After going 10-2 in the regular season and convincingly winning the Rose Bowl, the bar has been raised for Penn State’s expectations for the 2023 season. Despite some key roster changes from last year’s program, the hype for the Nittany Lions is already starting as spring football practice is underway at the state college. And because it’s never too soon to start looking forward to the upcoming football season, 247Sports has compiled a list of what are likely to be the most intimidating atmospheres in college football this coming season. And an important Penn State home game was respectably high on the list.
Penn State’s home game against two-time Big Ten champions Michigan ranked fourth in the rankings organized by 247Sports. The rankings look for specific games on the schedule rather than overall environments, and few would argue that the home game against the Wolverines isn’t the biggest game to be played at Penn State’s Beaver Stadium this season. It should definitely be a harsh environment and the stakes could be quite high as well.
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Penn State will host Michigan on November 11 with just two games left in the regular season. It is possible for the game to feature Big Ten East division championship stakes, with the winner receiving an inside track to a division crown. Penn State will have already played Ohio State (October 21 in Columbus), and Michigan will end the regular season at home against their bitter rivals, as they traditionally do (Michigan’s home game against Ohio State was ranked second on this list by 247Sports set and is the only Big Ten game ranked higher). The winner of this game will likely stay in the division race or have the inside lane as a result.
All that remains to be determined is when the game will air and whether or not it will get the official whiteout treatment. The game is widely expected to receive the whiteout call, as home games against Michigan and Ohio State generally do, although exceptions have been made, like last season’s game against the Buckeyes. Penn State likes to host a whiteout in front of a primetime audience since it looks spectacular at night, but if FOX gets the game it’ll likely be a Big Noon Kickoff Game. However, a new media deal with CBS and NBC, coming into effect this season, could allow for a later start.
Regardless, consider the Michigan game an easy pick for a whiteout game regardless of when kick-off is scheduled.
“Whiteouts at Beaver Stadium offer one of the most iconic pregame looks in all sports, and you know Happy Valley will be bursting at the seams for this game,” says 247Sports. “Penn State’s only losses last fall were to Ohio State and Michigan, so this is one of two games that all Nittany Lions fans have circled for 2023. Expect this to be an extremely hard-to-get ticket in the Big Ten this fall.”
Penn State opens the 2023 season with a home game against West Virginia in the first meeting between the two former regional rivals since Penn State joined the Big Ten. It’s the first game in a home-and-home series that will continue in Morgantown as the 2024 season opens. Penn State will also host Delaware, Iowa, UMass, Indiana and Rutgers this season.
Check out the full list of the most intimidating atmospheres for this college football season via 247Sports.
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Source : nittanylionswire.usatoday.com