Happy Valley Brought to Latrobe


Magical, incredible, and improbable can best describe Saturday, October 12, 2013 in Beaver Stadium when Penn State upset unbeaten Michigan.

Seven days before the mayhem, Penn State football alums were calling out the team and coach in the embarrassing to loss to Indiana, which was Indiana’s first win over Penn State in the school’s history.

Quarterback Christian Hackenberg took the opportunity and made big things happen that Saturday. The Nittany Lions pulled out one of the most improbable Penn State comebacks in the history of the football team in a 43-40 win in four overtimes.

Christian Hackenberg was the number one pocket passer coming out of high school and was one of the top recruits in the country. He chose Penn State, despite the sanctions getting poured on in July 2012. In fact, as signs of an early leader, he reaffirmed his commitment to the university and football team after the rumble settled. He publicly came out and said he wasn’t going to any other school than Penn State.

As one of the elite quarterbacks coming out of high school in 2012, he was invited to, Trent Dilfer’s “Elite 11” camp, former NFL quarterback and now ESPN NFL analysis. This highly skilled camp invites only the best of the best.

“It’s like giving your kid the car keys.” O’Brien said earlier in the season about naming freshman Hackenberg as the starting quarterback. Man, would Hackenberg make some parents go crazy if they saw him “drive”.

Down seven, with 50 seconds left in a game isn’t a typical spot for an 18 year old quarterback to be in…well maybe so. He came to Penn State to become a legend and take his game to the next level and boy did he ever do so.

With so much poise and composure the 18-year old kid dropped back and completed an out route to the far side out of bounds to the star receiver, Allen Robinson (and Robinson was just warming up). The next play, Hackenberg stepped up in the pocket and delivered a crazy pass in triple coverage to Brandon Felder, who just added to his great night (Hackenberg too was just warming up). Then after a spike, Hackenberg stepped up and avoided a sack in the pocket again and threw the ball up (and during this time it seemed as though the play went in slow motion) and Robinson leaped and grabbed the ball at his highest point over the leaping cornerback and made one of the greatest catches on that field in a long time. The ball was spotted at the one-yard line then 25 seconds later after getting the ball and with almost no hope, the True Freshman himself completed the comeback with the 1 yard quarterback sneak to tie the game up (and for the PAT, you probably could hear a pin drop in that stadium).

There were three overtimes that consisted of three missed field goals, two made field goals, and a fumble. WHOA.  Then finally in the fourth overtime it happened. After Michigan put up three points, Penn State won the game on a 1 yard touchdown by the Junior Running Back, Bill Belton to complete the incredible and unimaginable upset! They beat #18 and unbeaten Michigan for the fourth straight time the Lions have played them.

That is game that 107, 884 people will never forget.

It doesn’t get easier for the 4-2 Lions, they will take on unbeaten (Urban Meyer 17-0 in last 17) Ohio State.  Ohio State ranked fourth in the nation, despite the great win against Michigan, I’m just hoping Penn State doesn’t lose by more than three scores.