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Gameday Observations: Michigan State

And so ends the 2023 regular season.

Penn State football shut down Michigan State in a Black Friday matchup at Ford Field, winning 42-0 and taking home the Land-Grant Trophy. Friday’s game was a special occasion, as it was the last time the two teams would face off until 2025.

From end zones to moving bins, our staffers were at Ford Field to capture all the sights of gameday.

Indoor Stadiums Make Loud Crowds

Michigan State’s crowd wasn’t particularly impressive against Penn State, just a total of 51,927. All the same, that group got pretty loud at certain points. It wasn’t anything like a Beaver Stadium crowd that generated noise for the entire game, but on certain occasions, the Spartan fans made their presence known.

Still, it felt as though the home crowd had an assist from the roof at Ford Field. Most times, a crowd of 51,000 wouldn’t have made that type of noise, but because the sound bounced back toward the field, the stadium sounded a lot louder. Just imagine what a Beaver Stadium White Out would sound like with a roof.

Players Don’t Care About The Land-Grant Trophy

There are a lot of fans, especially us at Onward State, that love the Land-Grant Trophy. Some people say it’s meaningless, some even say it’s ugly. But the Land-Grant Trophy is so much more than that — it’s ours.

That’s why it hurt when Penn State players ignored the trophy as they walked off the field. Only a few, most notably Dvon Ellies and Caedan Wallace, seemed to care that they had just won college football’s most amazing trophy.

Even if they won’t cherish it, at least Penn State will have the trophy for another two years.

The Land-Grant Trophy Looks Like It’s Moving To East Halls

During the game, our on-scene writers and photographers were searching anxiously for the Land-Grant Trophy. We thought it would be on the sideline, in a tunnel, or somewhere else where we could publish it on social media.

We still don’t know where they were keeping the trophy. But we do know that its case was less than glorious. When the trophy was brought out to the field, it was wheeled in something that looked awfully similar to the bins that Penn Staters use to move into their on-campus housing.

It might not have been glorious, but it was certainly fitting for the coolest trophy in sports.

The End Zones Were Penn State Fans

The first thing you noticed at Ford Field was, well, the field. Since the Detroit Lions played there Thursday, the grounds crew didn’t have a ton of time to customize the field for the Michigan State-Penn State game. There was a Spartan helmet at midfield, but the Lions’ end zones were still intact.

Still, the word “Lions” spelled out in blue and white print in the end zone? Sounds like this was a neutral-site game after all.

So Long, Big Ten East

Penn State’s game against Michigan State was one of the final games of the current Big Ten, and with that, the Big Ten East. The conference has been such a big part of Penn State’s identity for so many years, and now it’s gone just like that.

Still, it’s hard to feel sad about the death of the Big Ten East. The conference has relegated Penn State to many second and third-place finishes in the division, keeping it out of conference title games when the Nittany Lions would’ve otherwise been deserving.

So long, Big Ten East. See you never.

Michigan State Loves “Kernkraft 400”

Rival teams have been known to use “Kernkraft 400,” typically Penn State’s song, against the Nittany Lions. In Columbus, Ohio State students chanted “F— you, Penn State” to the classic walkout tune as the Buckeyes beat Penn State.

However, Michigan State seemed to be blasting Penn State propaganda at just the right moments. After Jaylen Reed’s interceptions, Ford Field started playing “Kernkraft 400.” There were a few confused mutters in the press box, but it seemed the Penn State fans in attendance knew just what do to. For a brief moment in Detroit, the words “We Are Penn State” rang out loud and clear.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a junior journalism major at Penn State and an associate editor at Onward State. He covers Penn State football and enjoys yelling on Twitter about Philadelphia/Penn State sports. He also listens to Mac Miller more than you. If you want to find him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. Please send all positive affirmations and/or hate mail toward him on Twitter (iamjoelister) or via email ([email protected]).

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