It’s finally here. The Ohio State football team gets their big home game this week when seventh-ranked Penn State comes to town on Saturday. It’s a game that has not only Big Ten ramifications, but national championship ramifications as well. It’s also the best game this weekend by far.
Both teams are coming off big wins over the weekend. Ohio State destroyed Purdue while Penn State shut out UMass. Both teams have impressive stats on defense while showing explosion on offense at times as well. This should be an excellent game to watch.
Ohio State football vs. Penn State Odds, Spread, and Total
According to FanDuel, the Buckeyes sit as 4.5-point favorites right now. The spread has already gone down by a full point since Saturday. I suspect it might get down to 3.5 by the time Saturday morning rolls around. The total sits at 48.5, which is lower than previous matchups between these two.
The total is so low because these teams have excellent defenses. They rank second and third respectively in points per game allowed. Penn State allows just 8 while Ohio State allows 9.7. Only Michigan is better, which has allowed just 6.7 points per game thus far.
Ohio State football vs. Penn State key players to watch
The two tackles are the key guys to watch for Ohio State. Josh Simmons and Josh Fryar have been the weakest part of a bad offensive line. Neither is good in run blocking while Fryar has gotten beaten several times in pass protection too. If they are bad again on Saturday, the Buckeyes are in a lot of trouble.
On Penn State’s side, Drew Allar is the guy to watch. He hasn’t thrown an interception this year and has 12 touchdown passes. How well Ohio State is able to get pressure on him could determine whether or not they walk out of the Shoe with a victory.
Ohio State football vs. Penn State prediction and pick
I’m having a really hard time with this one. On one hand, the Buckeyes looked great running the football last week despite being down their three top running backs, Kyle McCord had his best game, and the defense once again shut down the passing game.
On the other hand, Ohio State’s offensive line is deeply concerning to me. Penn State’s defense is by far the best defense they’ve faced so far. They only allow 193.7 yards per game, which is by far the best in the country. They are also second in sacks with 27.
That sack number is what scares me. If they are able to pressure McCord, the Buckeyes could be in trouble. I still don’t think they can shut down Marvin Harrison Jr. though. Emeka Egbuka should be back too, as should TreVeyon Henderson. That’s too much talent to stop.
For right now, I have the Buckeyes winning this game 21-17