There were not 51,000 people at the game in Piscataway on Saturday. There were big areas of fans disguised as empty seats in both endzones - especially the upper corners of the north endzone - and a bunch upstairs. Rutgers may have sold that many seats, but they weren’t used. And if they were, most were empty somewhere around 9:30.
It was a lousy night...across the board. Cold rain, temps that dropped about 20 degrees from just before kickoff to halftime. I honestly can’t blame anyone for bailing. And, of course, there was the play on the field that didn’t help. And that led to, honestly, some embarrassing moments.
Hey @rfootball. Season ticket holder here. Why aren't they checking tickets for the Penn State fans going in our student section?— Mike Davis (@byMikeDavis) November 20, 2016
Which eventually got corrected but why are we allowing such stupidity - not on the PSU kids’ part, ours - to happen? Are we looking to have fights break out?
There was also a report posted on a Facebook page that complained that the Penn State band was seated in a section with RU season ticket holders. And that the band stood the whole game, forcing our fans to stand behind the visiting band.
Look, we have a long way to go as a fan base and as an Athletic Department. There have been some very good moves made to improve on all sides. But this stuff is just uncalled for and could be corrected - make that prevented - very easily.
Around the Big Ten
Michigan, Nebraska....the story is the same. Open the gates and watch people pour in. Minnesota is having a really good year (8-3) and, yes, it was cold (it’s Minnesota, it’s always cold), but only getting 75% in the building? It was the smallest crowd for the Gophers at home this season. I’m surprised.
Illinois is coming waaaay back to earth, hosting its smallest crowd of the year. As did Purdue. When you’re good, you’re good, and when you’re not...nobody cares.
The conference averaged 61,768 this week thanks to the big guns and Rutgers seemingly cooking the books in how they report. On the season, the Big Ten is averaging 65,770 per game. Just over 6 million are being counted as part of the Big Ten’s total attendance in 2016.
Rutgers does a decent job of selling tickets; it is sitting pretty close to the middle of the pack of the conference in terms of % capacity, well ahead of Maryland and behind the teams you’d expect it to trail.
This Week in the Big Ten
It’s Rivalry Week. Rutgers and Maryland may not accept that. Penn State will never accept that. But it is what it is.
The weekend slate starts out on Friday with what could be a very entertaining game. Iowa has life and Nebraska has the No. 15 ranking in the Coaches’ Poll. The fact that Rutgers-Maryland is on ESPN News says volumes (unfortunately) about the game and its competitors.
Look at the other Noon games on Saturday; where is the Rutgers game going to be broadcast? Technically it’s a national game; I looked for a broadcast map but couldn’t track one down. My guess is the New York-to-Washington, D.C. corridor will have the majority (plurality...maybe) of eyes on it. And that’s it. Yikes!
Georgia Tech at Georgia, SEC, noon
Kentucky at Louisville, ESPN, noon
Michigan at Ohio State, ABC, noon
Purdue at Indiana, ESPNU, noon
UCF at South Florida, CBSSN, noon
Virginia at Virginia Tech, ESPN2, noon