Penn State: Open Thread

In what has become a tradition for both Ohio State and Penn State fans, some of this series more iconic images are those of the sad panda QBs of the losing team. We all remember Terrelle Pryor, as a freshman, fumbling away a victory against Penn State and then sitting dejected, hands on helmet as the game ticked to a close. I’m sure some knuckle-dragging Penn State fans will point you in the direction of that image. But we can dish out as much as we take, and nothing makes us happier than seeing a Penn State QB sitting dejected on the sideline as the game slips away. So don’t be surprised if you see a few peppered through this open thread. clark_sadface

Oh, so soon? Hello there, Sad Panda Daryll Clark.

In the wake of last year’s throttling, Penn State fans have all the reason to be scared this Saturday. A night game, in Happy Valley, with the whole nation watching as Urban Meyer continues to build a case as to why his Ohio State Buckeyes should be included in the College Football Playoff discussion. It could get ugly for the home team.

Our resident Penn State Curmudgeon, YNBA, has put together his annual airing of grievances in the form of a game preview, and he doesn’t see things working out too well for Penn State. When you put the safeties of the defense on high alert, it can’t be good:

The two starting safeties for Penn State will be on full alert as Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson will add a playmaker element at the H-Back position that Penn State has not seen so far this year. Ohio State will do everything to get these guys into space and safety play will be imperative in keeping these guys from going crazy.

Like YNBA, Chip doesn’t put too much stock in the respective successes of Ohio State’s Offense and Penn State’s Defense. So what will Chip be keying in on?

Penn State’s defense has been keeping the team in games, ranking 6th in the country at points allowed (average 15 points a game). The strength of the Penn State defense is the run defense, while Ohio State prides itself on a powerful running game. With those statistics in mind, keep in mind that these are the opponents Penn State has played up until this point – Central Florida, Akron, Rutgers, Massachusetts, Northwestern, and Michigan. Penn State defeated Rutgers 13-10, largely behind five interceptions of Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova; Ohio State just thrashed Rutgers 56-17.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say Chip thinks OSU’s numbers are a little more realistic and the outcome will prove that out.

As usual, Shannon goes in deep with a Penn State blogger to get the feel for the fans of the other side. Optimism doesn’t seem to be one of the things they’re feeling:

Prediction? Pain. As I said on your podcast, I have Ohio State winning this weekend’s match-up in Beaver Stadium, 35-17 (which if you bet the over at 51.5 is just fine with you). I think Penn State’s defense keeps this game from getting out of hand as it did last season, but I can’t see Penn State ever making much of a game of this with their concerns on offense. I see Ohio State maybe jumping out to an early lead and cruising into the second half before Penn State gets a junk touchdown to make this closer than the score would actually indicate.

So let’s look forward to taking another sad panda to the taxidermist this Saturday. It will look nice next to Moxie McGritty

Sad Panda

I say
Ohio State 52
Penn State 20

What say you?

Q&A with an Opponents Blogger: Penn State

This week I had the freat pleasure of sitting down with Kevin Mcguire to discuss the Penn Sate/Ohio State match-up tomorrow. Kevin who was nice enough to join our podcast this week is a contributor to NBC College Football Talk and has a site no2minutewarning.com. You can also follow Kevin on twitter @KevinOnCFB and he is a worthwhile and good follow for college football fans. Without further ado onto the PSU/OSU discussion.

MotSaG: Penn State’s run defense is only giving up an average of 60.8 yards a game but have given up over 100 to Northwestern and Rutgers. Do you feel they can contain Ohio State’s rushing attack?

KM: It should go without saying that the strength of this Penn State team to this point in the season has been the defense as a whole, and it starts up front with what has been a decent defensive line. Can they contain Ohio State’s running game? Probably, at least for a while. I wouldn’t expect Ohio State to break many big plays on the ground, although I think the Buckeyes could be able to wear down Penn State’s defense over four quarters

MotSaG: Do the Nittany Lions have the talent and depth to contain or keep up with the Buckeyes explosive offense?

KM: Penn State probably has the talent to keep up at the skill positions, but the offensive line is quite another story. Penn State’s o-line has been a complete mess this season for a number of reasons, most notably the two years of recruiting sanctions against the program. Because the line has been an extreme work-in-progress, Christian Hackenberg has been forced to try and make some things happen when they just are not there, and the running game has lacked a chance to get on track. So because of that, Penn State’s offense will have a tough time going point-for-point with Ohio State, and it may be up to the defense to come up with some big plays, and perhaps even some points.

