ShareThis Page

Bittersweet game as PSU seniors say goodbye to Beaver Stadium

| Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, 11:15 p.m.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Penn State senior center Ty Howle (blocks against Michigan linebacker James Ross III on Oct. 12, 2013, at Beaver Stadium in University Park.
Getty Images
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 16: Quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. #4 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers runs from linebacker Ed Davis #43 of the Michigan State Spartans and linebacker Max Bullough #40 of the Michigan State Spartans during their game at Memorial Stadium on November 16, 2013 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Penn State safety Adrian Amos plays against Michigan on Oct. 12, 2013, in University Park.

A child of the Carolinas, Ty Howle experienced “culture shock” upon enrolling at Penn State in January 2009.

“Life's a little faster here than back home,” the Nittany Lions' center recalled immediately observing.

What Howle couldn't have envisioned was just how fast his time would go.

“People always told me throughout my career, ‘Watch it, it's going to go by fast,' ” fellow senior teammate Glenn Carson said. “It really has. It's flown by. I can't believe this weekend will be the last time walking out of the Beaver Stadium tunnel.”

Howle and Carson are two of 17 players who will be honored as part of Senior Day ceremonies prior to the 3:30 p.m. Saturday kickoff between Penn State (6-4, 3-3 Big Ten) and Nebraska (7-3, 4-2) at Beaver Stadium.

Carson and Howle are two of eight fifth-year seniors; Howle enrolled in January 2009. That would have been days after the Lions played Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl at the completion of the 2008 season.

Since then, Howle has been through the good (41-20 record) and the bad (Jerry Sandusky indictment, heavy NCAA sanctions) of five years in Penn State's program that featured more head coaches (three) than the previous 59 years combined.

“I'm excited for this game, playing in front of the fans at Beaver Stadium for the final time,” Howle said. “It's tough after being here five years, you realize it's coming to an end and there's only two games left, and this is the last one here at Beaver Stadium. It's definitely bittersweet.”

Although the past four years haven't had as many wins as some Penn State classes have enjoyed, these seniors will remain part of school lore because they rode out their time despite being given a rare “free pass” from the NCAA to transfer elsewhere without penalty.

“You think about it, 10 years from now when you look back on the last two senior classes, they'll be an important part of Penn State football history,” coach Bill O'Brien said. “They'll be a part of that.”

Harnessing the emotions of the spectacle will be important if Penn State is to complete a conference home season 4-0 for the first time since 2008.

Last season, the Lions seemed to be buoyed by the “2012” being added to the stadium ring of honor before beating Wisconsin in overtime.

“That's crucial — we can't let emotions get the best of us,” Carson said. “Especially with this team. It's a team that loves playing with each other, so it's definitely going to be an emotional time. We just have to stay focused on the task. This is a tough Nebraska team to go against.”

Chris Adamski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.