The Ohio State Buckeyes face another tough road test against a rejuvenated Penn State team that regained traction with their threatening run offense. A rivalry game with rabid and ruthless fans, decked in white causing another White Out against Ohio State. This will be another hard-hitting rivalry game and Ohio State is yet again, the target for Penn State’s best effort or best shot. Ohio State has its work cut out for them and this will be another stressful night for Buckeye fans. For the second straight week the Buckeyes are on the road against a raucous crowd that is looking to give their home team an edge against the competition.
Coach Meyer and his staff will look to extend their road winning streak against the dreadful White Out conditions that will be in full effect upon their arrival to Happy Valley. Urban Meyer as the Head Coach is currently 20-0 on the road and it has been that way for a couple of years now. He now has his sights set on besting his record against a scrappy Penn State team that has won its last two games after a loss to TTUN. This will not be an easy game and a cake walk is not expected in this contest. The last two games against the Nittany Lions were two different types of games. Last year was in Columbus and that was a snoozer of a game, the Buckeyes won handily by a 28-point margin 38-10. Ezekiel Elliot ran wild during that game and racked up the yardage on the ground. The year before that? Ohio State escaped a White Out after the extra period on a walk-off sack by now San Diego Charger Joey Bosa 31-24. This year looks to be the same after Saquon Barkley regained his confidence. He will look to soften up the Silver Bullets and attempt to wear them out. This, of course, would not be as easy because Dante Booker will return and he will look to reestablish himself into the lineup.
The Rushmen will be a key factor during the game. With Booker reinserted into the lineup and with the players such as Jerome Baker waiting in the wings, the Silver Bullets will more than likely keep a rotation to where no one is tired and fresh bodies will come into and out of the lineup. The BIA Crew will look to shut down the opposing Wide Receivers to help the front seven wreak havoc on the Penn State Offensive Line for the entirety of the contest. BIA or Best In America is cool and all, but I would like to put my two cents in and I would like to add my personal touch to it by finding a nickname for the unit. Most of the units on the team have awesome nicknames, The Slobs for the O-Line, The Rushmen for the D-Line, Zone 6 for the Wide Receivers, Tote Nation for the Running Backs and that leaves the Linebackers and Defensive Backs without a nickname. For the Linebackers and the Defensive Backs, jointly, they work well with each other and I will go ahead and call them the Scarlet Curtain, a tribute to the Pittsburg Steelers suffocating defense. Look for the Scarlet Curtain to blanket the offense and pepper them with unexpected blitzes from all angles. The Linebackers and the Defensive Backs will look to continue this years trend of causing turnovers and making plays in the backfield.
The Offense along with J.T. Barrett will be looking to rebound from another porous first half performance. Barrett and company turned it on in the second half against Wisconsin and even the 4th Quarter Jump Around session was no match for General Barrett and his second-half magic. Almost the whole Buckeye seemed to be dazed, but when Coach Meyer needed them the most, they all showed some fight and they eventually turned the tide. This week the Buckeyes will go up against another stout BIG 10 Defense that is going to give the Buckeyes their best shot. White Outs are a pain and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. With the way the offense hasn’t been automatic, it should worry some folks, but we will have to see. The Slobs will look to establish the line of scrimmage and the run. Mike Weber should be able to find some holes, but again Penn State will look to take it away and force them to pass the ball. Samuel and Wilson will be used throughout the game as well. We never know and we will just have to see what they will do tomorrow.
During the last White Out game in Happy Valley, Ohio State barely escaped with a win. It took an extra period in Overtime on a walk-off sack to beat Penn State. If I remember correctly, Saquon Barkley was a huge factor in that very game and he is back again for another contest against the Buckeyes. He recently reestablished his presence in the run game and he is as confident as ever. He will look to gain huge chunks of yardage against the just as Corey Clement did when Wisconsin nearly upset the Buckeyes on their home field. I fully expect Trace McSorley to utilize his receivers on jet sweeps to confuse the Silver Bullets to open up the runs down the middle. McSorley is a scrambler and a passer and that could also be a factor in their strategy to defeat the Buckeyes. McSorley has 1436 passing yards and 8 touchdowns with 3 interceptions. Barkley has 582 rushing yards on 117 carries and 8 touchdowns. The leading receiver is DeAndre Thompkins and he has 328 receiving yards and a touchdown. The three will try to take down the Buckeyes and there is also a ton of intrigue behind the scenes as well. Receiver Chris Godwin, Quarterback Tommy Stevens and Tight End Mike Gesicki were all huge Buckeye targets that went elsewhere. Gesicki was the more outspoken out of the bunch and he will look to make an impact during the game.
Prediction: Buckeyes 41-21
All in all, the Penn State team as a whole is just a dangerous as Wisconsin is because they are a rival and it is a BIG 10 contest. They will give it their best and they will put forth their best effort. I think they will play their best game and that will keep them within striking distance. The Buckeyes will struggle again through the air, but they will make up for it by wearing down the defense with their ground attack. I was to say this will be a blowout, but my predictions are always way off when the final score is recorded. I will predict another gutty performance by J.T. Barrett with help from Weber and Samuel.