(2)Penn State @ (6)Ohio State
(Favorite: Ohio State - 6 1/2)
Bbaver: The Pick: Ohio State - Two biggest keys for Ohio State - JT Barrett needs to prove he can be effective in a big game, as many still doubt that he can. And the Buckeye defenders in pass coverage (LBs, corners, and safeties) need to hold their own against PSU pass catchers. I tend to think JT plays better than he did against Oklahoma, but not like he has played in the 5 games since then. And I think the Buckeye pass defenders will give up some big plays and makes some big plays. Still, I think Ohio State will get it done. The bye week advantage and the revenge spot is huge for Ohio State. Urban is 40-10 against the spread in games where he has more than 7 days to prepare for his opponent. Ohio State also has a more talented starting 22, more depth, and a better coaching staff than Penn State. Ohio State gets a huge W Saturday.
Cory: I absolutely hate picking big games like this, because I try to make these picks with my head and not my heart. Yet, it's so hard to remove the fan in me for this pick. Ohio State enters the game fresh, coming off a bye last week whereas Penn State is coming off a big win over Michigan. The Buckeyes have been dominating opponents since their loss to Oklahoma, but the schedule during that time has been pretty weak. The biggest question for Ohio State this week is: which J.T. Barrett shows up this week? Barrett was shaky in the first two games this season, but has looked noticeably better since then. Is it because he's facing lesser opponents, or has Barrett finally found his 2014 form? As for Penn State, there's not much to say here. The Nittany Lions are absolutely on fire right now, and they are coming off a huge win over Michigan last week. Penn State has had a tougher schedule up to this point than Ohio State, and, if nothing else, the Nittany Lions feature the best running back in the nation in Saquon Barkley. It is tough to say this, but right now the Nittany Lions are the better team. As long as they keep J.K. Dobbins in check it shouldn't be too difficult for Penn State to hold the edge in this game. Penn State 35, Ohio State 28
Dave: Ohio State 38 Penn State 31
Gregg: Joe-S-U will tell you that OSU and PSU have met 8 times ranked in the top ten and the home team has always won. Unfortunately the higher ranked has always won so we will have to see which trend prevails after this weekend. JT Barrett has been playing better each week, hoping it has been a sign of his comfort with the Kevin Wilson game plan. What I am seeing is that the receivers have been doing a better job getting open, again that may be a sign of OSU getting into their offensive groove. No one questions the defense so I think that everything point to an OSU victory. The Buckeyes seem to be able to stop high profile running backs so I am not concerned about Saquon Barkley. I also read he leads the nation in rushes for a loss, I expect Hubbard and the boys will just add to that total. I expect Ohio State to be very focused knowing what is on the line, and I think the Lions are just not able to do it two weeks in a row. Ohio State 42 Penn State 24
Jason: This the game both schools and maybe all of college football has been pointing to all season. The winner will be the odds on favorite to play in Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship while the loser falls officially 2 games back. Penn State won impressively against a poor Michigan team while the Buckeyes are coming off a week off to prepare. It’s a ‘prove it’ game for both schools. The Lions haven’t beaten anyone great and barely escaped Iowa, and since the loss to Oklahoma, Ohio State has been impressive but the competition has been less than stellar. Revenge is on the mind of the Buckeyes after the inexplicable loss a year ago in State College, collapsing in the fourth quarter due to failed special teams. This time they get the Lions at home and coming off the bye week, will be ready to go. J.T. Barrett has thrown 21 touchdown passes with one pick, and he’s coming off a 325-yard, five touchdown performance against Nebraska completing 82% of his throws so the offense is seemingly humming. They’ve simplified things a bit offensively, the O line started playing better, giving Barrett time and seems to be rolling at the right time. For Penn State, Saquon Barkley will have his share of challenges with the Ohio State defensive front. But even if the Buckeyes gang up and slow Barkely, QB Trace McSorley can hurt them with his arm or his legs. He doesn’t have the receiver weapons he had a year ago, but he is a better passer this year and is better than he was the last time these two matched up, when he hit on 8 of 23 passes in the win over the Buckeyes. Look for the Buckeyes to come out rested and fast. The front four will pressure McSorley and force him into mistakes. He will struggle to throw it deep because he simply won’t have the time. This game will be won in the trenches and give the Buckeyes the edge on both. I expect the Buckeyes to jump out early then settle in and cruise to a hard fought win. Ohio State 31 Penn State 20
Joe-S-U: OSU over Penn State - These teams have met 8 times when both are ranked in the AP Top 10. The home team has won all previous 7 contests. Continue that streak, but break Penn State's 90-0 scoring stranglehold on 1st quarters this year, and keep Barkley out of the end zone- he's scored at least 1 TD in 14 straight games since the OSU game last year. Stats and such aside, this one's on the coaching staff- play the way you have been, you'll win. Reincarnate the ghost of Tim Beck with the playcalling, and lose
John: Still not sure what to make of Ohio State. They have feasted on a diet of cupcakes since the loss to Oklahoma. Penn State blew out a vastly over rated Michigan last week, so they come in really pretty good about themselves. Lions needed a couple of fluke special teams play to pull the upset last year. They say revenge is a dish best served cold. Well it’s going to be cold and wet in the ‘Shoe on Saturday. Ohio State wins in a close one. Ohio State 31, Penn State 28
jOShUa: I wish I was able to watch the Penn state game Saturday to get a better sense of how good they were. What I had observed about Michigan going into that game was that their defense was good, but their offense was garbage. I was right on the offense part, but the defense was fooled on RPO's (I am sure Urban and Wilson are licking their chops for that game). But before we can think about The Game, we have to take care of This Game. Penn State is coming into Columbus with a chip on their shoulder and a lot of momentum. For both teams, they have added stakes to win this one. For Ohio State, Penn state handed them their only regular season loss and cost them a trip to Indy. For Penn state, Ohio state edged them out of the Playoff despite not playing in Indy. I would love to see the offense hum like it has been before the bye week and challenge the Penn State defense. My biggest concern isn’t necessarily stopping Barkley (who in his previous 2 games has not scored a touchdown) but having our secondary limit the threat of McSorley. If we can find a way to force Penn State on three and outs, and limit their time of possession, we have a really good chance of winning this game. I am excited for it, more than the Oklahoma game, and I am hoping for a better outcome. Under Urban Meyer, Ohio State is undefeated after a bye week. Ohio State 31 - Penn State 14
Dr. Mark: Ohio State gets their revenge.
