It took a while for the Buckeyes to get going offensively against Iowa last Saturday, as their defense scored as many touchdowns as their offense (one) in the first half.
But Iowa’s defense couldn’t hold firm all game long, and Heisman Trophy front-runner C.J. Stroud threw four second-half touchdown passes in a 54-10 win for OSU, who remains second in the latest major college football polls.
Is there any way that Penn State will be able to pull off a stunning upset? Based on their play in their loss at Michigan a couple of weeks ago, it does not seem likely at all, but the Nittany Lions will be hoping to make their home advantage count for something come Saturday.
Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Matchup Information and Betting Odds Matchup Information Matchup: #2 Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) vs. #13 Penn State Nittany Lions (6-1, 3-1 Big Ten) Venue & Location: Beaver Stadium (University Park, Pennsylvania) Date: Saturday, October 29, 2022 Game Time: 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time How to Watch Ohio State vs. Penn State: FOX Ohio State vs. Penn State Odds Game odds are via FanDuel. Spread Ohio State -15.5 (-115) Penn State +15.5 (-105) Over/Under Over 60.5 (-110) Under 60.5 (-110) Moneyline Ohio State -710 Penn State +490 Ohio State vs. Penn State Updated Odds Odds are via FanDuel as of Friday, October 28 at 8:50 p.m. Eastern. Spread Ohio State -14.5 (-114) Penn State +14.5 (-106) Over/Under Over 60.5 (-110) Under 60.5 (-110) Moneyline Ohio State -610 Penn State +440 Does Ohio State Need Better Balance to Avoid Potential Problems?
Against Iowa, Ohio State managed only 66 rushing yards on 2.2 yards per attempt. Treveyon Henderson had only 38 yards on 10 carries, while Miyan Williams was held to only 19 yards on 11 carries.
As tough as Iowa’s defense is, their inept offense limited how serious of an upset threat the Hawkeyes posed in Columbus.
But could stopping the run help Penn State potentially put in a serious challenge?
It’s certainly possible, but I’m not overly convinced that they will actually even be able to stop Ohio State, either on the ground or through the air.
Sure, the Nittany Lions limited Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim to only 3.4 yards per carry on Saturday, but in the week prior, they allowed 418 yards on 55 attempts (7.6 yards per attempt) against Michigan in a 41-17 loss in Ann Arbor.
In their wins, Penn State has benefitted from playing ahead. Playing from ahead forces the opposition to go away from running the ball. I don’t see them being in that kind of position against Ohio State, barring the highly, highly, highly unlikely.
But even if they do key in on the run, they still have to deal with Stroud and his stable of pass-catchers. Harvin Marrison Jr., Emeka Egbuke, and Julian Fleming each found the end zone against Iowa, while the most highly touted of the bunch, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, returned to action against Iowa after missing a month.
Smith-Njigba, who is a potential top-15 pick in next year’s NFL Draft, caught only one pass for seven yards against the Hawkeyes. But if he is able to be more involved this week, that just presents one more problem for Penn State. As it is, I don’t see them being able to limit Ohio State long enough to give themselves a chance.
Will Penn State Fall Flat Against Another Contender?
Penn State being at home does give me pause about backing the Buckeyes to cover, but that’s about as far as I’m going here with the positive thoughts about the home team.
To their credit, Penn State led Michigan early in the third quarter a couple of weeks ago, using a pick-six to overcome a 13-0 deficit in quick time in the first half.
But save for that brief period where they were in the game, it was all Michigan.
While there isn’t much of a gap, if any, between Ohio State and Michigan in the ground game, there is one between the Buckeyes and Wolverines aerially. There is even more for Penn State to stop, and I just don’t see them being able to do it.
And while Penn State QB Sean Clifford did well against Minnesota, going 23 of 31 for 295 yards and four touchdowns, I don’t have faith in him to step up, his other recent performances don’t inspire a heck of a lot of confidence that he can deliver against one of the best defenses he’ll face all season.
Ohio State vs. Penn State Prediction and Best Bets Ohio State vs. Penn State Prediction: Ohio State to win Ohio State vs. Penn State Best Bet: Ohio State/Penn State over (Best Value: over 60.5 @ -110 at FanDuel)
I don’t think it’s an especially wise move to back a favorite this big in a road game, even if I think that the Buckeyes are a far, far superior team.
But I do like the over here, and when team totals are released later in the week, I will be backing the over on Ohio State’s team total.
Since being held to 21 points in their season opener against Notre Dame, the Buckeyes have scored at least 45 points in each game.
After a slow start against Iowa, Ohio State will be aiming to start much quicker in this game to keep Penn State from getting any silly ideas, and I expect them to leave Beaver Stadium with a comfortable and impressive win.
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