Across the Field: Penn State

By Elika on October 25, 2012 at 12:04p

As the Buckeyes look to extend their record to 9-0, they head to State College to take on a resurgent Penn State team that has nicely recovered from their losses in weeks one and two. In what some are dubbing the IneligiBOWL, because we haven't heard that one before, these teams face off in what figures to be an important test for each.

Will Ohio State's Braxton Miller suffer a setback from his injury Saturday? Will Penn State's Matt McGloin continue to impress? Will Ohio State's defense continue to show improvement, or regress and give up big plays? Can Penn State continue shutting out their opponents in the first quarter (something highly likely against this Ohio State team)? Most importantly, which team can prove their wins weren't flukes or the result of a weak schedule? Saturday should tell us.

This week, we welcome Ben Jones of to give us an inside look into the Penn State Nittany Lions and Saturday's matchup.

After struggling the first two weeks of the season, Penn State appears to have really turned things around. What has been the difference on the field most deserving of the credit for this upward trend?

I think the first two weeks of the season were really a product of two things, transition, and emotion. Penn State came out of the gates against Ohio really ready to go riding a wave of 8-9 months worth of emotion. By the second half the team was gassed and Ohio was doing exactly what it needed to win. Penn State probably would have pulled it out if not for a fluke touchdown, but you could tell the team was drained. While Penn State probably shouldn't lose to Ohio, the Bobcats aren't awful and all things considered that kind of situation with the emotion and the fans and everything is sort of a unique spot to be in.

Against UVA, Penn State was clearly the better team but couldn't execute in the redzone and Sam Ficken missed all but one field goal. If he makes two the game goes Penn State's way. That's a bad loss, but I'd put that one on coaching.

What has changed is the team's confidence level and ability to execute. We can make all the jokes we want about Matt McGloin, but at the end of the day he's really comfortable in the offense and he's hitting his throws. The defense was always going to be good, but for the first time in a while the offense has caught up. It's not complex, but it works and that's all that really matters.

There was a lot of preseason speculation, particularly after the NCAA sanctions, about how Penn State was going to be this year, and in years to come. How does this season compare to what you may have expected preseason?

I wasn't really sure what to expect to be honest. If the team stayed together and Silas Redd and Anthony Fera (Who left for Texas due in large part to the fact his mother is ill and in and out of the hospital there) don't leave, this team is probably undefeated. I don't think I would have expected that, but I thought the schedule panned out in a way the team could succeed despite everything going on. That being said, I didn't expect them to look this good.

This is the first new head coach and staff that Nittany Lion fans have seen in quite some time. How would you grade the job that Bill O'Brien has done so far, and how optimistic are you for the next few years of Penn State football?

I think it's hard to give him anything other than an A. From a "Are you going to win the national title" standpoint, obviously he isn't in that conversation, but from dealing with the community to coaching a watchable football team, it's hard to find a real fault at this point.

As far as the future, next year will probably tell a lot more about what is down the road, but I think people are optimistic that Penn State will be able to get through the 4 years of sanctions and out the other side more or less in one piece.

Christian Hackenberg, the #3 rated QB is still locked in for the 2013 class with a solid core of talent. If O'Brien can coach him like he did McGloin, there is a real chance that he can develop a quarterbacking tradition that has lacked at Penn State and really the Big Ten. Braxton Miller is a good QB, but in the traditional sense he lacks that drop back mentality. Denard Robinson is the same way, a system quarterback. If O'Brien can develop pro-style QBs 4-8 years down the road, you might see Penn State bring some quarterbacking respect back to the conference.

Offensively Penn State has done a good job playing to not make mistakes. McGloin has had a lot less "McGloin" like throws and the rest of the offense has follow suit by just playing intelligent football. As far as an actual strength, no team in the country has more tight end receptions than Penn State and about 5 different guys have gotten in on that action.

Matt McGloin has become a pretty impressive drop back passer and Michael Mauti one of the top linebackers in the country. Individual players aside, what are the biggest strengths of both the offense and defense that Ohio State should be prepared to see this weekend?

On defense Penn State is just fundamentally sound. Ted Roof has been a much better hire than I expected, bringing in a nice mix of blitz and pressure schemes that have worked well with the guys they have. I expect the defense to look different down the road as the coaches recruit guys they want to fit in their defense, but right now it's a solid mix of aggression and solid fundamentals.

