Gameday Observations: Ohio State
In case you somehow missed it, Penn State football lost its first game of the season to Ohio State 20-12 Saturday. It wasn’t pretty.
Our football staff was on the scene to capture all the moments of gameday, but it also left with some new lessons about Columbus. Here are all the things that we found out from our weekend in Ohio.
Ohio Stadium Is Nice
Don’t get us wrong, Beaver Stadium is home. But Ohio Stadium is very nice.
The place has the feel of a cathedral to it. Literally. One end of the stadium features a stained glass window underneath a dome. The press box was huge and fit everyone with ease, which was a change from the normal 100-ish writers squished into the Beaver Stadium press box. While the student section being situated far from the field felt weird, the ‘Shoe was a really nice place overall.
The Tailgating Scene Was Underwhelming
For what it’s worth, our writers and photographers were in the stadium a few hours before kickoff. We walked into the building at around 9 a.m. for a noon kick. We also didn’t see the whole scene around the ‘Shoe. But the tailgating just wasn’t close to Penn State’s level.
Certainly, this was an issue rooted in the design of Ohio State’s campus, which creates close quarters near the stadium. The tailgating lot closest to the stadium was just about empty when we walked through. At Penn State, that place would’ve been filled by 6 a.m. While the crowd outside of that lot was certainly present, it felt weird that the atmosphere adjacent to the stadium was non-existent.
Ohio State’s In-Game Atmosphere Was Nice…
The Ohio Stadium crowd, frankly, was electric. Even in the fourth quarter, the student section was as loud as it could have been. With the game surely in hand, the students broke out in “F— you, Penn State” chants. It hurt, but it’s hard to knock the student section for that.
The crowd also was able to “Scarlet the Shoe.” As lame as that game theme may be to some, the stands were, in fact, red. Ohio State fans knew their role against Penn State, and they stepped up.
… But It’s Not Penn State
We’ve heaped a lot of praise upon Ohio State, but let’s be clear: Penn State has a way better gameday atmosphere. The stadium isn’t as nice or comfortable, the team may be worse (although who knows what the result of that game is if it’s played in Happy Valley), but Beaver Stadium is ours. The White Out knocks any theme that Ohio State can put together out of the water. That’s not even a bias, that’s just true.
As someone who has been on the field during both a White Out and a “Scarlet the Shoe,” one stands as the more impressive display. Penn State clears.
Penn State Football Is Infuriating
This isn’t really a space to talk about the actual gameplay, but here we are. We’ll just leave you with this tweet.
Watching Penn State football is like getting hit over the head with a hammer while someone tells you it'll all be alright.— Onward Sports (@OnwardStSports) October 21, 2023
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