Not surprisingly, the Ohio State-Penn State games has become one of the premier matchups on the Big 10 calendar every year. Two of the biggest names in college football, in bordering states, playing in front of 100,000+ fans inside iconic stadiums. Oh, and the games have typically been pretty good too. This year’s edition should be no different, and that is why it slots in at #2 on our countdown.
In a change form the Jim Tressel era, OSU’s offense will be the focus going into the season, and rightfully so. The Buckeyes return arguably the most electrifying offensive player in the Big 10 in Heisman contending quarterback Braxton Miller. He accounted for over 3,000 yards through the air and on the ground, and 28 total touchdowns last year. Back as well is Carlos Hyde, who emerged as the Buckeye’s best running back during the 2012 season. Philly Brown caught 60 passes last season, and returns at receiver along with big play threat Devin Smith.
On defense, Meyer needs to replace the entire starting defensive line, as well as 2 linebackers. That task is not as daunting as it may sound, however, as the Buckeyes are very deep at both spots, and return plenty of experience. The strength of the OSU defense is in the secondary, where they return 3 starters, including Bradley Roby, the top DB in the Big 10 in my opinion.
I am not going to lie about this game. It scares the crap out of me. While Penn State has had better success in Columbus over the past 5 years, The Horseshoe has still been a house of horrors for the Nittany Lions more often than not. This year’s game kicks off under the lights, and they are facing one of the most dynamic offenses in the nation, and what I feel is a very underrated defense. Irregardless, this will always be one of the biggest games on the PSU schedule, and one certainly worth looking forward to.
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