Penn State fans not looking back as a new football season with a new coach kicks off Saturday

Coach Bill O'Brien praises seniors at pep rally

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - As the full blue moon rose over Beaver Stadium at Penn State University Friday night, thousands of students, alumni and community members briskly filled out. They exited excited and pumped for the new season, no one was looked to be feeling blue in this crowd.

An estimated 25,000 attended a free pep rally, which filled about one quarter of the stadium. The band played fight songs and coach Bill O'Brien introduced his team, praising the seniors that stuck around.

A video was played sending positive messages highlighting the new "One Team" theme. The same video will play prior to Saturday's game against Ohio University. Cheers could be heard resonating outside as if it was the game that was actually being played inside. Students said it was amazing and intense.

"The mood is great, we are looking forward and not looking back," said Penn State alumnus C.K. as she exited the rally. Many stood around clicking pictures of the team as they left the rally heading to the buses.

Fans made a point to walk by the area where the Joe Paterno statue and wall once stood. Both are totally gone. All that remains are five newly planted trees and freshly laid sod.

Things seemingly look normal in the wake of the disheartening events of last year. Surely some of the deepest traditions will endure, the drum major will perform a pregame flip at midfield and the Nittany Lion will do one-armed pushups after Penn State touchdowns. The "We Are... Penn State" chant may be heard a little louder and with a little deeper feeling Saturday as the Nittany Lions emerge from the tunnel to start Penn State's next chapter.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments

Penn State Stories

2 years later, Penn State scandal has left its mark 2 years later, Penn State scandal has left its mark

Two years after former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested on child molestation charges, the scandal continues to play out.

Penn State: 26 people get $59.7M over Sandusky child sex abuse claims Penn State: 26 people get $59.7M over Sandusky child sex abuse claims

The university said it had concluded negotiations that have lasted about a year.

First settlement in PSU-Sandusky case; more expected First settlement in PSU-Sandusky case; more expected

A young man who testified he was sexually abused by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky will get a reported multimillion-dollar payout.

Judge: 3 Penn State ex-officials to stand trial Judge: 3 Penn State ex-officials to stand trial

Penn State's ex-president and two former top school administrators were ordered Tuesday to stand trial on charges accusing them of a cover-up in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Court rejects appeal by two former Penn State administrators in abuse case Court rejects appeal by two former Penn State administrators in abuse case

Pennsylvania's highest court is turning down a pair of appeals by two of the three former Penn State administrators facing criminal charges alleging they covered up child abuse complaints against former football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Jerry Sandusky interview: Former Penn State football coach speaks about Joe Paterno, witness Jerry Sandusky interview: Former Penn State football coach speaks about Joe Paterno, witness

Jerry Sandusky said in interview excerpts broadcast Monday that a key witness against him misinterpreted him showering with a young boy in Penn State football team facilities more than a decade ago.

Lawyer to probe Penn State University grand jury who investigated Jerry Sandusky case Lawyer to probe Penn State University grand jury who investigated Jerry Sandusky case

A Pennsylvania judge has named a special prosecutor to examine whether secrecy rules were violated in relation to the grand jury that investigated Jerry Sandusky and three others.

Another Penn State University trustee urges look at Paterno report Another Penn State University trustee urges look at Paterno report

Another Penn State trustee is urging a close look at the Paterno family's critique of a school-sanctioned report by former FBI director Louis Freeh on the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Paternos issue report, challenge former FBI director Louis Freeh Paternos issue report, challenge former FBI director Louis Freeh's findings

A report commissioned by Joe Paterno's family says the late coach did nothing wrong in his handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal and portrays the late Hall of Fame coach as the victim of a "rush to injustice" created by former FBI director Louis Freeh's investigation of the case for Penn State.

Signs, vigil mark anniversary of Joe Paterno Signs, vigil mark anniversary of Joe Paterno's death

A candlelight vigil is being held near the Penn State campus to mark the anniversary of the death of Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno.