OSU/Indiana—A Few Opening Thoughts...
Somehow, the Buckeyes let destiny and fate perhaps slip through their hands last week in an unexpected 26-26 overtime loss to Purdue.
This week, Penn State comes to town off a home loss to Nebraska, and still realing from the Jerry Sandusky molestation case, and on the heels of the news that Joe Paterno has been diagnosed with lung cancer.
This game today could play out just about any way imaginable given the whirlwind these two programs have faced recently, and for the Buckeyes, since last December.
The higher ranked team usually wins when OSU and PSU battle, but PSU has only scored three touchdowns against Ohio State in Columbus, EVER. A low-scoring defensive game is most likely -- although every we all think we know what to expect, the opposite happens -- so don't be shocked if both teams break into the 30's or 40's -- or not.
The Wisconsin-Illinois game just went final and with the Badgers win, Ohio State's run of Big Ten titles is officially over -- but, a win today and of course next week vs. "them" will still count as a decent season given everything these players and this program has been through over the last year.
Team Overview / Players of Note
The Penn State offense ranks 88th nationally at 359 yards per game. They are 8th in total defense, allowing an average of 287 yards per game, and rank 3rd in points allowed per game (12.9).
Penn State quite frankly has no decent quarterback, but Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin have shared the duties. McGloin seems to be the guy now, but both pretty much suck so it really doesn't matter who starts. McGloin has 1,386 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions. Bolden has 526 passing yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions.
Running back Silas Redd, PSU's only real offensive threat, leads the team with 1,059 yards and seven touchdowns.
Derek Moye and Justin Brown are one-two in receiving for the Nittany Lions. Moye has 34 catches for 592 yards and three scores, while Brown has caught 32 balls for 423 yards and one touchdown.
Ohio State is 108th in total offense (317 yards per game) nationally. They are 15th in total defense, allowing an average of 317 yards per game, and rank 16th in points allowed per game (18.9).
The Silver Bullets have 22 sacks and 11 interceptions through 10 games.
On the season, QB Braxton Miller, has 679 passing yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions. He also has 490 yards on the ground and five rushing touchdowns. His current passer efficiency rating is 134.
Carlos Hyde still leads the team in rushing with 525 yards and six touchdowns, while senior starter Dan Herron, who will play his final home game today has 477 yards and a two scores.
Devin Smith leads the team in yardage with 241 yards on 11 catches, including four for scores. Tight end Jake Stoneburner, who has not caught a pass in the last three games, is still second on the team with 150 yards, and still leads in receptions and touchdowns, with 12 and six respectively.
Ohio State—Penn State History Lesson And Trends
• Ohio State is 14-12-0 all-time vs. PSU.
• Ohio State is 69-8 in Ohio Stadium since 2001.
• Ohio State is 18-2 in November games since 2005.
• Ohio State has won 4 of the last 5 meetings against PSU.
• Ohio State is 183-78-11 all-time in November home games.
• Ohio State is 2-2 against ranked teams under coach Luke Fickell this year.
• Ohio State's defense has held opponent to fewer than 10 points 31 times since 2006.
• Ohio State's defense has allowed just one 100-yard rusher in the past 28 games at home.
• Ohio State's defense has allowed just seven 100-yard rushers in their last 46 games.
• Ohio State has held 66 opponents to 21 points or less since the start of the 2005 season.
• Ohio State has lost just three games in the month of November since their last loss to Michigan on November 22nd, 2003 (Purdue 2004, Illinois 2007, Purdue 2011).
• PSU has only beaten Ohio State twice in Columbus since 1978.
Final Thoughts and Score Prediction
There's really not much else to say. I believe it was all covered in the opener.
This game feels like a toss-up so the home team gets the edge.
The score is anyone's guess.
Here's mine -- literally a gut-feeling guess.
Ohio State 20
Penn State 12
"To be a champion, you have to believe in yourself when no one else will" (you also have to beat Purdue, but I digress) - Sugar Ray Robinson