Penn State Preview: Who Are the Ohio State Buckeyes?

Ohio State at Penn State
October 27, 2012
5:30 pm EST

Ohio State University

Columbus, Ohio

Head Coach: Urban Meyer (112-23 career)

2011 Record: 6-7

2012 Record: 8-0

Key Players: 

QB #5 Braxton Miller: Maybe you’ve heard of him? Heisman hopeful? Best player in the Big Ten? 67% of Ohio State’s offense? Miller sustained a head/neck injury in last week’s win over Purdue but the common theory is that he’ll be good to go when the Bucks travel to Happy Valley.

RB #34 Carlos Hyde: With Jordan Hall out, Hyde has been de-bunking the myth that Urban Meyer can’t utilize a big back. Hyde is 6′ 232 pounds and is averaging 5.24 yards per carry with 9 touchdowns. He’s not much of a receiving threat but expect to see him on the field in any situation.

WR #10 Corey (Philly) Brown: When Miller completes passes, they’re to Philly Brown nearly 40% of the time. He has just one receiving TD but has another on a punt return and is a threat to score from anywhere.

DT #52 Johnathan Hankins: “Big Hank” is the Jordan Hall of Ohio State’s defense. The big man in the middle makes it tough for opposing defenses to run inside and often ties up two interior linemen on passing downs.

SUMMARY:

The Ineligi-Bowl. The Outlaw Bowl. The Battle of the Banned. Call it what you want but when Ohio State and Penn State leave the field on Saturday night, one of them will be claiming that they are the best team in the Big Ten, and that team will probably be right. Despite several close calls, Ohio State enters this week undefeated. Penn State opened up with two depressing losses but have come into their own since then and are the hottest team in the country, winning 5 straight and seemingly improving every week.

Although “The Game” will always be the marquis rivalry game in the Big Ten, this matchup has arguably been the best rivalry in the conference over the last decade, with Ohio State winning just 4 of the last 7 matchups. They’ve faced eachother as top 10 teams, they’ve played spoiler for one another and this year they’ll go at it in the same boat of bowl ineligibility.

I’ve seen 100% of Penn State’s snaps and probably 80% of OSU’s yet I struggle when trying to predict how this will play out. Ohio State is flawed on offense and even more so on defense, yet they possess more talent than any other team in the conference. Braxton Miller is capable of putting 6 on the board every single play, but if he can be contained, the OSU offense becomes very stagnant. Penn State has played Ohio, Temple, Navy and Northwestern-all of whom run some form of an option/read/spread offense. That should help PSU when preparing this week. Thing is, none of those teams have a Braxton Miller. Or even a Carlos Hyde, for that matter. At the same time, Miller has not seen a front seven in the same league as Penn State’s. Michigan State has a very good front seven but Penn State boasts the conferences top linebacker corps and goes about 8 deep on their front seven without missing a beat. A 38-17 game either way would not surprise me anymore than a 14-13 battle in the trenches. The only thing to be certain of is a raucous crowd at Beaver Stadium.

Fun Facts:

  • Penn State has not beat Ohio State at home since 2005.
  • The betting line on this game started with Ohio State -3 and moved to Penn State -2.5 in an hour.
  • This is the 100 year anniversary of these two teams’ first matchup. Penn State won that game 37-0.
  • In their last 11 meetings, these two have played in front of  less than 105,000 fans just once. (104,947 in 1994)
  • Four current Buckeyes are from Pennsylvania while three Nittany Lions hail from the Buckeye State.

 

For all of the latest on the Penn State Nittany Lions, follow VBR Lead Editor Tim Tolley on Twitter.

Topics: Football, Ohio State Buckeyes, Penn State Nittany Lions

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  • Willie Green

    I saw them haul Braxton Miller off the field and to the hospital when he got his bell rung. I’m glad he’s apparently OK, but it’s extremely difficult to believe.
    They make kids sit out a play just if their helmet pops off.
    I think they should also make kids take a week off if they got hit as bad as Miller did, even if the hospital claims he’s OK and was just shaken up a bit.
    That kid was HURT.

    • PSUMatt2005

      Disagree. OSU has one of the best head/neck injury hospitals in the country, if not the world. If the doctors say he’s ok, I’m inclined to believe them. We’ve become so sensitive to head injuries, which is a good thing, but that doesn’t mean just because a guy takes a big hit, he must have a head injury.

      Oh, and that helmet rule is stupid. Good intentioned, but doesn’t really do anything.

  • PSUMatt2005

    I’d add two things:

    1-John Simon is one of the best DEs in the Big 10. Keep your eye on him.
    2-You should’ve titled this “What’s a Buckeye???”

    • http://twitter.com/TimTolleyFS Tim Tolley

      I actually debated on which defensive lineman to highlight because of Simon. I chose Hank because I think he’ll be more impactful in this game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=663647495 Dennis Stanley

    FYI – You say 67% of the offense (Braxton Miller) like it is a bad thing. Matt McGloin is right around those numbers too, at 65%. Even a bad QB will be over 60%.

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