On Saturday night, the fourth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes head to State College to take on the ninth-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions. The last two meetings have been decided by a total of four points. Ohio State came off a big win last week against Tulane, 49-6, and they are coming in with a 9-game winning streak. The Buckeyes average 600 yards per game this season. Can the Penn State defense hold up?
Buckeyes Head Coach, Urban Meyer, only has eight losses since joining the Buckeyes in 2012. After serving a 3-game suspension to open the season, Meyer returned to the sidelines last week. A player to watch for with Ohio State would be senior wide receiver, Terry McLaurin, who opened the season averaging 34.4 yards per catch on five catches in his first two games. Although he has only been averaging 11. 5 yards per catch, he is due for a big game against Penn States inexperienced secondary.
Ohio State will be without DE Nick Bosa until November causing their defense to struggle. Defensive tackle, Dre’ Mont Jones, will continue to anchor in Bosa’s absence, and Jones has registered 3 sacks. Jones had a pitiful game last week and is hoping to turn it around against an unstable Penn State offensive line.
Dwayne Haskins continues to move his way up the ladder for the Heisman Trophy as he has thrown 16 touchdowns in his first 4 games. Haskins is the first Big 10 quarterback to have thrown 5 touchdown passes in 2 of his first 4 games. For the year, Haskins has completed 75% of his passes.
The Nittany Lions come in hot off a 63-24 win as they have averaged 63 points in the last two games. A player to watch for is the junior running back, Miles Sanders, who rushed for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns last week. The Nittany Lions have now rushed for at least 200 yards for the past 7 straight games.
Another player to keep an eye on is the senior quarterback, Trace McSorley, who has rushed for 6 touchdowns this season so far which is the most in the Big 10. McSorley has thrown at least one touchdown in his past 32 games and has thrown 57 touchdowns in the past two years. With a big performance on Saturday night, McSorley could set another Penn State passing record in the school’s history passing Christian Hackenburg.
The last time Ohio State came to State College, they lost 24-21 in overtime. The Buckeyes hold a 18-14 edge in the all-time series with Penn State. Ohio State is the heavy favorites heading into Saturday’s showdown as the winner will have an early leg up in the race for the Big 10 East Crown. Saturday night’s game marks the 9th time in the series history in which both teams have entered the game ranked in the AP top 10.
One of these teams will take a major jump in the standings. Two of the best quarterbacks in the country will go toe-to-toe with a hungry Buckeye team, passionate Penn State fans, and a white out game that could easily be the best game of their seasons.