University Park, Centre County: A beautiful day in Happy Valley, greeted the blue and white faithful for the 2018 edition of the Blue-White Game. The Nittany Lions back in Beaver Stadium for the first time in five months. As the stands filled-in they were excited to see familiar faces on the field and get their first look at some new lions for the first time.
The Fiesta Bowl champions entered to a familiar roar and once the game kicked off, fans didn't have to wait long to see some excitement. Harrisburg alum and freshman standout Micah Parsons got the start at linebacker and he looked good rocking the famed #11 jersey. Parsons recorded eight tackles and a sack in the game. Not too shabby of a debut for the local product, as he caught the eye of his defensive coordinator Brent Pry this spring.
"He learns well, he recognizes what happens to him when the ball is snapped and he understands blocks and leverages. He is very eager, so his improvement has been practice by practice," said Pry.
Fellow cougar alum Damion Barber, got in on the action with a big goal line pop for the White squad. The second team though had their hands full with the Blue team lead by quarterback Trace McSorley. Trace looked to be in mid season form going 10 of 14 for just over 100 yards in the contest. The senior QB leading by example just by taking the field in this one.
"That's something that as a leader you have to be willing to do. For me talking about playing in the Blue-White game playing in front of our fans it's easy because that's what I love to do," said a smiling McSorley.
Mac Hippenhammer was the favorite target of team Blue, as he scored twice in the 21-10 victory. The score didn't matter in this one though, just ask coach Franklin. Wait that isn't coach but rather comedian and Penn State Alum Keegan-Michael Key. Laughs were everywhere on the field as the comedian was a "guest coach." Keegan giving it his all to coach up the team.
"I could see the guys look spry, excited and dedicated to it and I look forward to the fall," he said sitting next to a mugging James Franklin at the post game podium.
"I'll answer all the softballs (questions), Keegan will answer the tough ones," added Franklin.
Really can you even tell these guys apart?
A lot of fun in Happy Valley and most importantly for the lions they came out of this scrimmage healthy and with a lot of guys gaining valuable experience.