I’m still speechless after that game. I barely have a voice, my ribs hurt from yelling so much and my body aches. Was it all worth it? Yeah, I would say so. With that said, let’s get to this week’s Notes from Nittanyville:
- Since this was the biggest home game of the season, this was the weeklong Nittanyville campout. There were 94 groups and 771 campers that camped out this past week. And just like every weeklong campout, it was a great week. We got tons of free food, other Penn State teams visited, a bunch of Penn State football players visited and Bill O’Brien stopped by and even dunked a basketball! It’s safe to say that this campout will go down as one of the highlights of my senior year.
- In terms of the game environment, it was pretty much everything I thought it would be. The whiteout looked great, the stadium was full and the student section came up big with consistently making noise. All the fans in the north side of the stadium were great in the overtimes, too.
- When Penn State was down late in the fourth quarter and I saw people leaving, I thought about the Miami Heat fans in game six of the finals and how they left before the Heat miraculously won. Same exact thing happened in this game.
- Something that really bothered me is the pregame alma mater. Pretty much half the students are incapable of singing at the right pace along with the Blue Band, so it sounds awful. And that seems to happen every game.
- It has been well-documented that this was a huge recruiting weekend. During pregame, I saw tons of the players and their families that were visiting. Among them, I saw current commits De’Andre Thompkins and Marcus Allen. Some big time prospects I saw were Thomas Holley, Darius Fullwood, Andrew and David Dowell, Mike Gesicki and many others. Hopefully that game and the atmosphere left a positive lasting impression on them.
- Regarding the actual game, I noticed a couple things. One was that at one point, Penn State’s four down defensive linemen were Austin Johnson, DaQuan Jones, Brian Gaia and Kyle Baublitz, who are all defensive tackles. I just thought that was interesting enough to point out. Also, when Anthony Zettel intercepted Devin Gardner, I bet that was the first time a #98 intercepted another #98.
- Speaking of Zettel, how about the Penn State players from Michigan in this game? Zettel (from West Branch, MI) had the interception, Allen Robinson (from Southfield, MI) had the play of the game/one of the best catches of the year and C.J. Olaniyan (from Warren, MI) had a monster game with 8 tackles and 2.5 sacks. You just know those guys felt great about the games they had in a win like that against their home state team.
- After Brendan Gibbons missed the field goal in the third overtime, my roommate who I was standing next to, who is usually very emotionless, actually cried. The range of emotions that that game put us through was brutal.
- How about the poise from Christian Hackenberg? Huge pressure situation, no timeouts and had to move the ball 80 yards in 50 seconds. And he’s 18 years old! Not like we didn’t already know, but he’s an extremely special player. This was just the start of what could be many more great wins with him under center.
- Just like after the Northwestern and Wisconsin wins last season, the jubilation that I saw from the team and coaches was phenomenal and electrifying. A few players jumped into the first row of the student section, O’Brien was giving enthusiastic high fives to students and the postgame alma mater was as loud and proud as I’ve ever heard it. It was simply awesome.
I could seriously go on forever about that game. It was one for the ages and something that I’ll never forget for as long as I live. Now the Nittany Lions have their second bye week before heading to Columbus for a primetime matchup against Ohio State on October 26th. I plan on making it out there for that game and hopefully I’ll see Penn State pull off the monumental upset.