While it holds nearly 40,000 less fans and sits almost 200 miles from Beaver Stadium on game days, Lincoln Financial Field will still be rocking with roars of “We are…Penn State” this Saturday.
The Nittany Lions will head east on the Pa. Turnpike to Temple’s home field and the Philadelphia Eagles’ stadium to take on the Owls for a game that will see crowds of Penn State fans in the stands.
Thirty players on Penn State’s roster hail from Eastern or Central Pa., and a handful are from the Philadelphia area.
Having lived so close to the city, many Lions will have family and friends in attendance Saturday.
“I’m very excited that I’m playing close to home because this is probably the first time a lot of them are going to be able to see me play,” senior defensive tackle Devon Still said. “So I’m very excited to get out there, and show everybody what I’ve got.”
Still is from Wilmington, Del., about a half-hour drive from Philadelphia.
He said he’ll have more than 20 family members and friends on hand for the game.
Tight end Andrew Szczerba also resides in Wilmington. He said everybody on the team is excited to play in an NFL stadium.
“We get to play on the same field as Michael Vick, and he’s an NFL superstar,” receiver Shawney Kersey, who’s hometown of Woodbury, N.J. is less than 20 minutes from Lincoln Financial, said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. Actually we’ll probably be in the same locker room as them, too.”
Though his hometown of Steelton, Pa. is much closer to Harrisburg than Philadelphia, defensive lineman Jordan Hill still has ties to the Eagles.
The junior’s father, Larry, is one of the biggest Eagles fans Jordan knows.
And while Larry has been to Eagles training camp, he’s never been to Lincoln Financial Field.
“Once in a lifetime deal,” Larry said of getting to watch Jordan play in his favorite team’s stadium. “It’ll be quite an experience.”
While many Penn State players have ties to Philadelphia, fullback Mike Zordich has a long history with the Eagles.
His father, Michael, an All-American safety at Penn State in 1985, spent five seasons playing in Philadelphia, and is now the Eagles’ safeties coach.
The younger Zordich has been to numerous Eagles games throughout the years, including a 31-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 17 of last year.
He said his father likely won’t be able to attend Saturday’s game, as the elder Zordich will be traveling with the Eagles to Atlanta for a game Sunday.
Though his father won’t be there, Zordich still anticipates a memorable day.
“We’ve been talking about that for a while,” Zordich said. “To be able to play in that stadium…man. I’ve been to a couple games there, and now it’ll be cool to know I’m playing where my dad’s coaching.”