Proud PSU fans show strength, support; Lions lose

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

The start of a new era for Penn State football didn't work out the way fans had hoped.

Although more than 90,000 fans showed up today to see their Nittany Lions begin their new season, they will need at least another week before they can celebrate a win.

Ohio University won the game 24-14 -- a sad ending for a devoted fan base that came ready to cheer on Penn State in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, which sent the former assistant coach to prison and led to the firing of longtime coach Joe Paterno.

Hours after fans made their cathartic drive to Beaver Stadium, handmade signs and banners attached to their RVs, they quietly sang their alma mater: a song that includes the lyrics, "May no act of ours bring shame."

New head coach Bill O'Brien says he thought there was "a great atmosphere in the stands."

As the team took the field in the first home opener without Paterno since 1949, the fans roared as usual "We are ... Penn State!" They also showed love for the former coach with chants of "Joe Pa-ter-no!" before turning their cheers toward O'Brien.

Paterno's widow and her daughter were there.

Penn State also held a moment of reflection for all victims of sexual abuse.

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