STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Football returns to Happy Valley on Saturday.
New coach Bill O’Brien makes his debut at Beaver Stadium as Penn State ends spring practice with the Blue-White game.
But Saturday will be more than just about football.
It’s the first event at the stadium since O’Brien’s predecessor, the late Joe Paterno, died in January at age 85 of lung cancer. The statue outside the stadium remains a gathering point for fans, some of whom remain upset after school trustees ousted Paterno in the aftermath of child sexual abuse charges against a retired assistant coach.
O’Brien has promised to honor the traditions Paterno instilled while putting his own stamp on the program. He appears to have won over fans with his aggressive outreach efforts since taking the Penn State job in January.