White. Nothing like it. Pure, clean, loud, busy, random, raucous, 31-10, 4OT, super reliable from inside 40. Moments that can only be described by two words: White Out.
This Saturday, one team steps into a house where every thought is blocked out by white noise. Where ever fan is clad in one color, a sea – no an ocean – of white. A place where the team from Columbus was the first victim to go down under the lights of white at Beaver Stadium in 2005. A place where they were rocked from No. 2 just two years ago.
The players may be different. No Saquon Barkley; no J.T. Barrett; no Grant Haley; no Curtis Samuel; no Chris Godwin; no Tyler Durbin. The stakes may have changed. What was once seemingly a top team vs a wild underdog has turned into a top ten matchup. But what hasn’t changed are the teams, the rivalry, the animosity, the hatred, Penn State – Ohio State. Two teams rooted in history, a rivalry that dates back to trips to Columbus in the 60s, a Fiesta Bowl in the 80s, top ten matchups during the 90s, #324, a blocked punt, and a birth of a tradition.
The White Out Game is one like no other. An environment ranked at the top of most people lists, called “a scene” by Kirk Herbstreit, the toughest atmosphere to play in by Nick Mangold, and a noise level that Urban Meyer wished “they would save […] for other games.” In 2013, it played host to one of the most famous games ever to occur on the field of historic Beaver Stadium, a 4OT thriller against No. 18 Michigan, one defined by Allen Robinson’s miracle catch at the one yard line. In 2016, it gave Penn State the statement win over then No. 2 Ohio State they needed to say “we are back.” In 2017, it gave Penn State a defining high as they routed Michigan under the lights. What will 2018 bring, one can wonder?