MotSaG: Who are the key players on Penn States defense Buckeye fans should be aware of?

KM: Pay attention to a couple of players up front on the defensive line. Deion Barnes at defensive end is a form Big Ten Freshman of the Year and right by his side is Anthony Zettel. Both have been playing well this season and Zettel has come up with a number of key plays in the backfield. It will be up to these two to bring pressure on Barrett and maybe disrupt the running game before it can get going, but they will be up against their stiffest test of the season against this Ohio State line.

MotSaG: With Penn State coming off a bye do you think an extra week of preparation would help PSU fix some of the major problems on their offensive line?

KM: Well, it certainly can’t hurt. Penn State has now had two bye weeks out of the last three, so you would hope the stability of the offensive line would be a major focus. I am sure it has been, but ultimately I just do not think enough work can be done with what is available to them. Fixing Penn State’s offensive line is going to have to come through recruiting with a full set of scholarships to offer. This is not a line that can be repaired with some duct tape. It needs a complete overhaul.

MotSaG: Word is offensive guard Miles Dieffenbach has been practicing any status on him playing Saturday and being able to help that line out?

KM: It does sound as though Dieffenbach is close to returning, and the way things have ben sounding I would not be shocked if he makes a return this weekend. He is supposed to be the veteran anchor of this young line, but he is still week-to-week as he recovers from an ACL injury in the spring. The bye weeks were supposed to be big for him, and perhaps that will be the case. If Penn State can get him on the field, expect them to do so, but not if it comes at a risk in losing him before he is physically and mentally ready for jumping right in against Ohio State

MotSaG: I know the sanctions really hurt Penn State’s depth, how big of a factor will that play in the game Saturday and possibly for rest of season and possibly getting bowl eligible?

KM: This season was supposed to be the toughest in terms of depth on this roster, and that is exactly how things are playing out. I don’t think that will change the rest of the way, and it will show in some games more than others. This game in particular is one that could turn ugly in the flash of an eye given the talent differential overall. The Michigan State game could as well, but the depth concerns may actually be put more to the test in games like Temple and Indiana. These are games Penn State will never lose when fully equipped, but could easily see slip away if not careful right now. I still think Penn State has enough to get two more wins the rest of the way, and those extra practices in the postseason could help in the long-term, but Penn State should probably feel fortunate to get to six or seven wins at this point

MotSaG: How nice is it to finally get the sanctions lifted and being allowed to be able to compete for a B1G Championship and Bowl games and get a full roster together?

KM: From a purely football perspective, it is fantastic. How can it not? Penn State went into the season with two years of a postseason ban and some scholarship restrictions still to play through, but early in the season the NCAA lifted those terms. This, in effect, gave the players and coaches something else to play for and that is great for them. In theory, the team can now compete for a Big Ten championship and make plans for a bowl trip. There is still work to do, of course, but being able to focus on something positive is a bit of fresh air for the program, its fans and alums. Moving forward, the program appears to be heading in a good direction and things will certainly get better on the field as long as James Franklin and his staff prove they can develop talent as well as they can generate excitement in recruiting.

I would have loved to see what Bill O’Brien would have done with a full recruiting class, but now that falls on Franklin and his crew.

MotSaG: What are Penn State’s fans biggest concerns for the game Saturday?

KM: I think most fans are probably realistic in expecting Penn State to lose this weekend, so I think the biggest fear would be getting tanks in front of the home crowd. Last year’s 63-14 loss showed how far away Penn State is from the top of the Big Ten, so there is a bit of pride on the line here as well. If Penn State is going to lose, keeping it at least somewhat respectable would at least be something moving forward. I know moral victories are for losers, but nobody wants to get blown out at home. The biggest fear may be seeing Hackenberg laying face first in the ground like the famous (infamous) image of Anthony Morelli against Michigan (Google it, you’ll find it).

MotSaG: Do you feel that the Paterno statue should be returned or should everyone just finally close the chapter and move on?

KM: I may be foolish in thinking there will be a time in the future when the statue is returned to sitting somewhere outside Beaver Stadium. While I think people should move on and no longer worry about something as trivial as a statue, I do believe there will come a time when we can reflect on everything Joe Paterno did for the university and football program and community and properly place his good deeds side-by-side with his shortcomings. I think a statue can help paint a full scope and offer a chance to reflect on both positive and negative, but the time is just not right at this moment and it may not be for quite a while.

