Today, Saturday, Oct. 29 at 12 noon ET, the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0, 4-0) will visit the No. 13 Penn State Nittany Lions (6-1, 3-1) at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa. on FOX in what will presumably be the Buckeyes’ first legitimate test of the college football season.
The rivals have a history of playing weird, close games, no matter the records or who makes up the respective rosters in any given year, and this season is likely no exception. Despite being nearly two months into the campaign the second-ranked Buckeyes have rarely been tested thus far in 2022 as they remain the only team in FBS to win every game by double-digits.
The Nittany Lions are a team — that despite fairly middling statistical outputs on both sides of the ball — is exceptionally talented and has the ability to win any game, especially at home in Happy Valley.
James Franklin’s squad enters the contest having lost only one game on the season, two weeks ago against Jim Harbaugh’s team in Ann Arbor. Despite being down just two points at halftime, 16-14, the Nittany Lions ended up surrendering 418 yards on the ground in a 41-17 rout.
Conversely, despite winning 54-10 last week, Ohio State could only muster 66 rushing yards against Iowa, even though they have been fairly well-balanced on offense all season. Undoubtedly, head coach Ryan Day will look to reestablish some consistency with running backs TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams today, especially since the Nittany Lions theoretically have one of the best secondaries in the Big Ten, led by cornerback Joey Porter Jr.
While I don’t foresee any defense that doesn’t regularly play on Sunday being able to completely stop OSU’s prolific passing game, if Penn State is able to keep C.J. Stroud and his cadre of five-star receivers somewhat in check, that puts a whole lot of pressure on a running game that is still trying to prove itself after being ineffective against quality defenses in 2021.
On offense, PSU is led by quarterback Sean Clifford who has seemingly been behind center for the Lions since the late 90s. While the QB is unlikely to dazzle with his arm ability, he certainly has the talent to make plays both throwing and running, especially when flanked by running back Nick Singleton.
This game will have massive ramifications for both teams; for PSU, a second loss on the season essentially ends their season and could usher in the start of the Drew Allar era. For Ohio State, a defeat would put them behind the 8-ball and take their postseason destiny — at least in part — out of their hands, and putting even more pressure and importance on The Game at the end of the regular season.
Will the Buckeyes win their sixth-straight game in the series and put themselves in position to be in one of the top spots in Tuesday’s first College Football Playoff rankings? Or, will Penn State reestablish itself as a Big Ten contender by pulling off the upset? We will have to wait until noon to find out.
When is the game and how can I watch it?
Game Date/Time: Saturday, Oct. 29 at 12 noon ET
Location: State College, Pa.
Online: Sling TV
Radio: 97.1 FM | 1460 AM
DraftKings Sportsbook line: Ohio State -15 | o/u 60.5
Official LGHL Prediction: Ohio State 38, Penn State 18
Matt’s Prediction: Ohio State 41, Penn State 20
Join the conversation
Below is your Ohio State vs. Penn State GameThread. Be respectful, be kind and — as always — keep it classy, BuckeyeNation. If you like GIFs, lay ‘em on us. In all, be good fans, cheer for your teams, be cool to each other (even if somebody else isn’t) and everyone wins. Let’s finish the season strong!