I have always been proud to be a Penn Stater and I say this at the beginning of every article I have written about Penn State. This football season has been amazing and I could not be more proud of this team and how far they have come. WE ARE officially B1G Champions!
We only lost two games this season – Michigan and Pitt. Both of these games were away, so the team didn’t have the roaring crowd of Beaver Stadium cheering them on. Michigan crushed us, but they were also an amazing team (even though they ended up coming in third place in the Big Ten East Division.) We also only lost to Pitt by three points. It was not like Pitt crushed us in the game and this game was early on in the season. We have definitely improved since these two games because we went undefeated since those two losses and we ended up undefeated in Beaver Stadium this year.
The Ohio State game was definitely the turning point in this season. I do not think anybody expected us to beat Ohio State (even though the game was home and it was the White Out game). Once we blocked that field goal, the team was victorious! We beat Ohio State and were their only loss this season.
After Ohio State, a lot of the games became pretty scary, especially the away games. We would be very close to a team or would be behind in the beginning. I know we are a second half team, but it was hard to watch some games since they were so close. We ended up victorious in all these games as well. Our second half team can really bring it when we need them to.
Michigan State was the last home game of the year. I don’t think many people even payed much attention to the first half of the game. The people surrounding me in the stands – and myself included – were checking our phones to see the score of the stressful Ohio State versus Michigan game. There were people around me watching the games on their phones and there were others who were repeatedly checking their phones to see if Ohio State had won. The game went into second overtime and Ohio State came out on top. The stadium erupted in a cheer when Ohio State had officially won. At that point, we knew if we beat Michigan State (which we were predicted to do and we did) that we would be the Big Ten East Champions.
After winning our division, it was time to take on Wisconsin (who, by the way, blew a twenty-eight to seven lead). Wisconsin was an amazing team and in the AP Top 25 Ranking, we were only one spot below them. We were tied in wins and losses. All we had to do was come out on top and we would be Big Ten Champions. The first half of the game was almost too hard to watch. It was hard to remember that we are a second half team, but I stayed optimistic. Penn State beat Wisconsin, thirty-eight to thirty-one. We had done it. We won.
Although we did not make the College Football Playoffs, we are heading to the Rose Bowl. If we went to the playoffs, the chances of us beating Alabama were slim to none. They were going to crush us. I am happy that we are ending the season with a big win and I cannot wait to watch Penn State play the University of Southern California in the Rose Bowl. We earned this. We deserve it.
Four years ago, Stephen A. Smith tweeted that, “there’s no football at Penn State for the foreseeable future. Minimum next five years.” We beat the odds. Less than five years later, Penn State Football is back. Nobody believed in us. Our story is a complete underdog story. The sanctions were created to ruin us. Our school, our team, and our students were being punished for something terrible that one man had done. People still hate Penn State because of Sandusky. People hate the school, the students, and the sports because of the actions of one man, which isn’t fair to anybody. We have just proven that it doesn’t matter what anybody says. No words can shake us. No actions can shake us. WE ARE Penn State and we have risen from the ashes. I’m so excited to see how far we have come and I cannot wait to see how far we can go.