Ohio State vs Penn State : UNIVERSITY PARK, Penn. – The winner of the Ohio State-Penn State game has gone on to win the Big Ten championship each of the last two years, and this Saturday’s clash hosted by the Nittany Lions will again give one team a big leg up in that race. The fourth-ranked Buckeyes, who put forth a stirring rally to steal a 39-38 win over Penn State a year ago, have barely been challenged in a 4-0 start, including a 49-6 win over Tulane last week in head coach Urban Meyer’s return from suspension.
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Meyer’s team dropped a 24-21 decision in its last visit to Happy Valley in 2016 and knows it will be tested by another “White Out” at Beaver Stadium. “It’s just a difficult place,” Meyer told reporters. “Certainly one of the top five stadiums to play in, hard to play in. Very loud and the fans are into it. And very good environment. Great environment.” No. 9 Penn State has rebounded from an early slugfest with Appalachian State to defeat its last three opponents by a combined 177-40 margin, although it trailed early in the second half at Illinois last week before erupting in the fourth quarter. “I think we’re close,” Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley told reporters. “Obviously, you’re putting up 63 points and not playing full, complete games – you’re close to that. When we talk about a complete game, it’s having the success for the full four quarters.”Ohio State vs Penn State
The big story this week in Columbus is the absence of star defensive end Nick Bosa, who will miss this contest and perhaps several more after undergoing core muscle surgery. However, fellow junior Robert Landers returns from an undisclosed injury to help bolster the defensive line and running back Mike Weber – who had 186 yards rushing and four total touchdowns in the season opener against Oregon State – will play after leaving the Tulane win with a sprained foot. Dwayne Haskins ranks second among FBS passers with both 16 touchdowns – against one interception – and a completion percentage of 75.7.
McSorley has completed just 53.8 percent of his passes and has a pick in each of the last two games, but he is doing significant damage on the ground with 235 yards – on 5.7 per carry – and six scores through the first four games. Miles Sanders had 200 of the Nittany Lions’ 387 rushing yards last week and he added three TDs after failing to reach the end zone in routs of Pittsburgh and Kent State. Penn State’s depth at the position will be challenged by the loss of senior Mark Allen (99 yards, two TDs), who is out for the rest of the year with an unspecified injury.Ohio State vs Penn State