Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015

Buckeyes Look To "Black Out" Penn State

Ohio State defeated Maryland 49-28 in what was arguably the best offensive performance by the Buckeyes in the 2015 season.  Using a two quarterback system, Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett led Ohio State to a combined five touchdowns; the other two touchdowns were scored on the ground by Ezekiel Elliott.  Ohio State was able to mix its traditionally strong running game, with play action passing to Michael Thomas and Jalin Marshall.  The common football maxim is that if you are playing two quarterbacks, you may not have one - no matter how you feel about it, Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer may have unlocked the secret to a productive Ohio State offense for the remainder of this season.







Next up in Ohio Stadium are the Penn State Nittany Lions. Ohio State fans can recall how the Buckeyes needed to rally at Beaver Stadium in double overtime last season, until Joey Bosa sacked Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg by pushing Nittany Lions running back Akeem Lynch into Hackenberg’s leg. Ohio State fans will fondly hope that this game against Penn State will closely resemble more of what happened the last time Penn State visited in 2013, when Ohio State cruised to a 63-14 rout.




Ohio State will unveil a special black uniform for the night game against Penn State.  If going to the game, be sure to wear black, or be prepared to face the wrath of Shelley Meyer... 







Black uniforms can be debated positively or negatively from now until the conclusion of the Penn State game.  In my estimation, Penn State is the best team that Ohio State has faced so far this 2015 season. 







Here are three things I will be keeping an eye upon when the game kicks off at 8pm EST on ABC...

1.  Penn State's offensive line versus Ohio State's defensive line ~ Penn State has given up 19 sacks through the first six games of the season, with ten sacks in the opening game loss to Temple.  Ohio State's defensive line, led by Bosa and Adolphus Washington, will pin their collective ears back on passing downs.  Will Penn State be able to protect Hackenberg?  Will Penn State use screens or other quick passing plays to try and negate the Ohio State pass rush?

2. Penn State’s Opportunistic Defense ~ On the latest Men of the Scarlet and Gray podcast, our guest Kevin McGuire noted how Penn State’s defense has been capitalizing upon turnovers in their five victories. With the exception of Ohio State’s win over Maryland, the Buckeyes have turned the ball over at an alarming rate. Will Ohio State revert back to its bad habits against the Nittany Lions?

3.  Ohio State In The Red Zone ~ Using Barrett opened up the offense in a positive way against Maryland.  Will Ohio State be able to build upon the momentum moving forward against Penn State?




Prediction: New uniforms and a night game are tremendous energy builders, but any game comes down to the team that is able to consistently block and tackle their opponent. Penn State is closing the gap talent-wise with Ohio State, but is not there yet with the Buckeyes. Look for Ohio State to pull away in the second half, behind the strong Buckeye offensive line and the running of Ezekiel Elliott. I have it Ohio State 35, Penn State 21.

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