Penn State faces the Ohio State football team tomorrow in what is essentially the Big Ten East Championship Game. Here are three Buckeyes to keep an eye on.
The Ohio State football team obviously has a lot of stars on both sides of the ball – Justin Fields, J.K. Dobbins, Chase Young and Chris Olave to name a few.
Those players are going to make a huge difference and will be important in this game. Here are three players that are less well known that will be just as important tomorrow when Ohio State hosts Penn State.
I could have picked any of the cornerbacks who regularly see playing time, Damon Arnette, Jeffrey Okudah or Shaun Wade. I went with the number one guy, Okudah.
Penn State has had some struggles running the ball this year, but they have two of the better passing options in the Big Ten with wide receiver K.J. Hamler and tight end Pat Freiermuth.
I know running Journey Brown has had back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances, but I do not think the running game is what will keep Penn State in the game.
The Nittany Lions will have to throw the ball a lot, and that will put pressure on the cornerbacks. Last year Hamler torched Ohio State with a 93-yard catch-and-run touchdown and I think the Buckeyes remember that.
Even though Ohio State has shown more zone packages this year, man-to-man will still be featured which puts the pressure on Okudah and company.
Okudah has been a dominant player so far this year and could leave school and potentially be a top 10 draft pick. This is his chance to really show he is a lock-down corner. Matching up with Hamler throughout the day will give him ample opportunities to defend against the pass.
I think the cornerbacks will need to play close to the line to stop Penn State from doing quick throws all day, and that will test Okudah against the speed of the Nittany Lions. The Buckeyes need their cornerbacks to defend well so Chase Young and company have plenty of time to get to quarterback Sean Clifford.
Here is a look at another guy who could come up big.