Yikes. I am not optimistic for this. The Buckeyes have only gotten better as the season has gone on, while the Nittany Lions...have not. Sean Clifford isn’t 100%, the running game is non-existent, and the linebackers have underperformed recently. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Ohio State 42, Penn State 10
I don’t really want to write a score prediction for this game. Clifford wasn’t 100% against Illinois, and got battered quite a bit. Which means he’s even LESS 100% than he was. #math. If Clifford can’t pass, and he can’t run, and the OL can’t open holes for the RBs, and the RBs can’t bounce it outside or fall forward for a couple yards at least, and the TEs can’t help block or catch the ball, and the DL is without like 75% of its players, and the LBs can’t fill gaps properly... well, at least we still have good WRs, DBs, and punter/kicker?
Ohio State 56, Penn State 7*
*So help me, I wanted to make it 56-17, but I just don’t see how Penn State scores 17.
Late in the 2nd quarter in Iowa City the Nittany Lions appeared to be well on their way to commanding road victory and a 6-0 record. In the last six quarters... the season has quickly gone to hell in a hand basket. A once highly anticipated showdown with the Buckeyes now looks like a sure fire blowout loss for the Nittany Lions. With Sean Clifford injured, the offensive line unable to block, zero running game and an overtaxed defense, count me in as someone who has no confidence that this game is even close.
Ohio State 56, Penn State 14
Penn State is better than what they looked last week against Illinois, but unless Clifford magically gets better, this end-of-season run is going to be tough to watch. I think Penn State keeps it closer than my colleagues expect, but in the end Ohio State just has too many weapons offensively.
Ohio State 35, Penn State 20
Penn State has faced Ohio State after their two loss obligation in a season just three times:
2014, a double-overtime loss that could have easily been a win, in Franklin’s first season.
2016, after hearing “fire Franklin” chants during the Minnesota game. Penn State won that one.
And, of course, 2021, after what looked like the most promising season in a very long time took the quickest nosedive imaginable.
Every other painful loss, defeat being snatched from the jaws of victory situation, has happened when the game mattered. This game doesn’t matter. Penn State always finds a way to make these competitive, with exactly two exceptions, those being 2015 and last season. But even those teams still had hope. This one doesn’t. It’s as simple as that.
Penn State 56, Ohio State 17
If Sean Clifford is indeed 100% or close enough to it that he is old mobile self, perhaps PSU makes it interesting for a half, as Cliff is able to exploit that Buckeye back seven a little bit. It’s hard to have any faith in this one being anything other than a dominant win for an OSU team that is chugging along in mid-season form. I am insanely jealous of every PSU fan who has a Halloween party to attend this Saturday night and doesn’t have to fixate themselves on this game.
Ohio State 41, Penn State 20
Jared (originally from the Game Preview)
There was a window of time when it appeared the Buckeyes were vulnerable this season, and Penn State was built to match-up with Ohio State and leave Columbus with a victory. Unfortunately, we’ve seen these two programs go in complete opposite directions during the past several weeks. Penn State showed some concerning flaws at points that came to an ugly head against Illinois. Meanwhile, Ohio State has grown with experience on both sides of the ball, and look like their usual selves that sit upon the top of the Big Ten and ready for another trip to the Playoffs.
Penn State will need the ability to open up the playbook to find the holes in the Buckeyes defense to keep them on their toes. Clifford will do everything in his power to grit out a victory, but will likely not be himself again on Saturday. We’ve also learned the bitter truth that there is no other quarterback on the roster who is capable of filling in and finding any success in moving the offense.
Penn State is in danger of following behind quickly if the offense can’t stay on the field, and then make things worse if they have to push to stay in the game. This is a recipe for disaster that there doesn’t seem much in the way of preventing under the lights on Saturday.
Ohio State 38, Penn State 10