Well that was nice to watch, considering how the first two games went. Efficiency on offense, an aggressive and fundamentally sound defense and the first win in the Bill O’Brien era were all very fun to watch. All week leading up to the game it was obvious how hungry the fan base and the players were for a win. This was one that was much-needed to say the least. Nittanyville and the rest of the students were as eager to get into Beaver Stadium as I’ve ever seen. Now let’s get to the notes from Nittanyville for this historic game in Penn State football history:
- There were a lot of new/first-time campers at Nittanyville, which shows that the student support for the football team hasn’t wavered at all.
- After the kicking debacle in Charlottesville, two banners were made by Nittanyvillers in support of kicker Sam Ficken. One said “Stickin’ with Ficken” and the other said “Kickin’ Ficken.”
- I thought the whole “Military Appreciation Day” theme was a huge success. It created a fantastic atmosphere in the stadium and it acknowledged people who deserve a lot of recognition for what they do.
- The flyover was phenomenal and it was cool seeing members of the military around the stadium and around Happy Valley on game day.
- A lot of students included some type of patriotism into their game day attire. Just to name a few: One of my friends wore American flag shorts, a group of friends painted “’Merica” on their chests and another one of my friends painted “Thank You Troops” on his chest.
- Many students cheered after every field goal and extra point that Ficken made during warm ups. I wasn’t a huge fan of that even if the intention was good. It just seemed sarcastic and unnecessary.
- I don’t think I need to go into much detail regarding Penn State’s offense. They were great from start to finish. The play calling was solid and the balance of run and pass plays was even better.
- Finally there was some Zombie Nation in Beaver Stadium, which is probably the students’ favorite thing to do during the game. We can thank Allen Robinson, Gerald Hodges, Stephen Obeng-Agyapong and Mike Hull for that.
- When Mike Hull was racing down the field on his fumble return touchdown, I (and probably others around me) had a slim hope that he would do a Lambeau Leap kind of thing. Then I thought that Bill O’Brien would probably be really mad if that happened. But seeing him run for 74 yards in the direction where I was standing was awesome.
- I thought it was cool at the end of the game when the Penn State team went by Navy’s band with the Navy team and stood there for their alma mater.
- And then seeing the Penn State team run to the student section and sing the alma mater along with us was quite something. You could see the big smiles on their faces and see how much this win meant to them.
Bottom line: this win was as needed as a win could be. A 0-3 start would’ve been devastating to any hopes of Penn State having a decent season. Next week Penn State concludes its non-conference schedule against in-state rival Temple. See you then.
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