A Neutral Look at #16 Ohio State Vs #11 Penn State

Ryan HealeyCorrespondent INovember 4, 2009

EVANSTON, IL - OCTOBER 31: Head coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State Nittany Lions walks the sidelines as his team takes on the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field on October 31, 2009 in Evanston, Illinois. Penn State defeated Northwestern 34-13. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

7-2 Ohio State heads to Happy Valley to face 8-1 Penn State in a game that could be a deciding factor in the Big Ten. 

Both teams sit at 4-1 in conference play. Penn State is second and Ohio State is third and both trail 5-0 Iowa. If Ohio State wins out they would be conference champions and be headed for the Rose Bowl and if Penn State wins out they could be an at-large bid in a BCS game. 

Since Ohio States loss against Purdue they have routed Minnesota and New Mexico State by a combined 83-7 points. Also they Buckeyes have had 2 turnovers to their opponents 7. Credit all of this should be expected seeing who they have played. 

Ohio States quarterback Terrelle Pryor, after receiving much criticism for his poor performance against Purdue, has gone 24/48 with 374 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. On the ground Pryor has had 24 rushing attempts with 187 yards and 2 touchdowns. The stats don't really show much seeing they were playing, at best, mediocre defenses. 

Running backs Brandon Saine and Dan Herron, who are the second and third leading rushers behind Pryor, have had a combined 160 attempts with 746 yards and two touchdowns so far this season. 

Ohio States defense has had a total of 15 interceptions with two being returned for touchdowns. Also the defense has yet to give up a hundred yards to any one single running back so far. 

On the other side, Penn State whose lone blemish came at the hands of Iowa for the second time in a row have outscored opponents by an average of 35-8 since then. 

I'll even go out on a limb and say that Penn State has looked much better then Iowa since that loss. 

Quarterback Darryl Clark has put up some pretty impressive numbers since the loss going 89/134 with 1200 yards, 9 touchdowns, and one interception. 

On the ground Clark has amassed 148 yards with 5 touchdowns. Along with Clark there is Evan Royster who has gained 859 yards on 145 attempts with 5 touchdowns.Royster also has one reception touchdown and 145 reception yards. 

Clarks go to receiver Derek Moye has 39 receptions for 648 yards and 5 touchdowns. 

A lot is hinging on this game for both teams and I believe this game comes down to the wire and could be a slug-fest. 

I think Penn State wins it by a touchdown or less even though Ohio State is somewhat looking better then what they have I think the Nittany Lions have the edge in this one. 

This is the other big game this week and you can catch the game on ABC at 3:30 Eastern Time. 

P.S. Ohio State fans don't be upset...you get your big win next week. 

Stats courtesy of ESPN.com and FoxSports.com 

Standings reflect the BCS as of 11/1.