College Football Matches Week 9: Tough Battle for Penn State Begins as Ohio State Seeks to Assert Dominance

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Ohio State is a must-play game for Penn State. Hard stop.

Lose in this week’s showdown with the No.3 Buckeyes, and the No.18 Nittany Lions start 0-2 for the first time in eight years. In a week the Big Ten suffered his first loss (Wisconsin-Nebraska due to COVID-19), the urgency of a shortened season is amplified.

If Penn State loses, it’s hard to imagine beating Ohio State for the Big Ten East title. The Nittany Lions should win and hope the Buckeyes lose at least three times. Ohio State is said to be the owner of the head-to-head tiebreaker and is up two games in the standings.

Maybe it’s getting ahead. Penn State is in this situation because it did everything wrong by losing Game 1 to Indiana. To clean up all those sins in one week against the State of Ohio might be asking too much.

Or it can be a prelude to a classic. Penn State has won the series once since 2011. But this game has been a fantastic rivalry for the past six years. Ohio State has won five of those games, with three of the last four decided by a basket or less.

Last year’s game was typical. Ohio State took a 21-0 lead before Penn State came back for 21-17. OSU ultimately won 28-17. The most important point was that the destitute Nits were hooked in there.

That 2019 win took the Bucks’ streak to three in a row. It started with a pair of one-point decisions in 2017 and 2018. Penn State came back from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit in 2016. It was one of only two home wins for Penn State against the five best teams since 1983..

“We found a way to beat them when very few people did,” said Nittany Lions coach James Franklin. “And we played them on the wire. Sometimes those games that go on the wire are the most painful for anyone. ”

It’s a rivalry impacted, like everything else, by COVID-19. Those on both sides bemoaned an empty Beaver Stadium. An empty stadium means no White Out.

“I love the White Out,” said Shaun Wade, the Ohio State All-America corner. “It’s really a challenge. I love the competition. I love their fans. ”

The feeling may not be mutual. The state of Ohio has been so much better for so long against everyone in the Big Ten, it’s getting monotonous. This explains the difference of 12.5 points.

Both teams arrive with pressing concerns. With Franklin’s team all the way down to the third string running back, it looks like quarterback Sean Clifford took on some of those responsibilities on his own. Clifford’s 119 yards were almost half of the rushing total against Indiana.

Heisman Trophy finalist Justin Fields ran 15 times in a 35-point victory over Nebraska. Part of this charge is because neither Major Teague nor Trey Sermon is Ezekiel Elliott or JK Dobbins. Fields may be Ohio State’s top runner – at quarterback. And it’s okay. He ran almost 10 times per game last season winning the Big Ten and leading the Buckeyes to the college football playoffs.

While the NFL (and the guys in Ohio State) might want to preserve Fields as a pitcher – he was 20 of 21 against Nebraska – he’s certainly not looking to the future.

“A big part of the quarterback’s game is about making decisions, not questioning yourself,” Fields said this week. “… It is difficult to look to the future. If you get it wrong this week, this opportunity will never present itself. ”

Fields considers Saturday a respite. He took a veiled photo of Nebraska – and others like the underdog Cornhuskers – for taking advantage of him in a pile.

“It definitely happened a little bit the last game,” Fields said, “in terms of tackling and guys who tried to twist my ankle and whatnot. It happens even more when we play – I don’t mean worse teams – – but teams that I guess don’t have as much of a chance of winning.… When we play better-trained teams and better teams, it tends to happen less. It can come with respect. ”

2. Texas coach Tom Herman has been asked about his playmakers. When a member of the media wondered how many Longhorns had on the list, Herman paused for about 10 seconds before responding, “Some.” Some? It was a program that was to challenge the Big 12 and a place in the college football playoffs. Instead, it’s No.6 Oklahoma State that will have playmakers all over the field when the teams meet on Saturday.

The Cowboys defense is no coincidence to give 12 points per game. (Speaking to you, SEC. Alabama is 64th in this class.) We knew 10 starters were back on this D. These guys are actually wreaking havoc. The unit averages 18 1/2 “damage plays” per game (sacks, tackles for loss, forced fumbles, interceptions, defended passes). We’ll be back: Alabama averages 14.4 games of this type.

