Saturday night was crowded, but not any noisier than a typical night at Lettermans Sports Grill.
That was until the Penn State football team scored, scored and scored again, and the fans roared with applause.
The sports bar and grill, located right on the outskirts of the Penn State campus, in the shadow of Beaver Stadium, was the place to be Saturday night to watch the Big Ten Championship game between Penn State and Wisconsin.
“It’s still anyone’s game,” longtime fan and State College resident Lou Kantz said during the game.
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“Just trying to be realistic,” he said. “It’s just a good game among two good teams, and a cocky attitude will jinx us.”
But it so happened to be Penn State’s night, as the Nittany Lions won 38-31 to claim the conference title.
Penn State seniors Mack Davis, Bryan Cook and Alec LaSalle, who were also at Lettermans, said this season helped bring more morale to the university.
“It’s unifying,” Davis said. “It’s something that brings everyone together after everything the school and team’s been through.”
LaSalle said the trio started at Penn State in 2012 during the peak of its turmoil with the Jerry Sandusky scandal, and subsequent lawsuits and sanctions against the university.
“We’ve kind of seen it come full-circle,” he said. “It’s been a mediocre couple years (for football), and a season that started off slow, but this season has been really uplifting.”
And they agreed with each other that it ironically came at the helm of rivals Ohio State.
In October, unranked Penn State beat the then-No. 2 Buckeyes, 24-21, which helped the Nittany Lions break into the college football rankings.