A sea of blue and white flooded Indianapolis Saturday night to witness Penn State Football history. After going 10-2 in the regular season, the Nittany Lions were able to clinch their 11th win, granting them the Big Ten title.
At 6:30 a.m. on game day about 500 students boarded 15 buses in hopes of witnessing a PSU Big Ten Championship win. White shakers were passed to each student in an effort to bring a little bit of Beaver Stadium to Lucas Oil Stadium.
When the buses arrived at the stadium, several fans left their tailgates to welcome the students.
“There is really no other program better than Penn State,” said Tyler Luszik, a sophomore. “It is a family. Everyone’s always here to support them and it is definitely the best program out there.”
Luszik is also a Penn State legacy. His family rooted for Penn State during its height and he’s so glad he’s a student while the team is on the rise.
“We are back where we need to be,” Luszik said.
Valley was overwhelmed by the energy in Indianapolis, especially in Lucas Oil Stadium. Crowds mixed with students, families and alumni spontaneously shouted “We Are” every chance they could get. Even though the game was held eight hours away from Beaver Stadium, the Penn State pride did not change.
When asked about the atmosphere at the game, sophomore Marissa LiCalzi labeled it as “indescribable.”
“It’s just a sense of unity and pride that you have for your team,” said LiCalzi. “Unity, pride and love.” LiCalzi was one of the hundreds of students who camped out in front of the Bryce Jordan Center for tickets.
Despite the happy ending, fans were nervous at the beginning. Wisconsin led 28-14 at the half. But, reassuring whispers danced through out the Lions student section. The Lions have proved to be a second half team over and over again this season–and Saturday night was no exception. At the end of the game tears of joy were shed and gasps of amazement where heard.
Mercedes Friastat, a sophomore, said the end of the game was a blur of emotions. “When the clock went to zero, I think every part of my body just went crazy,” said Friastat. “I don’t know what my body did but there was a lot of jumping and screaming. It was great.”
It truly was great to see the team hold that trophy high.
During the trophy ceremony, Coach Franklin said that Penn State had just won the toughest conference in college football. Although the Lions were not selected to play in the College Football Playoffs, they will take the field at the iconic Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, California in January.
Like most of the Penn State community, Valley did not see this beautiful ending coming. We are Penn State and the Nittany Lion’s roar was definitely heard across the nation.
So Penn State, don’t pack up your lion ears or your face tattoos just yet. Penn State football isn’t over yet– it has only just begun.