Always memorable, but what was #1?
Penn State first started doing a White Out in 2004, though that was a bit of an ad hoc attempt by the athletic department to get the students specifically to wear white. It wasn’t until 2005 that the White Out would become truly formalized, before eventually extending to the White House in 2007.
All told, Penn State has done the White Out 18 times. 14 of those games were against top 25 opponents, and all-time the Lions are 10-8 in White Out games.
But we’re here today to figure out what your favorite White Out was. Well, more specifically, your favorite out of three options.
First, the Honorable Mentions.
- 2007 - Notre Dame - 31-10 win
- 2011 - #3 Alabama - 27-11 loss
- 2014 - #13 Ohio State - 31-24 loss (2OT)
- 2019 - #16 Michigan - 28-21 win
These games were all fun games for different reasons. Obviously a 3-TD win over the Domers is always good, and the Bama game was fun, albeit not nearly as competitive as we would have liked. In 2014 Penn State should have won, were it not for some exceptionally horrific refereeing, but even in the loss the Lions showed tremendous heart. And the 2019 game featured a team that came thisclose to making the playoffs, were it not for a surprising upset to Minnesota later in the season. On to the candidates!
2005 - #6 Ohio State - 17-10 Win
The one that cemented the White Out as a staple for Penn Staters, the team was coming off its abysmal 2004 season. Fueled by a monster defense and resurgent offense led by Michael Robinson, the Lions played out of their minds. Clinging to a 7-point lead with less than 4 minutes to go in the fourth, the Buckeyes were driving after being pinned inside their own 10 yard line. A pair of long completions had OSU to the Penn State side of the field, when Troy Smith dropped back to pass on 2nd and long. Tamba Hali came off the left side of the defensive line all but untouched, and laid one of the nastiest hits on a quarterback I’ve ever seen. Smith lost the ball, did a headstand, and the Lions recovered the ball. To this day, I’ve never heard Beaver Stadium as loud as it was at that moment.
The Lions would springboard the win to a Big Ten title, Orange Bowl victory, and a final ranking of #3 in the country, which felt amazingly cathartic following the Dark Years.
2016 - #2 Ohio State - 24-21 Win
After Penn State was smacked with sanctions, the Lions spent years attempting to climb out of the pit of scholarship losses. The team remarkably maintained winning records throughout, but had largely become an afterthought on the national stage. The Buckeyes came to town with the Lions already sporting two losses on the year, and it was largely anticipated that OSU would thrash the good guys. Unfortunately for OSU, the Lions decided to be pesky, hanging around well into the second half. Ohio State lined up for a field goal with 4:39 remaining in the game, holding a 21-17 lead. From there, we all know what happened - Marcus Allen blocked the kick, it bounced directly into Grant Haley’s arms, and after a footrace the Lions held a 24-21 lead. From there, the defense would clamp down, snuffing out any hope for OSU to win the game.
Once again, the Lions springboarded the White Out win to a Big Ten championship, Rose Bowl appearance, and #5 ranking in the country, just narrowly missing the playoffs. To many, this is known as the game that put Penn State back on the map after the sanctions.
2013 - #18 Michigan - 43-40 Win (4OT)
Penn State was by this time deep in the throes of sanctions. A depleted roster, Bill O’Brien looking to head out the door, Christian Hackenberg getting smacked every other play. Once again, most everybody was expecting the Wolverines to trounce the Lions, but once again, the Lions decided to just hang around. After swapping leads throughout the game, Michigan was up 34-27 with less than a minute to go in the game. Hackenberg threw the ball deep, connecting with Allen Robinson at the 1 yard line for one of the most memorable plays in Penn State history. The Lions would tie it up and send it to overtime, where the two teams traded bumbling blows back and forth until finally, in the fourth overtime, Bill Belton ran for a short 2-yard touchdown to give the Lions the win.
I remember this game supremely fondly. Like the 2016 game, this game stands out as a bright spot during the sanction years. Unlike the 2016 game, however, there was no immediate thought that bright times were ahead - rather, I recall rather distinctly that this game would be a fond outlier in a multiyear slog, which it was. But regardless, when lesser teams would have folded under the weight of those sanctions, the Lions fought week in and week out, putting together some rather memorable performances, including this one.
Now I’m curious to see what your favorite White Out was! Take the poll below, and let us know in the comments, especially if your favorite is not one of my top three mentioned up above. Let’s hear it!
By: Chris Lucia
Title: What Was Your Favorite White Out?
Sourced From: www.blackshoediaries.com/2023/5/29/23738866/what-was-your-favorite-white-out-bsd-penn-state-nittany-lions-football
Published Date: Mon, 29 May 2023 16:52:00 +0000