The Nittany Lions put on quite a show today in Happy Valley after dominating the Eastern Illinois Panthers. After scoring an impressive 52 points, the Penn State offense put on a notable performance. Quarterback Darryl Clark had a great game, throwing for three touchdowns and running for another, and led the team to gaining a season high 553 yards. One highlight of the game was when linebacker Navorro Bowman returned a fumble and ran 91 yards for a touchdown. Although the match-up was another expected win for PSU, both the offense and defense played very well and stayed consistent.
There was a noticeable difference today at the game though. The attendance, especially in the student section, was lacking. The weather was pleasant, so that wasn’t the reason for the obvious absence, but after listening to recent complains from many students about the noon games. I figured that this was the main reason for the smaller crowd. Even the enthusiasm among the student seemed weak and lacked energy. Tired and hung-over from the night before, many students end up sleeping late and missing the game or deciding to stay out and tailgate instead. The fact that we were also playing another lower-division team didn’t really stir up a lot of excitement for the game.
This was the fourth noon game at Beaver Stadium this season, and many of the students are getting tired of having to get up at the crack of dawn if they want to tailgate before the games. Some wonder why most of the home games are scheduled so early this season, especially when there are eight of them. Some think that it’s because of our number one party school reputation.
“I think that they are scheduling a lot of noon games to cut back on the underage drinking problem,” says Lindsay S.
Many other students agree with this, especially because tailgating is such a huge part of a game day at Penn State. As today’s game went on there was a little bit of an increase in the crowd, but the sight of empty bleachers throughout the student section remained. It’s common that a good amount of the students never make it into the game and decide to tailgate all day instead.
“I don’t think I am going to get season tickets again next year if there are going to be so many noon games again,” says Devon Y., a junior.
It’s true that later games are much more anticipated here because of tailgating and the ability to sleep in a little before going out all day. After a long night of partying and spending time out on the town, most students would like to get some sleep and not have to worry about waking up early and not having time to tailgate before the game. Next weekend’s game is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff. The Nittany Lions will face Minnesota, which will be more of a challenge for the team compared to their opponent today. This should give the fans something to look forward to, especially because they have the chance to get some more shuteye and some tailgating in before game time.