MotSaG: Final prediction for the game?

KM: Prediction? Pain. As I said on your podcast, I have Ohio State winning this weekend’s match-up in Beaver Stadium, 35-17 (which if you bet the over at 51.5 is just fine with you). I think Penn State’s defense keeps this game from getting out of hand as it did last season, but I can’t see Penn State ever making much of a game of this with their concerns on offense. I see Ohio State maybe jumping out to an early lead and cruising into the second half before Penn State gets a junk touchdown to make this closer than the score would actually indicate.

What I am curious to see, for better or worse, is how Barrett handles this environment. As was suggested on your podcast, this should be different compared to playing at Navy or Maryland, but I think at this point he is as prepared as can be to handle it.

I agree with what Kevin is saying it will be interesting on seeing how Barrett and company will handle the environment seeing how this is going to be the loudest and craziest they have played in front of this season. I do however believe that Urban and company will have this team prepared for this and the Nittany Lions. They are on a historic run and J.T. has really grasped the offense well and has to many weapons for Penn State to handle in my opinion. Penn State’s depth is still a major concern and that’s a huge advantage for the Buckeyes hence the reason i said on the podcast I called for OSU to win 56-3.

Once again I would like to thank Kevin McGuire for his help this week and you should honestly check his stuff out, very knowledgeable on college football and informative. Have any questions? Feel free to drop me a line at AskMotSaG@gmail.com.

2014 OSU Football ~ Buckeyes @ Nittany Lions Will Be “Happening” Valley

Ever since the loss to Virginia Tech on September 6th, Ohio State has been rolling offensively. Proof? Ohio State has averaged 56 points a game over its last four opponents (Kent State, Cincinnati, Maryland, and Rutgers). Granted, none of those opponents are considered to be college football juggernauts, but it would be fair to state that Ohio State has exorcised the demons (I figured Halloween is right around the corner, so why not be a little colorful with the analogies?) that plagued them as the 2014 college football season began.

Conversely, Penn State seems to be going in the opposite direction. Penn State began the season with a stirring last second victory over Central Florida (26-24) in the season opener, and the Nittany Lions concluded the first month of the season with a 4-0 record. The positive momentum was surprisingly blunted by visiting Northwestern (27-6), then Penn State lost at Michigan (18-13). Considering Penn State had a bye that preceded its visit to Ann Arbor, and still lost to a struggling Michigan team, had to be disconcerting to Penn State coaches, players, and fans. For what it is worth, Penn State is coming into this game with Ohio State off another bye week.

Here are the three areas I will concentrate upon as the kickoff begins at 8pm EST on ABC:

1. Can Penn State’s Defense Slow Down Ohio State’s Offense? – Penn State’s defense has been keeping the team in games, ranking 6th in the country at points allowed (average 15 points a game). The strength of the Penn State defense is the run defense, while Ohio State prides itself on a powerful running game. With those statistics in mind, keep in mind that these are the opponents Penn State has played up until this point – Central Florida, Akron, Rutgers, Massachusetts, Northwestern, and Michigan. Penn State defeated Rutgers 13-10, largely behind five interceptions of Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova; Ohio State just thrashed Rutgers 56-17.

2. Will Penn State’s Offensive Line Be Able To Protect Christian Hackenberg? – Even Penn State coaches and fans recognized going into the 2014 season that the Penn State offensive line was the decided weak link of the team. It would be generous to say that Penn State has struggled to run the ball; Penn State ranks 121st in the country at rushing the ball. Against Michigan, Christian Hackenberg was continually under siege. Ohio State’s defensive line, led by stalwart Joey Bosa, may be extremely difficult to slow down, let alone stop. Will Penn State head coach James Franklin move Hackenberg out of the pocket in order to keep the Ohio State defensive line in check?

3. Ohio State Gets A Sizable Lead; Send In The Backups? – As stated up above, Ohio State has averaged 56 points a game over its last four victories. While it has been rewarding to witness the continuing maturation and development of Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, it has also been somewhat disappointing that the Ohio State coaching staff has not been giving backup players such as backup quarterback Cardale Jones more playing time. Perhaps I am concerning myself too much on possible negative consequences, but Jones is literally only one play away from having to run the Ohio State offense, yet has had little to no playing time this season. Will Ohio State play its backups and rest its starters if the Buckeyes get a commanding lead over Penn State?

