STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Koa Farmer texted some of his Penn State teammates with the idea of taking a victory lap around the field at Beaver Stadium after Saturday's game against Maryland with other fifth-year seniors, including quarterback Trace McSorley, cornerback Amani Oruwariye, and safety Nick Scott.
"That was actually Koa's idea," Scott said after the Nittany Lions defeated the Terrapins, 38-3, in their final regular-season game. "I thought it was awesome.
"Obviously, there was a lot of emotion as we were taking the lap. It was really just surreal. It's been a long five years, but, at the same time, it's been a very short five years. So just taking it all in one last time, that's something that I'll remember for the rest of my life. I think Koa might have started a tradition here."
Scott committed to head coach Bill O'Brien before O'Brien departed for the NFL. McSorley and Oruwariye committed to James Franklin while he was still at Vanderbilt, then flipped shortly after Franklin took the Penn State job. Farmer considered Vanderbilt but went with Franklin to Happy Valley.
On Saturday, the quartet took it all in.
"We literally were just remembering all the things we've been through," Farmer said, "all the laughs, all the adversity, all the things where we've persevered here together, all the endless nights talking to each other. We're a close group. Those guys that we were walking with, they're my best friends."
"We remembered," added McSorley, "the first time we were in the stadium, going back to camp our freshman year, our first camp practice in the stadium to our first actual game there — everything we did. We were just kind of doing it with those guys that we all came in with, a group of guys that fought hard every single day and worked their butts off to bring this program back."
Entering their as-yet undetermined bowl game, the Nittany Lions have posted a 31-8 record the last three years.
"We always think about that," Oruwariye said. "We always think about the big bowl games we've been to, how many games we've won, just the celebrations, the locker room, just thinking about everything. That all came in while we were taking that lap."
With his 12 completions Saturday, McSorley broke the program record for most completions in a career, with 703. Christian Hackenberg held the old record of 693.
McSorley rushed for 64 yards and ended the game with 1,622 yards in his career, 15 yards away from Penn State's career rushing record for a quarterback, held by Michael Robinson.