State College, PA - Nebraska’s trip to Beaver Stadium today will likely bring back a rush of emotions and memories for assistant coach Ron Brown. It was just two years ago when Brown led a powerful prayer, featuring both the Huskers and Penn State, at the 50-yard line in honor of the Jerry Sandusky victims and events surrounding the Penn State program.
“I think the big question was, were we going to have a game,” said Brown. “The powers that be decided we were going to play and we knew we were playing a good team. Obviously the surrounding things that took place, all the potential distractions, I was amazed by how the players played the game - both teams. “
Brown explained how the idea to do a joint team prayer came to fruition.
“Friday night I was in my hotel room talking with one of them campus ministry people,” said Brown. “I was just saying that maybe we will take a few players from our team and a few players from their team, go to the back of the end zone before the game, and quietly do a prayer on behalf of the whole situation going on at Penn State.”
When school officials from both sides heard what the plan was, they decided it would be better to feature both teams at midfield. Nebraska’s director of operations Jeff Jamrog, informed Brown that the small prayer was going to be a lot bigger.
“I talked to Larry Johnson, the defensive line coach at Penn State. We talked it over and it was decided I would lead a prayer and he would be there with me,” said Brown. “I really viewed it (the decision to have a prayer) as something the Lord let happen so there would be a great demonstration of solidarity for the situation.
“I think the people of Penn State were appreciative that Nebraska, and symbolically the nation, was willing to join them in the difficult time they were going through.”
As the prayer took place, a 100,000 fans could have heard a pin drop in the stadium, but even more impactful was the television coverage.
“It became national news,” said Brown. “I think a lot people across the county were appreciative we would go to the Lord in a situation like that. This nation still relies on God heavily in those types of situations.
“I thought it was a very special day and something I have always cherished. It will be something I never forget.”