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Gameday Observations: Michigan

It was an ugly loss for Penn State football, as the Nittany Lions fell 41-17 to then-No. 5 Michigan in Ann Arbor Saturday afternoon.

Michigan ran over Penn State’s front seven, racking up 418 yards on the ground to drive the Nittany Lions to their first loss of the season in blowout fashion.

While it was easy to take our eyes off the game, we noticed many other things happening around us in Ann Arbor.

The Drive To Michigan Was Pretty

The five-and-a-half hour drive to Ann Arbor felt like a breeze after driving eight hours to Purdue and 14 to Auburn, and it was certainly easy on the eyes. Driving through the mountains of Pennsylvania and Ohio on I-80 with fall foliage in full swing was a sight to behold.

Ann Arbor Was Underwhelming

You may say I am coming from a biased point of view, but I wasn’t blown away by Ann Arbor at all. My colleagues, Sam Fremin and Alysa Rubin, and I ventured into town Friday night to grab some grub. The town was just OK and kind of bland.

The buildings were very old and pretty rundown. There were also a decent amount of Spartans and Buckeyes fans roaming around the streets, which caught us by surprise. My biggest takeaway was that it was just a typical college town. It gets a lot of praise for being one of the best in the country, but I’d take State College every day over Ann Arbor.

Michigan Stadium Is Very Overhyped

The Big House just felt like a glorified high school stadium. It’s just a big bowl of bleachers that wraps around the entire field — that’s it. We walked around the stadium from the bleachers and weren’t that impressed. It’s still a good stadium at the end of the day, but it doesn’t deserve all the hype it gets as “The Big House.”

Although, it was cool that there literally isn’t one bad seat in that stadium since it’s just a big bowl and the field is so close to the stands due to the small size of the sidelines.

High Profile Michigan Fans Show Out

Michigan certainly had its fair share of famous fans at the game on Saturday. Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps served as the Wolverines’ honorary captain.

Then, the school had the 1997 National Championship football team on the field, followed by Lloyd Carr and Charles Woodson, all before the end of the first quarter.

Michigan Fans Weren’t That Loud

Michigan fans pride themselves on having, what they think is, the most storied program in college football, but they didn’t cheer like it. The loudest the stadium got was as loud as Beaver Stadium in the fourth quarter of the Northwestern game, and that’s not an exaggeration. Part of that is due to the shape of the stadium. It’s flatter, as the fans in the top row are at a lower elevation than Beaver Stadium, for example, but further back from the field.

The fans also sing “Mr. Brightside” at every game, which is their version of Beaver Stadium singing “Sweet Caroline.” I got the vibe they think it was the most epic thing ever, but it really wasn’t.

‘WE OWN PENN STATE’ Chants Pour In Following The Game

At the conclusion of the game, Michigan handed down the ultimate troll job by playing Zombie Nation as its fans chanted “WE OWN PENN STATE.” Can’t even argue after that one, to be honest.

Maize Out Turned Out OK

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, folks.

On a real note, Michigan did well with its “Maize Out,” as there certainly was a sea of yellow maize throughout the stadium.

Is it as good as the White Out? No, but it was clearly effective in the end, given the final score.

There Were Michigan Fans Cheering In The Press Box

Throughout the game, Sam and I found ourselves looking behind us quite frequently as we heard “Go! Go! Go!” coming from the second row of the Michigan Stadium press box on every Wolverines play. It got to be pretty distracting, quite frankly.

We eventually found out the seats were assigned to Michigan Athletics, so I assumed they were just given to some random donors, which is interesting.

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About the Author

Frankie Marzano

Frankie is a senior accounting and economics major from Long Island, NY. You can probably recognize him as the typical Italian-American with slicked back black hair. He is an avid fan of the New York Rangers and Mets, along with every Penn State Athletics team. Follow him on Twitter @frankiemarzano for obnoxious amounts of Rangers and Penn State content or email him at [email protected]

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