Now, can you give our readers a couple players on each side of the ball that Ohio State fans should watch out for on Saturday?

On offense I'd keep an eye on Kyle Carter, a freshman Tight End who can catch the ball in traffic and really take a guy or two down with him. Allen Robinson is another obvious choice as he's McGloins go-to wideout target with 8 TD catches. Bill Belton is also back in the mix and 100% for the first time since week one. He ran the ball well against Iowa and is quicker than he looks.

On defense I'd keep an eye on, besides linebackers Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges, defensive back Stephen Obeng-Agyapong (Penn State fans call him Stephen Obang if you want to try that out.) Ted Roof has used Obang as a blitzer and could leave Braxton Miller some holes to run in if he is well blocked. Adrian Amos is a rise star at corner who is likely to make plays on Saturday. Penn State's defense is really a core of solid players. They aren't all playing on the level of Michael Mauti, but there isn't really one guy you'll try and exploit.

Conversely, what are the weaknesses on each side of the ball that the Buckeyes are likely looking to expose in Happy Valley?

Penn State's secondary has looked weaker than the rest of the defense at times and if Miller can buy time outside the pocket he might get a few big plays that way. That's really the only glaring weakness. Penn State isn't the best team in the country by any stretch, but they're playing well in almost every aspect of the game outside of special teams.

But for the sake of answering the question offensively Penn State has had some fumble issues. Zack Zwinack has two inside the Iowa 20 and against Ohio State you aren't very likely to be up by several scores when it happens.

Should Braxton Miller be 100% on Saturday, how do you feel about Penn State's chances to contain him and this new Ohio State offense?

Penn State has done a pretty good job containing a one man show in the past but this is the first time this staff has had to stop a guy like Miller. I think Penn State is smart enough on defense to keep him mostly in check, but I think it'll be key for them to understand that he isn't the kind of player you can just stop. He's going to have a big play or two, its just about keeping him in check the rest of the time. I'm interested to see how he reacts the first few times he takes a hit. If he's a little rattled after last week, which I wouldn't blame him for, then maybe he isn't so eager to make everyone miss. That could help Penn State out.

Final prediction for the game?

I've struggled with this for a while now, but at the end of the day I think Penn State wins. They're playing the most complete football in the conference right now and I think they match up against Ohio State's defense well. I can see Ohio State winning this game, that isn't hard to do, but I'm just not convinced at this juncture that Ohio State's defense can make enough plays to win. There is a reason Vegas is avoiding this game.

Thanks again to Ben for sharing his Penn State insights with us. You can read more from Ben by checking out the links below:



Comments Show All Comments

O-H Kee Pa's picture

With all due respect to Ben, we're not going to have a coaching staff/team that is going to walk out of the tunnel and say, "What the hell did we get ourselves into"? I'm not saying we're going to win, but this is Urban friggin Meyer. We'll be ready.

bassplayer7770's picture

I agree.  Our coaches will have the team as prepared as possible.  Beyond that, it will be up to the players to execute and coaches to make necessary adjustments.  I'd like to think our Offense will get back on track and our Defense will continue playing solid (minus the big plays hopefully).

danavh4's picture

UFM has been on the biggest of stages this game has to offer and won.  How do you think Bill O'Brien will be feeling when he sees UFM and the undefeated Buckeyes walk out of the tunnel???

Michigan Fan: "We lose a long snapper and the whole team goes to shit!"

onetwentyeight's picture

BOB, uhm, ... argued loudly with Tom Brady once. LUL

Baroclinicity's picture

I agree with an "A" for Bill O'Brien.  Guy has done a great job there.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

BuckeyeBoyer85's picture

Mr. Jones I respectfully disagree with you on the outcome of the game. When healthy, Ohio State has a Heisman contender...PSU does not. I believe he will be the difference. Glad to see Nittany fans have regained their signature over-confidence. It will be much sweeter to sing Carmen Ohio that way.

Wayne Woodrow Hayes

tennbuckeye19's picture

Thanks for the insight into this game Mr. Jones. 
I honestly have no idea how this game is going to go, which makes it all the more intriguing. And really, this is probably the best team that O'Brien will have @ PSU for some time, so they should enjoy the success while they can. 

buckeye76BHop's picture

I couldn't agree more with your statements above Tenn.  It's an intriguing game to say the least.  However I could see this game going in OSU's favor just for simple fact I mentioned on another thread...and it's last weeks game.  The comeback as opposed to letting the game go like last year in Lincoln.  I say they can deal with whatever happens...I'm confident unlike the majority at this site (and no not you Tenn;-) 
35-20 as predicted on the forum thread...

