The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions are headed in different directions as they head into their week nine matchup.
Ohio State has won five straight games since their week two loss to Oregon and has scored 50 or more points in each of the last four victories.
On the other hand, things have been on a downward spiral for Penn State. Two weeks ago, the Nittany Lions were beating Iowa 17-3 in the second half but an injury to quarterback Sean Clifford derailed the offense and PSU ultimately lost, 23-20. Penn State followed up the loss with a shocking 20-18 loss in nine overtimes to Illinois.
Offensively, you won’t find a better unit in college football than the Buckeyes. Ohio State has the No. 1 offense in the nation and has racked up more than 500 yards in six straight games. At one point over the last three games, freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud led the OSU offense to a touchdown on 19 consecutive drives until a second half punt against Indiana last week. Comparatively, Penn State’s Clifford is equally, if not more important, to his offense. When he missed time against Iowa, the Nittany Lions managed just 50 total yards on 46 plays. Clifford accounts for nearly 70 percent of the yards per game for the PSU offense.
These two defenses couldn’t be more opposite. The Buckeyes have excelled in stopping the run, but struggle against the pass and in the red zone. The Nittany Lions have had trouble slowing opponents’ rushing attack but are ball hawks through the air and inside their own 20-yard line.
Overall, the Buckeyes are big favorites in this one but the Big Ten has been anything but predictable this year. In four of the last five meetings between Ohio State and Penn State, the game has been within one score late in the fourth quarter. Let’s hope for another epic chapter in this series.