Penn State (5-1, 2-0) at Ohio State (6-0, 2-0)
When: Saturday, October 17th, 2015
Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
Time: 8:00 ET
TV: ABC Radio: XM 81
The resurgent Penn State Nittany Lions invade Columbus, Ohio to take on top ranked Ohio State. Penn State lost their opener to Temple, but have since won five straight including a 29-7 win over Indiana last week. Junior quarterback Christian Hackenberg has passed for 1,086 yards, 7 touchdowns and 2 interceptions this season and is 195 yards away from passing Zack Mills for the school’s career passing yardage record. Running backs Saquon Barkley and Akeel Lynch are both expected to miss their third straight game due to injuries. They have a combined 635 yards rushing for Penn State this year. Redshirt freshman Nick Scott will get the start and has 125 yards rushing on 27 carries. Defensive end Carl Nassib leads the nation with 10 sacks – Penn State also is tops in the country with 25 as a team – and sophomore middle linebacker Jason Cabinda leads the team with 46 tackles. Overall, the Lions rank 10th in the nation in total defense allowing only 275 yards a game.
Ohio State comes winners of 19 consecutive games including 27 Big Ten games in a row. The quarterback shuffle continues for coach Urban Meyer. Junior quarterback Cardale Jones has passed for 1,158 yards, 7 touchdowns and 5 interceptions but is now giving away to sophomore J.T. Barrett in the red zone. The offense is really led by All-American running back Ezekiel Elliott. He has 835 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns this season and has topped 100 rushing yards in 11 straight games. Ohio State junior WR Michael Thomas recorded his first career 100-yard outing in last week’s win over Maryland and leads the team with 27 receptions for 399 yards and 4 touchdowns. The defense should give Hackenberg some problems as they rank 9th in FBS against the pass.
Ohio State has been getting off to some bad starts in their games and almost lost to Indiana while Penn State blew them out. I fully expect Ohio State to win and stay unbeaten, but I think the Lions can give them a push.
Pick: Penn State +17.5