COLUMBUS, Ohio --Ohio Stateis still the biggest draw in spring football, and the continued buzz following a national title gave it a chance to build on its own record for attendance in spring games.
The Buckeyes broke their own national spring game record by drawing 99,391 fans to Ohio Stadium on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in which the Gray beating the Scarlet 17-14 seemed secondary to celebrating with the championship trophy, watching students challenge players to a footrace and getting a sneak peek at the upcoming quarterback battle with a halftime skills competition.
Said Ohio State coach Urban Meyer: "99,000 people? I think I heard that over the PA system. I'm not surprised but extremely grateful to have that many come watch a scrimmage. At times it wasn't a very pleasant scrimmage.
"We grab a hand after each time we come into the stadium, and we're very grateful for the blessings to be able to play this great game, first of all, and secondly where we play it. I imagine it has to be some kind of record."
The Buckeyes actually already held it, establishing it with a crowd of 95,722 in 2009, but they extended their lead over second-place Alabama, which has drawn more than 84,000 fans four times, with a high of 92,310. The Crimson Tide drew 65,157 fans for their spring game Saturday.
The Big Ten has been the leader in spring attendance this year, with new coaching staffs and tradition-rich programs at Nebraska (76,881) and Michigan (66,000) attracting a large audience and giving coaches a chance to evaluate players with a bit more pressure on them to perform.
But just like the end of last season, Ohio State left spring practice by claiming another title.
"The crowd today was unbelievable," defensive tackle Tommy Schutt said. "Just, wow. Having that many people at a spring game is really special."