It was the perfect storm for irrelevance. A meaningless game in the national scene, a noon kickoff, and the weekend before Thanksgiving break had many people writing this game off. But as it turned out, it was one of the most newsworthy games of the year after senior leader Michael Mauti went down with a season ending injury.
Here are my observations from the stands:
- Penn State was extremely unlucky this season to have two games during the Thanksgiving break. There’s always a cry for students to stay late and come back early, but the reality is that many students are apathetic or would rather spend another day at home than in the stands of Beaver Stadium. As such, student attendance for these games is usually sparse, although I was impressed with the number of students who stayed for Indiana. The student section wasn’t anywhere near full, but it was a lot fuller than I think most people anticipated.
- As is usually the case, to make up for the lack of crowd noise, the stadium music overcompensates and it ends up being a disaster. DJ Kid AV tweeted as much after the game:
Music at the stadium is sorely lacking. Guido is missed. It’s not the song choices as much as it is the parts being played and volume levels
— Alex aka DJ Kid A.V. (@DJKidAV) November 17, 2012
Of course there were the same tracks we’ve been hearing (and complaining about) all year played at seemingly random times with random excerpts.
- The most excited students got all game was when the Lady Gaga concert was announced for the first time on the scoreboard. It was like every female reached for their cell phone at the same time to text their friends about buying tickets (which, by the way, go on sale next Friday).
- It was absolutely horrifying and deathly silent when Michael Mauti went down. I think everyone knew it was going to be bad when he didn’t get back up after 10 seconds.
- The Zordich/Mauti handshake was touching on the way off the field.
- What more is there to say? It was Indiana at noon on Thanksgiving break.
We’ll be back for our final installment of observations on Saturday for what will certainly be an emotional Senior Night.