Penn State Head Coach James Franklin will be using the night game atmosphere to his advantage, relying upon the 106,000 fans in Beaver Stadium to impact and disrupt Ohio State with as much noise as possible. As stated up above, Penn State had a bye weekend, so perhaps Coach Franklin has figured out a few things that will keep Ohio State off balance defensively this game. Then again, the oddsmakers in Las Vegas have installed the Buckeyes as 13.5 point favorites, and I always believe there is a reason why there are new buildings and casinos continually being built out there by these individuals. I have it Ohio State 56, Penn State 17.

MOTSAG TV Guide

All games Saturday, October 25, unless otherwise noted.

BUCKEYES

Ohio State @ Penn State. 8:00p, ABC.

The Nittany Lions have not been particularly impressive so far this year. Their wins have been close or against severely outmatched teams. This week, they come off a bye following consecutive losses to Northwestern and Michigan, both 3-4 teams. They’ll be looking to capitalize on a White-Out crowd and avenge last year’s 63-14 beatdown. This is a rare big “National Stage” game against a team that isn’t really that good.

UPCOMING OPPONENTS

Minnesota @ Illinois. Noon, ESPNU.

Michigan @ Michigan State. 3:30p, ABC.

A few weeks ago, I would’ve bet money that Brady Hoke wouldn’t be the Wolverine coach in this game. Will he still be there after it?

Indiana: no game.

OTHER BIG TEN TEAMS

Maryland @ Wisconsin. Noon, Big Ten Network.

Rutgers @ Nebraska. Noon, ESPN2.

Purdue, Iowa, Northwestern: no games.

OTHER OHIO TEAMS

All games on ESPN3 (online) unless otherwise noted.

(Friday, 10/24) South Florida @ Cincinnati. 7:00p, ESPN2.

Akron @ Ball State, 2:00p.

Ohio @ Western Michigan, 2:00p.

Kent State @ Miami (OH), 2:30p.

OTHER BIG NATIONAL GAMES

(Friday, 10/24) Oregon @ California. 10:00p, FS1.

West Virginia @ Oklahoma State. 3:30p, ESPN.

Mississippi @ LSU. 7:15p, ESPN.

Penn State Preview

Date & Time: Saturday, October 25, 8:00 p.m. EST

Where: Beaver Stadium

TV: ABC regionally and ESPN2 outside the region.

Series Record: Buckeyes lead all-time 16-13. Ohio State has won 7 of the last 10 meetings and outscored Penn State 286-141

Thoughts About Things

1. Team statistical rankings are overrated. I know that we at the MotSaG post a statistical comparison each week, Not sold on the Buckeyes offensive numbers or Penn State’s rankings against the run with the schedules that both have played. Obviously, we’ll know more Saturday evening.

2. Not sure why Penn State’s punishment was cut short. If you were an upstanding prisoner after committing a crime of fraud or stealing something, I could see the reasoning. For an organizational cover-up of child molestation, seems like you would go to prison and be poleaxed during your entire stay with minimal likelihood of being released for “good behavior.” Hopefully, all of the kids that were molested under JoePa’s tenure by Sandusky will be able to released early from their daily recurring nightmares for Penn State’s good behavior…it’s only fair.

3. SEC Bias exists. Seriously, it does exist. When coaches (Pelini) and non-ESPN personalities (Dan Patrick) are willing to call out the worldwide leader, there is a bias. If you want to get worked up like this guy or even this guy, more power to you, but it wont matter.  The playoff selection committee is going to do what is best for college football and has no agenda towards conferences or teams (hahahahahahahahahah).

4. An uncomfortable spring in Columbus.  Hasn’t JT Barrett been the bee’s knees since the VT debacle?  He is putting up video game numbers and doesnt seem likely to slow down anytime soon (maybe he’ll slow down in East Lansing, but that will be a revenge game if we ever see one).  Spring football with Braxton (if healthy) and Barrett should be great media theater until the SEC starts its spring practices, because SEC.

5. Just enjoy the ride.  There is some possibility of making the playoff this year, but it is highly unlikely.  In all reality, after last year’s disappointment in the B1G Title Game and the Orange Bowl, OSU is about a year away from being contender in this humble man’s opinion.

