STATE COLLEGE - Saturday was Military Appreciation day at Beaver Stadium. An estimated 7,500 military members attended the game.
A giant American flag was displayed on the field, held by uniformed military, during the National Anthem. Linebacker Cam Brown led the team on the field carrying an American flag, which he presented to his father, an Army veteran.
During a second quarter media time-out, Noah Young of Williamsport, who’s been overseas in the Navy the past six months, showed up on the stadium video boards.
"What's up, Happy Valley?,’’ Young said in the message.
“I'm Noah Young from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. I wish I could be there today, cheering on those Nittany Lions.
“I'd love to give a huge shoutout to Penn State for making this all possible, my beautiful wife ... mom, dad and the rest of our family and friends back home."
Actually Young was there, and was wheeled in grandly on a cart, stunning his family and wife Kayla.
After the giant hugs, Young led the crowd in a “We are, …’’ chant.
“I think Penn State does this as well as anyone,’’ coach James Franklin said. “I know it’s something that we take great pride in in Pennsylvania, specifically central Pennsylvania.’’
Officials throwing (in) the game: Creative officiating is something of a Big Ten tradition, one that carried into actual flag-throwing technique Saturday. The back judge made a couple calls that including throwing the flag 15-20 yards on a high, dramatic arc.
By contrast, another ref made a call by sort of hovering over a pile of players and dropping the flag on them. It traveled no more than 20 inches.
Again, maybe it’s a Big Ten thing. Michel Bruntz, who covers Nebraska for Huskers 24/7, tweeted the following from the Wisconsin-Nebraska game:
“Ref who threw the flag for PI’s got a hose. Threw that about 40 yards with the wind.”