Gameday Observations: West Virginia

We are so back, folks.

Penn State football kicked off its highly-anticipated season with a commanding 38-15 victory over West Virginia on Saturday in Beaver Stadium. The No. 7-ranked Nittany Lions debuted a young, fresh lineup starring sophomore quarterback Drew Allar and anchored by sophomore running back duo Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen.

Besides the on-field action, there were plenty of sights and scenes throughout Happy Valley on the first gameday of 2023.

Sizzling Conditions In The Valley

It was a hot one on Saturday.

Whether fans hit the tailgating lots at 8 a.m. or rolled into Beaver Stadium right before kickoff, the sun beat down on Penn Staters throughout the day, leaving harsh tans lines and making for a smelly student section.

Though the high was just 81 degrees, the cloudless sky took plenty of sunburn victims.

The End Of Paper Tickets?

As students made their way to Gate A to enter the stadium, one familiar gameday item was nowhere to be found.

Upon scanning digital tickets, students received green, cloth wristbands instead of the classic paper ticket denoting assigned sections.

Perhaps in an attempt to minimize non-students breaching the south end zone, the non-adjustable wristband was a shock to many who’ve collected paper tickets from their first games within the walls of Beaver Stadium.

Inconsistent Security Measures

For some, Gate A was a breeze. Others went as far to say entrance into the student gate was as bad as last year’s dangerous White Out surges. Many folks experienced these issues beyond the student section, too, and felt bottlenecked throughout the stadium.

Students attempting to beat the masses ended up feeling the worst effects of inconsistent crowd control in the hours leading up to kickoff, while many had no problems grabbing a seat in the few minutes ahead of the coin toss.

Fourth-Largest Attendance In Beaver Stadium History

The Nittany Lion faithful showed up in spades Saturday and tallied the fourth-largest attendance in stadium history at 110,747. While many felt the attendance was just too many, it felt great to squeeze into Beaver Stadium with 110,000 of our closest friends.

Everyone in the crowd got to witness Drew Allar’s first start under center in the must-see prime-time showcase. History.

Local Beer Headlines Alcohol Selection

A lovely slate of local craft beer and cider graced Beaver Stadium for the first time Saturday, featuring plenty of Penn State-inspired brews.

The stadium’s typical lineup of Miller Lite, Coors Lite, Blue Moon, Michelob Ultra, and Yuengling was available, along with New Trail lager “State Light,” Rusty Rail IPA “The Fans,” Robin Hood wheat ale “Melon Time,” and 814 Cider Works hard cider “White Out.”

Penn State Is In Its Taylor Swift Era

There is no doubt at this point that Penn State is a Swiftie.

As always, new songs echoed throughout Beaver Stadium, one of which was Taylor Swift’s “Cruel Summer.” The 2019 tune was a fan-favorite, but was just the beginning of the Swift tributes throughout the evening.

In one media timeout, the Nittany Lion donned a “A Lot Going On At The Moment” t-shirt, paying tribute to the “Red” era. Then, the Symbol of our Best joined the Lionettes for a brief kick line and threw his top hat toward the student section similarly to Swift in The Eras Tour.

Still, the Blue Band left Penn State Swifties swooning with its acknowledgement of the “1989” album and assembled to spell out the album title. “Shake It Off” by way of the Blue Band was pretty electric.

Legends Return

A handful of Nittany Lions in the NFL stopped by to check out Penn State’s season opener, including Joey Porter Jr., Jahan Dotson, Micah Parsons, and Saquon Barkley.

There was no shortage of star-studded alumni within the confines of Beaver Stadium.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a senior from Richmond, Virginia, majoring in journalism. She's an associate editor and talks about awesome stuff on our podcast, Podward State, too. You can usually find her on a porch, but if not, feel free to contact Keeley on Twitter @keeleylammm or [email protected].

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