Folks, the time has nearly come. Ever since the day the Big Ten released its new fall schedule, this was a game circled on everyone’s calendars. Week 2 has finally arrived, as Ohio State will battle it out with Penn State on Halloween night in a matchup that could potentially determine the winner of the Big Ten East.
Even though Penn State lost to Indiana in their opener, most people would argue they outplayed the Hoosiers in spite of the final outcome — especially if you look at the box score and the questionable ruling that decided the game. This is still very much a highly anticipated matchup between two top teams, and Ohio State can’t expect to sleepwalk into Happy Valley and come away with a W.
Before we get to more on that game, we’ll quickly run through this weekend’s slate for Bits Bets. It was a tough day for ya boy last weekend, as my picks went just 2-3 in the opening weekend of B1G action. HOWEVER, I did say that I had a good feeling about Rutgers with the points, so I'll consider that a moral victory. At 16-15 overall on the year, we will look to do better this time around.
Here are some of my favorite plays of the weekend (10/31):
- Minnesota (-19) at Maryland
- No. 20 Coastal Carolina (-3.5) at Georgia State
- No. 7 Cincinnati (-6.5) vs. Memphis
- No. 5 Georgia (-17) at Kentucky
- No. 15 UNC (-7) at Virginia
Ohio State’s line against Penn State has been moving around dramatically, opening at -8 before jumping to -13 and now falling back down to around -11.5. I worry a bit about the Buckeyes’ defense and the closeness with which the Nittany Lions have made these games in recent years, so I will not be placing any sort of wager on that game.
That being said, let’s get to today’s headlines.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
The latest in a whirlwind week for Ohio State’s 2022 recruiting efforts
(Caleb Houser, LGHL)
This has been the craziest week in recruiting news that I have seen in quite some time, especially given there was not a single official commitment in all of the madness. Still, it looks like a ton of stuff is in the works for Ohio State’s 2022 class.
Three things to know about OSU’s B1G/ACC Challenge opponent: Notre Dame
(Connor Lemons, LGHL)
Basketball content? In this economy? All jokes aside, the Ohio State hoops season is (hopefully) right around the corner, and Connor has been working real hard to keep you guys up to date on all things roundball related in this football-heavy time.
Ohio State vs. Penn State: 2020 game preview and prediction
(Meredith Hein, LGHL)
We’ve had all sorts of different content leading up to this weekend’s huge matchup, but Meredith has you covered with the official in-depth game preview.
Georgia looks to bounce back, while Cincinnati looks to stay perfect in Week 9
(Brett Ludwiczak, LGHL)
Brett has done a much better job making picks than I have this year, and after dropping his Big Ten slate on Thursday, he’s got you covered with the national games today.
Garrett Wilson will be the key to Ohio State’s success over Penn State
(Matt Tamanini, LGHL)
Obviously Justin Fields will be the key factor in all of Ohio State’s games this season, but for the Buckeyes to escape victorious this weekend, they will need Garrett Wilson to maintain his incredibly high level of play we saw right out of the gates.
From around the gridiron...
The biggest news of the day was the release of Ohio State’s status report, wherein we learned that Chris Olave appears to be all systems go for Saturday’s B1G tilt. Justin Hilliard and Jaden McKenzie, the two players listed as game-time decisions a week ago, no longer have any sort of injury designation.
Ohio State’s status report for Saturday.— Bill Landis (@BillLandis25) October 30, 2020
No game-time decisions.
Chris Olave appears good to go. pic.twitter.com/WEZsPT3vTD
The Lettermen Row boys are back again this week with another round of bold predictions, and if any of these come true, Ohio State is in for a huge day. Predictions range from Garrett Wilson having a punt return TD to a three-TD game for Chris Olave.
According to the 247Sports talent composite, Ohio State and Penn State have two of the most talented rosters in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes have the third-most talented team in the nation based on their roster’s recruiting rankings, behind only Georgia and Alabama, while Penn State checks in at No. 13. However, two of the Nittany Lions’ highest-ranked players in Micah Parsons and Noah Cain will be absent on Saturday.
How does Ohio State’s 2020 roster stack up against Penn State’s in recruiting talent? https://t.co/B4J7EuIevd— Stephen Means (@Stephen_Means) October 30, 2020
I answered some questions for our
friends enemies over at Black Shoe Diaries about this Ohio State team. Head on over there to check out what I had to say, and peep the comments where Penn State fans are mad at me for saying last year’s matchup wasn’t as close as the final score indicated despite the Buckeyes out-gaining the Nits 417-277 and winning the game by double-digits after fumbling three times.
We get some perspective on tomorrow night’s clash with the Buckeyes from our frenemies in Columbus. https://t.co/DGa3cteUOz— Black Shoe Diaries (@BSDtweet) October 30, 2020
Listen, I know there isn’t a ton of film to go off of right now, and I know they mentioned in the article that it is incredibly nit-picky, but calling Ohio State’s interior offensive line the weakness of the team when they ~ literally ~ have the best guard in the country in Wyatt Davis is a suspect take at best. You wanna talk defensive line/linebackers? Now we can talk.
1. Clemson: WR depth— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 30, 2020
2. Alabama: Slot Coverage
3. Ohio State: Interior OL
Biggest weakness for each top contender⬇️https://t.co/69u8QNkZ6T
In case you forgot, the man they call Scary Terry is really, really good.
The guys look loose and ready to go. Let’s hope Ryan Day and his troops can march into an empty Happy Valley and secure a big early-season victory.
From around the hardwood...
You think Chris Holtmann is ready for basketball season to start?
Speaking of the hoops season, all of this year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchups have been announced. Ohio State takes on Notre Dame in South Bend this time around, after embarrassing UNC on their home court this past season.
From everywhere else...
A Happy Birthday to everyone’s favorite nut!
Contrary to what the president’s son may think, the global pandemic is still not under control in the United States. Make sure you continue to socially distance and wear your masks!
Donald Trump Jr. said covid-19 deaths are at "almost nothing." The virus killed more than 1,000 Americans the same day. https://t.co/Vhtkm02Wy1— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 30, 2020
Speaking of COVID-19, college football’s most prestigious figure, Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, has tested positive for the virus. He appears to be doing just fine, but it is another reminder of how easily transmissible this thing really is, even if you are following the proper protocols — which I fully expect Lawrence has been doing.
Breaking: Trevor Lawrence has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Saturday’s game against Boston College, the school announced. pic.twitter.com/d0mawifH6i— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 30, 2020
Sending you into the weekend on more of a high note, we throw it back to this excellent Halloween prank Pitt pulled off.
Ohio State has done something very similar in the past:
Happy Halloween, everyone! Stay safe, and enjoy your weekend!