|Happy Valley forecast: 'White Out' conditions Sat.|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 24 September 2008 12:15|
Big games at Penn State mean a ``White Out'' at Beaver Stadium, when the school calls for its crazed fans to wear white. It creates a surreal glow on the field, with cameras flashing to capture the moment and stadium lights beaming from above.
Good luck with that, Illinois.
``Prime time, the stage is set so high,'' quarterback Daryll Clark said Wednesday. ``And then the 'White House' is what we call it. The big white out.''
Having all fans wear the same color has grown in popularity around college football. Penn State had its first student ``White Out,'' in 2004 against Purdue. The dark blue from the Penn State uniforms is the next most dominant color that stands out when that happens.
able ``White Out'' was the following year, when they defeated Ohio State in a game that unofficially marked Penn State's return to national prominence following a string of four losing seasons in five years.
Penn State's first all-stadium ``White Out,'' for all 110,000 of its fans, was last year against Notre Dame, a 31-10 victory.
The Georgia Bulldogs plan to wear black jerseys instead of their traditional red for the Alabama game Saturday night, and they're urging all their fans to don the color as well for the nationally televised game.
Hundreds of miles away, at the same time, the 22nd-ranked Illini (2-1) and undefeated and 12th-ranked Nittany Lions (4-0) open their Big Ten seasons.
Illinois quarterback Juice Williams isn't fazed.
``It's a place I've played in before. I know it's going to be a hostile environment,'' said the Illini's run-pass threat. ``Just go out there, have fun and fly around with the ball. It's something we're used to doing.''
Hostile might be an understatement. Illinois' win over Penn State last year at Champaign propelled the Illini to one of its most successful seasons in years and a Rose Bowl appearance.
Another sign of an important weekend in State College is ``Paternoville,'' the makeshift tent city that sprouts up on the concourse outside Beaver Stadium the week before big games.
uesday as coach Joe Paterno walked into the stadium for his weekly news conference.
Getting ready on game day is another story. Paterno likes to squirrel his team away in an area hotel starting the night before games, away from distractions.
For prime time games, that means a full day of trying to stay busy on hotel grounds, trying to stay calm.
But even a full slate of watching college games can get tiring.
``Come the 3 p.m. game, it's the second game you've seen on TV, you get hungry and anxious to keep playing,'' linebacker Tyrell Sales said.
The team gets to the stadium about two or three hours before kickoff. Sales said he soaks up the atmosphere until about a half-hour before kickoff, ``when you got to draw the line'' and start focusing on the game.
The 81-year-old Paterno joked this week that the only problem with the 8 p.m start was ``keeping myself awake until 12 o'clock at night by the time it's over.''
``When we're home, I think playing at 8 o'clock is good for us. The crowd's more into it, and I think there's a lot of excitement around it,'' Paterno said. ``So I don't think that's going to be a disadvantage to us.''