Ohio State vs Penn State Preview: Rivals Collide


The Ohio State Buckeyes and Penn State Nittany Lions are not just division rivals. Historically, they have been one of the biggest rivalries in the B1G division.

These two teams often find themselves competing against each other at a National level as both teams are usually ranked and fighting to be featured in a big time BCS Bowl game or perhaps even the BCS Championship.  This season though Penn State is banned from bowl play and have had their scholarships crippled.  However, even if they could participate in the post-season they would not be featured in a Bowl game considering their 4-2 overall record.

Meanwhile, Ohio State is 7-0 and after coming off of last season, also forced to sit out Bowl games, their eyes are set on a BCS Championship game.  The Buckeyes are currently ranked No.4 in the nation and they have been crossing every hurdle in their path.  This matchup with Penn State is one of the biggest hurdles on their schedule this season.

Penn State had the weekend off last week, but the week before that they nabbed a nail-biting quadruple-overtime victory over Michigan.  Penn State will look to continue their surge, as well as play spoiler to the Buckeyes National Title hopes.

Ohio State is coming off a 34-24 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes.  Braxton Miller completely controlled that game, completing 81 percent of his passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns while rushing 102 yards.  Miller and the Buckeyes will be looking to carry over that momentum into this game.

Ohio State will look to breakdown Penn State’s defense early with the running attack.  Last year, Penn State was able to stifle the Buckeyes offense throughout the first-half of play until Miller started running the ball out of the zone option.  The Buckeye will look to implement this game plan a bit earlier in this game.

The Nittany Lions will need to play a mistake free game in order to defeat the Buckeyes.  Ohio State has a habit of returning interceptions for touchdowns. Christian Hackenberg will need to throw the ball accurately in this game.  He will perhaps target his tight end more often than not as Ohio State exhibited some weakness defending the tight end in their game against the Hawkeyes.

The odds opened up with Ohio State as the 13 point favorites but most sports books have them between 14-16 point favorites now. The moneylines to bet on the Buckeyes are hovering around -800 on most sports books with the Nittany Lions moneyline set at around +500.  The game will start at 8 p.m. ET Saturday night.  It will air nationally on ABC.

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