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

osu07asu10's picture

I would expect nothing less than a penn state victory prediction.

I for one am in the camp that this is the week Urban Meyer and the buckeyes put it all together and this is the week that everything gets exposed for Penn State. 

OSU 34 PSU 20

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BuckeyeSki's picture

Last time State Penn had this much confidence playing a big game against tOSU in HV, Ray Small (ugh) returned a punt 40+ yds to the 8 and TP made Navarro Bowman look like a sissy little girl as he ran over him into the end-zone.....

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Bucks's picture

Enjoyed the read. This is a ridiculously scary game for me. There isn't a single game left on the schedule (including that deer ticks state up north) that concerns me in the way this one does. I have faith in Urban & Co, to have this team prepared though.
Appreciate Ben's insights. I'm pretty surprised there isn't more trepidation on the part of Penn-Stater's when it comes to McGloin in a big game, but I haven't watched him every week. Maybe he has made that big of a leap. Guess this weekend will tell the tale on that. I personally believe he is in for a few INT's.
Side note -
Elika posted something to think about on her blog (, which while she hasn't mentioned it here, please keep in mind for those who haven't seen it. The 11W crew works extremely hard. Agree or disagree with opinions, these people take time out of their own day to contribute to a valuable feature of the site. Be respectful, please.

bassplayer7770's picture

I personally believe he is in for a few INT's.

I wouldn't disagree assuming our guys actually catch the ball when they have the opportunity.

LadyBuck's picture

Roby used INT. It's super effective!

sloopy88's picture

Thanks for putting this feature together.  11W's writers model the kind of intelligent and respectful attitude towards its opponents that it expects to see in its commenters, and the resulting enthusiastic/civil conversations in the comments here are one of my favorite parts of the site. 
Also, yes, this game is terrifying. 

Ahh Saturday's picture

Man, that Nittany Lion mascot looks creepy, real creepy.

tennbuckeye19's picture

I found this info about the Nittany Lion mascot from

The Nittany Lion Mascot is an essential part of Penn State's tradition and pride, which originated in 1904 during a baseball game against Princeton. Upon hearing their rivals' mascot, Harrison D. Mason announced that the Nittany Lion was "the fiercest beast of them all." Not only did Penn State win the game that day, but an image was created that would become both a symbol and legacy at the University for years to follow.

I can only guess they've been using the same costume since 1904. 

Doc's picture

I can only guess they've been using the same costume since 1904.

LOL Tenn.  I think you are right.  The smell of that suit has got to be gawd awful.
I'm really nervous for this game.  I'm hoping both sides of the ball can get untracked.  The offense against Purdont last week was offensive.  The team seems to play up to their surroundings.  Saturday evening will be electric, I'm hoping the Bucks play as well. 

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AC1972's picture

I was wondering if I was the only one who had such thoughts about the Penn St. mascot.  I have a PSU grad buddy, and I deeply respect their football program, but I always give him hell about that ragedy old looking mascot costume. 
Geez, they put names on the back of the jerseys, how about a more contemporaty mascot?  or just one that looks like it may have been dry-cleaned this decade?
Our mascot is a tall dude with a nut on his head and looks 1 million times cooler that that lion costume!
Upvotes for all of you!

Scott K's picture

You think the smell inside of Brutus' head is any better.....? 

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Doc's picture

In my mind?  Yes, yes it is.  :P

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tennbuckeye19's picture

In my mind they spray the Brutus costume with the same stuff they spray in bowling shoes to deoderize and disinfect, plus they Febreeze it, so it smells glorious and not rank in the least. Whereas in my mind the lion costume is kept in someone's car after each game all crumpled up in a pile of wet and body odorous filth until the next game which probably only adds to it being "the fiercest beast of them all".

Brutus's picture

How dare you sir! The inside of my head smells fine, thank you very much.

RodVedder4's picture

Funny, they used to have the same coach from 1904 too! 

Excellence and greatness will be remembered...there is no room for average. None. - Urban Meyer

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ - Joey Bosa

danavh4's picture

There's nothing intimidating about it!  It looks like my High School economics class made it!

