Ohio State 29, Penn State 29. That is what the average score comes out when comparing Ohio State to Penn State in the games the two teams played from 2016-2018. Technically, it actually comes out slightly in favor of the Nittany Lions, with 29.3, but let us not quibble over a few decimal points.
Looking forward to what should be a good game between the two teams that can determine the winner of The B1G East Division on Saturday afternoon. The questions I have below are built around both specific players, as well as Penn State’s possible strategies for defending the Buckeyes.
- Handling Micah Parsons – Parsons is an example of the type of player that Ohio State heavily recruited, but did not get. No, I am not going to rehash Parsons’ recruitment from years ago. I will say that the sophomore Walter Camp nominee is coming off a solid game versus Indiana, with 7 tackles (5 solo, 2 assists), and this gem of a play during the contest.
Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons (@Micah_Parsons11) is so fast and hits with so much power. Watch as he causes a fumble stopping Indiana's tight end at the half inch line of the goal-line. Such a special player.#WNSFilm pic.twitter.com/MPNa0ziYP7
— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) November 19, 2019
2. Who Is Covering Pat Freiermuth? – Listed at 6’5″, 265 pounds, Freiermuth is essential to the Nittany Lion offense. Perhaps this is going to be the game where Ohio State fans finally see the Bullet position in action on defense. Does that mean Brendon White will get a chance to show what he can do? Or will Ohio State rely on a linebacker, like Baron Browning, or a traditional safety, like Jordan Fuller? Freiermuth is a mismatch for any team, including Ohio State, so how the Buckeyes defend him will be a major priority.
3. Penn State’s Secondary versus Ohio State’s Wide Receivers – In the Penn State loss at Minnesota, the Golden Gophers torched the Penn State secondary for a combined 18 receptions for 339 yards and 3 touchdowns, averaging 18.8 yards per reception. The weather may be a factor on Saturday, with possible rain in the forecast, but it will bear watching to see if Penn State has shored up the deficiencies that plagued them so much at Minnesota, and even in the close win over Indiana last week. Indiana’s receivers had a comparable game to Minnesota’s receivers, with the Hoosiers’ receivers racking up 31 receptions for 371 yards and 1 touchdown, with a 12 yard per reception average.