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From rooting because that "some of Joe Paterno"s dullest teams" in the 70s, to returning to the place where grew up watching college football this weekend for his "favorite annual event," the longtime college football announcer has seen the all.

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And yet, regardless of the negative quality of the teams and also the less than dynamic offenses that regularly took the field at Beaver stadium on Saturdays in the mid-70s, see those games is what got Fowler hooked top top the sport.

"My an initial taste of university football was together the son of a faculty member. We acquired $6 season tickets — the was a full price because that the season — and acquired to go in and also see college football," Fowler said "If i hadn"t had actually that experience I don"t recognize if I"d be on this path, due to the fact that I grew up in Illinois and also didn"t watch college sporting activities in person. So coming to pen State was an eye opening thing for me, and sort the sparked my enthusiasm in this sport."


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Nearly 50 years later, Beaver stadion is home to among the peak experiences in college football — penn State"s White out game, slated to take ar this weekend — within all around 110,000 fans whereby white in Beaver stadium for a bout that "monochromatic mayhem," together Fowler explained it.


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— pen State soccer (
PennStateFball) September 17, 2021

But the setting that now envelopes the central Pennsylvania cathedral of college football is a much cry native what Fowler saw farming up.

"Even despite Beaver stadium has changed a lot since when i went there as a kid, i still obtain a unique feeling going ago in the place," Fowler told the media Thursday front of this year"s iteration that the White Out against Auburn. "It wasn"t one of the much more raucous college crowds back in the 70s.

That"s adjusted in recent years, though, and it"s in big part as result of the White Out.

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"I don"t think you would have said penn State was one of the toughest settings for a road team ago in the day back when i was there, however I think that is now," Fowler said. "As the stadium grew, as the student section grew and the students i think end the year that type of teach the regular fans, just how to be involved in the game every play and how to play a component in the result by making it a really tough environment. That’s what i think the White Out has been partially responsible for."

The Nittany Lions room 2-0 on the season and also didn"t hold a White the end last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sporting News has whatever you have to know around the tradition, i beg your pardon has end up being one of university football"s marquee events every year.

How did pen State"s White Out heritage start?

In the early 2000s, pen State was struggling.

From 2000-05, the Nittany Lions posted just two winning seasons and the fan base was in need of being invigorated.

So one day in 2004, throughout the throes the the gridiron doldrums in State College, penn State"s former director that communications and also branding because that football, Guido D"Elia approached Joe Paterno about the idea that a White Out.

Originally intended for just students, it eventually grew into a full stadium affair, through Fowler"s friend D"Elia"s help.

"I think it was a very inspired idea. I love the method that it kind organically grew from a student-only thing and then the full stadium, as the story goes, the fans type of demanded it and also then they make it take place in a really type of limit way," Fowler said. "They didn’t desire to overplay it, overdo it, they wanted to keep it special, and rare, and once every season and reserve it because that a big game."


The very first official White Out came Oct. 9, 2004 against then-No. 9 Purdue in a game Penn State lost 20-13. The first all-stadium White out came three years later in 2007 against Notre Dame.

Since then, the yearly tradition, now in that 17th season, has actually grown to become one the the sport"s preeminent spectacles, and one i m sorry Fowler said is difficult to describe.

"Once you check out it in human being for the first time, you can really evaluate it," Fowler said. "It watch phenomenal ~ above TV and I call it the many telegenic suffer in sports, since it"s a night game and also the stadium is lit increase by everybody wearing white, the fireworks and the video game ops — every little thing is simply beautifully executed."

Why pen State doesn"t stay white uniforms during White Out

While most inside Beaver Stadium will be adorning white, James Franklin"s squad itself will certainly likely don its standard blue uniforms v white numbers, white pants and also black shoes once they take it the field versus Auburn.

The uniforms, nobody of which have names top top the back, have come to be synonymous through Penn State over the years and though pen State walk wear white jerseys, it"s never in the confines of Beaver Stadium, even for a White Out.

The reason, essentially, deals with NCAA rules surrounding dress password of away teams, that are forced to undertake white uneven the house team receives express created consent prior to the start of the season.