 

About Penn State:

It is well-chronicled of my distaste for all things Penn State.  I did feel a bit prophetic in my previous year’s previews and mentioning how you can get away with things in a town that is basically built around the existence of the university (State College isnt Columbus for damn sure).  From a football standpoint, Anthony Morelli 2.0 is coming along nicely with an upgrade on self-awareness from the original model, which was prone to turnovers.  The team itself is on a bit of a slide losing its past two games (Northwestern,Michigan) after winning its first four games of the season.  This led to a Captain’s meeting with Franklin in attempts to right the ship prior to the OSU game, which could really turn its season upside down if Penn State isn’t at least competitive.  Much has been made of the #1 against the run ranking of the Penn State defense, but they haven’t really faced a team with the play-makers of Ohio State on offense (the same argument could be made in reciprocal, but this is an Ohio State site, so let me live in my shell of home team bias will you?).

Players to Watch:

The Offensive Line –  If these guys cant protect Hackenburg well enough, which has been the case the last couple of weeks, Penn State’s chances of pulling this off are slim and none.  Penn State has some talented skill players and at tight end, but Morelli 2.0 needs time to make it happen.

Adrian Amos/Ryan Keiser – The two starting safeties for Penn State will be on full alert as Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson will add a playmaker element at the H-Back position that Penn State has not seen so far this year.  Ohio State will do everything to get these guys into space and safety play will be imperative in keeping these guys from going crazy.

About Ohio State

From a fan standpoint, Ohio State’s roll since the VT game has been nothing short of miraculous.  The team is breaking offensive records and has really hit its groove offensively.  JT Barrett has been the lynchpin in this offensive explosion and really there cant be enough good things said about JT.  He is a true read-option QB and his accuracy and timing in the passing game has been sublime.  He will face a challenge in the Penn State defensive line on Saturday, but he shouldnt face the pressure that he did against VT (well..let’s hope he doesnt).  His ability to make the correct reads will be paramount in this contest.

On the defensive side of the ball, D-Line play will dictate whether Penn State is going to stick around in the game or not.  The Penn State offensive line has not been swiss cheese, but it isnt exactly the Cowboys offensive line this year, so there will be continue to be opportunities to see the Bosa Post-Sack Shoulder Shrug.

Players to Watch:

Taylor Decker/Darryl Baldwin – Deion Barnes (DE) for Penn State is the truth. and will look cause all sorts of havoc in this game.  Decker and Baldwin will tasked with keeping him as quiet as possible.

Jeff Heuerman – The tight end position is starting to be used with more regularity as JTB continues to become more and more comfortable in the pocket.  The Penn State safeties and outside linebackers will have their hands full trying to cover Heuerman and the stable of H-Backs that OSU will put on the field.

How is this going to play out?

Well. If there is a blowout it wont happen until the second half of the game.  Penn State has always played OSU tough in Happy Valley and even more so on nights of the dreaded “white outs.”  Unless there is a highly spirited performance from Penn State, I dont see how they stay within two touchdowns of Ohio State.  Hopefully, JT and the fellas can take care of business, so Penn State folks wont have to tear apart their stadium and commemorate a “rail” after beating Ohio State like they did in 2005, because really…come on.

Ohio State 42    Penn State 23

The Spread, Week Nine: Adjusted Margin of Victory

That’s right, this week I’m going to tackle college football’s biggest enemy: Margin of Victory. The stat was famously banned from the BCS formula’s computer component, effectively destroying the only unbiased portion of that calculation. The fear was that by allowing MOV to be included, the system would encourage teams to “run up the score” on lesser opponents, a theory that completely ignores the fact that the essential purpose of rankings is to determine which teams are “lesser.”

While I understand the reasoning behind disallowing MOV in a system that will determine who plays for the national championship, I don’t think it’s necessary to ignore it altogether. Sure, it can be misleading or manipulated to some degree, but it can also be a valuable piece of information in comparing teams.

The main flaw with MOV is that is heavily favors offensive teams in comparisons–a 28-0 win is the same as a 56-28 win. To combat that, I started looking at Percentage of Points instead, another neat stat that ultimately has the opposite problem: A 3-0 win is the same as a 70-0 win.

The answer is simple: combine the two. To calculate Adjusted Margin of Victory, I multiplied each team’s MOV by their overall percentage of points and the result is a number that values both offense and defense. The current number one team in Adjusted MOV is undefeated Marshall, averaging over 47 points a game and giving up less than 17. Ole Miss, Ohio State, Baylor and Alabama round out the top five. Michigan State and Nebraska also crack the top ten.

