When you think of Gus Johnson, you think of excitement, big plays, and LOUD NOISES.
That was not the case on Saturday during his call of the Big Ten game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and Illinois Fighting Illini.
Penn State jumped out to an early lead and cruised to victory in what ended up being a 30-13 affair. That said, while not the most thrilling college football game ever played, the outcome was still in question until the third quarter. One would have assumed that there was plenty of space for loud calls and exciting moments.
Instead, audiences ended up hearing a lot of mundane reactions to major turnovers and game-changing plays.
Here’s every Gus Johnson call of Penn State’s biggest plays today. I really hope everything’s alright, because he just did not have any juice at all
— Connor Griffin (@RealCGriff) September 16, 2023
Gus Johnson sounds very bored by the Penn State-Illinois game.??️pic.twitter.com/ON55C9f0gO
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 16, 2023
Fans and viewers couldn’t help but notice that Johnson’s and Joel Klatt’s call of the game seemed very out of step with what people have come to expect.
Is anybody else disappointed with Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt on the call today?
They're my favorite college football broadcast team, and they just seemed unenthused about Penn State – Illinois.
— Zach Seyko (@zach_seyko) September 16, 2023
Yes, the game today was not very exciting.
Gus Johnson needs to not call any more PSU games, though. He was awful and had no energy the entire broadcast.
He is either bored with his job or just hates Penn State. His calls for interceptions and other moments were terrible.
— NCNittany (@NittanyNC) September 16, 2023
I lost a ton of respect for Gus Johnson and @joelklatt today. Could not be more clear how much they are cheering on Illinois against #PennState. Gus Johnson with completely DEAD calls any time PSU makes a play, as if he’s broadcasting a funeral.
— Philly Sports Fanatic (@thunderducks26) September 16, 2023
— Tim Buckley (@TimBuckleyWX) September 16, 2023
We don’t really know if there was something up with Johnson on Saturday. It’s hard to know if the lack of enthusiasm was due to any kind of personal issues or that he and Klatt just couldn’t get excited about Big Ten football (which, to be fair, we’ve all been there).
Johnson and his Fox Sports crew also had a rough opening weekend to the season, with a collection of camera snafus and strange calls by Gus. Perhaps they’re still working out all the kinks over there, but hopefully, we get some of that classic Gus Johnson enthusiasm back next week.