Mixed emotions in State College

September, 1, 2012
9/01/12
9:43
PM ET

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Less than a football field separates the Nittanyville tents outside Gate A at Beaver Stadium from the grassy area where Joe Paterno's statue once stood.

The two places might as well have been in different time zones during Penn State's opening weekend of football.

At Nittanyville, where students camp out the week before home games to get the best seats in the student section, it's all about moving forward. Friday afternoon, they put the finishing touches on signs for the 2012 Penn State football team, including one that read "BO'B The Builder," a shout-out to the team's new coach, Bill O'Brien. Thirty-one tents of students -- approximately 240 in all -- assembled Wednesday night, a larger turnout than expected for a season opener unlike any other in the history of college football.

For those who gathered at Nittanyville, which had been Paternoville until changing its name in July in the wake of the release of the Freeh Report, the objective is moving forward.

"We're here to support the team," said Nittanyville vice-president Jeff Lowe, a senior from Austin, Texas. "It's remained that exact goal forever. … It's very strange this year, and people are still a little upset about it, but we're here for Bill O'Brien. We've got to do what we can to make banners, to support Coach O'Brien and the rest of the players."

For Adam Rittenberg's full story, click here.

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