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[Photo Story] Penn State vs. West Virginia

A prime-time season-opening historic rivalry under the lights in Beaver Stadium? Say less.

Penn State kicked off the 2023 season against West Virginia Saturday night and secured a gritty 38-15 victory in Happy Valley.

Though no couches were burned in State College, there was much to see throughout the Nittany Lions’ first Saturday of college football this season, and our photographers were on the ground to capture it all.

The blue and white arrived at Beaver Stadium on a hot, humid afternoon in the valley, but students, alumni, and community members showed up in spades to support the team ahead of its 2023 debut.

The Nittany Lions took to the field to warm up as the crowd shuffled into Beaver Stadium in a helmet-striped formation.

As the sun began to set ahead of kickoff, James Franklin’s squad entered Beaver Stadium with a firework-filled entrance amid a raucous attendance of 110,747 people, the fourth-largest crowd in stadium history.

Folks, Penn State didn’t come to mess around.

In Drew Allar’s first handful of snaps as the Nittany Lions’ starter, the sophomore manufactured a 72-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith on his third snap and first drive of the outing.

The home team quickly wracked up a seven-point lead and instilled the fanbase with all of the confidence in the world in its new gunslinger.

Manny Diaz’s defensive unit displayed its effectiveness in containing West Virginia during third and fourth-down situations. The Mountaineers struggled, converting only four of 14 attempts on third downs and proving the talent of the highly-touted line.

LawnBoyz Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen stomped downfield for a combined 121 yards in their highly-anticipated return at running back.

Singleton tacked on a touchdown midway through the second quarter to double Penn State’s lead, too.

Where’s this guy’s wristband?

A squirrel made its way onto the field at Beaver Stadium in the middle of a media timeout, dancing in front of Penn State’s bench and into the north end zone.

Nittany Lion legends Micah Parsons, Joey Porter Jr., Jahan Dotson, and Saquon Barkley stopped by Beaver Stadium to get the crowd pumped up with “We Are” chants before rolling into NFL seasons with the Cowboys, Steelers, Commanders, and Giants.

The Nittany Lions got in their groove in the second half and added a touchdown for Malik McClain amid a surge of offensive firepower.

Following a quarterback swap, backup Beau Pribula ran into the end zone with six seconds left and sealed a 23-point victory over the Mountaineers to begin the 2023 season.

There’s really no better place than under the lights in Happy Valley.

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About the Author

Hailey Stutzman

Hailey is a junior film production major and is Onward State's visual editor. She is also the editor of our podcast, Podward State. She's from outside of Philly-ish and is a die-hard Birds fan. When Hailey's not taking pictures or editing videos, you can find her scrolling through TikTok or sleeping. Feel free to reach her on Twitter when she wakes up @stutzhailey or her email [email protected].

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