In the Big Ten’s second week of play, we are already primed for another marquee matchup between two ranked teams. The Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0) are all set to kickoff against the Penn State Nittany Lions (0-1).
Ohio State was given an easier road to Week 2 than Penn State, courtesy of their Week 1 matchup. The Buckeyes squared off against Nebraska, and blew them out 52-17.
Penn State drew an unranked opponent in their Week 1 matchup. They faced off against a much improved Indiana team on the road, but lost 37-36 on a controversial overtime two-point conversion.
The Buckeyes head into this game ranked No. 3 in the nation. The Nittany Lions, still ranked after the loss, come in as the No. 18 team. Kickoff is set for 7:30 Eastern on ABC.
Justin Fields Forever
Starting quarterback Justin Fields came out with a vengeance in week 1 of the season. Fields went 20 for 21 with 276 yards through the air last week. That goes with his two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Fields pinpointed his favorite targets early and went to them often. Sophomore receiver Garrett Wilson had seven catches for 129 yards. That’s 18.4 yards per catch. Junior receiver Chris Olave ended up with six catches for 104 yards. 17.3 yards per catch.
Of their large running back committee, Master Teague III led the group in attempts, yards, and found the endzone for a couple of touchdowns. Fields led the entire offense in rushing yards with 54, and he added another score on the ground.
The Buckeyes played well on both sides of the ball, but their running game got off to a slow start against Nebraska. Expect it to improve against the Nittany Lions.
Not the Greatest Start
While Penn State did play an extremely competitive game against Indiana, a loss to an unranked opponent may have already doomed their hopes of a College Football Playoff (CFP) bid. The Nittany Lions will face an even tougher team in Ohio State on Saturday.
Indiana didn’t play knock-your-socks-off football last week. However, Penn State starting quarterback Sean Clifford threw two costly interceptions. Clifford cannot turn the ball over against Ohio State if Penn State wants to stay in the game.
Clifford did throw for three touchdowns and had nearly 120 rushing yards to his credit. While his game wasn’t awful, it wasn’t spectacular either.
The Nittany Lions need to control the time of possession and win the turnover differential to stay in it with the Buckeyes. They need to run the ball well against a stout rushing defense.
The Pick Is In
DraftKings sportsbook has the Buckeyes favored by 10, with the total set at 64 headed into the weekend. We actually expected the spread to be even wider than 10 after Penn State’s Week 1 showing. Another strong performance from Justin Fields could move his positioning in the Heisman race.
With it at 10 points, the pick here goes to Ohio State (-10). The Buckeyes should win by multiple touchdowns in this high scoring affair. Good luck.
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