In any other year, I would probably lean more into an upset call here simply because the crowd can make that much of a difference in a white out. As it stands, there’s still hope for the surprise, but the lack of atmosphere makes it a far tougher row to hoe. We know Ohio State is stacked and amazing, that said, they also looked pretty pedestrian for much of the Nebraska game. I do wonder how much of the discussion this week changes if the end of the Indiana game is called correctly. People have been so quick to write off the Nittany Lions even though their issues are largely fixable: cut down on the mistakes, mishaps, and turnovers. The gameplay might not have been ideal against Indiana once Noah Cain left and they were too slow to get things sorted out, but those are common first game issues any season. Penn State has already demonstrated they have the ability to hang with Ohio State, even in years they weren’t considered fit to compete, it just remains a matter how quickly they can shore up their shortcomings in a peculiar year.
Ohio State 31, Penn State 27
I had a dream Wednesday night that this will happen. All capped off by a Blake Gillikin (must have an extra game of eligibility) punt from Ohio State’s 16-yard line.
Penn State 50, Ohio State 0
Is Penn State as mundane as Indiana made them out to be? I’d like to think not. Is Ohio state better than Indiana in every imaginable way? Yes, without a doubt. So while I doubt PSU will play as meh on Saturday as they did in last week’s game, I don’t think they’ll have what it takes to beat the Buckeyes.
Ohio State 42, Penn State 24
Let’s just say I am glad I will be at a wedding reception during this game :(
Ohio State 38, Penn State 17
Penn State’s defense is good. I have zero doubts they will battle their ass off and keep the game close for at least the first half, if not the first three quarters.
In the end, Penn State’s offense has too many holes right now. Sean Clifford still has a ton of holes in his game and the running game misses Journey Brown and Noah Cain. The Buckeyes win this going away.
Ohio State 49, Penn State 17
(originally appearing in the B1G Preview)
This was supposed to be the game of the year in the Big Ten, and it may very well still be. Losing to Indiana a week ago, however, has made the matchup look more lopsided that it probably will be. The Nittany Lions will try to avoid a 0-2 start to the season, while the Buckeyes try to march their way into an undefeated season and a College Football Playoff appearance. Can Penn State avoid all the mistakes that doomed them against the Hoosiers last week? We shall see!
Penn State 56, Ohio State 17
(originally appearing in the Game Preview)
The good news is that Penn State is built to follow the classic upset recipe - hold on to the ball with several long drives on offense to keep Fields and the rest of the Buckeyes playmakers on offense on the sidelines. Then create turnovers on defense and make create negative plays to get them back off the field. However, this would also mean fixing the many mistakes that doomed the Nittany Lions in week one. Multiple turnovers, missed field goals, general special teams blunders, and anywhere close to 100 penalty yards mean the Buckeyes will roll.
While Penn State’s problems from week one are fixable, and in an alternate universe where a few plays were executed properly, the Nittany Lions easily defeat the Hoosiers and we view this game as a much more even match-up. But it still seems too much to ask, and it’s nearly impossible to work out the kinks against a team of Ohio State’s caliber that would have otherwise been addressed against Kent State and San Jose State.
I see Ohio State jumping out to a 14-0 lead, and while the Nittany Lions fight valiantly, they are unable to claw back to a one-score game.
Pat Freiermuth again leads the team in receptions and another touchdown, while Keyvone Lee shows what’s ahead with 75 rushing yards and a score. On defense, Castro-Fields gets a rare interception off Fields, while Lamont Wade continues his hot streak against the Buckeyes and forces a fumble while leading the team with eight tackles.
Ohio State 42, Penn State 21