Penn State’s Blue-White spring football game, first played in 1951, will be played for the first time in 71 years this weekend. Students at Penn State still look forward to the annual scrimmage because it gives them one last chance before the school year ends to get their football fix.
It’s possible that they’ll walk away with a renewed sense of optimism for the upcoming football season.
Rip Engle, the former Penn State head coach hired from Brown in 1950 after a year without a head coach, was the driving force behind the Blue-White Game.
Engle agreed to allow his team to participate in a scrimmage sponsored by the Penn State Alumni Association during his second season as head coach. The Nittany Lions opted to keep this scrimmage within their own walls rather than inviting another school to participate, which was a common practise at the time.
Penn State’s new intrasquad scrimmage divided its players into two groups: Blue and White. In honour of Penn State’s general scholarship fund, the 1951 Blue-White Game was played on the freshly grown grass of State College High School’s Memorial Field.
Rather than a scrimmage against another team, it served as the final spring practise for the 1951 team.
Student admission to the first Penn State football scrimmage was half-price, according to sports historian Lou Prato. You read that correctly. Those days, you can’t even buy a single cup of coffee with that much money.
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As a trophy, a water bucket was used in the first game in 1951, and about 500 people came out to see their team compete against each other for the honour.
Engle was correct in announcing his support for the Blue team. The Blue team won the first intrasquad scrimmage and went on to win three more games without a hiccup in the process.
Against the Blue team, the White team finally won a game in 1955 with a 24-12 win. With Joe Paterno on the White team’s coaching staff was a promising Engle assistant who went on to build perhaps the greatest coaching career in college football.
The game would also grow over the years. The Beaver Stadium crowds for recent Blue-White games have topped 50,000.
In spite of the fact that it took a few years for the Blue-White Game to win over most Penn Staters, who were previously more interested in spring sports like baseball and lacrosse, it has since become a popular event for Penn State fans.
On April 23, 2022, Penn State’s Blue-White Game will begin at 2 p.m. Beaver Stadium has not hosted the annual spring game since 2019.
The Blue-White Weekend in Happy Valley offers a wealth of family-friendly activities, as you’ll see in our preview.
How to watch, listen to Maryland vs. Penn State football
Saturday, November 6, 3:30 p.m. is the game time.
The channel is FS1.
Channels 836 and 43 of the Antietam Broadband System
Channels 729 and 857 on Comcast Xfinity
Channel 219 on DirecTV Channel 150 on Dish Network
In addition to Dan Hellie, the television broadcast team includes Petros Papadakis (analyst)
(WARK 98.9 FM/1490 AM (Hagerstown) WTGM 960 AM (Salisbury) ESPN 980; One Maryland app; XM channel 220/Sirius channel 99;
Johnny Holliday and Steve Suter are the radio play-by-play announcers (analyst)
StubHub, SeatGeek, University of Maryland, and Vivid Seats all have tickets available for as low as $50 (prices are subject to change as game time approaches).
Maryland-Penn State series
Last season, Maryland defeated Penn State 35-19 for the first time since 2014. The Penn State Nittany Lions have won 40 of their 44 games against the Maryland Terrapins.
There have been 14 meetings between Penn State and Maryland, with Penn State winning 13 and Maryland winning one. In 1989, the teams played out a draw at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.
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