It’s worth noting that Western Kentucky, the #8 team in scoring offense, is ranked #71 in Adjusted MOV. Stanford, the #2 team in scoring defense, comes in at #27.

To be clear, this is not intended to be a complete ranking of teams. Some consideration for winning percentage and opponent strength would have to be added for that to work. But Adjusted MOV can be a useful way to consider scoring when comparing teams without over-rewarding anyone for piling on against weaker opponents.

Coaching Class: Stan Drayton

I realize it’s been a while since the most recent coaching class update. That’s for a few reasons. First, between classes, group work, homework, and looking for a job (anyone hiring a soon-to-be-graduate in marketing?!), I’ve been busier than a bee. Second, the lectures had lacked much to write about that would really be interesting. That was, until Running Backs Coach Stan Drayton gave his lecture.

Coach Drayton’s lecture was by far the most informative I’ve had all semester. He broke down a handful of techniques he teaches, such as how to carry the ball. You may have noticed that OSU running backs carry the ball almost vertically, rather than at an angle. This is the technique taught here. It begins by “clawing” the nose of the ball between the index and middle finger. Then, hold the ball against the arm and chest, keeping the wrist directly above the elbow. Finally, lock the elbow against the body. This makes it difficult to punch the ball out from behind, as well as making it near impossible for the ball carrier to fumble when hit head on: the force of the other player hitting the ball carrier presses the ball back into the body of the ball carrier, making it difficult to drop the ball.

The play that Coach Drayton broke down for us was the inside zone play. If you’re not familiar with the zone read play, here’s a quick breakdown.

  1. At the snap, the quarterback looks to the unlocked defensive end
  2. If the defensive end comes more upfield, as to cut off the outside run, the quarterback gives the ball to the running back
  3. If the defensive end comes more inside, the quarterback keeps the ball and runs outside

So, let’s go through a play together, shall we?

Here, we have a zone read from this year’s game versus Cincy. Watch #5, Tight End Jeff Heuerman on the far side of the offensive line. He fakes a block on the end, and gets downfield to block, and lets the end run free. The end runs upfield, and JT hands the ball off to Ezekiel Elliot. Elliot’s target point is the back hip of the center. Which hip depends on the side on which Elliot lines up. The backs always go opposite where they line up. In this instance, Elliot’s target is the back right hip, because he lines up on the left. The line gets a great push and opens a hole so wide a truck could have gone for 7 yards, too.

Now, what if that hole isn’t open? That’s where the cutback comes in. If the play side A Gap is closed, then the running back cuts back to the backside A Gap. If that is closed, he cuts back to the backside B Gap, and so on, until a running lane is found. Watch this run by Carlos Hyde in the Orange Bowl last season.

The play side A Gap closes, so he cutsback horizontally to find the backside A Gap, wide open, for a nice gain.

 

Coach Drayton answered one of the questions I had always had about the zone read play, as well. The running back does not look at the unblocked player, rather, he focuses on his target. I had always wondered how the RB knew he was getting the ball. Turns out, the quarterback simply applies a small amount of pressure to the gut of the running back to indicate that the running back should take the ball. When the running back does not feel that pressure, he knows he isn’t getting the ball.

Now you’re equipped to watch the game this weekend and impress your friends by telling them where the play will go before the snap even occurs! Go Bucks.

Oh, and Penn State likes to call this week #OhioStateHateWeek. It’s so cute.

 

By The Numbers: Penn State

As always, presented without comment.

