Andy Anders, BSB: Be Wary Of The Weird
This score prediction has bounced back-and-forth in my head like a table tennis ball, although each rally does favor the Buckeyes.
My reasoning is the lines. Football is and always will be won in the trenches, and I feel Ohio State’s offensive front beats Penn State’s defensive front and vice versa. The Buckeyes will be out to prove themselves in the running game after their setback against Iowa, and a Nittany Lion defense that gave up 418 yards on the ground to Michigan could be the perfect vehicle for that.
That being said, I have a weird feeling about this game. Ohio State hasn’t beaten Penn State by three scores or more since 2015, and the two schools have met every year since. Beaver Stadium is one of, if not the toughest place to play in the Big Ten. It’s a sleepy noon kickoff and the Buckeyes haven’t really been truly challenged by a team this season, other than perhaps arguably the Notre Dame game. Bad weather could be in store.
Couple all that with a Penn State secondary that could be capable of slowing Ohio State’s passing game, particularly if third-year quarterback C.J. Stroud starts forcing balls downfield, and this contest just feels too odd for OSU to cover. I’d look for a defensive score, special teams debacle or some other Halloween spookiness to keep PSU in it early.
Ohio State 38, Penn State 27
Jack Emerson, BSB: Ohio State Wins In A Dogfight
Penn State is, by far, the best team Ohio State has seen to this part in the season, and the Nittany Lions are going to show that in Saturday’s contest.
While Penn State’s offense doesn’t strike fear in many, especially with an inconsistent quarterback like Sean Clifford, it’s the Nittany Lions’ defense that gives me some pause. We’ve seen Ohio State need some time to figure out opposing defenses on a few occasions this season, most notably against Notre Dame and Iowa, and I think that trend will continue against Penn State. The Buckeyes have also had to deal with an adverse environment just once this season, and the crowd at Michigan State could not even compare to what’s awaiting the Buckeyes on Saturday.
As a result of those factors laid out, I think the Buckeyes will find themselves engaged in a fight for the full 60 minutes for the first time this season. Although I believe Penn State will give Ohio State the most trouble its seen to this juncture in the season, the Buckeyes will still likely come out on top.
Ohio State 31, Penn State 24
Braden Moles, BSB: Early Jitters Give Way To Dominant Final
While I’m going out on a limb here from my colleagues, I’m not convinced this will be as close as a game as many are predicting.
Ohio State has surpassed several tests this season, defeating Notre Dame in the season opener – even if that isn’t the win now that it once was – and recently knocking off Iowa’s top-ranked defense to the tune of 54-10. Penn State has wins over Purdue, Minnesota and even Auburn this season, but in the Nittany Lions’ biggest game against Michigan, they fell completely flat in a 41-17 loss.
The offense under Clifford has been inconsistent, and while the defense has been solid for Penn State this season – especially the secondary, led by Ji’Ayir Brown and Joey Porter Jr. – it’s hard to imagine that Ohio State’s offense won’t continue to put up points. Even if the early stages of the game cause some issues for the Buckeyes at Beaver Stadium, the relentless offense and punishing defense make it hard to imagine that Ohio State won’t end up with a comfortable win over Penn State.
Ohio State 41, Penn State 24