Penn State travels to Columbus Saturday night for what will certainly be the stiffest challenge the Nittany Lions face this season. PSU has the momentum of a 43-40 win over Michigan, as well as a bye week to get healthy and prepare for an Ohio State team that has yet to lose under Urban Meyer. Here is what the VBR staff has to say:
Lead Editor Matt de Bear (@PSUMatt2005)
What would you say if I told you Penn State has actually won 2 of its last 3 trips to Columbus. After going winless for nearly 30 years in Ohio Stadium, PSU won both the 2008 and 2011 games in The Horseshoe. The Lions offense is more than capable of playing well enough to make that 3 of 4, but I don’t think the PSU defense can sustain the effort needed over 4 quarters to pull what would perhaps be the biggest upset of the season.
I expect the game to play out much like the Ohio State-Iowa game of a week ago, with the Lions playing the Buckeyes close for a half, or even 3 quarters. However, a powerful OSU offensive line, and even more powerful Carlos Hyde will take over in late in the game, and OSU wins 31-20.
Co-Editor Barry Leonard Jr. (@barryleonardjr)
This is definitely the best team that Penn State will play this season. And for the sake of the Nittany Lions, I don’t like how this sets up. As good as Christian Hackenberg is, this will be a very loud and hostile environment, the likes of which he’s never played in before. He will face an Ohio State defense that has some very talented and athletic players, such as Ryan Shazier, Noah Spence, Bradley Roby and others. Also, one could argue that this year’s Ohio State offense is better than last year’s, and we saw what last year’s Buckeye offense did to Penn State in Beaver Stadium. As epic as it would be for the Nittany Lions to go into Ohio Stadium and pull off the massive upset, I just don’t see it happening.
Score: Penn State 17 Ohio State 34
Staff Writer Corey Hunter (@realhuntdog23)
Look for Penn State to try and establish a solid running game in an attempt to keep the very potent OSU offense, including All-Big Ten QB Braxton Miller on the sidelines. Bill Belton provides the Lions with a more dynamic running back than Zack Zwinak, so I would expect to see Belton’s touches to increase. I think the Nittany Lions can put up at least 20 points in this game. The question becomes how many points will the PSU defense allow? Ohio State runs an offense similar to Michigan’s except the OSU running game and quarterback play are, in my opinion, much better than the Wolverines. While I expect Penn State to come out fired up for this one, their lack of depth and experience on the defensive side of the ball will ultimately be their undoing as Ohio State will pound the ball in the second half, eat up the clock, and score enough points to outlast the Nittany Lions.
Prediction: Penn State 24 Ohio State 37