What was almost the biggest game of the year has now become a somewhat lopsided matchup. Penn State will be hosting Ohio State on Halloween for Week 2 in the Big Ten after losing dramatically to underdogs Indiana in overtime. Some will say the winning touchdown should not have counted, making Penn State win, but it counted…and they lost. Some will say Penn State was still the better team after more than doubling Indiana’s total yards. Either way, the matchup will happen between an undefeated Ohio State and a winless Penn State.
The past few years, Penn State vs. Ohio State has been the most significant game in the Big Ten. Ohio State is on a three-game winning streak after being upset in 2016 on a blocked field goal returned touchdown. During that win streak, Ohio State has won be one point twice and 11 last season. Even with those close outcomes, OSU is predicted to get a big win this week due to the upset Penn State suffered.
Penn State is led by QB Sean Clifford this year, who struggled last year but has done his job. Against Indiana, he struggled in the first half but picked it up later in the game and even led his team in rushing. Unlike usually, the Lions do not have a top running back due to injuries to their two top backs. Overall, their offense does not provide much to worry about, outside of one of the top TEs in the country, Pat Freiermuth. However, they cannot be taken lightly and should be expected to score on the Buckeye defense, struggling to find their way.
On the defensive side of the ball, they are without one of the top defenders in the country, LB Micah Parsons, who opted out for the 2020 season to prepare for the draft. However, they are still led by DE Shaka Toney, who is dangerous off the edge after leading the team with seven tackles and two sacks. With the talent overall, their defense is better than their offense. Will they be able to contain Ohio State’s elite offense?
If Penn State wants to win this game, they’ll have to find success in containing Ohio State’s offense and taking advantage of their young defense. After how well they looked in the second half against Nebraska and how Penn State looked against Indiana, I don’t think that will happen. Last week, I was only one point away from predicting the final score correctly, so let’s see how well I do this week.
Final score prediction: Ohio State 45 – Penn State 24
Ohio State will face-off against Penn State on Halloween, 10/31, at 7:30 p.m. on ABC in Beaver Stadium. As of Tuesday, Ohio State is favored by 12.5 points and the O/U is 64.5.