Daniel Chi / Asst. photo editor
The score just wouldn’t stop rising.
Ohio State’s Saturday night 63-38 win against Nebraska was a night of broken records. The Homecoming game attracted the largest crowd ever in Ohio Stadium, and the noise that crowd made may have been a catalyst for some of OSU’s players as they chalked up their highest output in a Big Ten game since a 1983 game against Minnesota.
The audience wouldn’t settle down even during halftime, when the band performed a video game-themed show.
But before the game even started, the Homecoming king and queen were crowned, and they went home $1,000 richer.
“I could hear them”
Saturday night’s attendance breached the record for the 90-year-old Ohio Stadium with 106,102 people. Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller said he thought the noise from the fans helped silence the Cornhuskers offense.
“Man, the fans were electric,” Miller said. “That’s what I think what was bothering on the offense for Nebraska a little bit. I could hear them, definitely.”
The crowd seemed to have an opposite effect on Miller, who set a new OSU single-game quarterback rushing record with 186 yards in the game. He also threw 127 yards on 7-of-14 pass attempts.
First-year coach Urban Meyer said he appreciated the fan support, even before the game began.
“I want to give a lot of thanks to our crowd, the Buckeye Walk, the Skull Session. That was one of the great evenings in Columbus, in Ohio State,” Meyer said. “That was tremendous.”
“When there fireworks in the show, you know it’s a good one”
The crowd that Miller said helped shuck Nebraska’s offense didn’t let up at halftime.
Ohio State’s Marching Band performed a video game-themed show, forming shapes and iconic figures from classic video games. Starting as “Space Invaders,” the band seamlessly shifted from game to game, playing “Tetris” for the crowd and becoming Link’s galloping horse from “The Legend of Zelda.” When two people came out dressed as Mario and Luigi to storm Mario’s castle that the band had formed, fireworks erupted at the back of the field.
Sousaphone player Matt Reed said the show, which also included tunes and formations from “Halo,” “Pacman,” and other Nintendo music, has been one of his favorites in his three years with the band.
“When there are fireworks in the show, you know it’s a good one,” he said. “It was definitely one of my top favorite shows.”
As the audience recognized each shape, the stadium seemingly shook with applause.
“It was definitely a great atmosphere,” he said. “I think the best part of this show was just knowing when we were about to hit a formation and being able to hear the crowd’s excitement when we would hit the Pikachu or horse formation and being able to feed off that energy that they were shelling out for us.”
Checks, Rings, Crowns
Homecoming King Anooj Bhandari knew when he was still in high school that it would be an honor to reign over the Homecoming court.
So last year, when the third-year in public affairs knew he would have enough credits to graduate early and apply for the court, he signed up, and along with 25 others, he was selected to be on this year’s Homecoming court.
“To be honest, what made me stand out above everybody else, I honestly have no idea,” Bhandari said. “I was totally not expecting it.”
He said the other candidates were all “really, really great,” so great, in fact, that they helped guide him when he was announced king.
“I had missed part of our rehearsal for the day because I was at a midterm, so when they announced my name, I had no idea what to do,” he said.
Bhandari said he and the queen, Aliza Bruchs, a fourth-year in marketing, were given class rings, $1,000 checks from the Alumni Association, and of course, crowns.
Bruchs said the court got to watch the game from a suite and said it was humbling being crowned queen in front of such a large crowd.
“It was an incredible experience,” she said. “We didn’t even know until the end of the game about the record-breaking crowd and then to hear that was icing on the cake.”