Our Flyers beat guy Andrew Porter is a student at Penn State and witnessed history on Saturday as Joe Pa earned his 400th career victory. Following is his recolletion of the day, which he originally posted on his own site The School Philly. Make sure to check out his site by banging it here, and follow him on Twitter here.
Whether you were an eighteen year-old freshman, a 23 year-old senior, or an 85 year-old senior citizen, yesterday’s game in Beaver Stadium was something you will never forget.
Walking to the tailgates in the morning, it was really cold. I mean it is November in State College. But while we were gating tail, it got even colder. And right when we were about to go into the stadium, it started to rain. And then, we when we first entered into the best student section in the world, the sun started to beat down on us. Now, during the entire first quarter, we were hot! Crazy place. As the game went on, the weather cooled down, and eventually warped into the perfect atmosphere, for the perfect game.
The game was eerily similar to the weather, somewhat symbolic maybe. Northwestern got off to a quick start, behind the extremely impressive Senior QB Dan Persa from Liberty High School in Bethlehem, PA, who finished with 310 all purpose yards. Before you knew it, it was 14-0 Northwestern, and Beaver Stadium was quiet. Some students began leaving before halftime.
Enter Matt McGloin, who got a surprisingly mixed response from the student section. One kid was actually cursing McGloin out, and said, “he can’t throw.” My boy almost fought him, seriously. I don’t understand? The kid has been nothing short of flawless, and yesterday was no different.
After another Northwestern TD with about 1:00 remaining in the first half to give them a 21-0, Penn State scored a monstrous touchdown of their own to end the half, on a beautiful throw and catch from McGloin to Brackett, giving them a much needed to boost to take with them into the locker room.
Then something happened. A new team came out of the tunnel for the next half of football. Joe Paterno was not to be denied history. Not today.
The second half was all Penn State, literally. Northwestern didn’t score a point. There was six, yes SIX, zombie nations! And once McGloin floated a perfectly placed ball, high into the evening, directly in the hands of wide out Derrick Moye to tie the game at 21, all of 100,000+ fans could feel the energy and emotions throughout the stadium. It was indescribable. Countless JoePa chants coming from fans of all ages. And as the clock wound down, the excitement built. It looked like the Superbowl, with millions and millions of flashes from all across the stadium. With about 1:00 remaining in the game, the PA announcer actually said something like “please remain in your seats after the game for a special presentation”, like anyone even thought about going anywhere.
And then the clock finally hit 0:00. Penn State 35, Northwestern 21. McGloin finished 18-29, with 225 yards passing, and 4 TD’s (He’s gotta be the starter for next week). But more importantly, got a win, and even more importantly than that, marked one of the most historical moments in college sports, check that, sports history.
And then they played this…
Goosebumps ran through everyone. As I looked to the section next to me, I could see the alumni in tears, men and women.
And then JoePa spoke. And in about 5 minutes, he gave one of the greatest speech’s ever, as he continues to amaze us.
In about 10 years, he might be gunning for 500 wins. Would you be shocked, honestly?