The Penn State Nittany Lions are coming off of a thrilling four-overtime victory at home over the Michigan Wolverines. Next up is a date with the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus. Without a doubt, the Buckeyes are the best team the Nittany Lions have faced, and probably will face all season.
The Buckeyes enter the matchup ranked No. 4 in the country and with a record of 7-0. They are currently on a 19-game winning streak, dating back to last season.
Ohio State has one of the best offenses in the country, especially when it comes to the running game. The Buckeyes rank 11th in the nation in rushing, averaging 279.6 yards a game. Quarterback Braxton Miller, a Heisman favorite to start the year before an injury caused him to miss time, presents a challenge for any defense that faces him.
For the season, Miller has thrown for 831 yards with eight touchdowns. He’s also ran for 335 yards, but has yet to find the end zone on the ground.
Aside from Miller, the Buckeyes are loaded on offense with the likes of running backs Carlos Hyde, Jordan Hall and wide receiver Corey Brown. Ohio State ranks first in the Big Ten, scoring 45 points a game and are third in total offense, averaging 493.1 points a game.
The Penn State defense will have its hands full with the Buckeyes, as the Nittany Lions have had trouble stopping teams this season, especially on third down. Penn State, although victorious against Michigan, did allow Devin Gardner to have a big day. Gardner threw for 240 yards with three touchdowns and added 121 yards on the ground.
Defensive coordinator John Butler will need to have his squad fired up and ready to play on Saturday.
On defense, the Buckeyes are also tough. Led by players like Noah Spence, Ryan Shazier and Bradley Roby, Ohio State is allowing just 19.9 points a game.
While all the stats point to this being an extremely tough game for the Nittany Lions, there is some history on their side. Penn State has been victorious in two of the last three trips to Columbus since 2008.
Follow VBR Co-Editor Barry Leonard Jr. on Twitter