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Penn State070714
Ohio State142814763
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63


Penn State (4-2) at (4) Ohio State (7-0)



Saturday, October 26, 8 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Frank Haynes, Senior College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: Big Ten border rivals collide on Saturday night, as the fourth- ranked Ohio State Buckeyes entertain the Penn State Nittany Lions.

Penn State is coming off a bye, which allowed the team some extra time to savor its thrilling upset of the visiting Michigan Wolverines in four overtimes on Oct. 12. The Nittany Lions are 4-2 on the season and 1-1 in conference, and their only previous true road game resulted in defeat as they dropped a 44-24 decision at Indiana to open Big Ten play the week prior to the Michigan game.

Coach Bill O'Brien spoke after the big win over the Wolverines about the resiliency his team demonstrated.

"It's a big win for us. It means a lot. You beat a really good Michigan team, 5-0. You're 3-2, coming off a bad loss. I think it says a lot about these kids, it says a lot about this coaching staff."

Ohio State won its 19th straight game last Saturday, as they slipped past the visiting Iowa Hawkeyes, 34-24. The Buckeyes trailed at the half (17-10), but took control from there to keep head coach Urban Meyer perfect in his tenure at the school. OSU's current win streak in the longest in the country at present, and it is tied for the second-longest in program history. The longest is 22 games set between 1967-69.

Meyer is the first coach in history to guide a team(s), to three 20-game win streaks during his career. He won his last game at Florida before taking some time off and then embarking on the current run with the Buckeyes.

Ohio State is clinging to a 14-13 advantage in the all-time series with Penn State, reaching that point after claiming a 35-23 decision over the Nittany Lions in Happy Valley last season.

The Penn State offense relies heavily on the pass, as freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg has performed well in averaging a Big Ten-best 278.7 ypg with 11 TDs and six interceptions. His accuracy (.584) could stand improvement, but head coach Bill O'Brien is hopeful that with some seasoning will come even greater success. Having a standout receiver in Allen Robinson (43 rec., 705 yards, five TDs) to throw to would make even a mediocre signal caller better, as the 6-foot-3 junior has nearly twice as many receptions as his closest teammate, and leads the conference with 7.2 grabs per game.

The PSU rushing attack accounts for 157.2 ypg, as both Zach Zwinak and Bill Belton have amassed more than 350 yards, with the former finding the end zone eight times. As a team however, the Nittany Lions average just 3.8 ypc.

On the other side of the ball, Penn State ranks seventh in the league in scoring defense (23.7 ppg), but sits fifth in total defense (335.8 ypg). The Lions permit 117.7 ypg on the ground, and another 218.2 ypg through the air, but they surrender only one rushing score per contest, while ranking second in the league in third-down conversion defense (.281) and first in fourth-down conversions (0-of-5).

Glenn Carson leads the team with 49 tackles, while DaQuan Jones has made 8.5 of his 39 total stops behind the line of scrimmage. In all, the Lions have logged 41 TFL, 14 sacks, but only nine turnovers.

In last week's win over Iowa, Ohio State had a pair of 100-yard rushers in Carlos Hyde (24 carries, 149 yards, two TDs) and Braxton Miller (18 carries, 102 yards), marking the first time the Hawkeyes had allowed anyone to surpass the century mark this season. Miller was also highly effective in the passing game, going 22-of-27 for 222 yards with two TDs and no INTs. Devin Smith caught a game-high seven balls for 72 yards and a score.

Ryan Shazier recorded nine tackles and Curtis Grant had eight, but the Buckeyes defense, which was on the field for only 25 minutes against the Hawkeyes, came up with only one turnover and failed to log a sack.

Ohio State is the top scoring team in the Big Ten this season, putting up 45 ppg behind typical outputs of 279.6 ypg on the ground (third) and 213.6 ypg via the pass (eighth). Miller, who missed some time earlier in the season with an injury, has completed 69.6 percent of his throws, but for only 831 yards with eight TDs and two interceptions. Kenny Guiton has appeared in all seven games, and is a 68.4 percent passer who has tossed 13 scoring strikes against only two picks. Corey Brown and Smith rank one-two on the team's receiving list with a combined 63 catches for 878 yards and 12 TDs. Like the receivers, Hyde and Jordan Hall are neck-and-neck in terms of rushing stats, amassing a combined 881 yards and 13 TDs.

Shazier is high man on the club with his 56 tackles, eight of which have been for negative yardage, and he has also forced a pair of fumbles while logging four QB hurries. Noah Spence has three of the Buckeyes' 16 sacks, while Bradley Roby and Doran Grant each have a pair of interceptions.

Penn State is well-rested and will likely put forth maximum effort in a hostile environment. Still, Ohio State is the better team and should have enough in the tank to earn a hard-fought victory to keep its perfect record intact for at least one more week.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio State 35, Penn State 23

10/23 10:33:44 ET

Other Stories

  • ACC: Wake Forest at Duke

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State at Clemson

    Tonight at 9:00 on WRAL-FM

  • ACC: Duke vs. Wake Forest

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 620am

  • Big Ten: Wisconsin at Minnesota

    Thursday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: Dallas at Portland

    Thursday at 9:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
1st
CHA 17
LAL 21
 
1st
GT 11
UNC 24
 
9:00pm Tonight
CLEM
NCSU
Final
DET 15
BAL 2
 
Final
MIA 7
MIAFLA 1
 
Final
PHI 5
NYY 5
 
Final
BOS 2
NEASTERN 1
 
Final
TOR 7
PIT 8
 
Final
CIN 10
CLE 0
 
Final
OAK 9
SFG 4
 
Final
BOS 1
BOSTONCOLL 0
 
7th
ARI 2
ASU 0
 
1st
CLE 21
BOS 14
 
1st
CHA 17
LAL 21
 
1st
NYK 7
SAC 15
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
HOU
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
UTA
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
MIL
1st
UMO 7
AKR 11
 
1st
NAVY 11
ARMY 11
 
1st
BST 11
EMICH 18
 
1st
BUT 13
GEOR 11
 
1st
IND 15
IOWA 11
 
1st
FLGC 15
JVU 14
 
1st
USCU 19
KNST 8
 
1st
BGU 17
KSU 15
 
1st
NKENTUCKY 11
LIP 13
 
1st
HC 9
GHND 4
 
1st
RUTG 18
MD 17
 
1st
GT 11
UNC 24
 
1st
BUF 22
OHIO 15
 
1st
ALA 19
MISS 16
 
1st
DAY 16
RIU 17
 
1st
CMICH 14
TOL 20
 
1st
DET 10
YOUNG 17
 
7:30pm Tonight
UNF
STET
 
8:00pm Tonight
ABCHRIST
HOUB
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
NEOM
 
8:00pm Tonight
NILL
WMICH
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILLCH
WRST
9:00pm Tonight
MIZZ
AUB
9:00pm Tonight
UGA
KENT
9:00pm Tonight
NW
MICH
9:00pm Tonight
CLEM
NCSU
9:00pm Tonight
UF
TEXAM
9:00pm Tonight
KU
WVU
9:15pm Tonight
CREI
VILL
1st
PHI 0
CAL 1
 
1st
NJD 2
NAS 0
 
1st
CLB 0
WAS 1
 
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
BUF
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
OTT
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYI
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
ANA
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
LOS
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
SJS