Today’s estimate from the IU athletic media relations department is that attendance for tomorrow’s noon game against Penn State will be in the high 30,000s.
That’s not much of a crowd by Big Ten standards, particularly for a home team that’s 5-2 and 2-2 in Big Ten play going up against a big-name program like Penn State.
But at least it will be quite a few more people than showed up the last time Penn State was in town, 24,092 for a 22-18 Nittany Lion win in 2004, in what turned out to be Gerry DiNardo’s last home game as IU’s coach.
Perhaps a few of you were part of that crowd and recall the goal line stand at the end of that one. For Hoosier fans, watching one futile plunge after another into a Penn State line that wasn’t budging surely provided one of those memorable moments of frustration that sum up what the last decade or so of Indiana football has been like.
Tomorrow — and in four more games after tomorrow (at Wisconsin, Ball State, at Northwestern, Purdue) — the Hoosiers will have their chance to end that long streak of futility with a sixth win that makes them eligible for a bowl game.