A record-setting crowd of 105,103 at Ohio Stadium provided fourth-ranked Ohio State more than its support going up against 17th-ranked Penn State yesterday afternoon.
The crowd also brought the kind of noise that may have been necessary to help lift the Buckeyes to a 13-7 win when the team wasn't at full strength.
OSU coach Jim Tressel said the noise from the stands could be heard loud and clear on the field. He said it was most noticeable when the Nittany Lions' offense was on the field.
“I think you can't discount the impact of the crowd,” Tressel said. “It had to be hard to play offense if you were in white jerseys because our crowd was coming at it and never stopped.”
CLARETT UPDATE: Tressel said he was unsure of the severity of the shoulder injury to tailback Maurice Clarett, or how long he might be sidelined. The Buckeyes play Minnesota on Saturday.
“I can't tell you if it's a one-day thing or a five-day thing,” Tressel said.
TALIAFERRO RETURNS: Former Penn State cornerback Adam Taliaferro made his first trip back to Ohio Stadium since suffering a serious neck injury Sept. 23, 2000, while making a tackle against the Buckeyes. He was greeted by loud applause from the Buckeye crowd when he emerged from the Penn State locker room and walked onto the field before kickoff.
NUGENT STREAK ALIVE: OSU's Mike Nugent continues to be Mr. Consistency when it comes to field goals. Nugent extended his field-goal streak to 19 in a row when he made two 37-yard field goals. His second came with 1:05 left in the third quarter to give the Buckeyes a 13-7 lead. The attempt ricocheted off the right upright and fell over the crossbar.
RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME: Penn State center Joe Iorio squared off for the final time against the Buckeyes yesterday. The 6-3, 297-pound St. Francis de Sales graduate made his presence felt early in the game when he fell on a fumble by quarterback Zack Mills deep in Penn State territory.
With the Nittany Lions on top 7-3, Mills scrambled out of the pocket for a short gain on third down before he was hit and lost the football. Two Buckeye defenders appeared closer to the ball, but Iorio pounced on top of it to avoid a possible momentum-swinging turnover.