Penn State"s document in White out games

There have been 16 White Outs in Beaver stadium so far since 2004, v none being organized last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Penn State is 8-8 in White Outs and also has played one of either Michigan or Ohio State in every White out from 2012-19


DateOpponentResult
Oct. 9, 2004No. 9 PurdueL, 21-13
Oct. 8, 2005No. 6 Ohio StateW, 17-10
Oct. 14, 2006No. 4 MichiganL, 17-10
Sept. 8, 2007Notre DameW, 31-10
Sept. 27, 2008No. 22 IllinoisW, 38-24
Sept. 26, 2009IowaL, 21-10
Oct. 30, 2010MichiganW, 41-31
Sept. 10, 2011No. 3 AlabamaL, 27-11
Oct. 27, 2012No. 9 Ohio StateL, 35-23
Oct. 12, 2013No. 18 MichiganW, 43-40 (4OT)
Oct. 25, 2014No. 12 Ohio StateL, 31-24 (2OT)
Nov. 21, 2015No. 14 MichiganL, 28-16
Oct. 22, 2016No. 2 Ohio StateW, 24-21
Oct. 21, 2017No. 19 MichiganW, 42-13
Sept. 29, 2018No. 4 Ohio StateL, 27-26
Oct. 19, 2019No. 16 MichiganW, 28-21
2020No Whiteout HeldN/A

The Nittany Lions score an mean of 24.8 point out per game in White Outs and this year"s is simply the 3rd non-conference matchup for the White the end after Alabama in 2011 and also Notre Dame in 2007.

Best White Out video game moments

Oct. 22, 2016: vs. No. 2 Ohio State


Arguably the specifying win that James Franklin"s career and of the last decade of penn State football, the Nittany Lions knocked turn off then-No. 2 Ohio State at home thanks to a blocked field goal by Marcus Allen which then knocked the ball to provide Haley, that scooped it and scored together they hosted on to success 24-21 regardless of being 19.5 point home underdogs.

The play, which video game with just over 4 minutes left in the game, won it for penn State together the Nittany Lions won the 4th quarter 17-0 after rolling 21-7 ~ the first half. As a result of the win, the pan stormed the ar following the final whistle and also riots developed in downtown State College.

It was the very first ranked victory of James Franklin"s career and was also the first road loss for the Buckeyes under urban Meyer.

Oct. 12, 2013: vs. No. 18 Michigan


The longest game in big Ten history, pen State held then No. 18 Michigan and also eventually downed the Wolverines 43-40 in quadruple overtime after ~ a touchdown operation from invoice Belton ended the game. 

The video game was tied in ~ 34 heading into the early stage overtime period, whereby neither team scored. ~ trading field goals in the second overtime period and no side scoring in the third OT, invoice Belton eventually ended it top top a handoff native quarterback Christian Hackenberg, scoring the win touchdown.

Coming off a 42-22 ns in Bloomington to Indiana the main before, then-Penn State coach invoice O"Brien said at the time that it to be "crazy to suppose it would certainly be just another game," together the matchup to be both the Homecoming game and also the White the end for the Nittany Lions.

O"Brien had lost his an initial White the end the year before when penn State dropped to then-No. 9 Ohio State 35-23, yet O"Brien left his mark and won his final White out in walkoff fashion.

Oct. 21, 2017: vs. No. 19 Michigan


Easily pen State"s most leading White the end to date, the Nittany Lions trounced Michigan 42-13 to operation their season opened winning streak to seven games.

Ranked No. 2 in the country, a program finest under James Franklin, penn State was coming turn off of two dominant wins in a row over Indiana and Northwestern and the Nittany Lions wasted no time and got off to a warm start against Michigan.

Star running back Saquon Barkley opened the video game with a 69-yard rushing touchdown less than a minute in, his very first of three full touchdowns ~ above the day and also his first of two rushing touchdowns in a four-minute expectancy in the first quarter.

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Quarterback map McSorley also contributed two rushing touchdowns and included another in the air, pushing penn State come 7-0 on the season, prior to losing its next two and then winning the end to end up the season. 11-2 with an ultimate Fiesta Bowl success over Washington.