Total Confidence Level – 62
My total confidence level is at 62 percent. In other words, I give Ohio State a 62 percent chance of winning the game on Saturday. This is the lowest score I have had since the Georgia game in the Peach Bowl last season when my confidence level was at 48 percent.
There are definitely some areas that Ohio State can exploit on both sides of the ball. On defense, I believe our defensive tackles can get a great push up the middle and as long as Denzel Burke is healthy, I believe we can cover the Penn State receivers better than they have seen by anyone else this season. On the offensive side of the ball, I believe we can challenge Penn State deep, but that will require McCord getting good enough protection to set up those deep throws.
Penn State also feels like they have an advantage in some areas as well. On offense, they believe they can establish the line of scrimmage and play ball control with their running game. On defense, look for the Nittany Lions to put our offensive line under constant stress by disguising their coverages and blitz packages.
This chess match, especially between Ohio State offensive playcaller Ryan Day and Penn State Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz, is next level. But in the end, James Franklin has struggled in big games. If it comes down to Penn State needing a game-winning drive, I believe the advantage belongs to Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles and the Buckeyes.
The game is scheduled to kick off at 12 noon on FOX.