Michigan Fan: "We lose a long snapper and the whole team goes to shit!"

edro's picture

I think our D needs to get to McGloin. Can't let him sit in the pocket and pass all day nor we will get smoked. Get him to run and I think we will have a chance.

Hope Miller can throw well. I believe we will need nice passing to get some yards. PSU secondary isn't the greatest.

bassplayer7770's picture

I agree on both counts.  McGloin needs to feel some pressure.  Assuming Nate Williams is playing, you'd think they'd have him and Spence on the field together again this week, so it seems like we should apply some pressure.
Braxton has to complete some passes so PSU's D will respect the pass and open up our running game.  Seems like Braxton was missing a lot of throws last week, and the passing game wasn't getting any respect from Purdue's D.

avail31678's picture

It'd be great to come out throwing right off the bat and complete a few passes.  The opposite of establishing Hyde to create the pass game.  I expect PSU will be defending the run much more heavily than the pass.  I feel like Braxton's (and the offense's) success is largely based on tempo, and it's hard to get that up-beat feeling with two stuffed runs in a row. 
Very nervous about this game.  Mostly because I really, really, really, really don't want to lose to PSU. 

Earle's picture

I think that Braxton will command plenty of "quarterbacking respect" from the Penn State defense on Saturday.

Have you tried Not Your Father's Root Beer?  It tastes just like the real thing, but it packs a punch (5.9%ABV).  It's a little sweet for me though.  Two is my limit.

danavh4's picture

I think that at this point every team we play will blitz the crap out of him and spy him with 1-2 guys until he proves himself in the throwing accuracy department.  He's got to look off receivers and trust his reads or someone will figure it out and the score last philosophy of winning only works a few times.

Michigan Fan: "We lose a long snapper and the whole team goes to shit!"

Run_Fido_Run's picture

If Texas fires Mac Brown after this year, they should seriously consider hiring Bill O'Brien away from PSU. In addition to being Coach of the Year, B.O.B. is a walking billboard for Hook 'Em Horns:

German Buckeye's picture

It's always a roll of the dice when playing in Happy Valley - even when clicking on all cylinders in a normal year.  I expect us to be prepared, focused and ready to play fast and aggressive.  PSU will stay with us or lead at half (especially since we have started slow all year), second half will be ours.  32-17. 

gunni070's picture

Low 50's and rain Saturday night in State College.  Hopefully we'll be able to pass.  I would think that if neither team can establish a passing game due to weather, that would favor us.

btalbert25's picture

Fido, could you imagine the drop kick to the stones that would be to the Penn State program?  This guy who has rallied the troops for the program that was in shambles, says SIKE, then takes off to Austin.  Now that, would be something to see!

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I was mostly kidding, but that would be a major shock to the already reeling PSU program.
Now, if B.O.B. were a mercenary - which I don't think he is - he might realize that leaving after this year was perfect timing - coach of the year, right before PSU's scholarship limits begin to really take full effect, with a nice built-in excuse for leaving ("they misled me about the nature of affairs there").
I don't see it happening.

btalbert25's picture

I was thinking the same thing, this could be the highest value he'll ever have as a college coach.

Baroclinicity's picture

At the same time, he's got great job security right now with an 8 year contract, right?  That's appealing in itself in this day and age of "what have you done for me lately" in the world of coaching.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

onetwentyeight's picture

Yeah but nobody turns down Texas. Like that's just reality and dollars. 
Unless BOB was a born-n-bred State College die-hard, ex-player, JoePa worshipper, okay maybe he stays. But Texas calls someone, 99.9% of the time they leave. (IMO. Lookin at you, Mr. Saban.) 

danavh4's picture

I disagree.  The fact that he stayed speaks to who he is not only as a coach but as a man.  You have to admire his level of committment as well as the committment of the players that stayed.  I think there's a good chance O'brein stays with Penn State for quite some time.  With that being said I expect us to kick the crap out of them on Saturday!

