On Saturday, Penn State held its annual Blue-White spring football scrimmage and it could not have gone much better. The reigning Big Ten champs split the squat in half to play against each other in a fun showcase for the PSU faithful. Although the game itself was pretty boring, there were plenty of positive things to take from the whole day. Here are four things that stood out to me on Saturday.
- Penn State fans are awesome
Cold weather and lots clouds couldn’t stop the fans from showing up on Saturday. The estimated attendance for the game was over 70,000, making it the fourth most attended spring game this season. Last year’s attendance total was only around 65,000, but the game started at noon. This year’s 3 PM start time might have helped a few more people have time to get some good tailgating in and then stumble into the game. The pictures below show how great Penn State fans really are compared to the trashy Pitt fans who seem to be REALLY excited for their team that might crack the top 25 at some point in the next few years.
2. James Franklin is the man
Coach Franklin is an obvious fan favorite in Happy Valley because of his enthusiasm and positivity. He walked around the field during the game smiling and having fun with the players and fans. At halftime, there was a competition where media members could go onto the field and return punts. Coach Franklin was out there the whole time laughing with the reporters and journalists while most of them embarrassed themselves and completely missed the catch. On Friday, I was walking to class and passed a big tour group of potential students when James Franklin pulled up in a golf cart and yelled the classic “We Are,” to which the group responded with an excited “Penn State!” His enthusiasm is contagious and really makes fans excited for the future of the program.
- Tommy Stevens is legit
Trace McSorley clearly has the QB1 position on lockdown and has even been considered an early candidate for the Heisman this year, but backup QB Tommy Stevens was really impressive in the second half of the game. He finished the game with 3 touchdowns and 216 yards on over 70% passing. The future of the program is bright with lots of potentially great young players like Stevens and defensive back Lamont Wade.
- Penn State can still party
Lastly and most importantly, the tailgating scene at PSU was better than ever. Like I mentioned before, the 3 in the afternoon start time for the game gave people more time to tailgate before either going into the game or skipping the game to turn the tailgate into an all-out daylong. With the recent sanctions placed on the Greek life at PSU and the ban of daylongs at the fraternities, there was a lot of concern that there would be nowhere for students to party in the morning and early afternoon on Saturdays. This was proven way wrong on Saturday, even though the frats did not have any daylongs on their properties like they normally do. All tailgates and daylongs were moved over to the beaver stadium lots, which have so much space and so much going on that it was a great time for everyone.