It was a happy weekend in Happy Valley with past Nittany Lions coming home to cheer on the team! Homecoming has always been a huge tradition at Penn State and a weekend when downtown State College is hustling with alumni going back to their favorite restaurants and shopping for more Penn State apparel at the many bookstores. They come with their families and future Nittany Lions, walking around the campus pointing out where every memory took place and taking pictures at the usual destinations from the Lion Shrine to Old Main.
This Homecoming weekend was especially sweet with the team walking away with a fantastic win against previously undefeated Northwestern by a score of 39-28. Ask any student and I think they will all agree that this game, especially the epic fourth quarter comeback, was one for the record books. From the 2-point conversion, to a recovered fumble late in the fourth quarter, the energy in Beaver Stadium was electric.
A team of 100,000
We saw in the Northwestern game, how the Penn State football team is more than just the coaches and the players on the field. The 21,000 students in the stands and the tens of thousands more alumni and fans cheering from all ends of the stadium make up the rest of the Penn State roster.
Let’s look at the fourth quarter versus Northwestern. Imagine the entire stadium, including the overflowing student section, screaming incredibly loudly in an effort to throw off the Northwestern players. In between plays, an echoing “WE ARE … PENN STATE” chant rocks the stadium. From the screams and cheers to the huge support for our players…that was enough to rattle the Wildcats. It was enough to force numerous incomplete passes, and it was enough to create a fumble.
The Penn State community isn’t just another group of fans; WE ARE all part of ONE TEAM whether it’s Matt McGloin throwing the touchdown pass or the student covered head to toe in blue and white paint yelling from the stands.