Week #10: Penn State Preview and Open Thread

OSU FootballThe 2009 version of Ohio State’s 2nd biggest rival is not as good as advertised. To date, they have played one quality opponent and lost. Their out-of-conference schedule was about as weak as Pee-Wee Herman before puberty.

PSU’s OOC Schedule
Eastern Illinois (1AA)

The above gaggle of “teams” is an embarrassment to Penn State and the rest of the Big Ten. But with that said, the Nittany Lions dug deep and somehow powered through their OOC schedule in heroic form. The only teams missing from this stellar collection of world beaters were East Poughkeepsie Tech, Baghdad School for the Criminally Insane and Nationwide Insurance’s softball team.

The bottom line is that Penn State scheduling these teams only hurts them against teams like Iowa and Ohio State . Against Iowa, Penn State struggled to move the ball the entire game and Daryll Clark had his worst game of his career. On the other side of the ball Iowa was able to run the ball the entire night finishing with 163 yards on the ground.

If one takes a look at OSU’s/PSU’s common opponents, the results are similar: both teams handled their business on their way to easy wins.

Common Opponents
Illinois 30-0 35-17
Minnesota 38-7 20-0

For all the flak that Ohio State gets regarding their offense, they have outscored even mighty Penn State and their dynamic spread HD offense. Penn State does have the nation’s #1 defense, but I’d guess that if Penn State actually had to play good football teams that rank would be different. Even though Ohio State has clearly played the tougher schedule, Ohio State has the 6th best defense in the country. Very impressive.

Daryll Clark, the Penn State quarterback, has been inconsistent when the light has been the brightest on the Nittany Lions. Last year he played poorly against Ohio State [and he didn’t even finish the game -ed], Iowa and USC. This year, against Iowa he was awful. Many people talk about Terrelle Pryor being a weakness for Ohio State, yet somehow Clark gets a free pass.

In big games, Clark has averaged 169 yards passing, less than a TD, almost 2 INT’s, and 48.65% of his passes completed per big game. Not good. With numbers like those I believe Clark should move to wide receiver, at least for big games. This Ohio State defense will be the best defense he has played all year.

Now make no mistake, this Penn State team is a talented one. They will be at home and they will be hungry. Their defense is one of the best in the country and will be facing a very young, inexperienced and inconsistent offense.

The fact is, no one knows how good this Penn State team really is. Year after year, they seem to schedule the weakest opponents under the sun and this year was one of the worst I’ve ever seen from them.

Keys For Each Team

Ohio State Offense:

  1. No turnovers — The Buckeyes cannot afford to put their defense in bad positions time after time. Please see Purdue game.
  2. At least two Earth shattering plays by Pryor will be needed. Either running or passing, Pryor needs to deliver a couple knockout blows.
  3. Get Jordan Hall carries… lots of them.
  4. Minimize drive killing penalties.

Penn State Offense:

  1. Make sure Joe Paterno’s milk is warm before pregame.
  2. Get Royster and Chaz Powell (TE) involved vs. Buckeye LBers in the passing game. Both players are deadly.
  3. Prepare Paterno’s “Everybody Poops” station at halftime. Make sure to stock Depends and baby wipes every 25 feet.

Ohio State Defense:

  1. PSU runs a pro style offense, very close to what USC does. Just not as good. Don’t change a thing from that game plan.
  2. Attack the edges. Ohio States strength comes from its defensive line. Gibson and Williams need huge games.
  3. Create turnovers. If Ohio State wins this battle, they win rather easily.

Penn State Defense:

  1. Blitz Pryor. Every team OSU has played has loaded up the box and come after Pryor. The OSU offensive line has been…bad at times picking up blitzes and blocking speed rushers.
  2. See above.
  3. See above.

