Gameday breakdown: No. 13 Ohio State Buckeyes (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) at Penn State Nittany Lions (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten)
WHEN: 8 p.m., Saturday
WHERE: Beaver Stadium
SERIES: Ohio State leads, 15-13
LAST MEETING: Ohio State won 63-14 at Ohio Stadium last season.
COACHES: Ohio State — Urban Meyer, 3rd season, 29-3 (133-26, 13th overall); Penn State — James Franklin, first season, 4-2 (28-17, 4th overall)
TELEVISION: ESPN on ABC (commentators: Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe)
RADIO: WQWK 1450, WBUS 93.7 (announcers: Steve Jones, Jack Ham, Loren Crispell)
TIPS TO WIN:
For Penn State — Get it to the fourth quarter. If Penn State’s defense can keep it close again and the offense can learn from past mistakes, the Nittany Lions will be better primed to pull the upset.
For Ohio State — Keep rolling. The Buckeyes have just two turnovers the last three games and are pounding teams on offense with at least 50 points in each of the last four games. Now’s not the time to slow down on the road in what could be a loud, jarring environment.
OHIO STATE PLAYER TO WATCH: Joey Bosa. Penn State has suffered greatly in the trenches in both of its losses. They’ve struggled to block long-armed pass-rushers (see: Frank Clark and Dean Lowry) and Bosa is probably the best player of the three. If he can cause havoc early, he can buy time for the Ohio State offense to do what it does.
PENN STATE PLAYER TO WATCH: Geno Lewis will be eager to get back on track after he was benched for most of the Michigan game. He’s the kind of big, physical receiver Penn State needs to make plays down the field.
KEY MATCHUP: Simply put, the blueprint for how to beat Penn State has been out there for quite a while. Win the line of scrimmage on defense and get moderate contributions from your offense. Ohio State figures to get plenty of offensive support, so Penn State’s offensive line must hold the Buckeyes off and set the tone and anchor a pocket for Christian Hackenberg.