It has been the most talked about Big Ten game of the year.
Penn State vs. Ohio State is finally here.
The Buckeyes have had some lopsided wins so far this season, but those are to be expected. Despite these big wins and record-setting games, however, it has appeared that no score was ever good enough (to Buckeye Nation) because it was not against Penn State.
Now is the time for the Buckeyes to prove themselves. Last year, Ohio State lost to Penn State in State College 24-21 and then lost to Clemson 31-0 in the Fiesta Bowl. After this year’s early season 31-16 loss to Oklahoma, the Buckeyes must now answer the call.
Ohio State has been criticized for an inconsistent passing game against top-level opponents. Quarterback J.T. Barrett and the Buckeye receivers are putting up huge numbers since the loss to Oklahoma. Right now it looks like those questions have been put to rest, at least where the players are concerned.
“I think that the biggest thing is right now the offense as a whole is clicking the best it has been in years, or however long you want to say…it’s clicking at the right moment,” said center Billy Price. “We’re hitting things, we’re timing things up nicely, we’re isolating and making sure that our players are on their players and making sure that our guys are in an advantageous position.”
Price also stated that they now have more of a complete offense than when they were heading into the Oklahoma game.
‘It’s chemistry,” he said. “It’s chemistry, it’s being together as a whole offense and not just saying okay three units are really good with J.T. It’s got to be a complete five units that are going on right now.”
Head coach Urban Meyer also feels a lot better about this team now than he did before playing Oklahoma, but Meyer is not the only coach to have noticed the improvements on offense.
“I think early in the season they were still trying to kind of find their offensive identity and they found it now and they’re putting up big time points and yards on everybody,” said Penn State head coach James Franklin.
“You knew it was just a matter of time because Kevin’s such a good coach and they have so many good players. I see J.T. playing with a lot of confidence right now and he’s obviously surrounded by a lot of talent and he’s doing a great job of distributing the ball to that talent. So, again, you have an experienced playmaking quarterback, playing in a scheme that really accents his abilities and his supporting cast. So it’s going to be a real challenge, there’s no doubt about it.”
There is no denying that this is a big game for both opponents. Championship hopes are going to live or die with this game.
The Buckeyes need their offensive success to carry over this week if they are going to come away with the win. Ohio State believes their offense is up to the challenge.
Now they finally get to go out there and prove it to everyone else.