Michigan Fan: "We lose a long snapper and the whole team goes to shit!"

btalbert25's picture

I haven't watched much of Penn State this year, but I did see the Northwestern game, and I have to say I was not impressed AT ALL.  Northwestern isn't that good, and their D couldn't stop Penn State's RB in the 4th Quarter.  He may be solid, but the RB didn't exactly look like Adrian Peterson back there either.   I think Penn State is solid, but Ohio or Northwestern was probably their toughest game to this point.  I think we'll pull a win out up there and I may be jinxing myself here, but I just don't think it's going to be as tough as everyone is worried about.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

My optimistic side agrees with you. Watching the NW v. PSU game, I felt like NW's coaches kind of mismanaged the game - and they even said so in the postgame press conference. NW was up 28-17 early in the 4Q, but had gone away from their usual offense. Partly as a result of that, they allowed PSU to dominate time-of-possession and eventually grind down the NW defense. Still, I remember thinking that there was only one dynamic athlete on the field for either team and he played for freakin' Nerdwestern - Venric Mark. 
PSU's RBs are pedestrian. McGloin has become a more efficient passer, but his passer rating is roughly the same as Braxton's (obviously, Braxton is 10X more effective in the run game). PSU's WRs and TEs are steady - they seem to run good routes and catch what's thrown to them - but nothing special. The OL has done a good job projecting McGloin but they are only 77th in rushing yards per game and average only 3.65 yds/carry. By comparison, Ohio State is 10th in rushing, with 5.61 yds/carry. 
This is the game we need Ohio State's DL to really come alive and wreak some havoc in the PSU backfield. If that happens, the Buckeyes should roll.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I greatly appreciate the time and effort Ben put into posting on here for this segment!  I seriously do not know what to expect out of this game since these are two teams that have been through quite a lot lately.  I watched PSU during their first 2 losses and haven't seen them since.  Obviously they have been able to right the sinking ship to a point but I'm not sure where they stand against us - or where we stand against them for that matter.
I do know that we have Urban Freakin Meyer as our coach, Braxton Miller as our QB, and El Quapo as a running back!  I do like our chances - especially on the road at HV.  Nothing gets the blood flowing more than a hostile crowd of PSU fans looking to un-Sandusky the place!

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avail31678's picture

@BTALBERT:  I really hope you're right.  It would be great to lay a Nebraska-style whooping on them.  I hope our offense is electric, and our defense stout.

Doc's picture

I would be very pleased with a "Nebraska Style whooping", but the talking heads would poo-poo it saying we beat up on a decimated State Penn squad.  Losing to them will cause us to be "over-rated" and Penn State playing with "emotion and purpose".  I'm hoping Braxton and co. can pile up mucho yards and points on them and the defense can hold them under 17.

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mclovin's picture

I tend to agree but the confidence isn't quite there yet.  Two reasons. One, the venue is pretty treacherous.  It has psyched out many a good Ohio State football team.  And it is at night.  Two, Bill O'Brien is an unknown commodity at this point.  If he has as gifted an offensive mind as he's given credit for, I worry about what he's got in store for us.  If we are able to neutralize those elements, I can see us with a NE-type win.

Doc's picture

I'm concerned that PSU has been getting 90-95 offensive plays per game.  I haven't watched them, but to me that is a result of the no huddle and long sustaining drives.  Coach Mick's off season training better come into play this weekend.  The defense needs to get a bunch of 3 and out's as well.

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TBrotherFour's picture

Although I believe stopping PSU on third down is significantly important, I see this game coming down to stopping PSU on Fourth downs. PSU often continues their drives on Fourth down and they execute without hesitation. Watch for PSU to rush to the line on Fourth Downs! I hope our defense is ready for this!

IBleedSandG's picture

I think the fact that they don't have a kicker is a pretty big advantage for us. What happens when its 4th & 8 on the OSU 30 with 10 seconds left and they need a FG to tie. No way that kid isnt gonna hit a 47 yarder.


osubuckeye4life's picture

It's been awhile since a game vs PSU has been a blow out. I don't see that happening this Saturday either.
PSU will give tOSU a game for at least three quarters. Coach Micks conditioning will come into play in this game. I'm confident this team can outlast PSU and will get the win. 

Ann Arbor Buckeye's picture

I just looked at the Penn State schedule for this season.  I now question why it was that I was so worried about this game.  Has anyone seen the teams they have played?? I mean they haven't played ANYONE with talent this year except for Northwestern, if you want to even call them talented.  I am no longer as worried about this game as I was before i checked their schedule.  Why is everyone in the national press so high on Penn State?  
Loss to Ohio 
Loss to Virginia
Win against Navy
Win against Temple
Win against Illinois
Win against Northwestern
Win against Iowa

Yes there are two Buckeyes in Ann arbor on this site!

onetwentyeight's picture

B/c BOB just might be smart enough to have Moxie throw 5,000 bubble screens against our D. Our D that totally loves wrapping up in space. Yup.

