When Urban Meyer's Buckeyes take the field against Penn State Saturday night, they will do so in front of a “White Out,” or what can best be described as a 100,000-strong blizzard of sound.
Almost to a man, Ohio State's players will tell you that Penn State's Beaver Stadium, particularly under those conditions, is the toughest road trip in the league. Urban Meyer, who has run into White Outs in each of his two trips to Happy Valley, said he wished they'd save the event for other games, calling it “one of the top five atmospheres in college football.”
This will be the 13th White Out held at Beaver Stadium, with the first taking place Oct. 9, 2004 when the 10th-ranked Purdue Boilermakers came to town (and escaped with a 20-13 road win).
Ohio State had the honor of being the guest for the program's second ever White Out and has appeared in a total of three throughout the years.
#6 Ohio State 10, #16 Penn State 17 8 October 2005
Ohio State entered this game at just 3-1, but the Buckeyes' lone loss was a heartbreaker to Vince Young and a loaded Texas team and the week prior to the visit to State College, Ohio State had whacked No. 21 Iowa, 31-6.
In cold and wet conditions, the Penn State defense, led by linebacker Paul Posluszny, was up to the task, holding the Buckeyes to 264 yards of offense and running back Antonio Pittman to 3.9 yards per carry on 15 rushes.
Down by one touchdown and driving in Penn State territory late in the game, the Buckeyes were poised to tie it up. That is, until Penn State defensive end Tamba Hali sacked quarterback Troy Smith, forcing a fumble that would be recovered by the Nittany Lions with 84 seconds left in the game.
Ohio State would win its final seven games that season, setting the foundation for a team that would enter the 2006 season as the nation's No. 1 team, but this one stung for a while.
#9 Ohio State 35, Penn State 23 27 October 2012
Urban Meyer's first Ohio State team was 8-0 when they made the trip east into a White Out to face a Penn State (5-2) team coached by Bill O'Brien.
After a scoreless first quarter, Penn State got on the board first, blocking a Ben Buchanan punt and recovering it in the end zone for a 7-0 lead. Ohio State would answer, outscoring Penn State 28-3 over the course of the middle two quarters to take a commanding lead into the fourth.
The scoring included a Ryan Shazier pick-six and this piece of Braxton Miller wizardry:
Miller would account for 134 rushing yards and three touchdowns as the Buckeyes rolled, 35-23.
#13 Ohio State 31, Penn State 24 (2 OT) 25 October 2014
In a game that many consider the turning point of a 2014 season that saw the Buckeyes go on to win the first ever College Football Playoff, J.T. Barrett, Joey Bosa and Ohio State topped Penn State in a thriller.
Ohio State (5-1) raced out to a 17-0 halftime lead and looked to have matters under control, but the Nittany Lions stormed back scoring on a 40-yard pick-six on OSU's first possession of the second half and then tacking on 10 more points to tie things up at 17, the final three coming on a 31-yard Sam Fricken field goal with nine seconds remaining.
The Buckeyes and the Nittany Lions traded touchdowns in the first overtime before Ohio State, receiving the ball first, went up 31-24 on a 4-yard J.T. Barrett touchdown run in double overtime.
Then, Joey Bosa took over.
With Penn State facing a 4th-and-6 from the Ohio State 20 and needing a touchdown to advance to a third overtime, the defensive end bull-rushed through running back Akeel Lynch, forcing him into Christian Hackenberg for a season-saving, walk-off sack:
The play was so traumatic, Lynch would later transfer to Nevada.