When the Buckeyes trot onto the field at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, they won’t look upon the sea of white that they are typically accustomed to — as Penn State hosted its “White Out” game against Minnesota last week.
For the first time since 2009, Ohio State and Penn State will meet during the day and it is the first time the Buckeyes have had a noon kickoff in Happy Valley since 2000. Although the game doesn’t boast the grandeur of a white-out game, OSU head coach Ryan Day said the Penn State faithful will still be raucous for the top-15 matchup between the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions.
“No matter when you go into Penn State, it’s going to be a challenge,” Day said on Wednesday. “They do a great job with the atmosphere. And our guys, there’s still a handful of guys that went in 2018, but not all of them. When we went in 2020 it was different, it was during COVID. But we know whether it’s a night game, afternoon game, noon game, it’s going to be a challenge. Their crowd is going to be in it and they’ll be a factor.
“They’re a good team, you could see that last week,” he continued. “We have to play our A game.”
Since 2000, the Buckeyes have seen relative success in Happy Valley — amassing a 7-3 record at Beaver Stadium in that time, with losses coming in 2001, 2005 and 2016. The last time Ohio State played at Penn State with fans in the stands was 2018, a game in which the Buckeyes struggled with the “White Out” atmosphere early and needed a furious 12-point fourth-quarter comeback to rip the victory out of the jaws of the Nittany Lions.
Although Ohio State defensive end Zach Harrison wasn’t a Buckeye for the 2018 game, he knows plenty about the environment surrounding Penn State football games. The Lewis Center, Ohio, native took a pair of recruiting visits to State College, Pa., and noted that the Buckeyes will have to overcome the atmosphere in order to reign victorious.
“They’re going to be rocking, for sure. They’re going to be loud and because they don’t like us very much, there’s not much love on this side,” Harrison said. “That’s something that we got to deal with something we got to handle, the crowd noise and momentum and making sure that we play our game and stay in our lane.”