It can be argued that the most powerful unit in the Big 12 is the defense of the state of Oklahoma and not the attack on Oklahoma. Mike Gundy’s teams tend to fade in the face of tougher competition, but Oklahoma State (4-0) still seems to be playing hard in Texas. Gundy has beaten the Longhorns in seven of the last ten meetings.

3. Lady Luck et Coach Gus: If it weren’t for the lucky few, uh, bounces… Auburn would be 1-4. Instead, the Tigers are a grateful 3-2 in the LSU game because of a massive fortune. In Game 1, Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson threw a pick of six after the exam failed to reverse what could have been a goal line violation on a (no) touch. A few weeks later, Bo Nix fumbled not once but twice trying to kick the ball. Auburn sort of retained possession and won late in Arkansas. Last week’s review revealed that an Auburn returner touched a kickoff that bounced into the end zone for what was deemed a touchdown. (More on that below.) Gus Malzahn is a God-fearing man, but does he have a direct line with the Big Guy? LSU and Auburn are both meeting Unrated for the first time since 1999. It’s the SEC on CBS Game of the Week.

4. Your Mike Leach Zen moment: « [Nick Saban] is not one of those pullover wearers. They want to wear the sweater, but they’re not quite up to their neck. But man, Coach Saban is a guy who is soccer all the time. Very committed. “This is a preview from a coach for Mississippi State at No. 2 Alabama on Saturday night.

5.Oxford diversion: Ole Miss (at Vanderbilt) has the second-worst SEC record (1-4), but let’s certainly laugh at Lane Kiffin threatening to ship his $ 25,000 fine to the SEC office in pennies. Ugh.

6. A player to encourage: We’re taking a break from this crazy season to say hello to wide receiver Chris Booker. The senior St. Louis player may be the only player in the country to boast of being both an Elliott and Fields teammate. Booker’s story emerged this week when he was named an Ohio State special teams player. he played football at Elliott High School in St. Louis before redshirting in Dayton for a season and moving to Ohio State club team. There is such a thing where players have to pay everything. There is no workout table and risk of injury with less than elite medical care. “The difference in the club, we only practice two or three days a week. The rest of the time I was able to hang out with the guys. It was like in high school. Booker joined the Buckeyes varsity squad in 2019 where he reveled in Ryan Day by simply recognizing him in the lobby. “What I’ve been able to accomplish is nothing less than… it’s amazing,” Booker concluded. He will cover the kicks against Penn State.

7. Upset of the week: Rutgers on Indiana (+12.5). Hey, Bruce Springsteen just released his new album, how about some more New Jersey magic? The Hoosiers needed everything to be okay last week to beat Penn State. In the only Big Ten match between undefeated teams, seek out Schiano’s magic once again.

8. Clemson takes a hit: For those wondering how Trevor Lawrence’s absence after a positive COVID-19 test will impact the odds of Clemson’s College Football Playoff: Any Clemson team that wins the ACC with less than two losses is probably still in the game. CFP. So, yes, if the Tigers stumble with freshman DJ Uiagaleilei against Boston College – whether Lawrence returns or not – they’ll still be with one loss as the ACC champion. LSU in 2007 remains the only two-losing team to qualify (and win) a national championship game in the BCS era (since 1998)

8. Quick shots: If Clemson beats Boston College, he will have gone through a whole presidential election cycle without defeat at home (27 consecutive games). The Tigers’ last loss at home was on November 5, 2016 against Pittsburgh, three days before the 2016 election… sorry to see Kylin Hill’s career end so depressingly. The talented Mississippi State tailback entered the season as the SEC’s top comeback rusher and noble activist behind the Mississippi state flag change. He has now opted out of the season after being the season for one game last week… Florida No.10 returned to action on Saturday against Missouri after two weeks of sidelining due to an outbreak of COVID-19. The Gators will wear peacekeepers for the first time since the 1960s… Have a good trip to Dave Hirsch, who is leaving the Pac-12 after 25 years as a quintessential media communications professional

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