STATE COLLEGE — The beer was flowing, the wings were saucy and Penn State football was officially underway as fans were cheering and jeering during the team’s first game of the season against Syracuse.
Local bars and restaurants such as Champs, Damon’s and Otto’s & Brewery were filled with fans.
“For every time Penn State messed up, we had a required sip of beer,” said Dan Mastrodonato. “It’s nothing where we’re getting sloppy, but as Penn State fans, we have to bear our share of the burden and take one as a team.”
However, when the game ended and the Nittany Lions defeated the Orange, 23-17, Mastrodonato said they were going to celebrate with a drink.
Other places including the HUB on the Penn State campus were packed with fans in blue and white. Near the fraternity houses on East Foster Avenue, students were shouting to each other across the sidewalks, “We are ... Penn State.”
“We’re just pumped up. It’s a beautiful day for Penn Sate football,” said Mitchell Dunahoo, who was leading a group of fans in the chanting.
And two freshmen that watched the game at the HUB with more than 100 of their peers said this game could be an indication of how the next few games pan out for the Nittany Lions.
“It was kind of sloppy, but we’ll take a win, however it is,” Michael Cecchini said.
“I think they just need to work out the kinks,” Josh Hammaker added.
The duo thought quarterback Christian Hackenberg was a good choice and liked some of the risks coach Bill O’Brien was taking.
“He’s (Hackenberg) young, but proved himself,” Hammaker said. “He’ll get even better the next couple games.”
Another freshman, Ryan Porterfield, said the second quarter is what set the tone of the game that he described as “sloppy.”
“I think there was something like a sack, an interception and a fumble between both teams within a couple minutes, so it got you psyched about the play, then got you nervous when they botched it,” Porterfield said.
And another group of viewers said although they’re happy with the win, they hope Penn State can seal the deal early next week when they take on Eastern Michigan at home.
“A win’s a win,” Dunahoo said. “A win’s just the icing on the cake for us Penn Staters.”
Britney Milazzo can be reached at 231-4648.