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Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Preview and Prediction

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Some comments I received after Ohio State defeated Maryland 49-28, "That's a little more like the Ohio State we were expecting." Offensively, I would agree — Ohio State played its most complete game, with quarterbacks Cardale Jones and J.T Barrett combining to score five touchdowns. Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer seemed to develop a system that played to both Jones and Barrett's respective strengths.

Defensively, Ohio State continued its alarming trend of allowing the opposition to run, seemingly at will. Defensive end TyQuan Lewis combined with teammate Joey Bosa to continually apply pressure on passing downs. A win is a win — it would be fair to suggest that Ohio State took a step in the right direction with the victory over Maryland that sealed former Terrapin head coach Randy Edsall's fate.

The Penn State Nittany Lions come into Ohio Stadium for a night game, against a Buckeye team unveiling new black uniforms for the occasion:

After an opening loss to Temple, Penn State has won five in a row. Penn State is led offensively by quarterback Christian Hackenberg and wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton. Running back Saquon Barkley is Penn State's leading rusher, but has been hampered with injuries.

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Penn State at Ohio State

Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET (Saturday)

TV Channel: ABC

Spread: Ohio State -17

Three Things To Watch

1. Penn State's Offensive Line vs. Ohio State's Defensive Line

Every Ohio State fan, and probably every Penn State fan, remembers how Joey Bosa manhandled Penn State's offensive line last season in Happy Valley to secure the Ohio State victory. Penn State's offensive line has been much maligned; have the Nittany Lions improved enough to adequately protect Hackenberg against the Buckeyes?

2. Ohio State's Rush Defense

See my comments from up above. Ohio State has been giving up yards on the ground for the past few games. While Hackenberg is not a mobile quarterback, look for Penn State to try and exploit what may be a weakness in Ohio State's defensive scheme.

3. The Turnover Battle

Ohio State emerged from the Maryland game with no turnovers. Considering the strength of the Penn State defense, Ohio State cannot revert to its bad habits that were on display for most of this season.

Final Analysis

Ohio State, and its fans, always get up for a night game. Urban Meyer will certainly have a considerable number of recruits on hand to soak up the atmosphere of Ohio Stadium. Penn State will be looking to redeem themselves after coming out on the losing end of this series ever since their last win over Ohio State in 2011.

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Prediction: Ohio State 35, Penn State 21

— Written by Chip Minnich, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a diehard Ohio State fan. Minnich also writes and podcasts for, a site dedicated to Ohio sports with a special emphasis on the Buckeyes. Follow him on Twitter @ChipMinnich.