Week #9: Penn State University – Open Thread

Let’s do this thing!

Let’s get this out of the way: we Big Ten fans think this game is pretty much as good as it gets. The “Big Ten Bashers” see this as a worse-case-scenario. An Ohio State victory puts them in good shape to climb the ranks as attrition claims other teams above them. This is pretty much everyone’s nightmare. Maybe even for a few OSU fans.

I’m not exactly sure where I stand with that whole ball of wax.

No need to worry about that now, there’s a game to be played tomorrow night. Let’s look at some previews. First, from the other side of the field: A couple previews from Black Shoes Diary, one statistical, one not so much. And just to get things riled up, here are a couple PSU blogger predictions: PSU 24, OSU 21; PSU 30, OSU 24. I think everyone is looking forward to a close, hard-fought game.

Now, a few previews from the good guys’ side of the field. As always, Buckeye Planet has the match-ups and low-down on the game. The O-Zone has the depth chart and Tony Gerdeman’s preview. My paranoia level was pretty high yesterday, but after reading Tony’s preview, my nerves were actually calmed a bit. A couple nuggets:

Penn State has faced three conference opponents who run the ball. Against those three opponents (Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan), they gave up an average of 180 yards rushing. The Buckeyes come into this game with the top rushing attack in conference play, averaging 201 yards rushing per game.

The amazing thing is that those three opponents put up that average while getting blown out. How much better would those numbers have looked had Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan been able to run the ball all four quarters?

That sound you hear? That’s Beanie licking his chops (and sharpening The Stiff Arm of Justice®)

Michigan attacked the Penn State defense by running Steven Threet, but they mainly stayed within the hash marks with him because he didnít have the speed to get outside. Pryor has the speed to attack Penn State all over the field, but he must do it quickly. Like last week, go forward as quickly as possible and get positive yardage.

Confidence rising.

The QB match-up is interesting for numerous reasons. Clark wanted to come to OSU and Penn State wanted Terrelle Pryor. Clark helped with the recruitment of Pryor. There are other match-ups, but what if it comes down to junior Daryll Clark vs. freshman Terrelle Pryor?

The weather. Does it play a factor?

There’s no need to hype this game anymore. College Gameday will be in Columbus tomorrow. LeBron James will be there. Primetime, Horseshoe, National TV.

Long waits.

Your completely random change of pace link: Baconnaise.

So it’s prediction contest time once again. This week we’re giving away a copy of 100 Things Buckeyes Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die (Available at Triumph Books and Amazon.com)Currently, the line is favoring Penn State 2.5 points. Who you got? (I know the answer, but I have to ask). Which defense rises up to the challenge? Does Ohio State’s defense hold Penn State’s offense to a smaller number than Penn State holds OSU’s?

Let us know! And let us know how you’ll be passing the time waiting for the 8 o’clock kick off.

el Kaiser’s prediction:
OSU: 30
Penn State: 24

Ohio State’s defense wins the battle, but still gives up chunks of yards early.

sportsMonkey’s prediction:
GAH! This is hard hard hard. I am absolutely befuddled about this game. Penn State owns the stats coming in. But they haven’t won a road game against a ranked opponent in six years. Every year there’s supposed to be a “great” matchup, it ends up being an OSU blowout.

The only constant in all these games is that everyone is always surprised at something. So I guess we’re doomed from the outset at trying to make predictions.

One thing is likely: a PSU win would probably put them in position for the BCS title game. OSU would then likely be selected as an at-large for the Rose. A win against Penn State would put OSU in position… to go to the Rose. So OSU won’t have the same pressure that Penn State is going to have, since win or lose, the Rose Bowl is (right now) the likely destination for this team.

