A lot of big games on the college football card on tap on Saturday. None bigger than Penn State vs. Ohio State at the horseshoe in Columbus. We will have you covered here at The Sports Geek for this integral matchup between the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes. Penn State are fresh off a blowout win against the Michigan Wolverines, 42-13. It was a sad performance for Jim Harbaugh and his bunch, but Penn State were able to capitalize on the sloppy performance from the Wolverines. Michigan with two losses are all but eliminated from the playoff. They can hope for a better bowl game, that’s about it now. However, Penn State is alive and well with a perfect record of 7-0. The Buckeyes are behind with a 6-1 record, with a loss coming against Oklahoma at home earlier in the year.
Despite the loss to the Sooners, Ohio State are still alive in the chase for the college football playoff. Ranked 6th in the nation, they have Wisconsin and TCU ahead of them at 5 and 4. You can’t argue that, as Wisconsin and TCU have yet to drop a game. Ohio State, though, are the best ranked 1-loss team in the country. They may not control their own destiny, but a Wisconsin or TCU loss will give them a bump. Clemson is behind the Buckeyes at 7th. Another scenario that will bump Ohio State up is a win over Penn State on Saturday. It isn’t a lock to happen, but you can’t have both with one loss and Penn State ahead of the team they just lost to.
While Penn State were battling Michigan last week, Ohio State were sitting back resting their bones. Ohio State are coming off a bye week, a perfect time for the weekend off as they welcome Penn State to the horseshoe in Week 9. The Nittany Lions have been a complete team thus far, with a little of everything going their way. The offense has been strong with quarterback Trace McSorley and runner Saquon Barkley. Barkley is on Heisman alert, with a big performance against Ohio State bolstering his argument. It isn’t just the offense; the defense has been performing as well. We’ll see if it travels with them to Columbus. Head below for our free Penn State vs. Ohio State pick.
Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Odds:
Penn State +6.5(-110)
vs. Ohio State -6.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Penn State vs. Ohio State Pick:
Penn State have a fantastic 1-2 punch with Barkley and McSorley. Would McSorley be looking so good if it weren’t for Barkley? Yeah, because defenses wouldn’t be playing so close to the line. Barkley is rushing for 6.5 yards per carry, along with 14 yards per reception. He is a threat in the running game and passing game. He owns 8 touchdowns rushing and 3 receiving. McSorley has also been productive with 14 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He certainly has the luxury of having a guy like Barkley in the backfield. Penn State are 27th with 463 yards per game.
The Nittany Lion defense cannot be understated. The Michigan offense is feces this season, but they’ve been holding teams in check all year long. They’re ranked 9th in the nation, allowing just 283 yards per game. Further, Penn State are 1st with regards to points allowed per game, 9.6 points. That tops Alabama by .2 points. Without question, though, this is going to be the best offense Penn State has played this year. The best offense they’ve played to this point has to be Indiana or Pitt. Not the stingiest of tests, but they will be tested on Saturday afternoon.
Ohio State are 3rd in the nation with 577 yards per game. They are also averaging a staggering 47.3 points per game, 2nd in the country and 1st among Power-5 schools. The year Ohio State won the National Championship, they took an early season defeat to Virginia Tech at home, and still went on to win it all.
It would be eerily similar if they do it again this season. J.T. Barrett is looking to go out a winner in his final year at Ohio State. He has been at his best in 2017, passing for 21 touchdowns and just 1 interception. He has also rushed for 370 yards and 5 touchdowns. Barrett has been up and down in his career, but he’s putting together the complete package his senior year. This is the strongest opponent Penn State has had this season and I think it will show. After a physical game against Michigan, and Ohio State off a bye, the Buckeyes get this by at least a touchdown.
PICK: OHIO STATE -6.5 (-110)