Statistically Speaking
Ohio State
Value (Rank)
Value (Rank)
Penn State
Advantage
Rushing Offense (ypg) 259.8 (17) 60.8 (1) Rushing Defense (ypg) Push
Passing Offense (ypg) 274.0 (34) 222.5 (55) Passing Defense (ypg) Push
Pass Efficiency 179.9 (2) 109.3 (22) Pass Efficiency Defense Push
Total Offense (ypg) 533.8 (9) 283.3 (6) Total Defense (ypg) Push
Scoring Offense (ppg) 46.5 (4) 15.2 (6) Scoring Defense (ppg) Push
Rushing Defense (ypg) 137.8 (41) 93.2 (121) Rushing Offense (ypg) Ohio State++
Passing Defense (ypg) 181.7 (16) 282.3 (32) Passing Offense (ypg) Push
Pass Efficiency Defense 112.3 (29) 120.5 (89) Pass Efficiency Offense Ohio State+
Total Defense (ypg) 319.5 (15) 375.5 (92) Total Offense (ypg) Ohio State++
Scoring Defense (ppg) 20.2 (24) 21.2 (111) Scoring Offense (ppg) Ohio State++
Turnover margin +0.83 (22) -0.17 (85) Turnover margin Ohio State+
Penalty Yards/game 46.5 (34) 44.2 (25) Penalty Yards/game Push
Sacks (/game) 2.67 (35) 3.33 (119) Sacks Allowed (/game) Ohio State++
Sacks Allowed (/game) 2.17 (79) 2.67 (35) Sacks (/game) Penn State
3rd Down Conv. (%) 49.3 (9) 34.8 (36) 3rd Down Conv. Def (%) Ohio State
3rd Down Conv. Def (%) 33.3 (29) 42.2 (55) 3rd Down Conv. (%) Ohio State
4th Down Conv. (%) 50.0 (57) 16.7 (4) 4th Down Conv. Def (%) Penn State++
4th Down Conv. Def (%) 75.0 (120) 30.0 (114) 4th Down Conv. (%) Push
Redzone Offense (%) 82.3 (74) 63.2 (3) Redzone Defense (%) Penn State+
Redzone Defense (%) 86.7 (86) 82.6 (73) Redzone Offense (%) Push
 Legend
  Difference <25 in National Rank = Push
  Difference >25 in National Rank = Ohio State
  Difference >50 in National Rank = Ohio State+
  Difference >75 in National Rank = Ohio State++
  Differences >100 in National Rank = Ohio State+++

Stats are grabbed from cfbstats.com

MotSaG Live Podcast #10 – Polls in College Football & Previewing Ohio State-Penn State

Time for episode #10! If you missed last week’s episode of MotSaG Live, you can watch it by clicking here. It airs live every Tuesday at 6 pm ET.

As always I will be hosting the podcast this week and be joined by fellow MotSaG writers. For this show, the following MotSaG writers will join me: Shannon, Andrew, and Chip. On this show we’ll talk about Ohio State’s big win over Rutgers, the Big Ten’s performance from this past weekend, polls in college football and preview the biggest upcoming games around the country along with the slate of Big Ten games this weekend. We’ll also of course preview and predict the outcome of Ohio State’s prime time matchup with Penn State this weekend. Our special guest this week is Kevin McGuire, a writer for nittanylionsden.com and a contributor for NBC Sports College Football Talk.

Now I’m going to list the following ways to view this podcast. Below is the video player to listen to the podcast. You will be able to listen to it here on the site every week. Don’t fret if you can’t listen live. Once the podcast is over with you will be able to view it as many times as you want, just like any YouTube video. If you’re unable to view it here on the site for some reason we also have you covered if this happens. I’ll link to our YouTube channel right above the player every week and you will be guaranteed to be able to view it there. You can also listen through our Google+ page or follow the main @MotSaG account on Twitter. I will also have the link posted on my Twitter page (@SchottJosh).

You can also subscribe to MotSaG Live on iTunes. You can find our page by typing “MotSaG Live” in the iTunes search box or click here. This episode should be on iTunes later tonight.

It’s going to be a fun and informative show as always! Hope you tune in!

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Negative Buckeye: 10 Bold Predictions for Last Half of Season

by: Ryan Black

Ohio State beat a one loss Rutgers team 56-17 on Saturday and the good guys are now halfway through the 2014 season… seriously.  College football makes the fall go by faster than an Alabama fan running to a Walmart sale for chewing tobacco and machine guns.

Ohio State basketball just opened up practice for god sakes! Time to get hyped.

It’s an exciting time to be a Columbus resident right now but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of things that pissed me off this week. Here are a few:

1. People can be down on the Big Ten this and Big Ten that but 99% of the talking schmucks on the radio and t.v. simply don’t realize that parity is everywhere in college football. Example:

What happened: West Virgnia loses a close one to Bama- WVU then squeaks a win out against Maryland in OT (Maryland’s only loss before playing Ohio State). Ohio State kills Maryland. West Virginia beats #4 Baylor.

Media verdict: Maryland sucks. West Virginia good. Bama is god. Ohio State is overrated.

