Skull Session: Joel Klatt Teases Ohio State-Penn State on Big Noon, Coaches Add Flavor to College Football and Urban Meyer Breaks Down Ohio State's Final Drive to Beat Notre Dame

By Chase Brown on September 29, 2023 at 5:00 am
JT Tuimoloau

Welcome to the Skull Session.

As the Buckeyes prepare to complete their off week on Saturday and Sunday, Ohio State walk-on defensive back Andrew Moore discussed weekend plans with his teammates in a video from the Ohio State football media team.

Let's have a good Friday, shall we?

 WAS HE SUPPOSED TO SAY THAT? This week, Joel Klatt appeared on The Herd with Colin Cowherd. Amid conversation about whether Ohio State or Penn State Not Our Rival is a better team, the Fox Sports college football analyst leaked unofficial news about the top-10 battle on Oct. 21.

"It's a good thing that we're going to be able to find that out. I cannot wait to call that game," said Klatt, the color commentator for FOX's Big Noon matchups, along with play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson.

Cowherd immediately goaded Klatt to emphasize which television network would broadcast the Big Ten East showdown in Columbus.

"I believe that's on FOX, F-O-X, Big Noon Saturday," Klatt replied.

I don't believe Mr. Klatt was supposed to share that info yet.

The Big Ten will announce an official kickoff time and television network for Ohio State-Penn State on Oct. 9 – around 48 hours after Ohio State dumps Mike Locksley, Taulia Tagovailoa and Maryland on Oct. 7. The Buckeyes' battle with the Terrapins was announced as a Big Noon special on Monday.

Ohio State and Penn State have faced off every season since 1993. In 38 overall meetings, the Buckeyes lead the all-time series 24-14, including wins in 10 of their last 11 matchups and six consecutive wins dating back to 2016.

The battle between Ohio State and Penn State has been featured on Big Noon twice.

In 2019, the Buckeyes beat the Nittany Lions, 28-17, behind a three-sack performance from Chase Young. Three years later, in 2022, Ohio State defeated Penn State 44-31 after JT Tuimoloau went nuclear and recorded six tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one defensive touchdown in a 13-point win.

Me, personally? I wouldn't mind an encore performance from Tuimoloau. And with Johnson on the call? That would be heavenly.

 GIVE ME MORE INTERESTING. I love college football. You love college football. We all love college football. I don't know about you, dear reader, but I have loved the sport more now, in Anno Domini 2023, than ever. Yes, because the football is excellent, but also because coaches have added WWE-level drama to the experience.

I mean...

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day vs. 86-year-old Lou Holtz

Oregon head coach Dan Lanning vs. Colorado head coach Deion Sanders

Washington State head coach Jake Dickert vs. 88-year-old Lee Corso

It's wild out here!

Ryan Day vs. Lou Holtz

And, of course, Holtz doubled down.

Dan Lanning vs. Deion Sanders

Jake Dickert vs. Lee Corso

You see what I mean? Wild!

The theme of September has been coaches with some spice, which has added some flavor to the 2023 college football season and made the sport that much better.

Coaches have kept "receipts," as Coach Prime would call them, and players have wanted all the smoke. I love it. And, honestly, it seems like we all do, as college football television viewership has been incredible after four (or five) weeks.

Let the drama continue!

 URBAN ANALYSIS. Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord had "all the confidence in the world" that the Buckeyes would score on their final offensive possession, defeating then-No. 9 Notre Dame in come-from-behind fashion in South Bend, Indiana.

“I felt like as soon as we got the ball back, with a minute and 26 seconds left and a timeout, I had all the confidence in the world in our offense,” McCord said on Wednesday. “It's something that we practice a whole lot here. That's really what the game came down to – that last drive. ... I knew we were gonna go down and score. There was no doubt in my mind. It was just how we were going to do it. It was a tough drive, converting a few third-and-longs and a fourth down, but you can't draw it up much better than that.”

For Ohio State to score, the Buckeyes needed to convert in some scenarios that did not favor the Men in the Scarlet and Gray, with plays of 3rd-and-10, 4th-and-7, 3rd-and-19 and 3rd-and-goal, among them.

Former Ohio State head coach and three-time national champion Urban Meyer broke down some of those scenarios in the most recent episode of Urban Analysis with Meyer and Gerry Dinardo.

It's been six days, and I still can't believe Ohio State went 65 yards in 85 seconds.

Incredible stuff.

 SIMON'S HEART. Simon's Heart was created in honor of Simon Sudman, a 3-month-old boy who died of sudden cardiac arrest in October 2004. Simon's death inspired Darren and Phyllis Sudman, Simon's parents, to start a non-profit that raises awareness for sudden cardiac arrest in babies via public initiatives in Pennsylvania and the United States.

In 2023, one of Simon's Heart's initiatives is the "Penn State vs. Ohio State Raffle." The raffle includes two tickets (Section 12C, Row 1, Seats 12-13) to the Big Ten battle between the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions and two free nights at the Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square.

From a Simon's Heart press release:

This year, Simon would be a freshman in college. 100% of proceeds benefit the Protect This Heart Scholarship supporting students on their college path to protect hearts.

The Penn State v. Ohio State Raffle Winner Gets:

Two tickets to the Horseshoe (Section 12C, Row 1, Seats 12 - 13) and two nights at the Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square. (October 20-22, 2023).

$20 for 1 Ticket, $50 for 3! Let's save lives!

Tickets on sale through October 2nd. Winner will be announced on Instagram Live. Winner will be contacted after announcement is made. Go to to learn more about Simon's Heart and our vision for a future in which parents and communities don’t lose children to detectable and treatable heart conditions.

Please consider purchasing a raffle ticket (or three! or more!) to support Simon's Heart. Good luck to all who do!

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)" by The Hollies.

 CUT TO THE CHASE. Francona’s beloved scooter stolen, stripped as Cleveland’s manager gets ready to say goodbye to game... Phillies deny emotional support alligator from entering ballpark... Sir Michael Gambon, veteran actor who played Dumbledore in "Harry Potter" films, dies at age 82... Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony will be live this year, with Elton John and Chris Stapleton performing... Missouri group plays baseball for 100 hours to break world record... Adding 3,000 steps per day may lower blood pressure among older adults.

 ONE MORE THING. Hello. Hi. Are you still here? Today, we release our first in-season update of the Eleven Warriors Buckeye 20 – our year-round ranking of Ohio State’s top 20 football players. Spoiler: Marvin Harrison Jr. remains the No. 1 player in the rankings, but a couple of new Buckeyes landed in the top five. One of those Buckeyes has a name whose spoonerism is Benzel Durke. I wonder who that could be! Check out the Buckeye 20 page to see the full rankings after the first month of the season.

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