Penn State Football

Imitation is Highest Form of flattery, Penn State Football Seeing Plenty in 2023

The Penn State Football annual WhiteOut has become one of the biggest spectacles in sports.

ESPN College Football analyst Kirk Herbstreit has called it the best atmosphere in college football.

For years, other teams have been trying and failing to copy Penn State with knockoff color-out imitations. In 2023, the Nittany Lions will see at least two color-out imitations.

From Ohio State’s “scarlet-out” on October 21 to Illinois’ “orange-out” on September 16, both attempts are sure to again miss the mark on what truly makes the annual whiteout special for Penn State.


As former Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer put it, the whiteout was the “most difficult place” he ever coached in his career that could be worth a 10-point advantage to the Nittany Lions.

In 2019, Michigan had to call a timeout before the first play from scrimmage because of the noise the whiteout produces.

Penn State whiteout in 2019 chills 😮‍💨

— Buhownz 🪼 (@Demar305) March 18, 2023

The Penn State whiteout is not something that can be replicated, it combines an electric 107,000 person crowd, all dressed in white against the dark backdrop of the stadium, creating an avalanche of sound deafening opponents.

Why Illinois is Doomed to Fall Short Compared to Penn State Football WhiteOut

While Illinois can try to recreate this environment, the 60,000 seat capacity at Memorial Stadium severely limits the level of noise that can be achieved. Ohio State’s “horseshoe” stadium  has a capacity that is much closer to Penn State at almost 103,000, but the openings around “Block O” lose a ton of sound and prevent the stadium from getting too loud. Even Michigan with its “Maize-out” and its 120,000 seat capacity can’t create the level of noise of Beaver stadium, especially because the stadium is built to funnel sound up and out of the large bowl. It’s past time for teams to give up trying to recreate the magic of a Penn State whiteout and find a new gimmick to excite their fans. 

Penn State Football
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Robert Casturo

Expertise: College Football, Penn State Football Education: Saint Vincent College, Penn State Law School Location: Washington, DC Experience: Robert Casturo has covered Penn State football for NittanyCentral since 2022. Casturo previously covered Penn State football through a social media presence (@PSU_FB_Thoughts on X) since 2019. Casturo earned his bachelor's degree from Saint Vincent College in 2015, where he was a punter for 1 season on the Saint Vincent College football team and worked in the athletic department for 2 years as a student manager. Casturo earned his JD from Penn State Law in 2018 where he was a senior editor of the Penn State Law Review.