It’s frustrating but even though the games are usually close, until the Big Ten can have a winning record over the SEC in a bowl season that narrative won’t change. Damn you Iowa, you were so close last year.

2. Peyton Manning-please take that commercial off the air where you hum the Nationwide jingle. I hear it when I eat, when I work, while I type this and when I sleep. I’m terrified I’m going to wake up in the middle of the night and see that big goof over me with a knife singing, “And now I’m going to cut your throat.” #Shivers.

3. “What if” playoff talk is so stupid. Some jamoke on the radio the other morning said, “If the playoff was today, there would be 3 SEC teams.” While this is not incorrect, it’s so stupid. All three of those teams play will cross paths. This thing will sort itself out like it always does yet for some reason 97.1 will spend the whole Bishop and Rothman show on Mondays talking about why Ohio State will not make the playoff after they win out.  So pointless…

Oh well, I could go on all day but there is no point. I need to avoid all types of college football talk from the media. It’s cutting years off my life.

Let’s have  a little fun here. The Buckeyes are finally halfway through the season and you’re probably wondering what’s in store for our heroes.

Here are ten bold predictions coming from pure gut instinct (and my gut has gotten huge since I got married, so you should take these serious).

Bold Predictions For Rest of Season:

10. Corey Smith will make a big time play by the end of the year:

The coaches still rave about him and he isn’t losing playing time. Urban doesn’t put guys out there he doesn’t believe in, which is why last year we saw only 3 real receivers. Smith will come out of nowhere and break a game open. I guarantee it.

9. Von Bell will lead the team in interceptions by December:

He’s got 1 now and he is really impressing me with being in the right place in coverage. Really could have used him last year…

8. Dontre Wilson will finally break the big one:

Ugggggggh, he is so damn close. I haven’t been a fan of his vision on kick returns so far but on offense he is making the right cuts almost every carry. He keeps getting tripped up by the last line of defense and I think he is starting to get frustrated. Well don’t little buddy! Wilson is averaging about 6.5 yards a rush and 16 yards a catch. Nothing wrong with those numbers.

7. My fantasy team will bring home the championship:

It’s not Ohio State related and I get that. However, the Blackville Buckfutts’ future is looking very bright after an 0-3 start, so give me my moment.

6. You will look to the person to the left of you during a game and say, “I miss Braxton” at some point this season.

Hate to be negative (wait, no  I don’t). Either the beginning of this weeks game at Penn State or the MSU game, J.T. Barrett will get off to a slow start. He is a freshmen and playing his first “actual” road games may bring on some nerves. The good thing is this kid seems solid as a rock and I don’t think a mistake or two will ruin a game for him.

5. Darron Lee will get charged with felony assault on the field:

He hits hard and he scares me. Lee is going to knock somebody out in the next few weeks and that player is going to lawyer up.

4. The defense is going to win Ohio State a game before the season is over:

I mean it has to happen doesn’t it? The offense has to have a game where they aren’t clicking in the near future and doesn’t put up 50 points and I believe the defense will come through this time (unlike VA Tech). The young kids are coming together and they are getting scary.

3. Jeff Heuerman will have 5 touchdowns in the next 6 games:

My gut is really reaching here but I believe with all the playmakers who have showed up this season that defenses will forget about good ole #5 tight end. We’ve seen that the last few weeks with Nick Vannett posting 3 touchdowns.  Jeff is still getting healthy and will become the man before long.

2. J.T. Barrett will finish top 5 in the Heisman:

Not sure if he gets invited but even the most biased of voter can’t ignore the numbers the freshmen is putting up.

1. My wife will leave me by the Big Ten title game:

My obsession with Joey Bosa is tearing us apart. She walked in on me watching a Bosa highlight tape last week and let’s just say… I was enjoying myself a little too much.

 

At least we have a comfy couch.

 

I’ll revisit these picks at the end of the year. I expect a 100% success rate or I will be very disappointed.

 

Bonus:

Trailer Park Boys quote-

Jim Lahey: You know whats at work here? Its sh*t tectonics. When two sh*t plates strike and come together under incredible pressure, what happens Bubbs?
Bubbles: What Mr Lahey?
Jim Lahey: …Sh*t-quake.

 

Oh she’s a coming all right. Have a good week ladies and gentlemen

Double Bonus:

Try to watch this without peeing yourself-