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Penn State Football: Plenty of Seats Available in Happy Valley

by on November 17, 2012 11:35 AM

Greetings from Beaver Stadium, where the Nittany Lions haven't played in three weeks. Temperatures will be in the 40s, and there's not a cloud in the sky. It's textbook November football weather.

Attendance? It would not be a surprise to see a season low, which currently sits at 93,680 for the Sept. 22 game against Temple. It was the lowest attended game since the 2001 stadium expansion. It was also the lowest attended game since an estimated 80,000 watched Penn State defeat Michigan 27-17 in 1995 following a snowstorm earlier in the week .

I wandered over to the stadium ticket office around 10:30 a.m. to check in on the number of remaining tickets available for today's noon kick with Indiana.

"A lot," I was told.

"Where? Mostly upper deck?"

"They're all over."

The students who showed up were doing the Conga line around the bleachers during pregame. The others? Likely back home for Thanksgiving break, which overlaps into next week's season finale against Wisconsin.

So, here we are, 30 minutes until kick, and there's a lot of empty seats.

"I'm not going to beg anybody to come to the game," Bill O'Brien said earlier this week.

But he did pitch for fans to attend the last two home games at his weekly Tuesday press conference and on his radio show later that night. The hook? There's only two more chances to see a football team that stuck together through unprecedented NCAA sanctions.

It was the right pitch. And even if there's much ado about the final attendance number later today, O'Brien can take solace in the fact a Beaver Stadium filled with 80,000 fans instead of its capacity of 107,000 still ranks in the top 20 in all of college football.

Poor turnout?

O'Brien may beg to differ.

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Nate Mink covers Penn State football and news for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @MinkNate.
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