When you looked at the Ohio State football schedule, three games stood out immediately. There was the one in Week 2 vs. Oregon (doh), the end of the year rivalry game with Michigan of course, and then there was the one that we’re getting ready to witness on Saturday night, a game in the ‘Shoe against Penn State.
The Nittany Lions struggled last season, but a lot of that can be attributed to all the uncertainty and lack of practice and game reps because of the Big Ten’s stance on COVID-19. You had a feeling there would be a different feel in Happy Valley this year, and there certainly has been. And while Penn State has dropped the last couple of games, it was once right in the thick of the top ten and primed to make a run at the Big Ten title and potential appearance in the College Football Playoff, something Ohio State knows well.
And that brings us to why we are here. We like to get the pulse on what the opposition thinks about the OSU program, current team, and upcoming contest from media members and fans across the sideline, and it’s no different here. We reached out to the publisher of Nittany Lions Wire. Kevin McGuire, to get a sense of how Penn State fans feel about the Buckeye program and what this weekend means.
“Ever since before the season started, even the most loyal Penn State fans would tell you the road to the Big Ten East division runs through Columbus,” McGuire said. “And three weeks ago, things looked like they could be pretty encouraging for Penn State’s best chance at coming out of Columbus with a win in years. But then Penn State lost to Iowa and was shockingly upset by Illinois. At the same time, all we have seen from Ohio State is the points and yards continue to pile up. It is rather disturbing knowing Penn State is walking into Ohio Stadium against a team that looks like it is clearly one of the best teams in the country.”
McGuire believes those that were throwing tomatoes at the Buckeye program after the loss to Oregon failed to realize what program was on state.
“Anyone who wrote Ohio State off after their loss to Oregon was obviously misguided, because it feels as though Ohio State has hit its stride at the perfect time as this division race heads into an awesome November stretch,”
As for Penn State’s chances, well, history has not been kind in Columbus, and McGuire believes the Horseshoe isn’t likely to be a five-star hotel this year either.
“Ohio Stadium has also been a bit of a house of horrors for Penn State with plenty of lopsided losses coupled with some soul-crushing losses (see: 2017, a game that still is difficult to get over),” McGuire continued. “But nobody is approaching this weekend’s game thinking Penn State has what it takes to stack up with Ohio State right now. The two programs are just trending in the opposite directions at the worst possible time for Penn State, and it would not shock anyone if Ohio State is in full control of this one from the start, similar to last year’s matchup.”
If you’ve read any of our preview pieces or predictions, you know we tend to agree. However, who saw Illinois pulling off an upset in Happy Valley last week? Funnier things have happened in the world of college football, and don’t be surprised if Penn State shows up, at least for a bit tomorrow night. That is, as they say, why they play the games.
Ohio State and Penn State are set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. EDT with ABC being in-house for the broadcast and call of the game.
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