LEWISTOWN — Dan King’s ultimate college football road trip is back.
It’s that time of year when the Lewistown man packs up his RV and heads down the highway to watch his beloved Penn State Nittany Lions.
“I try to hit one away game each year,” King said. “I usually go up to Ohio State or Michigan. I got a different motorhome this year and I wanted to try it out.”
This year, King and his girlfriend, Tammy Clouse, and three friends are bound for West Lafayette, Ind., where Penn State opens its college football season tonight against Big Ten Conference rival Purdue. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 pm
They’ll make the 580-mile trek riding in luxury in King’s new 45-foot American Heritage RV.
While watching the Nittany Lions tackle the Boilermakers might not have the mystique of playing the Buckeyes or Wolverines, King will be excited to be among the Penn State faithful at Purdue’s Ross-Ade Stadium.
“Ever since I’ve been a kid, I’ve been a Penn State fan,” the 52-year-old King said. “I’ve never been to Purdue.”
King and Co. left Tuesday night to make the nine-hour drive from Mifflin County to Purdue. Typically, he would leave for the Penn State game closer to the weekend; however, kickoff is tonight.
“I was against it at first,” King said. “College football is Saturday. But I really wanted to go. It sold out in a couple of days — Penn State’s allotment of tickets that Purdue gave them.”
King is expecting plenty of blue and white-clad Nittany Lion fans in the stands.
“I think the Penn State crowd will be good there,” he added. “It’s close to Chicago, and Penn State has a good fan base in the Midwest.”
Being self-employed in the trucking industry, it wasn’t hard for King to take time off work. Traveling to weekend games are better for him.
“They’re easier for me,” he admits.
A Nittany Lion victory would certainly make the drive home feel a lot shorter.
When Purdue fans file into the stadium for the nationally televised game, the crowd will be a sea of black shirts as the season opener is a “Blackout” games. It would seem as though Penn State is ready to combat the hostile atmosphere with all-white uniforms.
The Nittany Lions have faced two “Blackout” games from opposing teams, splitting the contests with an even 1-1 record.
This will be the third-straight season that Penn State opens on the road with a Big Ten opponent, having faced Wisconsin in 2020 and Indiana in 2019. The Nittany Lions lost 36-35 in overtime to the Hoosiers before starting last season with a 16 -10 wins over the Badgers.
With those experiences under their belt, King is confident in Penn State competing at a high level away from Happy Valley.
“I personally think we’ll handle it pretty well,” King said. “They’ve played pretty well in that environment.”
This season, King is planning trips to Auburn when Penn State travels to play the Tigers of the Southeastern Conference on Sept. 17 as well as making a return trip to Michigan for the Nittany Lions’ Oct. 15 games against the Wolverines.
, King will be traveling from Purdue to Ann Arbor, Mich., to watch Michigan open the season against Colorado State on Saturday. It’s about a 260-mile drive from Purdue to Michigan, which takes a little more than four hours.
“The guys that are going with me are Michigan fans, so after the (Penn State) game, we are going up to Michigan for their game,” King explained. “I told them if they went with me, I’d take them up there.”
It’s all about the game of college football. King is ready for another Penn State football season.