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October 25, 2013

Staff Predicitions: Penn State

Follow Noon | Givler | Maks | Holleran | AndyMac

The Buckeyes go back into the Big Ten Leaders Division to take on Penn State this week in what could be the biggest game left on the schedule until "The Game" at the end of the regular season. Penn State has an offense that can throw the ball around, something that the Ohio State defense is not all that good with, at least to date. Can Penn State's ability to throw the ball downfield lead any of our experts to pick against the home team?

Noon
38-27
Patrick
38-31
Andrew
38-24
Givler
34-21
AndyMac
38-20
Tom
48-21


Kevin Noon - Publisher
We see another game where the opponent gets a bye week to get healthy and scheme against the Buckeyes and usually that means the opposing team finds ways to dissect the Ohio State pass defense and I believe that Bill O'Brien and his staff will find some ways to put up some points. But no amount of preparation will get them ready for Carlos Hyde and the Ohio State offensive attack. Ohio State's offense will score enough to outscore the Nittany Lions but it wouldn't be an OSU/PSU game without an Ohio State pick-six and I expect Bradley Roby to atone for a bad season by taking an errant Christian Hackenberg pass back to the house. Ohio State 38 Penn State 27

Patrick Maks - Staff Writer
The last time Ohio State lost at home was to Penn State in 2011. Two years later, the Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes find themselves the winners of 19-straight games and ranked No. 4 in the BCS. Ohio State has largely been dominant at home, but playing a Bill O'Brien-coached Nittany Lions squad will offer a relative challenge. Behind freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg and junior wide receiver Allen Robinson, Penn State's passing game could give a leaky Ohio State secondary a lot to worry about. The Buckeyes' inability to stop the throwing game has made for interesting drama, but not cost Ohio State. I think the Nittany Lions -- like they usually do -- will give the Buckeyes all they can handle. In the end, though, a refreshed Braxton Miller and surging Carlos Hyde will be too much for Penn State to keep pace with. Ohio State 38 Penn State 31

Andrew Holleran - Staff Writer
Maybe I'm not putting enough stock in how the Buckeyes looked against Iowa. But I'm going through the matchups in this one, and I just can't come up with a scenario in which the Nittany Lions hang with Ohio State for four quarters. Yes, Christian Hackenberg is good, and he has a variety of capable wide receivers and tight ends to throw to. But he's also a freshman, and the Nittany Lions don't run the ball all that well. Ohio State gets up for these types of games, and the team has performed well in all of them to date. Ohio Stadium will be loud, the Buckeyes' players will be amped up, and I think Urban Meyer's squad sends a bit of a message (what impact it will have withstanding). Braxton Miller has another huge game, the secondary has its best game of the season, and Ohio State wins semi-comfortably. Ohio State 38 Penn State 24

Marc Givler - Recruiting Analyst
The Ohio State offense is coming off probably its most complete performance of the season, at least against a quality opponent. The Buckeyes looked like the well oiled machine that most thought they would be heading into the season. The defense on the other hand, continued to show flaws and though it played much better in the second half, there are still concerns on this side of the football. I look for the Penn State offense, with an extra week to prepare, to have some success through the air and if freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg can play mistake free football the Nittany Lions can keep it close. Turnovers will be key in this one and I think the Ohio State defense will come up with a big play or two. Ohio State 34 Penn State 21

Andy McLachlan - Team Writer
I don't know if you heard but folks in State College are pretty high on Christian Hackenberg. Similar to a comic book hero, the freshman decided to stick to his pledge to Penn State, sacrificing a chance at a national title and vowed to leave the program back to where it was years ago. Easier said than done but the dramatic win against Michigan has Nittany Lion fans believing they have something special in their starting quarterback. The one thing Hackenberg hasn't faced is a hostile environment. Bloomington certainly doesn't count unless you're playing in Assembly Hall. And in case you've missed the last century, Buckeye fans tend to get rowdy at night. Time to teach the kid a lesson. Ohio State 38 Penn State 20

Tom Levenick - Time and Change Contributor/Former Player
The Buckeyes host the Penn State Nittany Lions Saturday in "The Shoe" and it will be a signature game for the Buckeyes. After a rather flat performance against Iowa, the Buckeyes will come out fired up, score on the opening drive and never look back. I think Braxton Miller will have a terrific game as will Carlos Hyde. Something tells me that the recent absence of Devin Smith, Jordan Hall and Dontre Wilson will be changed with explosive performances by that trio. Christian Hackenburg will have some success throwing to Allen Robinson, but will be pressured into more freshman mistakes and the Buckeyes will prevail comfortably. Ohio State 48 Penn State 21



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