praying mantis emerged and sprinted up the wall. Overheard in the media scrum: “that bug showed more burst than any Penn State running back.”

Very cool.

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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 [email protected].

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