Friday Open Thread: Penn State

It’s Penn State week, everyone, or as it’s known in Happy Valley, “We sure wish you guys would call us your rivals!”. Look how much we hate you! Please, please can we be rivals?

With real life intervening with some of our writers, we had a lighter week than normal on the content. That didn’t stop our Resident Penn State Hater, YNBA, from unleashing his hate cannon on unsuspecting Littany Nions:

I dont get wrapped up in the X’s and O’s of this game, because it generally isnt a chess match. It is normally a game of two teams trading haymakers until the final whistle. There seems to only be one constant. There will be a pick six. It is really just a matter of who makes it and when does it occur in the game.

The real question is, what kind of haymakers can Penn State land? Is that a pretty good (ranked 17th in the NCAA) defense, or a Paper Lion?

Penn State is currently 17th in Total Defense in the NCAA giving 486 and 507 yards in its losses to Indiana and UCF respectively. I just dont see OSU being stopped by the Penn State defense. They may slow it down during parts of the game, but OSU should be able to leverage all of its weapons in the Shoe on Saturday night.

Ronnie took the usual look at which players demand your attention. Not surprisingly, the match-up between Penn State’s Allen Robinson and Ohio State’s Bradley Roby factors prominently:

…His year of facing good to great wide receivers does not get any easier as this weekend Robinson rolls in to town. Robinson will be one of Roby’s toughest tests. As stated above Robinson can hit a defense from anywhere on the field, so it will be important for Roby to be on his game. If the front seven can take care of the run game without any extra reliance on Roby then it will take a lot of pressure off of him and allow him to focus on shutting down Robinson. Roby’s play style and athleticism match up very well against Robinson. Roby has extremely smooth hips, he is very very good in press coverage, and as long as he stays disciplined on the double moves, Roby can keep up with Robinson speed wise. This will be the match-up to watch all night long as these two All Big Ten players battle it out.

I don’t think Robinson will be able to beat Ohio State on his own but if Roby can shut him down, it’s going to be a long night for the Lions.

The statistics look fairly balanced, until you look at Penn State’s 3rd down conversion rate. It’s not pretty. Another reason the night could be long.

So what do we see happening, Buckeye Fans? Is this a competitive game through three quarters? Or does Ohio State come out, bring the hammer down early and often in front of a primetime audience and cruise to an easy victory as El Guapo chews up yards and minutes in the third and fourth quarters? I say yes.

Ohio State 41
Penn State 20

What say you?

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