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Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024
The Observer

South Bend to Columbus: Students make trek for College Gameday

Students and fans alike traveled down to Columbus, Ohio, this weekend for the football season opener against the Ohio State University.

Sophomore Ryan Ludwig was part of this group and traveled to Columbus with some friends this past Friday in preparation for the football season opener Saturday.

After staying over at a friend from OSU’s house on Friday night, Ludwig said his day got off to a rough start.

“We went to College Game Day early in the morning [on Saturday],” Ludwig said. “There was a lightning delay which made it a little tougher.”

The ESPN pre-game broadcast was the highlight of Ludwig’s day outside the stadium, he said. The layout, however, was not his favorite part.

“As far as the gameday experience, I thought it is a little more difficult than Notre Dame because everything's spread out and you have to walk around all over. Whereas, at Notre Dame, it's all in
the same place right by the stadium,” Ludwig said.

Amidst a sea of red inside Ohio Stadium, the Horseshoe, Ludwig said he thoroughly enjoyed his view but not the atmosphere.

“I thought the stadium was [a] cool place to be,” Ludwig said. “It’s a loud, great environment, but I do like the Notre Dame student
section better. I couldn't even tell where [the Ohio State] student section was.”

Ohio State fans are a notoriously rowdy group. Traveling Notre Dame students were well briefed on this fact before making the trek.

“I thought the majority of the fans were respectful. They treated us well,” said Ludwig. “After the game, when we were walking back to our car, just because we were wearing green, we got rude comments.”

Ailish Chambers, a Notre Dame junior, also made the trip to Columbus for the weekend.

She said she couldn’t help but notice the differences between the two schools’ game day cultures.

“[Game day] was not as intense at all. My friends didn't even set alarms,” Chambers said.

Back on the home front, students gathered for a cookout hosted by Morrissey Manor before watching the game on South Quad, Morrissey resident Will Attig said.

“We made over 1,500 hotdogs and the turnout was great,” Attig said. “So many students and even their families were there too. [Game-watchers] stretched all the way back to the flagpole on South Quad. You couldn't even see the end of people.”

Junior Adam Salek said he attended the game watch on South Quad for the second half.

“I saw six or seven futons that people brought outside to watch the game. I even saw a desk chair. People were bringing everything out there in massive groups. It was a lot of fun,” Salek said.

Salek attested to the engagement of the crowd during the nail bitter of a matchup.

Emily Houston, a first-year student, was another fan present for the game watch on the quad.

“Everyone was all in their game attire,” Houston said. “There were hot hogs being thrown around, everyone was screaming and chanting. We were all super excited to see the team out on the field,” she explained.

Houston said the dynamic changed when Ohio State took the lead.

"Everyone became a little gloomy,” she said. “But we still kept cheering them on because we want to be hopeful and stay hopeful and see what can happen.”

Peter Breen

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