Penn State Preview: Ohio State

Parker Washington (3) and the Nittany Lions host second-ranked Ohio State on Saturday at noon. A win this weekend sets up Penn State for a potential run for the Big Ten East Division title in November. Photo credit: Steve Manuel

Each week, we’ll tell you what to expect, what to keep an eye, and where and when you can catch the Nittany Lions this football season.

Game details: vs. Ohio State, kickoff at noon, broadcast on FOX.

Records: No. 13/13 Penn State (6-1, 3-1), No. 2/2 Ohio State (7-0, 4-0).

Venue: Beaver Stadium, where Penn State boasts an all-time mark of 308-79.

Weather forecast (via Accuweather): High of 58, sunny to partly cloudy. Temps should already be in the low 50s by the time the tailgating lots open at 8 a.m. and should hover in the mid-50s until reaching nearly 60 later in the afternoon. And no significant chance of rain.

The line: Penn State +15

All-time series: Ohio State leads 23-14.

Last week: Penn State bulldozed Minnesota 45-17 on Homecoming Weekend, while Ohio State trounced Iowa 54-10.

Last meeting (2021): Ohio State won 33-24 Columbus, after holding only a three-point edge heading into the fourth quarter.

The lead: Win Saturday, and Penn State vaults itself back into a Top-10 ranking and the conversation for both the Big Ten title and a spot in the College Football Playoff. And all of a sudden, November becomes very interesting. Penn State will be favored in each of its four games next month, and probably be at least a touchdown.

A week after a performance that earned him offensive player of the week in the Big Ten, quarterback Sean Clifford will need another near-flawless outing: he threw for 295 yards and fourth touchdowns, also throwing his third interception. He and his teammates don’t need to be perfect against Ohio State, though certainly their margin of error is slimmer Saturday than it will be at any other point this season.

Worth noting: Penn State will host Big Noon Kickoff, FOX’s college football pregame show, live from University Park for the first time. The broadcast will begin at 10 a.m. and lead up to the game at noon.

Roar Tour: Game result aside, last weekend was a lot of fun, and we always appreciate the opportunity to spend time with our alumni and fans. You can see the action from the Roar Tour at Michigan with our Flickr gallery and by visiting the Live tab on our Facebook page, which has all our archived livestreams featuring the Pep Band, Penn State Cheerleaders, and Nittany Lion. You can join us at either Indiana (Nov. 5), and/or Rutgers (Nov. 19), and we hope to see you next month on the road.

Keep an eye on: Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud. The Heisman Trophy candidate spearheads the Buckeyes’ impressive offense, as he’s thrown for 28 touchdowns against only four interceptions.

Academic excellence: A total of 552 of Penn State football student-athletes have earned Academic All-Big Ten honors since 1993 for owning at least a 3.0 grade point average and being a letterwinner.

Trivia tidbit, Part 1: Penn State didn’t allow any sacks against Minnesota, a feat the Nittany Lions have achieved three times this season.

Trivia tidbit, Part 2: ICYMI: Sean Clifford became the all-time completions leader at Penn State last week, and the four-time team captain now has 722, two ahead of Trace McSorley.

For more on The Football Letter, (requires Alumni Association member log-in), click here.

Not yet an Alumni Association member? Click here.

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