Ohio State v Penn State by Billy Beebe
After almost a two a month wait , Ohio State will finally see another ranked opponent. With the Buckeyes standing just outside the College Football playoff ranked at #5, Saturday will be a game to help them eventually break in. Despite free falling from 4th to 20th in the AP Poll, Penn State still comes in as one of the better teams Ohio State has played this season.
The Nittany Lions are going to have a tough week slowing down the Buckeyes. C.j Stroud has begun to demand Heisman attention, while both running backs would be dominant starters on any other College Football roster. Currently Penn State is giving up just 145 rushing yards, 178 passing yards, and 14 points per game. While the Nittany Lions are a complete unit, LB Ellis Brooks’ 55 tackles and Ji’Ayir Brown’s three interceptions are attention grabbing. I predicted Rutgers defense would slow down Ohio State weeks ago, then watched the Buckeyes put up 52 points. After two dramatic losses, Penn State most likely doesn’t have enough drive to take down a peaking Playoff team in Ohio State.
The Nittany Lions offense is nothing special. Just like Rutgers, James Franklin’s squad leans on their defense while hoping the offense can do enough. Penn State is averaging 253 passing yards, 118 rushing yards, and 26 points per game. Senior Quarterback Sean Clifford has 1,647 passing yards, a 64.6% completion percentage, five interceptions, and 12 touchdowns.Noah Cain (245 yards/4 td) and Keyvon Lee (228 yards/ 0 td) split the carries on a run game averaging 118 yards.Jahan Dotson is the threat at receiver with 563 yards, and six touchdowns. The Nittany Lions have only gone over 30 points twice this season, both times against unranked opponents. If Ohio Scores their average of 49 or anywhere close, Penn State won’t have a pleasant ride back to Happy Valley.
Ohio State needs a top 24 matchup, it’s been too long. Penn State isn’t sitting at #3 like Buckeye fans hoped, but the Buckeyes can expect both a measuring stick and necessary notch on the resume coming to town Saturday night.