Ann Arbor Buckeye's picture

I never said we couldn't lose this game or that PSU wasn't a decent team, just that they haven't played anyone yet for us to really know how talented they are. I am less worried than I was after seeing their schedule. ESPN makes it seem like Penn State is some unstoppable force.

Yes there are two Buckeyes in Ann arbor on this site!

btalbert25's picture

That's honestly why I'm not too worried.  Ohio is the best team they played. I may be disappointed, but I'm not going to worry about Saturday until they are trailing and the clock says 00:00. 

Ultrabuckeyehomer's picture

I'm inclined to believe we will lose this game ... sorry guys.  They will play great defense (as always) and we will struggle to score as much as we will need to in order to keep up, imo.  It will be close in the first half, but I see us giving up a few too many second half touchdowns that we can't overcome due to the fact they'll have the ball most the time against our terrible defense.  Remember, we have a terrible defense.  Its not easy to win on the road in a place like happy valley with a terrible, gawdaweful defense.  people can say "urban will have us ready to play," but that doesn't help the complete lack of talent on the defensive side of the ball.  we're gonna give up a ton of points again.   
final score prediction: PSU 41, OSU 27.
Unfortunately, this is where the dream ends this season.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

It's reasonable to say that Ohio State's defense has been terrible by Silver Bullet standards, but they're not a terrible defense in the context of 2012 cfb in general.
When they've played against good offenses like Nebraska's or Indy's, it's been ugly. But PSU's offense is not that great - roughly on the level of UCF or maybe California. If they can reduce the number of big plays, the Buckeyes defense should be able to win some battles against PSU's not super talented offense.
The difference is that PSU might have the second best defense they've faced, behind MSU's. Because PSU combines a solid offense with a solid defense, the Buckeyes will not be able to turn the ball over like they did against MSU and still come out with a victory. But I also feel like the Buckeyes are kinda due for a +2 or +3 TO game.
PSU's special teams have been crappy and they don't have any dynamic offensive playmakers. PSU has the kind of team that Ohio State would normally destroy. Nevertheless, because the Ohio State defense has been relatively porous, the Buckeyes figure to need to score, say, 24 or more points, but I'm confident that Urbz/Herman will have some things ready.

btalbert25's picture

The thing to remember is the solid offense and solid defense have come against Ohio, Virginia, Illinois, Northwestern, Iowa, and the like.  I'm not saying the Buckeyes have played a whale of schedule, but MSU and Nebraska were both better than anyone Penn State has played. 

Ann Arbor Buckeye's picture

It would be an impressive win for PSU Ultrabuckeyhomer if they can get that score.  They haven't scored that many points all year against far weaker oponents.

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Ultrabuckeyehomer's picture

Agreed, and that's what I'm hoping for.  Maybe their offense is not any good after all ... I just have this feeling about the game. And, I have stopped believing that our defense will "get it together."  trust me, I really pray I am wrong as there are only two teams I hate to lose to more - Wisky and, of course, you know who.

Ann Arbor Buckeye's picture

Run Fido, don't you think PSU has the kind of offense that OSU's defense has played well against this year?  They remind me of MSU with more consistant playmakers.. But trust me, I still have a bad feeling in my stomache when it comes to this game.  I am by no means saying we will win this game, just that I am less nervous about it than I was b4 checking their schedule. lol

Yes there are two Buckeyes in Ann arbor on this site!

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I do think the Buckeyes defense is probably buited suited to play against PSU's style of "pro offense." Except that PSU is a throw first team that's been good at protecting the QB.
Obviously, Ohio State's pass coverages have been a mess at times and the DL hasn't been quite as disruptive as we'd hoped. The DL must put a lot of pressure on McGloin to help the safeties and LBs in coverage (the Buckeyes' CBs should be fine again in this one). Unless the Buckeyes defense is reeling from giving up pass plays, PSU will not be able to run the ball. But if the Buckeyes aren't in McGloin's grille on a consistent basis, things could easily go downhill on them.

Poison nuts's picture

I guess I'm a little different than some of us here. To be honest - I don't have a bad feeling about this game at all. I did have that bad feeling against Indiana & Purdue - but for this one I feel more like I did for the Nebraska game...not overly confident, but comfortable that OSU is ready. We'll be finding out soon enough & things won't be easy but I expect a complete game from the team - they are due at least one this year dammit!

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