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Gameday Observations: Penn State vs Indiana

The Lions took to the Hoosier state for the second time in a three week stretch to take on Indiana at Memorial Field. The Lions pulled out the victory with a 24-point fourth quarter and escaped Bloomington victorious, but our road crew had plenty to gather from Saturday’s trip to the Midwest.

David Abruzzese

Indiana Is A Basketball School: The state of Indiana is synonymous with basketball, as is Indiana University. The rich tradition the program built by the great Bob Knight has on the hardwood is tough to ignore, and it couldn’t have been more obvious on Saturday. While the crowd wasn’t terrible, it was underwhelming. The Hoosiers might not be competing for a national title, but that’s not the attendance I’d expect from a team that was 5-4 heading into Saturday’s contest against a top 10 opponent.

Something tells me you wouldn’t see a showing that sparse in Assembly Hall. Luckily for Hoosier hoops fans, the basketball team took down Kansas in Hawaii on Friday night while the football team sits a mere victory away from becoming bowl eligible. What better game to reach that benchmark than against Michigan. It’s safe to say Penn Staters are Indiana fans next weekend.

Children Were Everywhere

Yes, at Memorial Field, youth football is everywhere. There seemed to be mini football games going on behind the north end zone while the real game was being played. While the kids were having fun, an errant pass from one of the young quarterbacks playing behind the field actually made it onto the field of play during a kickoff and resulted in a re-kick. What should’ve been a decent gain for Miles Sanders ultimately turned into a shorter gain that pinned the Lions deeper than expected. Later on, it seemed a group of kids lost a ball in one of the massive pine trees behind the scoreboard. We found this out because it seemed ESPN couldn’t help but pan to the kids seemingly every other play — which wasn’t exactly well received by Penn State fans watching at home.

Ethan Kasales

Memorial Field Has Plenty Of History:

The first thing I noticed when we arrived at Memorial Stadium was the mast of the USS Indiana’s addition to the façade. On the Hoosiers’ Salute to Service day, and just after Veterans Day, I found it especially poignant to reflect all the sacrifices our service members make for this country.

Similar to Beaver Stadium, Indiana boasted a timeless press box. The steep stairs running down to the lower tiers were what stood out to me the most. The Hoosiers certainly didn’t disappoint with the lunch spread, as a plate of rich lasagna and a donut is my definition of a recipe for success.

Saquon Was Definitely Up To Something — Slipping: 

Saquon Barkley Penn State Football at Indiana 2016
Barkley struggled to keep his footing on Saturday.

After leaving the press conference, we had the opportunity to check out the playing surface. There were a number of factors that went into making it tough for Penn State to run the ball Saturday, like a blitz-heavy Hoosier defense and a few more injuries along the o-line. However, I could see why Saquon Barkley appeared to have a tough time making his typical electrifying cuts. The turf felt particularly soft and a tad bumpy in spots, which isn’t great for planting a foot and changing direction. Still, Barkley managed to score two huge touchdowns that ultimately helped put the Lions ahead for good.

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