Though I walk through the Happy Valley of darkness, I will fear no evil.

Buckeyes to face “Whiteout” at Beaver Stadium

Yeah, it’s a rivalry game now.

Two storied programs? ✓
Geographic proximity? ✓
Intense, mutual animosity? ✓
Competitive series? ✓
Great games? ✓

Ohio State and Penn State have had a number of incredible matchups over the years. From the birth of the “Whiteout” in 2005 to overtime in 2014. The blocked field goal in 2016 and a 15 point fourth quarter comeback in 2017. This series has no shortage of excitement.

Beaver Stadium is widely agreed upon to be one of the most intimidating environments in college football. The famous “Whiteout” is generally reserved for the biggest game of the year. Every other year, that game is Ohio State.

In this season’s edition, the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions enter as undefeated, top ten teams.

Laying the foundation

Who: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Penn State Nittany Lions
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Beaver Stadium in State College, Penn.
TV: ABC (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit)
Series Record: 18-14 Ohio State
Last Meeting: 39-38 Ohio State (2017)
First Meeting: 37-0 Penn State (1912)
Spread: Ohio State -3.5

No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0, 1-0)

Schedule to date

vs Oregon State (W 77-31)
vs Rutgers* (W 52-3)
at TCU (W 40-28)
vs Tulane (W 49-6)

Tulane

What a first half it was for Dwayne Haskins and the Ohio State offense. The Buckeyes jumped out to 42 points behind 344 yards and five touchdowns from Dwayne Haskins. The backups got in early, as Tate Martell saw one second quarter drive before taking over for good in the third.

The rest of the game was on cruise control for Ohio State. The Buckeyes did not score in the third, but a Martell touchdown on the final drive gave Ohio State the 38.5 point cover.

Full game stats

Season stats

Things to watch today

  • Dwayne Haskins. If he continues down the same path he started on, he will be in New York come December. He doesn’t miss in an empty pocket, so Penn State will have to get to him to force errant throws.
  • Mike Weber went out in the Tulane game with a foot injury. He is expected to play Saturday, but Dobbins should be the main guy in the backfield.
  • Ohio State’s receiving core is among the best in the nation. McLaurin, Hill, Campbell and Mack are the top four in the rotation.
  • The Buckeyes defensive line may very well be the best in the country. With the depth and talent there is, losing Nick Bosa will not cause a huge drop in production. However, you of course never want to lose the possible best player in college football.
  • Buckeye linebackers have struggled significantly this season. Difficulties in reads against the run have led to a handful of big plays.
  • The secondary is immensely talented, but has the tendency to give up the occasional deep pass.

No. 9 Penn State Nittany Lions (4-0, 1-0)

Schedule to date

vs Appalachian State (W 45-38 OT)
at Pitt (W 51-6)
vs Kent State (W 63-10)
at Illinois* (W 63-24)

Illinois

It was a slow start for the Nittany Lions in their Friday night road game at Illinois. The Illini stayed in this one well through the third quarter before Penn State dropped 35 points in the fourth.

Full game stats

Season stats

Things to watch today
  • McSorley ran 15 times against Illinois. The read option was effective, and expect to see it a lot against Ohio State.
  • Miles Sanders is electric, and he has a better offensive line than Barkley did. Sanders is averaging 7.0 yards per carry and has five touchdowns on the season.
  • The Nittany Lions have five receivers over 100 yards on the year, and KJ Hamler leads the team in receiving touchdowns.
  • Penn State’s defense struggled against wide receiver screens with Illinois. Look for Ohio State to try and exploit that with Parris Campbell.
  • Haskins does not make mistakes in a clean pocket, so Penn State’s front seven getting into the backfield is the number one key for this game.

Storylines

  • Star defensive end Nick Bosa is out until at least November for Ohio State.
  • Ohio State and Penn State have split their last two meetings.
  • Buckeyes won 39-38 last year after a fourth quarter comeback.
  • Ohio State leads the all-time series 18-14.
  • Tonight’s game will be Penn State’s famous “Whiteout” game.
  • Kickoff will be 55 degrees.

Prediction

Penn State has started slow in numerous games this season, but I do not think that is the case tonight. The Buckeyes will get out to an early lead, but a bomb from Trace McSorley will make it a six-point lead at the half.

The Nittany Lions will take a third quarter lead with the momentum, but Ohio State comes back in the fourth. Penn State covers, Ohio State wins.

32-31 Ohio State

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Author Details
My name is Collin Ginnan and I am majoring in Journalism and Spanish at The Ohio State University. I grew up playing baseball year-round from t-ball through high school and am a diehard Cincinnati Reds fan. Coming from a family of Buckeyes, I was raised living and breathing Ohio State football. To the best of my memory, I have not missed a single game to date. Ohio State vs. Penn State during Homecoming? That’s what the Watch ESPN app is for. Besides the Buckeyes and Reds, I follow the Blue Jackets, Browns, Cavaliers, FC Cincinnati, and Liverpool FC.
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My name is Collin Ginnan and I am majoring in Journalism and Spanish at The Ohio State University. I grew up playing baseball year-round from t-ball through high school and am a diehard Cincinnati Reds fan. Coming from a family of Buckeyes, I was raised living and breathing Ohio State football. To the best of my memory, I have not missed a single game to date. Ohio State vs. Penn State during Homecoming? That’s what the Watch ESPN app is for. Besides the Buckeyes and Reds, I follow the Blue Jackets, Browns, Cavaliers, FC Cincinnati, and Liverpool FC.

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