This weekend marks the final time the Nittany Lions will set foot on home turf in the 2015 season. For some of the squad, it will be their last game ever with basic blues on their backs. Not only is this weekend the storied Penn State Whiteout, but it is also Senior Day. Some seniors such as Anthony Zettel (West Branch, Mich.) have played at Penn State under three different coaches: Joe Paterno, Bill O’Brien, and James Franklin. The commitment and dedication demonstrated by those seniors deserves to be honored during this whiteout showdown.
The Nittany Lions (7-3, 4-2) will face off against the University of Michigan Wolverines (8-2, 5-1) at home in Beaver Stadium this Saturday with a noon kickoff. Although it is not an afternoon or evening kickoff like some had hoped, there is no doubt that attendees will still bring their tangible, reverberating energy to the stands of Beaver Stadium in the flurry of white known as the Whiteout, in which all attendees dress in white.
“It’s going to be a tremendous challenge. There’s no doubt about it. But I’m looking forward to being at home… we’re gaining confidence,” said Head Coach James Franklin during his press conference this week.
Franklin also noted that this past week, a bye week, was extremely important for key players such as Saquon Barkley and Jason Cabinda. With relentless game after relentless game this season, it was inevitable that some players would be running at less than 100 percent. Franklin expects that all players, including Barkley, will be as close to their start-of-season health as they can be going into the game this weekend.
There has been much speculation about how starting quarterback Christian Hackenberg will handle the Michigan defense this weekend. Hackenberg has recently stepped up his game with more creative play and has gained confidence in running the ball. Fans can hope to see more of that on Saturday as Hackenberg leaves it all on the field for this very important game.
“I think we all do a really good job of approaching each week as a new challenge, continuing to try and build on the things we’re doing well…and fix
This weekend is about more than just a game, it is about continuing the tradition of the Penn State Whiteout while honoring the commitment and dedication the Penn State Seniors have given to the program that brings joy to so many.
Anthony Zettel said it best this week: “We’ve had a lot of great moments here, team wins that really change your life when you look back at it.”
Let’s create another life changing moment this weekend as Penn State cheers, roars, and fights its way to another amazing Whiteout Win. We Are!