Three Questions Asked: Penn State

No. 2 Ohio State heads on the road for the second time this season, set to take on No. 13 Penn State in a noon kickoff at Beaver Stadium. The Buckeyes are looking to move to 8-0 on the season, while the Nittany Lions are trying to avoid their second loss of the season after falling to Michigan a few weeks back.

Buckeye Sports Bulletin is taking a look at the biggest questions facing Ohio State against Penn State on Saturday.

1. How will C.J. Stroud fare against Penn State’s secondary?

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud has had a mostly positive season, though there have been some let downs such as against Rutgers and the first half against Iowa in which he was sacked and fumbled the ball away, leading to a Hawkeye touchdown.

Going to Penn State this weekend, Stroud can’t afford to have a slow start like he and the Ohio State offense have had in some games this season. The Nittany Lion defense will present another challenge, specifically in the secondary, led by cornerbacks Ji’Ayir Brown and Joey Porter Jr.

Though the group has allowed 232.9 passing yards per game this season, Penn State’s defense has intercepted seven passes, and Stroud will be looking to avoid throwing an interception in his fifth consecutive game this season. If he can get into a groove, though, the offense will be tough for the Nittany Lions to limit.

2. Can Ohio State’s rushing attack get rolling again?

Ohio State’s running backs were uncharacteristically unproductive in the Buckeyes’ win over Iowa, with TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams combining for just 57 yards on 21 carries, an average of just 2.7 yards per carry.

Iowa’s defense was as advertised, routinely meeting the running back duo in the backfield or at the line of scrimmage. Holding Ohio State’s rushing attack back could have led to some of the early struggles for the Buckeyes’ offense, and Ohio State will be looking to avoid that type of perfornance again.

Penn State’s rushing defense allows 140.1 rushing yards per game, just 63rd in the country, and it provides a better opportunity for Henderson and Williams to get going again, though the Nittany Lions will try their best to stifle that rushing attack and force Stroud to win the game with his arm.

3. Will Beaver Stadium make an impact?

Ohio State will face a rare atmosphere at Beaver Stadium on Saturday in a noon kickoff. Penn State has traditionally used games against the Buckeyes as “White Out” games, but that was instead used last week against Minnesota in a 45-17 win for the Nittany Lions.

Even so, Beaver Stadium is still one of the most daunting venues in college football, and a noon kickoff against the Buckeyes should still result in a solid and raucous crowd of Penn State faithful. It isn’t the first road game of the season for Ohio State, but it will be the toughest road atmosphere the Buckeyes walk into this season.