Penn State athletics/courtesy
Beaver Stadium will be a sea of white for the Saturday night game against Michigan.

Penn State White-Outs offer ‘a different kind of chills;’ TE Mike Gesicki ready to go against Michigan

Penn State football is the No. 1 topic in We are… Awake every day — but we cover news, notes and analysis from across Nittany Lions sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Penn State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Paint it white

A Penn State White-Out, senior cornerback Christian Campbell told Andrew Callahan of Lions 247, elicits “a different kind of chills.” The crowd, fellow corner Amani Oruwariye told Callahan, is “the loudest thing you’ll hear.”

The No. 2 Nittany Lions (6-0) have another one planned for Saturday night in Beaver Stadium, when No. 19 Michigan (5-1) visits. The matchup alone would make for an electric atmosphere. But Penn State has made it something more.

As wide receiver DeAndre Thompkins told Callahan:

“You can have all the words in the world, you can study all the dictionaries in the world, but the words won’t put it into perspective how that environment is so live. You can feel everybody’s heartbeat, you can feel every moment throughout the game.”

More White-Out

John McGonigal of the Centre Daily Times listed the five best White-Outs through the years. The Lions’ quadruple-overtime victory over the Wolverines in 2013 finished a surprisingly low third, but their 24-21 victory over Ohio State last year – on an absolute thunderbolt (i.e., a blocked field goal return late in the game) – was an unsurprising first.

Mike Gesicki’s good to go

McGonigal also has a report on tight end Mike Gesicki, who on Wednesday said he’s “feeling great” after getting knocked out of the Sept. 30 game against Indiana with an unspecified injury, an injury that appeared to hamper him in the Oct. 7 victory at Northwestern as well. “Having that bye week after the Northwestern game was huge,” Gesicki said, per McGonigal.

Just when you thought you knew everything about Saquon Barkley …

Kimberly Jones of NFL.com – a Penn State grad who once covered the team for the Centre Daily Times – weighs in with yet another Saquon Barkley profile. There are several new, compelling nuggets. Like the fact Barkley doesn’t like to lose to quarterbacks in QB drills. Like the fact his dad wanted to name him after Tupac Shakur, but his mom maintained veto power. Like the fact while Saquon was at Whitehall (Pa.) High School he had to sell six coupon books to cover his $65 student dues. He sold 15. And so on.

Jared Odrick on the NFL: ‘I miss it half the time’

Pat Huggins of the Lebanon Daily News catches up with former Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick, who last week composed a thoughtful essay for The Sporting News about the NFL’s national anthem protests. Odrick, a Lebanon native, was chosen in the first round by the Miami Dolphins in 2010 and spent five years with them, then two more with Jacksonville. Released after last season, he told Huggins, “I miss it half the time, but there’s a lot of things I don’t miss. And there’s a lot of things I do miss. You miss waking up knowing you have someone and something larger than yourself to be accountable to. That feels good. But now I feel I’m way more accountable to myself, because I have to be. When I miss something or don’t do something or miss out on something, there’s no one there to blame but me. And I think that’s been a pretty awesome learning curve.”

Conference honors for four

As noted on the university’s official web site, four athletes were accorded Big Ten Weekly honors. Colin Abert, a cross country runner, was named Athlete of the Week in his discipline, JD Hughes was named Golfer of the Week, Kaelen Freund was named Men’s Swimmer of the Week and Jane Donahue was named Women’s Swimming and Diving Freshman of the Week.

Illuminating experience

Linsey Fagan of the Daily Collegian delivers a compelling photo of Gesicki and wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton finishing up practice Wednesday night with the so-called “bat signal” – the illuminated Penn State logo – looming in the background.

Monumental moment

The Big Ten Network tweeted out a video snippet of Allen Robinson’s leaping grab of a Christian Hackenberg pass in the closing seconds of regulation in that 2013 thriller against Michigan. Hackenberg scored the tying touchdown moments later, and the Lions won it in the fourth overtime, on a TD run by Bill Belton.

Also in the Land of 10

Miss previous editions of the Wakeup Call? They can be found here.