Kinnick Stadium an electric atmosphere, but Penn State silences critics

IOWA CITY, IOWA-- All week long, Penn State players discussed how difficult it is to play at Kinnick Stadium. The venue seats 30,000 less than Beaver Stadium, but for a big game it is perhaps just as electric.

The Hawekeyes ran out onto the field with fireworks and a cloud of smoke lingered over the stadium as the capacity crowd (70,085) continued to cheer. Gold towels were placed on every seat prior to game time, and the black and yellow striped seating plan was a success.

The first row begins just 10 feet behind the Penn State sideline, and fans sitting there hovered overed the Nittany Lions and made their presence known.

They taunted, they heckled, they screamed. It was like they were breathing down the Lions' necks.

Senior cornerback Stephon Morris said he heard Jerry Sandusky's name shouted out a few times.

"Typical drunk fans," Morris said. "But it was fun, especially at the end."

Indeed, by the end of the game, most fans had already filed out of the stadium. Those who stayed continued to taunt -- "Enjoy our bowl game!" one fan yelled while another shouted out, "Hey, you're more than welcome to transfer here!"

One fan in the fourth quarter decided the best way to tease the Lions was to discredit the win. He shouted down to the sideline, "This isn't even a big win. We lost to Eastern Michigan!"

For the most part, though, the Lions silenced their critics. Storming out to a 31-0 start tends to do that. Iowa fans booed their own team as the Hawkeyes ran into the tunnel for halftime.

"We got up pretty early, and [the fans] kind of started to die out there," quarterback Matt McGloin said. "That was one of our main objectives."

-Emily Kaplan