Penn State vs. Ohio State Prediction Roundtable


After a week off, the Penn State Nittany Lions get to play in front of a loud, white-clad crowd inside of Beaver Stadium on Saturday night. The No. 13 Ohio State Buckeyes head to Happy Valley for a primetime Big Ten clash.

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This is a battle of two teams heading in opposite directions. After winning the first four games of 2014, Penn State has dropped two-straight and now has a lot of questions swirling around the team, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Ohio State on the other hand, rebounded from an early-season loss to Virginia Tech and now looks like one of the top teams in the country.

The oddsmakers have the Nittany Lions as double-digit underdogs in this one. While an ugly game is completely possible based on past performances of both teams, there’s also a chance that Penn State uses the energy from the crowd to keep the game close.

Check out our VBR staff predictions for this Big Ten matchup.

Lead Editor Barry Leonard Jr.

I’m not going to beat around the bush here. When looking at the numbers, things do not look good in this one for the Nittany Lions. Ohio State has been on fire lately, led by a stout defense and an extremely potent offense. Penn State has shown flashes of greatness this year, but lately the team has looked downright flat and ineffective.

The Penn State offense has a tall task in front of it, especially the offensive line. Ohio State has one of the best defensive lines in the country and should be able to tee off on the porous Penn State line. I’m not expecting many points from Penn State in this one.

While I don’t see the Nittany Lions winning this one, I do think it’ll be closer than some thing. Regardless of how terrible the offense has looked in recent weeks, the Penn State defense is tough. I think the Nittany Lions have the experience and playmakers on defense to make things tough on the Buckeyes.

As much as I’d love to predict an upset here, I just don’t see it. At least I don’t think it’ll be as bad as it was in Columbus a year ago. Give me the Buckeyes 27-10.

Staff Writer Eric Sion

I have a very hard time seeing Ohio State lose this game. The Buckeyes are trending up while Penn State is going in the opposite direction. Penn State hasn’t beaten Ohio State in Beaver Stadium since the famous 2005 game and that drought will in all likelihood continue. J.T. Barrett is one of the hottest quarterbacks in the country and Ohio State’s defensive line is going to wreak havoc in the Penn State backfield all game long. I just hope Christian Hackenberg comes out of this game without suffering any major injuries. If the Nittany Lions are going to pull off the enormous upset, they’ll need to play a perfect game and Ohio State will have to play their worst game of the season.

Ohio State wins somewhere in the neighborhood of 42-13.

Staff Writer Corey Hunter

Penn State returns to action this week against their Big Ten rivals, the Ohio State Buckeyes.  After having two bye weeks sandwiched around a loss at Michigan, Penn State has not tasted victory in over a month.  Defeating perhaps the best team in the Big Ten Saturday night will certainly be a daunting task.

Ohio State has been a different team both offensively and defensively since its week 2 loss against Virginia Tech.  In fact Ohio State has scored at least 50 points in each of their last four games, including a 56-17 thumping of Rutgers last week.

Penn State, on the other hand, has the Big Ten’s top-rated scoring defense, allowing a scant 15.2 points per game.  They will need all of their defensive prowess to fend off the top-scoring team in the Big Ten.

The 800-lb gorilla in the room is whether Penn State can muster any semblance of a running attack and pass-blocking capabilities to keep quarterback Christian Hackenberg upright long enough to find his receivers downfield.  The longer Penn State can vary their play calling any maintain an effective run game, the longer they can hang with the Buckeyes.

So what happens? Penn State, with the “Whiteout” nighttime crowd will come out fired up.  Once the game starts though, Ohio State will likely find ways to dent the PSU defense.  Unfortunately, the Penn State offense is going to have a difficult time getting the ball down the field once they are forced to become one-dimensional.

A valiant performance by the home team will give way to another solid win from the scarlet and grey.  Ohio State 34  Penn State 10.

Staff Writer Ryan Lance

Penn State returns to Beaver Stadium after a week off to face the No. 13th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Two weeks ago, the Nittany Lions turned in a poor performance on offense and special teams, as they dropped an 18-13 game to Michigan. Over the past week, the Nittany Lions have been working on shoring up the offensive line and special teams units, but will face their toughest task all season this weekend.

We’ve been harping all season long about the offensive line play and how it has ultimately effected Christian Hackenberg and the offensive production. It’s been very frustrating as a fan to watch, but Hackenberg has to realize he has a lot of weapons and talent around him. The offensive staff has to implement some quicker passing routes such as outs, curls, slants and crossing routes to get the ball out of Hackenberg’s hands quicker and give the the offense a chance at some success. With the inconsistency of the offensive line, slow-developing plays and routes have resulted in a number of sacks so far this season.

Heading into this weekend’s game, there are a few areas which Penn State will have to focus on to have a chance. They have to find a way to keep DE Joey Bosa, who is 1st in the conference in sacks and second in tackles for loss, out of the backfield. They also have to improve in their punting game which hurt them down the stretch versus Michigan and they have to continue to mix in a good combination of run-pass plays. At the end of the day, I think the Nittany Lions defense will be able to keep the game respectable during the first half but I think they will ultimately tire out by the end of the 3rd quarter.

I just can’t trust our offensive production to keep us in this game and we all know Urban Meyer is going to use this game as a statement game, therefore, I have to take Ohio State 45-13.