Penn State football will again be hosting its annual White-Out under the lights.
The university announced Monday morning that the Oct. 19 White-Out game against the Michigan Wolverines will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.
Some fans were concerned the game might start at noon at Beaver Stadium, lessening the raucous atmosphere, if FOX took the game because the network has been scheduling its top games earlier. But ESPN’s Chris Fowler let it slip early Sunday morning that his crew would be at the game, leading many to believe ABC would broadcast the matchup and schedule it for the evening.
After weeks of wondering, the 7:30 p.m. start time finally became official Monday.
Since 2012, Penn State’s annual White-Out has come against either Ohio State or Michigan. And this is the fourth straight White-Out that will kick off at night.
The last noon White-Out came in 2015 against Michigan, when the Nittany Lions lost 28-16. But at least one Penn Stater was hoping for another noon kick.
“The earlier the better,” head coach James Franklin said last week. “If I can get it at 11 a.m., so then play the game and then I can go hang out with my wife and kids for a few hours.
Franklin continued, knowing fans wouldn’t be happy with his opinion: “I can tell right now, people are watching this just going crazy.”
Penn State is 7-8 all-time in White-Outs. And, against Michigan in those games, the Nittany Lions are 3-2.
Penn State’s White-Out tradition started in 2004 against Purdue and involved only the student section. The first full-stadium White Out didn’t come until 2007 against Notre Dame.
But it’s fast become one of the great scenes and atmospheres in all of college football.
“Everything I say I try to be as fair as I can be and there are some great atmospheres out there. It’s the best atmosphere year in and year out,” ESPN analyst and Ohio State alum Kirk Herbstreit said last season, referring to the White-Out. “... And when they’re ranked in the top 10 and they bring in an opponent in the top 10, you’re not going to find a better, more intimidating, more involved fan base for 60 minutes than the White Out at State College.”
The Nittany Lions are currently ranked No. 10; Michigan is No. 16.
Penn State will next take on No. 17 Iowa at 7:30 p.m. Saturday on ABC; Michigan will face unranked Illinois at noon Saturday on ABC.