Walking through the Beaver Stadium tunnel: What makes it special?

UNIVERSITY PARK — Jason Cabinda and Mike Gesicki both called it “indescribable.”

Nick Scott paused, and then gave a tremendously insightful answer while showing perspective beyond his years.

Miles Sanders said he could feel the ground shake.

Other players simply smile when thinking about what that moment is like.

That “moment” is when they’re walking through the Beaver Stadium tunnel on gameday and kickoff is only a few minutes away. There’s a lot going on, with 100,000-plus fans roaring in the near distance. And the fans have made a significant impact the last few years, creating an environment that’s helped boost Penn State to a 13-1 home record the last two seasons.

Hear what’s memorable about that experience from the only people who can tell you: the players.

Mark Allen (running back)

It’s changed over the years. At the beginning, it was just a sense of nervousness. Now, you get chills going through your body and you’re like ‘wow.’ Coming out here and playing with the best fans in the nation and putting on a show for them, you come out here and you’re ready.

Saquon Barkley (running back)

Obviously, the fans are amazing, but I’m just so focused on the game. In moments like that, I start visualizing situations on the field that I can make a play, jumping over someone, breaking a tackle, or making the right pass block. I start really focusing in and start locking in that situation.

Jason Cabinda (linebacker)

That feeling never gets old, going out through the tunnel, right before the game. The fans are just great—you walk in, see the lights and it’s just like ahhhhh (mimics roar of the crowd). It’s literally indescirable, every single time. You’re focused on the game, you want to go out and make plays, do your assignments and execute, that’s really what’s on your mind.

Mike Gesicki (tight end)

Before last year, I never used to get nervous before games. At the start of last season, I just felt it everywhere, I was extremely nervous. Before every game, I’d sit in front of my locker and put a towel over my head. I closed my eyes, and I envisioned making big plays and being successful, coming up for my team and doing my job on each and every play. Then when I take the towel off and throw my helmet on and walk out that tunnel, you start to hear the noise and it starts to pick up. You’re walking out on the field, you look around and you see everybody. You see the atmosphere that is Beaver Stadium, and it’s unbelievable. It’s indescribable, honestly. We’ve got the best stadium in the world, the best fans in the world, and I’m happy to play there every Saturday.

Miles Sanders (running back)

Going through that tunnel is special, especially the White Out game (against Ohio State last year). That was pretty amazing, you could feel the ground shaking from how loud it was. You get really excited, and it makes you speechless.

Nick Scott (safety)

There are so many feelings and emotions going through your head and your body when you’re in that tunnel. When I’m in that tunnel with all my guys, we’re singing rap lyrics and yelling and jumping and having fun The biggest thing, the one word I can use to describe how I feel and the atmosphere is “family.” When we’re at home walking with all your brothers, all the guys that you sweated with and worked hard with during the offseason, you walk through that tunnel with them, hand-in-hand, it’s a moving moment. I know not all of us will see that now, but when we look back, it’s really special to be with all those guys, the coaches, and run out in front of our fans and all the support. It’s a lot of love and a lot of family.

Tommy Stevens (quarterback)

When I get asked what it’s like to run through the tunnel at Beaver Stadium, it’s really hard to explain. In my opinion, this is the best place to play college football in America. Our fans bring an unlimited amount of energy and excitement and we really feed off of it. It’s really an unexplainable feeling. It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was a little kid — playing college football — and I can’t think of a better place to play than here. 

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