Ohio State-Penn State: Mid-Season Big Ten Throwdown
Penn State and Ohio State face off in Happy Valley this Saturday. It’s the first time in four years that the Buckeyes will play the Nittany Lions in front of what is expected to be a sell-out at Beaver Stadium. When the Buckeyes visited in 2020, there were no fans because of COVID-19.
The game will be a Stripe Out game. This is when Beaver Stadium fans are asked to color coordinate based on the section they’re sitting. For Stripe Out games, the student section is always white. Penn State held their other traditional “whiteout” game last week v the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
The Nittany Lions will be looking to play spoiler vs the number two-ranked Buckeyes. Penn State has already lost to divisional foe Michigan earlier this season. If Ohio State and Michigan proceed through the rest of their schedule without a loss, the Game between those two rivals will decide the winner of the Big Ten East.
Penn State Looking To Spoil
With a game total of around 61, the Nittany Lions will need to score, and score often in this game. They’ll look to Sean Clifford to continue to spread the ball around like he did last week against Minnesota. Only two Penn State receivers, Mitchell Tinsley and Brenton Strange, have multiple touchdowns on the season.
Ohio State On A Roll
The Buckeyes are coming into Happy Valley with swagger – they’re undefeated, ranked number two in the country, with fearsome play on both sides of the ball. They are almost certainly a shoo-in for the College Football Playoff.
Ohio State’s offense put up 54 points last week vs. Iowa. They rank second in the nation in scoring and fourth in total offense. They’re led by sophomore quarterback C.J. Stroud. He leads all of the FBS with 28 touchdowns. Ohio State’s defense is no slouch, either. They’re fifth in scoring defense and second in total defense.
The Buckeyes have had a lot of success so far this year, but most of it has been at home. Six of their seven games so far this season have been at Ohio Stadium. The Happy Valley environment could prove to be a fortifying challenge on the way to a potential championship season.
Casual football fans looking for a shootout are in for a treat. With a game total of 61, and Ohio State favored by 15.5, we should expect to see a ton of offense from both sides. For this game, I’d be looking at going with Ohio State and the moneyline, but Penn State to cover the spread. One aberrant performance against the other top 10 ranked team in the division (Michigan) should not disqualify Penn State from being competitive in the game.
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