The First Blue White Game

Blue White games started May 5, 1951 with around 500 people in a high school stadium to benefit the Penn State general scholarship fund. A water bucket was the trophy, thanks to the school's student newspaper, which led to calling the game 'the Bucket Bowl.'

It was started the first year that Rip Engle coached the team. He changed the schedule, eliminating scrimmages against other schools ( Duquesne and Bucknell had been previous scrimmage opponents) and agreed to an intrasquad scrimmage set up by the Alumni Association to benefit the scholarship fund.

There was new grass at Beaver Field, so the game was played on Memorial Field at the State College High School. Admission was $1.00, and .50 cents for students. "The Lion gridders have been split into two squads, with one wearing blue jerseys and the other white," wrote the young sports editor Ed Watson for the Centre Daily Times, "This is the reason for the fray being called the Blue-White Game, and it will probably become an annual affair after this."

Rip Engle retired 16 years later, leaving an indelible mark on Penn State football, running up a record of 104 wins, 48 losses and 4 ties. In a time when coaches were known for volatile tempers, his mild manner and fine sportsmanship set a shining example for his team to follow.

Back to Top