Ohio State’s offense recorded 10 plays from scrimage of at least 20 yards in the 34-27 victory at Indiana, a season high. The day was highlighted by three long runs by Ezekiel Elliott — all of which when for TDs — of 75, 65 and 55 yards in the second half. The Buckeyes also produced big plays through the air, with seven completions of 20 yards or more. Cardale Jones connected with Jalin Marshall on throws of 34, 33 and 26 yards, had another 26-yard completion to Nick Vannett and hit Michael Thomas on a 23-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter. Jones also hit Corey Smith and Dontre Wilson on 22- and 21-yard gains, respectively.
All told, Ohio State has produced 34 plays from scrimmage of at least 20 yards this season.
Defensively, Ohio State has only allowed 13 plays of 20 yards or more, including just two rushes.
Ohio State’s rushing game had produced a touchdown in 26 consecutive games until the streak was snapped Sept. 19 vs. NIU. Ohio State has now scored a rushing TD in 45 of 47 games coached by Urban Meyer. The only other game Ohio State did not scored a rushing touchdown under Meyer: the 2013 Wisconsin game when Braxton Miller threw four touchdown passes in the 31-24 win.
The Buckeyes have featured one of the most potent rushing attacks in the country since Coach Meyer’s arrival and most notably since the start of 2013, averaging 276.2 yards per game on the ground, fourth best among Power 5 conference schools. Ohio State’s 6.3 yards per rush during that time frame ranks second only to Wisconsin (6.5).
Penn State is 2-0 in the Big Ten and 5-1 overall entering tonight’s game. After dropping their season opener at Temple, the Nittany Lions have won five in a row and are receiving votes in both major polls this week. All five victories have come at home over Buffalo (27-14), Rutgers (28-3), San Diego State (37-21), Army (20-14) and Indiana (29-7). Penn State features one of the better defensive units in the country and rank 10th in the FBS in total
defense, giving up just 275.7 yards per game and are tied for 11th in fewest points allowed at 14.3. They are +1.3 in turnover margin, which is tied for eighth in the FBS, and 13th in fewest passing yards allowed at 158.7 yards per game. They lead the Big Ten with 4.1 sacks per game. The Nittany Lions are led by junior and third-year starting QB Christian Hackenberg, who has passed for 1,086 yards with seven TDs and two INTs on 87-of-164 passing. He threw for 262 yards and two TDs in the win over Indiana last week in State College. Saquon Barkley is PSU’s leading man on the ground with 373 yards and three TDs. However, he has missed the last two games with an injury. Chris Godwin leads the PSU receivers with 27 catches for 390 yards and a TD. DE Carl Nassib leads the NCAA with 10.0 sacks for minus-75 yards and is tied for third with 12.0 TFL.
James Franklin is in his second season in State College. Prior to his arrival, Franklin was the head coach at Vanderbilt where he amassed a 24-15 record in three seasons. He finished 9-4 in each of his final two seasons with bowl victories both years.
Nittany Lions are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
The Bottom Line: This season Ohio State has a habit of letting teams hang around!
Selection: Penn State +17