Prediction time! This week, we’re giving away another copy of Busted: The Rise and Fall of Art Schlichterto the closest prediction of the final score of the OSU/Penn State game. (Vegas is currently favoring Penn State by 5)

In addition to the final score, let’s consider a few other things on which to prognosticate:

Who has the bigger offensive impact on the game (total yards and TDs): Pryor or Clark?
As an aside, does Clark even make it to the end of the game (unlike last year)?
Does JoePa make another 1st half 55-yard dash?
Which defense gives up more rushing yards?

el Kaiser’s predictions:
OSU: 24 PSU: 20
Pryor outgains Clark and Clark survives brutal beatings by Maximus and Nathan Williams.
We’re at Beaver Stadium, so I’m assuming they’ve installed facilities nearby for the feeble JoePa
OSU has regularly shut down previously unstoppable PSU RBs, so I say PSU gives up more yards after Pryor breaks off a couple big ones.


  1. Who has the bigger offensive impact on the game (total yards and TDs): Pryor or Clark?


    As an aside, does Clark even make it to the end of the game (unlike last year)?

    Yes, but not gracefully.

    Does JoePa make another 1st half 55-yard dash?

    Haha, that’s kind of a cheap shot that I would usually only say should be reserved for UofM’s coaching staff, but then I remembered that awful video of OSU fans being pelted by a buncha PSU fans who ended up having charges pressed upon them. I say he stays regular and doesn’t make the dash.

    Which defense gives up more rushing yards?

    PSU gives up more rushing yards. Pryor should be about ready to be let loose in a big game.

    I’m going homer here: OSU, 24, PSU 22.

  2. hey spidey i’m picking PSU 24 OSU 21 & rooting for the Ohio native Clark, can’t really stomach Pryor’s manlove of Michael Vick or his grade school mentality. i’ve about had it with Tressel’s choice of sticking this guy in our face for 4 years, says alot about his desparation,his own insecurities. i know his QB is just a kid but i wasn’t near dat dumb at his age, some choice to represent OSU???

  3. Eric…were you also the #1 recruit in the one of the most popular sports in the country and did you play for a fan base that was filled with unrealistic fans….like you?:)

    Until I see Darryl Clark actually prove that he can play well vs. a good football team, I won’t believe it. Ohio State has the best defense he has seen this year.

    OSU: 24
    PSU: 16

    Pryor will outgain Clark in total yardage and Clark will out “turnover” Pryor. The true sophomore beats the 5th year senior in this one.

  4. Palm Beach Buckeye says

    OSU 20

    PSU 18

  5. Pryor – Comes out to play on a nation stage like we have yet to see, but know is there. Note: Receivers please catch the ball.

    Clark will make it to the end of the game, but will be sporting the sad face, see Iowa.

    JoePa no dash, unless the milk is bad.

    PSU gives up more yards all around.

    tOSU 24
    psu 13

  6. “Penn State does have the nation’s #1 defense, but I’d guess that if Penn State actually had to play good football teams that rank would be different.”

    Never a truer word spoken…

    YNBA does want his sad face to make a visit to the Emerald City on Saturday afternoon…

    Go Bucks!!!

    OSU 23
    PSU 17

  7. Bucks 27-13!

    Joe Pa shiss himself after the game. During halftime he will try to take care of business, but like his offense it won’t show up! He wears a Depends during the game.

    Bucks will double up PSU in rushing yards thanks to Pryors big night(he will be a bigger factor in the air and ground game over Clark).

    my own side note…
    The D/Special Teams will score at least one TD and set up a FG or two

  8. Nice work, BucksinDC, you came the closest to the final score of 24-7*.

    We’ll be in touch shortly.

  9. The real story…

    Did Joe Pa have any dumpage?


  1. […] Stick around the site and leave your family-friendly comments as the events unfold at Beaver Stadium. Also, feel free to check out these links from the rest of the blogging world for more previews and analysis: “2009 Big 10 Fearless Picks, Week 10″ [College Football News.com] “Six Reasons Why Ohio St Stands No Chance Of Beating Penn St” [Bleacher Report] “What Do You Want To See On Saturday? – Penn State edition” [Buckeye Battle Cry] “Preview: #16 Ohio State vs #11 Penn State” [Eleven Warriors] “Week #10: Penn State Preview and Open Thread” [Men of the Scarlet and Gray] […]

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