Connect with us

Five Bold Predictions as Buckeyes battle Penn State for division title

Ohio State-Chase Young-Buckeyes-Ohio State football
Ohio State defensive end Chase Young will be back in action for the Buckeyes against Penn State. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Ohio State Football

Five Bold Predictions as Buckeyes battle Penn State for division title

COLUMBUS — The talent margin between Ohio State and its opponents is finally shrinking.

It still might be a stretch to suggest it’s truly even between the Buckeyes and Penn State. But for the first time this season, a glance at the personnel on both rosters suggests a real possibility of a four-quarter battle for the most complete team in the country.

But No. 2 Ohio State is still a comfortable, double-digit favorite over the Nittany Lions for a reason in the Big Ten East Division title game. But the Buckeyes still have to go prove why that was the case on the field, and Ryan Day has certainly been able to get their attention by repeatedly hammering his talent-equated mantra this week.

“We all know we have been in some games that we have had more talent than some of the other teams we have played,” Day said. “This is a team that talent equates. So when that happens it goes back to discipline, it goes back to fundamentals, it goes back to toughness, all of those things that come into play when your talent no longer matters.

“So, those are the [key] things, and we have got to do a good job putting a good game plan together, let the guys play and then prepare them to go. Then the team that’s more prepared will win the game.”

The Buckeyes already have 10 consecutive blowout victories to their credit, a tribute to the way they’ve focused on every opponent so far this season. The Lettermen Row staff has unanimously picked Ohio State to win again and claim the East Division crown, so as always, the crew is going beyond the score with Five Bold Predictions for the matchup against Penn State in the Horseshoe.

Chase Young-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Ohio State defensive end Chase Young could make some history against Penn State. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Austin Ward: Chase Young breaks single-game sack record

The last time Chase Young walked off the field in the Horseshoe, he had just delivered one of the most jaw-dropping displays of pass-rushing brilliance in Ohio State history. The junior captain could clearly still produce more if given the chance, and thanks to an off date followed by his two-game NCAA suspension, he’s had almost four full weeks to cook up an encore. That was a respected Wisconsin offensive line that Young was shredding for four sacks in his last outing as he soared into Heisman Trophy contention, and Penn State has had plenty of struggles blocking the last few standouts for the Rushmen — including a banged-up Young last year. Motivated, rested and looking to make up for lost time, Young is more than capable of breaking the school record he tied in his last outing.

Jeremy Birmingham: Ohio State will be trailing at halftime

Maybe it’s the taste of the last handful of Penn State matchups still in my mouth, but I am struggling to see Saturday playing out and not being a barnburner — at least for a half. Penn State is a good football team, and despite some limitations to his game-day machinations, James Franklin does a good job getting his guys ready to play in this game and the assistant coaches for the Nittany Lions are very good as well. This is a game for all the proverbial marbles, and because of that I think it’s reasonable to expect the Buckeyes to come out a little tight as the emotions of Senior Day and the weight of a Big Ten title and a College Football Playoff berth loom large. Penn State will take a 14-10 lead into the half, and at that point Ohio State will make the necessary adjustments to respond and secure a comfortable win.

Jashon Cornell-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Ohio State defensive tackle Jashon Cornell can create problems for Penn State on the interior. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Tim May: Defensive tackles rack up four sacks for Buckeyes

There’s no mistaking the big news of the week with Chase Young returning from a two-game hiatus against Penn State. With everything on the line, Young’s return coincides with Ohio State’s Klaxon call for all hands on deck to face the toughest challenge so far this season. While the watch is on to see whether Young, with 13.5 sacks this season, can top Vernon Gholston’s school-record 14 set in 2007, it says here that defensive tackles DaVon Hamilton, Jashon Cornell, Robert Landers and others who work the interior will take advantage of the distraction to wreak some havoc of their own. How about the defensive tackles accounting for at least four sacks as Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford seeks avoid the rapid rush of Young?

Spencer Holbrook: Ohio State secondary will feast on Penn State

Maybe Penn State will be the team that can finally run on Ohio State’s defense. If the Nittany Lions can’t, they’ll have to throw into a secondary that creates turnovers at a high rate. Jordan Fuller and one of the starting cornerbacks will each have an interception. If the Buckeyes can cover the tight ends that Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford likes to feature, one of the linebackers might get their hands on a pick, too. Give me two or three Ohio State interceptions that change the game’s trajectory.

Will Crall: Chris Olave will score three touchdowns

Chris Olave has emerged as Ohio State’s best receiver this season. Despite playing on one of the Buckeyes most deep and talented position groups, the sophomore has been the go-to weapon for quarterback Justin Fields in the red-zone. Olave has nine touchdowns on the year, which ranks him tied for first in the Big Ten. Penn State has a below average pass defense which gives up an average of 240 yards per game — on par with teams like Maryland and Rutgers. I’m not sure if it’s really that bold, but I predict that Olave will have a big day against the Nittany Lions and add three touchdowns to his season total.

10 Comments
avatar
8 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
9 Comment authors
OfficeDrone419AaronLaneGo Bucks!Buck68 Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
allinosu
Guest
allinosu

My bold prediction is that Birm is wrong!

Brunstar
Guest
Brunstar

Buckeyes come out fired up and put the game away in the 1st quarter.

Fields throws 2 TDs to TEs on Seam Routes.

Kid Buckeye
Guest
Kid Buckeye

Fields will have his highest run yardage this year.

Go Bucks!
Guest
Go Bucks!

I agree…he will run often and early in the game and then start slinging the rock

Buck68
Guest
Buck68

Q: what’s the purpose of a QB’s ‘progression’?
A: to find and deliver to the first open/coming open receiver.

Not to get, have, any/all the usual stats, records, and so froth.

The stat men are on the sidelines or further away. And if you’ve looked at all closely… the accuracy of their [and our] recordings… vary. And the reinventing occurs early & often…to this day.

;-{)}

OfficeDrone419
Guest
OfficeDrone419

Hey Buck68! I was just wondering where you have been on 11W… glad to see you over here 🙂

Our QB has been progressing quite nicely, eh?

zippi
Guest
zippi

Olave is a Sophomore and this game will be over by the middle of the 3rd period if not sooner, 42-13.

Buck68
Guest
Buck68

On the merits and in a competition…

isn’t “favoring” more than less “comforting”?

For when i am led by my favorites…

i am not ‘playing to the standard’, but to…

me.

Lane
Guest
Lane

If Urban was coaching this team I would agree with Birm. Coach Day wants to see Dabo in the cfb final! Put down the “urb” Birm… Ohio State 52-13

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

With Penn St’s starting center out due to injury while SO many key (future NFL) Ohio St players are coming back from injuries in time for this game, I just don’t see Penn St winning the line of scrimmage for any full quarter of play. I could see Penn St going ahead in the 1st quarter on a punt return for a score, but no way I see Ohio St trailing after even the close of the first quarter. In fact, I expect the opposite. I think the Bucks get out front early and stay out front. Ohio St 40-10

To Top