We’re lucky to have several staffers who have either gameday assignments at Ohio Stadium or season tickets. After each home game, we’ll get you some quick thoughts “from the cheap seats”.
As I awoke around 3:30am Saturday morning, my excitement for what the day held overtook my desire and need to go back to sleep. It would be three short hours until I’d begin my two hour journey south to Columbus. As I arrived in Columbus with my family and friends and plotted our route from the Ackerman lots to our traditional stop at Conrads for our game day “beat Buffalo” buttons and then on to the Skull Session, I found myself with a sense of joy and giddiness knowing the 2013 Buckeye season was less than three hours away.
We took our seats at St John’s Arena and begin our annual bet of who’s going to speak before Urban at the Skull Session. The guesses ranged from Jordan Hall to Corey Linsley to Christian Bryant. We were all wrong as Garret Goebel grabbed the mike and began to get the crowd ready. As he handed the mike to Urban after speaking, I thought to myself, will he tie in something regarding “the journey” of which he spoke of many times last year. He didn’t disappoint ending by talking about “a new journey begins today”!
We made our way over to The Shoe, on to Buckeye Grove and back around to enter in the rotunda. The crowd seemed excited and the music was booming from the loud speakers. We made the long winding climb up to C-deck level and then what seemed to be the even longer climb to our row 36 seats in 10C. We were shortly joined by many Buckeye fans and much to our joy, a row of Buffalo fans topped off by a gentleman who claimed to have played for Buffalo donning a Michigan hat. As kickoff grew closer, fans chatted about great expectations and the excitement of seeing players like Dontre Wilson, Ezekiel Elliot, and Joey Bosa as well as the improved passing of Braxton Miller. The Bulls fans joked of cheering for settle things such as getting the play off on time, completed passes, and holding Buckeye plays to under 7 yards an attempt. Little did we know what was about to ensue. As pregame festivities began, we were treated to a double script Ohio by The Best Damn Band In The Land.
As the first quarter drew to a close, Buckeye fans gleamed and proclaimed, “can we drop 100?” Several read tweets from people at home that joked the same thing. Yes, by the way, we were able to read tweets, text, and even talk on the phones due to several Verizon towers placed around The Shoe to improve cell service for fans. Several Verizon officials even made trips up and down the section to ensure service was good. This is a HUGE improvement over games in the past. Bulls fans were discussing where to end there day with a beer.
As the second quarter began, the tide turned and turned quickly. About five minutes into the second quarter, the Bulls jumped on the board with a touchdown pass. Bulls fans joke about not being shutout and Bucks fans blew it off as a young defense giving up a TD. Two minutes and eighteen seconds later, the momentum would shift and change the whole complexion of the game Braxton Miller dropped back and threw what appeared to be a quick slant that Khalil Mack returned for forty five yards for a touchdown. Buffalo fans now believed that had a chance. Jordan Hall quickly changed that with a TD run moments later, but Buckeye fans knew there were issues. Many around us worried that Ryan Shazier had been carted off to the locker room, Corey Lindsley had sat a majority of the half, and Taylor Decker was being beat on almost every half.
Iwould love to tell you how the half time show went, but the 22 minute line I stood in, in order to get water allowed me to not see TBDBITL.
The second half was rather less than exciting for most fans. Buckeye fans complained that OSU was cramping and Buffalo wasn’t, the offense had basically become predictable and anemic, and the defense couldn’t get any pressure and once again had issues with tackling. Buffalo fans talked and gleamed that they had a chance in the MAC this year and that a twenty point loss was a moral victory for them. They also complained about their long drive back to Buffalo and quickly moved to talking about Buffalo Bills football.
As most of us left Columbus Saturday, sun burnt and somewhat less joyed than we should’ve been after a twenty point win, I quickly began to think of how great it would be to be back in that same place in six short days. I only hope for less heat, to remember to bring sunscreen, and a more dominant performance from our beloved Buckeyes! Besides, the best thing about being 1-0 is the chance to go 2-0!