Penn State vs. Ohio State: The Big 10 Runs Through Happy Valley

It’s Saturday, and College Gameday is taking place in the Happy Valley. At 6:30 pm, #9 Penn State will take on #4 Ohio State. This matchup may decide who will run the Big 10. Penn State and quarterback Trace McSorley will try to take down the Ohio State Buckeyes. While Dwayne Haskins, JK Dobbins, and Ohio State try to stop the high-powered Penn State Nittany Lions offense. For Ohio State or Penn State to take this game and control of the Big 10, there are some keys to the game for both squads.

Penn State

The Penn State Nittany Lions will need to use the home field advantage tonight. The home crowd will need to be loud and pumped up to be a nuisance for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Penn State will need to do everything they can to keep the crowd into the game for the crowd to be a factor in beating the Buckeyes.

The Nittany Lions offense will need to be efficient for four quarters to take down Ohio State. Penn State is averaging 18.3 points in the first half and 35.5 in the second. They will need to replicate the second half production for the whole game if they want to protect their home turf. That’s a key factor for a whiteout win in the Happy Valley.

Another key to a win for the Nittany Lions is to improve in the run defense. Penn State ranks 73rd in run efficiency allowed and 88th in run explosiveness. They allowed Illinois running backs to run for a total of 202 yards. Pitt running backs ran for 157 yards. This is a lot for some average teams, but Ohio State has JK Dobbins and Mike Weber. They are better, and Penn State will need to find a way to slow these running backs down for a win tonight.

Ohio State

The Ohio State Buckeyes will need to silence the noise of the Penn State crowd to take a win in Happy Valley. The Buckeyes will need to stay focused and not let the loudness in the stadium affect their play calling. Keys to victory for Ohio State also include limiting big plays and rushing on a weak Penn State rush defense. Ohio State, in just four weeks, has given up 11 gains of 30 plus yards. The defense will need to buckle down and allow one or zero big plays to take down the Nittany Lions. With the absence of star defensive end, Nick Bosa for Ohio State will be a tough challenge. The Buckeyes will need to take advantage of Penn State’s putrid run defense to win.

The young Penn State defense must be exploited, and Ohio State needs to run the ball. With Haskins at quarterback, they have the success in the passing game. However, if need be the Buckeyes need to run with Dobbins and Weber. Early third-down conversions by Haskins in the passing game and moving the chains with the running back duo is key to victory.

Whether these teams follow these keys to a win or take a different approach, the game will be a tough classic. Tonight, in Penn State’s whiteout game, the Big 10 runs through Happy Valley. Whether you’re a fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes or the Penn State Nittany Lions, this game will be worth watching.

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Jeremy Grace
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