The Penn State Nittany Lions will host the Ohio State Buckeyes in a huge Big Ten matchup on Saturday. The winner of this game will take control of the Big Ten East division, while the loser might see their playoff chances disappear. This game will feature the top-two scoring offenses in college football, but each team gets it done in different ways.
Ohio State comes into this game with a 4-0 record and are ranked number four in the nation. Ohio State’s biggest win came against TCU in the third week of the season. Penn State also brings a 4-0 record into this contest, and come in as the ninth ranked team in college football. The Nittany Lions have played a weak schedule up to this point, and they haven’t been tested. Ohio State is a three-point favorite in this game.
Buckeyes Have Strong Passing Attack
The Ohio State Buckeyes are averaging 365.8 passing yards a game this season, which is the sixth-best total in college football. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins has completed 75% of his passes this season and has thrown 16 touchdowns to just one interception. Senior wide receiver Parris Campbell has been the top target for the Buckeyes, hauling in 19 catches for 299 yards and five touchdowns.
Ohio State has shown signs of weakness of the defensive side of the football, especially in their victory over TCU. The Buckeyes gave up over 500 yards of offense in that game, and have struggled to stop the run all season. Ohio State is giving up 142 rush yards per game, which ranks in the bottom half of college football. The Buckeyes run defense will be tested in this game.
Nittany Lions Will Look to Run
Penn State has a balanced offensive attack, but they are more deadly with their running game. The Nittany Lions are averaging 275 rushing yard per game which ranks in the top-10 in all of college football. Running back Mike Sanders has gained 495 yards this season, and has also found the end zone five times. Quarterback Trace McSorley has scored six rushing touchdowns this season, while running for 235 yards.
The Penn State defense survived a season opening scare against Appalachian State, but have been solid since that game. The Nittany Lions have given up just 173 passing yards per game this season, but that number will be tested against the Buckeyes. Penn State hopes that their sellout crowd can help them slow down the explosive passing attack of Ohio State.
Ohio State Stays Undefeated
The Ohio State-Penn State game last season was an absolute thriller, and this game should be much of the same. The Buckeyes beat the Nittany Lions 39-38 last season in dramatic fashion, and Penn State wants revenge in this one. Penn State is off to a great start in 2018, but they haven’t been tested and that could play a role in this game.
The Ohio State offense is just playing at another level this season, and they will find a way to put up points in this game and win by a touchdown. Bet Ohio State -3.0 to beat the Nittany Lions in a competitive game on Saturday night.