STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY—The atmosphere surrounding the game against Nebraska was a bit different than most outside Beaver Stadium. Many described the tailgating as a bit somber. Another noticeable difference is the security and plenty of it. Everyone in Happy Valley wants to make this game the first step towards healing.
On horseback, on foot and in the air, security surrounding Beaver Stadium is ramped up for today's game against Nebraska.
"There are plenty of police officers but thank god we stayed away from that," said Junior Luke Jainda.
The Pennsylvania State Police mounted patrol walked the lots just like most games. But this game brought out a larger response. Twenty mountees were among hundreds of police that were ready to prevent a repeat of Wednesday night's violence.
"I am glad that they are here in one way but I wish they didn't have to be here," said Alumni Jeff Dixon.
A Friday bomb threat at the stadium was cleared by authorities making the way for the game to go on. Students, alumni and fans are ready to show the Penn State spirit while remembering the true victims.
"Our football might be a big part of our culture here but obviously we have values better than that," said Junior Emily Martin.
"It's not just about football like everyone says, it's about the children," said fan Maureen Polanescky.
The children, eight so far, allegedly victimized by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky over a 15-year-period. The crime, and subsequent cover-up, cost Joe Paterno, the school president and two other high-ranking officials their jobs while blemishing the school's reputation. It's a reputation that many hope will one day be restored.
"Penn State will come back and continue to be strong and be something to be proud of," said Dixon.
That really was the focus of so many people we talked too. This is a proud student and alumni base and they hate to see Penn State portrayed in a negative light. They hope today's game will go a long way to beginning the healing process.
As for any problems outside of the stadium, there were no reports of any major incidents.