Earlier this week, I was planning to pick PSU by 10 points, but as the week has progressed… (I can’t believe I’ve convinced myself of this…)I’m thinking OSU wins 23-17. Here’s two reasons why:

  1. PSU’s (relative) weakness is primarily the rush defense. They’re going against the best rushing attack in college football. The offense has played inconsistent through Beanie’s absence and recovery, but if there’s one shining, awesome fact about Ohio State over the past three seasons, it’s that Beanie plays his best in big games. And they don’t get any bigger than this, in this type of environment (home/night/conference championship on the line).
  2. For whatever reason, Tressel seems to have JoePa’s number recently. True, it’s a different year, but the players, coaches, etc. are still the same from the past two years, when OSU cruised to easy victories.

So there you have it. I’m probably wrong, though. But like I said, the one consistent thing about this mini, diet-flavored rivalry (sorry PSU fans) is that the outcome usually surprises us somehow.

Comments

  1. FlipBuckeye says

    27-24 for the Buckeyes!

  2. this season reminds me of the 2002 season, except that i don’t think the nc is at the end of the tunnel (and that is ok with me). i was nervous for last weeks game and i’m nervous for this weeks game, hopefully the same outcome will occur.

    it is unfortunate for psu in that they are catching our defense just as they are getting their confidence back. our defense holds down clark for only an average day while the co stiff arms (justice and vengeance) decide to lay out some smackdown. the surprise will be herron’s stiff arm coming into the mix.

    tOSU: 35
    PSU: 17

  3. tx_buckeye says

    OSU 34
    PSU 28

  4. Holy SH–! I can’t wait for this game! It can’t get here soon enough. As for passing the time tomorrow, my philosophy has always been that game time doesn’t effect tailgate start time. I’ll be on campus around 7a.m. for the pregame festivities. 2 has a big game on both sides of the ball, and 28 runs like he did against Michigan last year.

    OSU wins this one 27-17.

  5. I went conservative last time to win the Purdue one. This time I will guarantee someone else a victory by guessing it’ll be a shootout with very little along the way of defense. Will we see 100 points combined? I hope so:

    Ohio State 56, Penn State 50. Lots of slipping and sliding and Beanie pounding like the man amongst boys he truly is.

  6. Ohio State – 30
    Penn State – 24
    Let’s do this!

  7. WildTurkeyXU says

    OSU – 31
    PSU – 14

  8. This is going to be a completely defensive game, especially with the weather. Both teams will look good on the first drive and then the defenses will lock down and play better. The deciding factor will be mistakes in the kicking game (fumbles by return men will not go OSU’s way forever, so they can’t continue that little trend) and which team has the best power running game. I think overall this favors an OSU win, but it’s gonna be a close tight well-fought ball game.

    OSU 17
    PSU 7

  9. From Maui…

    Who has PSU played this year?

    Of the top ten teams in the country, PSU has around the 87th toughest schedule, while OSU has the 8th. PSU has played 1 team that was ranked…OSU has played 3.

    PSU hasn’t played 1 good defense all year…not one. The question will be…can OSU’s offense score enough to win…

    Here are the keys to the game:

    1. Pryor makes more big plays than big mistakes
    2. Joe Pa makes a big boom in his pants and forgets his name
    3. Clark will make more mistakes than big plays
    4. Wells out plays Royster

    OSU: 27
    PSU: 16

    Joe Pa BM’s: 2

  10. From London…

    It’s all about establishing the run game, and if Penn State can’t stop the duo of Stephen Threet & Brandon Minor, how do they plan to stop TP & Beanie? If the offensive line can play a complete game like they did last week, this one could get away from Penn State’s defense in a hurry.

    On the other side, it’s going to come down to our secondary versus their receivers. I’m not convinced that Evan Royster is anywhere near a top-tier back–rather, Penn State has played some spotty teams that have allowed the Nittany Lions to use the pass to set up the run, making a so-so running back look, well, better than so-so.

    With Donald Washington’s return/re-emergence, we now have three corners to match up against Penn State’s Derrick Williams, Jordan Norwood, and Deon Butler. Translation: Daryll Clark will need to be nigh-mistake-free in a high pressure environment. I’m willing to bet against that and say that our Silver Bullets pick him off at least once.

    OSU 27, PSU 20.

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