PJSBuck: I can't believe we are favored by 6 (as of Wed)? THIS, is war!!!!!!! Penn State has become the new school we love to hate (not really hate). We damn well better bring our "A" game, both players and coaches! I have no idea what will stop PSU so maybe it is just more a matter of slowing them down?? I guess we will find out if we have actually become a better, premium team or just looked good against inferior opponents. I watched all of the Penn State vs. TBGUN game and the Lions just flattened Michigan and ran all over them - made TBUGN look as inept as we were against Florida in the National Champ. game when Urban coached Florida. Soooo, what else did I see?? Penn State had several wrinkles relative to using Barclay in the slot and receiver that Jim Harbaugh said did not show up on previous film. They also changed their defensive line scheme a lot to confuse the Michigan O-line (which worked well). Michigan seemed to make few adjustments while Franklin said they made a number of adjustments during the game. Michigan was both out-played AND out-coached at every level. BUT, BUT, in the last two games we have made several adjustments as well, unlike last year's, "deer in the headlights" approach to coaching leadership on offense!! This game will truly come down to who wins in the trenches. On defense, gap-discipline and on offense it will be rhythm and 3rd down conversions. Until I seem them live, I do NOT like the new uniforms but I bet younger players will. In a game that will likely go down in our already rich history of big games; Ohio State 45 Penn State 43.
Pia Pete: Bucks take down the Lions. OSU 35 – PSU 27
Coach Rick: I have Ohio State winning 28-21
Steven: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Hopefully, that rings true this week. You may still draw some conclusions from what we saw last week. Penn State absolutely roughed up a respectable Michigan defense. The Lions also allowed two scores from an offense that is barely better than Purdue. While Penn State has statistically the best scoring defense in the nation, they have played not one offense scoring in the top 80. Their schedule has been GARBAGE. That changes Saturday. They come in to face the top scoring offense in the country. If Michigan can score twice on the Lions, the Buckeyes should at least double that. If OSU's defense can step up and keep the Lions' offense off the field, (something they could not do against Oklahoma), the Bucks win it easily. Penn State is not a one man show by any means, so corralling Heisman Trophy frontrunner Saquon Barkley is only half of the equation. QB Trace McSorley has an arm and his receivers routinely get behind opposing secondaries. McSorley throws one of the best deep/jump balls in the country and our DBs need to come out on the winning side of those 50/50 passes. On offense, JK Dobbins should be poised to make a statement that Barkley is not the best back in country nor the Big Ten. Add to the mix a JT Barrett that seems to have locked in with his receiving corps and is still one of the best QB running threats in the conference. This all could add up to a public thrashing that hasn't been seen since the Bucks marched into Lincoln and drubbed the Huskers 3 weeks ago. It will be closer than the faithful would like, but the Bucks ride emotion and the revenge factor to send the Lions home with their tails firmly tucked between their legs. OSU 42-28
Trout: This will be be the first real test for the Buckeyes since Oklahoma. Penn State has played well all year, and Barkley is clearly the best player in college football. It's not gong to be easier, but I think the Buckeyes are up for the challenge. JT and the wide receivers have improved tremendously since the loss to the Sooners. Not to mention, JK Dobbins is playing like a seasoned running back. It should be a close game with both teams scoring a few times. However I think the Buckeye defense, especially the defensive line will do enough to contain Barkley, and limit the Nittany Lion offensive production. I see the game coming down to the wire, but Ohio State pulling off the victory. Ohio State wins in a nail bitter. (Ohio State, 31-28)
Vaughn: Urban Meyer will actually benefit from the world series this weekend. I am one of the few that prefers to see our team play during the daylight hours. It appears OSU gets a little tight waiting for an evening kickoff. Ohio State silences Penn State 35-17.
GameDay: David Pollack believes Penn State gets the upset. Desmond Howard, guest picker Jack Nicholas, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso believe the Buckeyes win and have an inside track for the road to Indy.
Final Score: Ohio State 39 Penn State 38